I Am No Aunt, a story of the Aunt Family for the Giraffe Call

My Giraffe Call is Open here! Stop in and leave a prompt!

This is to [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘s prompt.

The Aunt Family has a landing page here

“Emelda should have held out longer.” Edith was furious. They were all furious. The women, at least. And some of the men.

Angry or not, Beazie tried to placate everyone. “What could she have held out for? All the girls over the age of fifteen are married. The only potential is an infant, currently an only child.”

“Then she should have held out for Jennifer to grow old enough and June to have another daughter.” Edith pursed her lips, even though it was clear she knew she was being ridiculous. Emelda – Aunt Emelda – had died of cancer, a sudden-onset disease none of the immediate family had known about. Emelda’s two sisters and one brother had had several children, but, as Beazie had pointed out, the girls had been quick to make sure they wouldn’t be the next Aunt.

“We can call another family…” Sarah spoke like she knew she was going to get shot down. Their branch hadn’t so much “branched off” as “jumped ship,” back when Emelda and Edith’s mother was young.

“No.” Edith’s tone of voice left no room for argument. “No, there is no going back. We’re going to have to go with what we have.”

“Aunt Edith, you can’t mean…” Louisa was Chauncey’s older sister. She had gotten married at twenty-seven, confiding in nobody but Chauncey that she’d been hoping Emelda would pass early.

Chauncey could have told her better but, while his sister liked to confide in him, she’d never actually listened.

“Of course I can. If you’d gotten one snippet of the family treasure, you would have known already. Holding out in case she died, indeed. You should have started early. We’d have a girl of the proper age if you had.”

Louisa, who’d thought that was a secret, turned to her brother in betrayal. He held up both his hands. “I said nothing. It was pretty obvious, Lou.”

“Yeah.” The men had been quiet while the women argued. Now their cousin Alfred butted in. “Even Aunt Emelda knew. But, um. We’re the black sheep of the line for a reason, aren’t we?” He held up his hands in a gesture much like Chauncey’s. “Not me. I don’t have any more of it than Lou does, and, besides, I’m married with three kids.”

“Maybe Cathy…” Louisa was grasping at straws now. Chauncey thought about having his feelings hurt, but it was just the family line, wasn’t it?

“Don’t be stupid, Louisa Susan. We do not pass the line to those not of the family. Even though your Catherine, Alfred, is a lovely woman. No, it’s going to have to be Chauncey or John Henry.”

“Two kids out of wedlock. Sorry, Mom.” John Henry didn’t look sorry. Chauncey didn’t blame him.

“Well, I… we’ll deal with that later, John. So.” The attention of every female relative over the age of twenty turned onto Chauncey.

More than the attention, and more than his living relatives. The power, the “treasure” of the generations pressed down on him, wrapped around him, warped into him. “It seems.” His mother sounded far too proud of herself. “It seems we have an Uncle for the Aunt House.”

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0 thoughts on “I Am No Aunt, a story of the Aunt Family for the Giraffe Call

  1. Good luck, Chauncey. I don’t know when you are, but Stone may need you as an example, some day. Also interesting is the description of the power transfer, both that it doesn’t happen without some sort of decision by the surviving family — what would happen if an Aunt died and nobody noticed for a while, would it just wait? — and that there’s an actual transfer of *something* … I’m confused about the Louisas, though. In the third paragraph, there’s a Louisa who’s too young, presumably the infant only child. Then in the sixth, there’s a Louisa who got married at 27 and has at least one younger brother, Chauncey. Given that Louisa’s being snarled at for not having kids earlier, I’m guessing she’s the mother of the singleton infant, and either she and her daughter have the same name, or “Louisa” and “June” should be swapped in paragraph three?

      • Wait, then who’s June with the only child? Does Louisa have multiple children who are too young? Or all boys so far? Also, hrm, if Louisa would have been elegible, and Louisa’s children would have been elegible, that means there’s a skip-generation option, which I think hadn’t come up before …

        • June’s another daughter of the right generation – and yes, skip-a-generation is being suggested, and that’s new too.

              • I’d assumed that Jennifer was “the only potential … an infant, currently an only child”, with June-who-should-have-more-kids as her mother. I’d also assumed that Jennifer was not a younger sibling of Louisa and Chauncey. But maybe she is the baby of that branch, and June has only boys so far? That’d make her all proper. If Louisa had any girls, I’d’ve expected them to either be listed with Jennifer … though maybe the skip-generation thing has them considered unqualified as well as too young. No, wait, that doesn’t work if Jennifer is an only child. I’m confused!

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