One of His Moods

My father was in one of his moods. Arms crossed, he sat in the front seat glaring at us through the windshield.

“Why is Grandpa mad?” Buddy asked. “Doesn’t he like camping?”

“Obviously not,” Cliff said.

“Why’d we bring him then?”

I looked at Cliff. “He can’t stay alone, Bud. You know that.”

“Why not?”

“Because he’s getting senile,” said Cliff. He tapped his temple. “Hardening of the arteries.”

“Daddy’s exaggerating,” I said. “Grandpa will come around soon. He’s just tired.”

Cliff snorted and began to set up the Coleman stove.

Buddy looked at his father, then my father, then back.


Friday Fictioneers


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  1. Lynn Love

    A tough, confusing subject for a small child to understand. Difficult for adults to deal with too, creates a lot of tension in any household that has to deal with this awful disease. Well told, Josh

  2. rochellewisoff

    Dear Josh,

    Senile and hardening of the arteries. Those are terms you don’t hear much these days. You set the scene well. I could hear the voices and see the old man. Well done.



  3. Christine Goodnough

    I’m with Edith. Camping’s a strain on sound minds and tempers. Then when there’s a bit of confusion… I find even folks a bit confused may nap and wake up disoriented as to time and place.

  4. draliman

    Camping can be pretty stressful when someone doesn’t want to be there. Worse if you’ve “dragged” someone along because they can’t be left by themselves.

  5. pennygadd51

    The bit that intrigued me was Bud looking at his granddad, then his dad, then back again. The implication was almost “Are you senile, Dad?” BTW, is the narrator the boy’s uncle, or his mom? Seems to me both would fit.

  6. Rowena

    Well done, Josh. A sign to me of a good story, is also how it gets me as the reader thinking and relating to it, as yours did with me.
    We took my mother sailing and she dug in her heels too. Stayed below deck, grumbled and hasn’t been taken again. Fortunately, she could be left alone. However, my daughter didn’t like sailing much either and became scared of just about anything. So, now the rest of us go sailing while Mum and my daughter go shopping.
    Both my grandparents had Alzheimers and were in their 90s. We used to visit my grandfather and he lived in a “secure facility” and they had old people holding dolls etc. The kids were young and didn’t think much of it. They went to their funerals and when my son saw that my aunt was upset, he said: “You can dig him back up”. I thought that was so sweet.
    xx Rowena

Don't just stand there.