Helping the children with a play proves embarrassing for Vincent
Well I’ll Be A…Monkey’s Uncle!
You are joking? I can’t say that!”
“Aw come on, Vincent, it’s not much, and it would be so funny.”
“That’s what I am afraid of.” Vincent said dryly, as the thought presented itself of the audience with Catherine included, watching the play unfold.
“What is it that they want you to say?” Father asked with some amusement, “Pass me a script Kipper.”
“No!” Vincent lunged forward grabbing the offered script. Father laughed heartily, “Oh come now Vincent, it can’t be all that bad.”
“It is, and I’m not saying it and that’s final! Sorry Eric but you will have to write me another line.”
“And if I do you’ll say it?” Eric asked hopefully.
“As long as it’s not that, I’ll say anything.” Vincent told the young boy.
“Yes, I promise.” Vincent ignored Father’s chuckle, what he found to be so funny in such a promise beat him.
He soon found out.
*** *** ***
The audience waited and applauded as the curtain was raised. Catherine seated among them her eyes bright waited for Vincent’s entrance onto the stage, eager to hear what Eric had re-written in the absence of something else. Father had been eager to impart that bit of news upon her arrival.
“I don’t know what it was. Vincent wouldn’t let me see it, and Eric wouldn’t say. But I fear that Vincent has made a promise he might regret by saying he will say anything but those words. I’m sure whatever Eric has changed it for will have similar meaning, otherwise he might have had to change all of the play and he just hasn’t had the time to have done that.”
Remembering those words Catherine waited, catching Father’s eye from time to time amused that he too was waiting with equal excitement.
The play was very good, as they often were. Catherine was amazed at the talent she often saw beneath the city streets, and Eric was quite a good play-write.
Soon it was Vincent’s part, and Eric thrust a thin strip of paper into his hand as he came onto the makeshift stage in Father’s chamber. Catherine caught Father’s eye and with wry amusement grinned.
Vincent it appeared had paled and was lost for words.
“Psst…Vincent…” Eric whispered. “Speak Vincent. Go on you promised.”
“I can’t say this!” Vincent replied through gritted teeth, “Eric this is worse than before!”
“Vincent, you promised.” Downhearted Eric foresaw his whole play coming to a grinding halt if Vincent did not utter those words. “It’s important.”
Vincent came alongside Eric, “I can’t.”
“Oh come on Vincent.” Father tapped his fingers upon the table in front of him impatiently, “You did promise you would say anything, and surely it can’t be all that bad.” He almost laughed out loud at the look that Vincent shot him.
“Yes come on Vincent.” Everyone chorused well aware now that Father had deliberately baited his son, and they were loving every minute of Vincent’s obvious discomfort.
Vincent looked at his lines, then up at his friends gathered round, and took a sidelong glance at Catherine beneath the curtain of his hair and mumbled, “Well I’ll be a…” and stopped dead.
“Yes, yes?” Father bellowed, “You’ll be a what? Speak up boy, I can’t hear you!”
Pretending he had something in his mouth, like a hair or a feather or something, anything, Vincent spoke the rest of his lines, thankful for the excuse to mumble them.
“Pardon? Speak up Vincent what did you say.” Father could hardly keep a straight face.
Drawing in his courage Vincent blurted loudly, “Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. There did you hear me that time!” Wow if looks could kill!
There was silence. Absolute silence.
And then it began, just as Vincent had expected, one by one people giggled, and Catherine pursed her lips trying desperately to maintain a grip on a chuckle that threatened to burst out at any moment. And Father howled as William bellowed with laughter, and that did it. That did it!
Vincent was gone. Poof! Vanished just like that, acutely embarrassed and unable to stay.
Laughter erupted - applause sounded and Eric was left feeling absolutely wonderful that his play had made everyone so happy. His face beamed with joy.
Only Catherine finally saw the other side of the coin, only she it seemed suddenly felt the shame and the embarrassment as Vincent’s feelings charged through her via their Bond and she felt awful.
Exiting the chamber moments later she sought him out, funnelling all her love through their connection hoping it would ease his pain, and in doing so homing in on his whereabouts, surprised when it led her up to the park. And she knew he was close and that he was resigned to what had happened as she felt his humour touch her heart and knew that he was somewhere above and laughing down at her.
Looking up she saw him, swinging from branch to branch of what she considered to be her tree and she called up to him, her voice a hoarse whisper lest someone should hear her cry out, “Vincent, what are you doing up there?”
“Well you know me.” Came down his light-hearted reply, “I’m just being a monkey’s uncle!” And this time he delighted in the sound of her laughter.
*** *** ***
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