Errings, A family tale | By: Don Fener | | Category: Short Story - Novelistic Bookmark and Share

Errings, A family tale

Errings; A family tale

Book one: The delusional Mrs. Erring.
Chapter one: A conversation with Socrates.

A long time ago in the quiet old country of Cabal there lived a man who called himself Basques. Melvin, as everyone else called him, lived alone with his wife and three children. Hannibal, Rosetta, and little Daniela, (the mother’s name you should not concern yourself with because she will be dead by chapter three.) They lived in a town of whose name I cannot remember. But it was a nice town, except for all bad parts of it. The Errings (their surname) lived in a part of town that was particularly bad. It was thought that the very street they lived on was the worst of the worst: but the lived a fairly joyous life, albeit a sad, decrepit, despairing one.

I think that now I should tell you all that I did not witness the events of this story firsthand. Rather, it was told to me by various witnesses (though some of their testimonies are questionable). So I cannot be blamed if you fail a quiz regarding the actual events discussed in this book. In other words do not use this as a study guide. (Unless you are studying for a test about my book, of course). The event that I am speaking of you should all know, for it is one of the most infamous happenings of the last modern era.

Three weeks before said incident, Mr. Erring, (or Melvin, if you will) had just been notified that his mother had fallen ill and was approaching Death’s door. John Death, her neighbor and local physician, was not at home (which was also where he held practice) when the old Mrs. Erring approached his door.
She had been suffering from a strong fever for the past couple of days. The fever was so strong that she had begun to see hallucinations. One such of these false witnessings happened just prior to her journey to the doctor’s house.

“ If you do not tell me why you have come, then how will I be able to help you?” she said.

“But I have not come of own accord,” was heard by only the old mother. “You have brought me here through your own corrupt mind. I cannot tell you why I am here and in fact I was hoping you could explain to me what the reason was for me being so rudely interrupted during dinner. ( I was in the middle of dinner at the time of my sudden transportation to this confusing place).”

“I do not know why. I cannot believe that my mind has deteriorated so much that I find myself talking to you, the great, although late, Socrates. And you speak English so well!”

“ I do not speak English, but you do. For you see, I am only your delusional subconscious speaking to you.”

“I see, then what would you like to talk about, seeing as you don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon?”

“I would like to discuss the fact that you have not been visited by Melvin, your ungrateful son, in sometime. Is he so busy that he cannot visit his own mother even for a few moments? It seems to me that if I neglected my mother in such a way I should feel somewhat ashamed.”

“But it’s not his fault, it’s his wife’s.”

“Why, what do you mean?”

“She is a wretched woman, she is controlling and she abuses my poor baby.”

“He is forty two years old, how can you call him your baby?”

“He will always be my baby, no matter what his age is.”

“And how does she abuse your baby?”

“ She beats him whenever he says or does something she does not approve of. She won’t let him talk to his own children. She calls him worthless in the presence of company and degrades him. I know. I have been witness to this many a time.” (I should note now that even though she had only been sick fo a couple of days with the fever her memory of past events had been distorted by the sickness.)

The old woman obviously did not know what the philosopher looked like
so the image she saw sitting on her couch was not Socrates but in fact that of a stranger whom she saw five days before at the market. The stranger was, in all actuality, an idiot, homeless, and a drunk. He would wandered around the marketplace begging for food, or money, (preferably money so he could buy liquor) The reason that she saw him as Socrates was simple: at the market she had overheard two men talking about the stranger and her unhealthy mind mangled up the two very different people.

“Now that looks like an intellectual.” The first of them said with a sarcastic tone.

“Oh yes, quite so. He certainly looks like a philosophical man. I’d even venture to say that he could pass for Socrates.” Said the second man with a laugh.

“Spare some change for a poor soul down on his luck?” The stranger spoke in such a manner that was hard to look at him without wanting to do him harm. I know this sounds ludicrous, but trust me. If you met him on the street it would take every ounce of your conscience not to slug the guy.

“Oh look, it’s the great Socrates!” shouted the first man, laughing as he did.

“ Oh great Socrates, why have you adorned us with your presence?” the second man was laughing so hard he could barely get this sentence out of his mouth.

“Spare some change for pitiful old man?” He did not even realize they were mocking him, he was too intoxicated from having been drinking all morning.

“Yes here you go, oh wise and great Socrates. This is all a can spare, even to man as great as you.” said the first man as he reached in to his pocket and pulled out some loose change.

“Oh thank you! Thank you so much!” cried the drunken stranger as he tried to hug the first man. (Hugging was very common in Cabal, kind of like a handshake.)

“Get off of me you drunk.” said the first man turning very serious and then he pushed the drunk on ground.

“I just wanted to thank you for your generosity”

“That doesn’t mean you can touch me you old drunk!” said the first man with a suspicious amount of anger. “Come on, let’s get out of here”.

The second man followed his friend somewhat confused to his comrade’s reaction to the drunk trying to hug him. But he did not bother to ask and it was soon forgotten.

The stranger stood up and tried to act like nothing happened. He looked around to see if anyone noticed and he saw the old woman looking at him.

“Mind your own business” he shouted at her.

She quickly turned away.

This happened an hour before her hallucination which I will continue in the next chapter.

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