Today’s story comes to you courtesy from the good folks at Write It Up! in Burbank. I don’t know how it happens, but I got five random prompts that led to this perfect storm of a cute little story.
The Rainbow Connection,
by Alexander Paul Willging
Word Count: 612
The year was 1993. A week after the big Inauguration in DC, a storm hit the nation’s capital. Heavy gray clouds formed a blockade against clear blue skies and sunlight. This armada sent down torrents of relentless raindrops along the entire length of the Mall. No quarter given. No chance for a perky beginning to the Clinton administration. But standing underneath the awning of a grand hotel’s entrance, Sean watched the rain hit and waited for his chance.
It wasn’t too bad, he thought. At least there’d be a rainbow at the end of all this.
Two months earlier. November, post-electoral victory (for some, at least). Sean Vivell sat groaning and restless on his couch, cordless phone pressed against his ear. He couldn’t think, let alone get a word in edgewise, as his mother rattled on about Cousin Jack. About how great he was at the mortgage business. And, really, why couldn’t Sean be more like Jack, she kept asking.
“Okay, Mom… Mom!” Sean flipped the phone over to his other ear. “I have a job. I keep telling you, I’m a paranormal investigat… yes! Yes, it is! It is a real job, okay? I’ve got a leprechaun in my attic and the equivalent of Thor crashing in my garage!”
Sean felt his stomach tighten. Not an uncommon reaction whenever he and his mother spoke. He didn’t mind sharing stupid details like this. No one ever believed him anyway. That came with the job. But the real horror was what would happen if his parents ever found out about his other pastimes. His other day-to-day experience.
As his mom continued her rant in that fine Arizona twang, Sean smelled grits cooking in the kitchen. He heard his boyfriend humming a jaunty tune as he made breakfast. And as much as he’d rather be by his sweetheart’s side, Sean he couldn’t put this conversation off any longer. He’d known it would be a thing to deal with ever since that night running along the Potomac. One weird case, one wrong turn, and the introduction of a familiar dark-haired stranger had been enough to change Sean’s world forever. He’d never been able to close his eyes to the weirdness of the world after that.
“Hey Mom,” he said, “I’m tied up with work here in DC, but I’ll be in your neck of the woods early next year. How about we have dinner? Yeah. Y-yeah, and there’s someone else I’d like you and Dad to meet…”
It wasn’t the pot of gold that Sean brought his parents that surprised them. Although, really, what else did one expect to find at the end of a rainbow? He had that leprechaun O’Malley to thank for this. At least now his folks could finally pay off their house.
It wasn’t even that Sean had decided to bring his boyfriend over for dinner. His mother had always suspected, but said nothing discouraging. Even with the slight shock on his Dad’s face, Sean knew the old man wasn’t about to disown his already unusual child. It was 1993, after all.
What did surprise them, though, was that Sean’s boyfriend was Elvis Presley. Specifically, the reincarnation of 1968-era Elvis, as smooth and sonorous as ever. Sean could hardly believe it himself sometimes. But as he’d learned in his many trips down the Potomac, it was better not to question whatever spacetime warp had caused such people to step into his world. He hoped his parents wouldn’t raise much of a fuss about it either.
After all, who would refuse the rock n’ roll legend for dinner when he greeted them with a wink and said, “Well, thank you very much”?
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