NOTE: Galumphing is an exercise in creativity for writers in which several unrelated words are woven into an entertaining story. At her online site recently, writing instructor Ann Linquist offered the following words for us to play with:
And my result:
Secrets don’t like being kept secret. Secrets like to take the short route from ears to tongue, not bothering with circulating through the brain and tangling with all those niggling ethea that hang out there and threaten to derail any sense of fun.
Moreover, if the tongue doesn’t rid itself of a secret quickly enough, the secret lands in your stomach and commences burning holes in it, threatening worse if not freed ASAP. Keep it long enough and you’ll find your guts steamrolled into a squishy food fight.
Such was Remara Bearwafter’s plight after that old busybody Gladys Docushredder told her about Elsie Pinchpenny filching a donation envelope from the church offering plate last Sunday, first swearing her to absolute secrecy, which only means that the sooner you’re rid of the secret, the better off you’ll be. Like, pass that responsibility for secrecy on to someone else and let them bear the weight of it.
But Remara was the type of woman who remained true to her word. If she said she’d keep a secret, then, by golly, she’d keep it. And she did, after she verified from a blushing and hesitant Gladys that she was, in fact, an eyewitness to the pilferage and not just passing on unsubstantiated purple-prosed gossip.
So Remara was conflicted. On the one hand, she liked Elsie and hoped the scurrilous accusation was not true. On the other hand, she knew Elsie was in a financial pickle due to her husband’s illness and inability to work. Thus the possibility of truth tumbled around on her conscience as she watched Gladys walk down the sidewalk with a bit more of a swagger than she usually had.
Secrets will do that to you, too. Put some flounce in the bounce and some sway in the old sashay.
Remara being Remara, she did the only thing she could–she went right to Elsie’s house and knocked on the door. But Elsie didn’t answer, not even after her second, third, and fourth knocks. Remara leaned over the handrail and peeked through the living room window. Her sight was somewhat obscured by the sheers, but she saw Elsie’s husband Bob sitting in his Lane recliner with the butter-yellow leather. He looked asleep. She leaned over a little farther and saw Bob’s face more clearly. His eyes were open and unblinking.
Suddenly Remara was frightened and she banged on the front door with her fists, begging Elsie to open the door. Then she tried the latch and found it unlocked. Remara rushed to Bob and saw that he was unconscious.
“Elsie!” she yelled. “Elsie, are you here?” The house was silent. If Elsie wasn’t tending to Bob, something was definitely wrong. She reached for the phone next to Bob and dialed 911, then sat on the front stoop and waited for help.
And that’s why Remara wasn’t surprised when a patrolman checked the rest of the house and found Elsie hanging from a rafter in the attic.
No, not surprised at all, because secrets, though so very mischievous when kept, can turn quite murderous when loosed upon the innocent.