Tag Archives: dark humor

What’s In A Name?


I can not believe my mother waited 37 years before telling me that I’ve been mispronouncing the family name. Thirty-seven years! It seems I started saying it wrong as I  was leaving my toddler years, and it was “so cute and adorable” that they never corrected me. I’m almost forty, and my last name is not what I thought it was.

“Cute and adorable” she said…and I’ve been living a lie. It’s a hard K sound in the middle, not the soft C I’ve made all these years. God, it changes everything. It’s humiliating.

Do I tell anyone? Make a formal announcement: “Hi, my last name is really…” no, that’s not happening. What about all the people I have corrected over the years, when they were actually saying the name correctly?

Can I live with the lie I’ve unknowingly lived with for so long?

How do women getting married-who change their last name-do it? Do they face this lose of identity in the change, the way I’m feeling right now? How did they stand it in the past, when they were no longer Helen or Joan or Polly but Mrs. John Humphempuffle? Where did they put themselves when they were stashed away, their family name no longer really theirs?

Or…was it? Was there and insidious underground of housewives who reveled in secret calling out of their given names? Did some rejoice at shedding the old last name for the new, accepting they were The Royal Duke Earl and his Duchess? I can imagine: the men go off to smoke cigars, swill brandy or scotch, and harummph and berate each other soundly for their politics, while the women sat around, firmly stating their names to one another, keeping their place in the world.

Did they plot and scheme to eventually have hyphenated married names?

What about me? The hard K sound feels sinister to me. I say it out loud a number of times, trying to play with the inflection. No matter how I do it, it is still…off kilter. It makes me feel queasy, as if I should be doing something else with my life. The soft C me seemed content to work in the office, 9 to 5, come home to the wife and kids. Settled. Routine. Boring, but…no, shit. Boring.

The hard K now…sinister or not, it’s a different animal. The more I say it, the more it sounds right! What is that man, but what you call him? Juliet might have felt  it was all the same for Romeo to cast off his last name, but me…me? It’s not the same at all.

I feel dangerous now, someone to be respected and, yes, feared. I should walk into my jerk of a boss’s office and proclaim my last name as it should be pronounced, and loudly thumped out with the hard K to knock him backwards and through the window. Petty little tyrant, and me…ME…a new name, MY name…

Hell, I should just forget about him, and walk up to his luscious Admin Ass…yes, proclaim my name and tell her what we are going to do. where we’re going to do it…and then take her and do it.

Why even bother? I should just run amok and drink and gamble and womanize with the worst of them, and I’ll love it. I could live like that movie where the character changed his whole life when he found out his father was really a Master Criminal!! Kill all the idiots who knew my name the correct way and shoved it in my face, bed all the women who wouldn’t give me the time of day, stomp on the bosses who bullied and sneered at me, the co-workers who threw me under buses, the clerks and cashiers and old people who are just out and out rude and have something against me…and that ass at the bank who won’t refinance my home, and then burn down that damn home…and my wife (who I am sure she has been cheating on me), she’ll find out what a real man is like,  and wait until I get my hands on my bastard of an older brother…and my kids, who need a whole slew of lessons…

My last name…it’s said with a hard K, and it will change everything.



This is a work of FICTION, written in First Person

This has nothing to do with ME


If you look up at the top, it says “experimental fiction”


Thank you.

A to Z Challenge: Q(uite nicely done…to a T!)


To read the whole story thus far…

Part 15: Quite Nicely Done…to a T!

Or Else became a blow to the back of Daniel’s head, as he was slow to move, holding onto Elora in a defensive position as she struggled with him screaming “OW OW OW OWWW!” Daniel was pressing on her back in JUST the wrong spot. In all the commotion he had forgotten that (1) she had a big bandage on her back (2) he had noticed there was some red smearing spreading BLOOD on that bandage on her back (when she had scooched onto him when the guy busted in) and (3) who was he to protect someone else when he was the one who usually needed protecting?

Just as he giving Elora some space, bang bang Winston’s silver hammer..well, gun..smacked Daniel in the exact same spot he so klutzily damaged before [see previous escapade of Daniel and the Rock].  Down he went to one knee with an “Ohhh, eeeee” out loud, knocked his head onto Elora’s rump with an “Ohh..oooooooooooooo, nice….” he thought, and wisely did not say out loud, and landed on the floor in a heap of right leg green, left leg blue and tush cheeks red. Elora tried to bend down to reach him, but she was in too much pain.

“Why did you do that? she screamed at Winston. “We were leaving!”

“I don’t have the time, or the patience, to deal with any dawdling.  From either of you. I thought I explained that quite succinctly just two minutes ago. This is the last time for fooling around, Daniel. I do not want to hurt the young lady. YOU do not want me to hurt the young lady, do you?”

Daniel shook his head no, which, under the circumstances was really not the smartest thing to do. It was a Daniel thing to do, and a few drops of newly raised blood fell to the floor in answer. Elora saw this, took a tissue out of her jeans pocket, and pressed it to the back of Daniel’s head. “It’s not as bad as before. Just a scab come loose,” she said after she gave it a quick look.

“Scab, heh…ow,” mumbled Daniel.

They were out of her place, into the driveway, and heading towards a sharp looking limo. The driver was in the front seat, head down, looking like he was asleep. Winston tapped on the passenger side window, and the driver came groggily alert and push clicked the back door open.

Winston made Daniel get in first and move all the way to the front near the drivers section. Elora hesitated. “Look, I told you, I realllllllly need my ointment, cream and fresh bandages. I just got this big honking tat, and it hurts and I’m bleeding.” She stared at Winston, and saw his constant smile crack just a little. That little was enough for Elora. She rushed inside and sat close to Daniel, shivering.

Sitting down in the back, Winston adjusted one trouser leg, and then the other. Straightening out his suit jacket and tie, he told the driver to continue on…”..and close the partition. Now, if you please.” Winston checked to make sure that the intercom between the two sections was off. He said a few choice words about the drivers mother and father, and when he got no response he breathed deeply. At no time had he altered the aim of the barrel of the gun. It was aimed right at Elora’s chest, just as he had in her place.

Daniel spoke up a few minutes later, as the car jostled down a road that no shock absorber or strut could correct enough. “What do you want with us? I don’t know you, and it’s obvious Elora doesn’t.”

“Yeah, what is your major malfunction, butt head?” Elora loved that saying. Butt head.

Winston’s constant smile did not falter this time.  He sneered vocally: “I don’t want ‘us’, I want you, Daniel. Elora…sorry to be so familiar, but as I am a butt head, I don’t know your last name.”

“Lightner,”  she croaked out before realizing she did.

“Ms. Lightner, a pleasure. Mr. Killigrew, it’s you I came for, and got. She,” he emphasized that she like SHE, “happened to be…available. This situation requires a little pressure on you, and Ms. Lightner happens to be that pressure.” Winston continued constant smiling. “My name is Winston. You may call me Sir.”

“Sir Winston?” Daniel said, impressed.

“No. Just call me Sir, and we’ll be fine.”

“Oh,” Daniel said, unimpressed and kind of let down. Visions of “This was their finest hour!” went crashing through his mind, and out one ear.

Sighing loudly being undignified, Winston inwardly sighed, puffing up and out his chest. Daniel giggled, thinking he looked like a frog, and Elora smacked him in the arm.

“ow,” he said softly. She shushed him. Her back was killing her. It was getting dry and itchy in some places, and it felt wet and runny in others. This was not going to be fun for her back unless he could get him to stop for some first aid.

Just as she was going to ask, Winston held up a finger, checked his Grande Complication by Jean Dunand watch,  with a mono-pusher split-second chronograph, split-second hand isolator, minute repeater, tourbillon, bi-retrograde perpetual calendar, and even a see-through sapphire back signed by its creator, and said: “We have an almost even three hours and twelve minute ride in front of us. I suggest you get as comfortable as you both can. I will do my best to explain why I needed you so ever badly, Daniel, and why you had to come along, Ms. Lightner.”

One hour and five minutes later, Winston had laid out his plan. Elora just stared at him with an open mouth and realllllllllllllllly painful upper back. Daniel was trying to wrap his head around the whole thing, and was now in the process of trying to retell Sir..um..Winston the directions he was given.

Forty-two minutes later, with coaching from Elora at a minimum, Winston’s constant smile grew a breadth constant larger. “Very good, Daniel. Very good indeed. That was quite nicely done…to. a. T! Do as you just retold, and you both shall leave this enterprise quite freely.” Winston shut down then, and just looked at the two of them, constant smile and gun unwavering.

Elora and Daniel looked at each other. Neither thought they would get out of this ‘enterprise quite freely.” Daniel reached for her hand unconsciously.

Consciously, Elora took it.