Commencement Day – by Dalmatia Flemming

Commencement Day – by Dalmatia Flemming


“Daddy, here’s your cold brew.”

“Beer in the morning? Thanks Baby!”

“No Daddy, it’s not …

Daddy took a sip and spit it out.  “God damn it!  It’s lukewarm coffee.  Who drinks lukewarm coffee?!  Fire him!  Didn’t I fire him?  Somebody fire him God damn it!” 

“Daddy, calm down.”  Baby said quietly.  Anticipating more pushback, Baby slowly turned from Daddy and moved away from his space.… “You know, Barry decided to transition this house to net zero energy consumption and there are bound to be a few bumps and inconveniences along the way, like lukewarm coffee.”

“What the … God damn it! … What did you say?!”

“It was his Master’s thesis.”

“God damn it … OoOoOohhh” … Damn it …damn it …. Why do I have to drink this God damn cold brew anyway?!”

“It’s easier on your stomach.”

Daddy stealthily glanced over at his daughter, in the same way that a child does when reading the adults in their presence to determine exactly how much drama to turn on for the upcoming temper tantrum.  “… AaAaAawww …!”  The show had begun.    

There was an awkward pause.

… OoOoOohhh!”

Baby slowly made her way to the back side of a large overstuffed chair, acting as a barrier between her and Daddy.  Baby glanced at his expression, it was just as she expected, and continued.  “Daddy?”

“Yes Baby.”

 “Now remember, Barry has chosen another name to be listed in the program …. Phoenix Greene.”

“… OoOoOohhh … AaAaAawww …!” Daddy was now clutching at his stomach while sneaking a peek at his daughter out of the corner of his eye.

“Really Daddy.” 

“… OoOoOohhh …!”

“I already told you about this.”

“… AaAaAawww.”


There was another awkward pause.  This time longer.

Baby started to slowly make her way from behind the chair.  “Daddy?”

“Yes Baby.”

 “You should be happy and proud of him.  I am.  We all are.  He’s the first in his class.”

“Damn it!  He should be the first in his class in Business!”

“Daddy, he can major in whatever he wants to.  And what was it that you always used to say to us … ‘Be the best you can be at whatever it is you want to be’, or something like that.”

“I said that?”

“Sure you did!  Pretty sure you did.”

“Well, you kids weren’t supposed to take it so literally!”

“Daddy … come on now!”

There was another awkward pause.


“Yes Baby.”

“What are you going to wear?”

Daddy, mumbling, pointed half–heartedly over to the butler’s rack where a suit, shirt and tie were hanging.

“Daddy, I bought you a new tie especially for this very occasion!”  Baby said in her best cheerleader’s voice.

“It better be red.  You know I always wear a red tie.”

“Well, maybe you can mix things up a little for this.”

Daddy, rolling his eyes, released a slow, heavy sigh.

Baby rushed over to her oversized purse, opened it and pulled out a box.  Inside was the tie.  She excitedly held it up.  “This one” she exclaimed.”

“It’s green?!  … aaaAaaahh… “

Baby ignored him.

“Oh, all right” Daddy said sheepishly. 

“See, it’s very nice.  All the men in the family will be wearing one just like this.  It’s high quality silk, of course.”  Baby walked over to Daddy and draped it over one of his hands.

Daddy rubbed the fabric between his fingers. “Yes … very nice, very nice …. What’s this say?  Daddy held the tie closer to his face … ‘Make America Green Again’?!”



About bbcstudiowrites

This blog is me archiving the BBC Studio Writers Workshop.

Posted on October 13, 2017, in Fiction, Seattle, Short Stories. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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