Uncle Jack

Kayla had long learned to see past the veneer of truth to the deeper story whenever her Uncle Jack was visiting and recounting what had he had been up to since he’d last been in town. It was surreal to her how he expected her and her parents to trust his multitude of lies, and even he barely pretended anymore, making up events and accomplishments as easily as idioms fell from her English teacher’s mouth.

There was a shift in his demeanor this time though, when he stood at their door in the rain, holding a single duffle bag, no glib smile, and his shoulders slumped in shame, causing Kayla to do a double take to be sure in was the same man who’d bragged that he’d be sailing around the Caribbean in his brand-new yacht for the entirety of this month. “I need help,” he said simply, his quiet, uncertain voice betraying his honesty.

She let him in, and they stood awkwardly in the entranceway for a moment, until Jack broke the silence, stating, “It’ll be hard to admit that I’m actually a washed-up failure to your parents, but you’ve always seen exactly who I actually am, haven’t you?”

Kayla nodded at the accuracy of the observation, and replied, “I never thought that I’d ever respect you, but if you continue to change your tune, then perhaps I finally will.”


I challenged myself to include these prompts while writing:

GirlieOnTheEdge’s Six Sentence Story challengeshift

Pensitivity101’s Take Sevenlies, pretend, story, true, tune, single, double, trust, betray

Fandango’s One Word Challengeidiom

Word of the Day Challengesurreal

Ragtag Daily Promptrain

Your Daily Word Promptexact

17 thoughts on “Uncle Jack

  1. Great twist on the ‘long-lost traveller’ trope updated for a modern setting – good intrigue that keeps the reader guessing for what the future holds!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Coincidence your Six Sentence Story utilizes 6 prompt challenges? 😀
    Really nice job of incorporating all the prompts, Nicole.
    I would posit the story of Uncle Jack is not as uncommon as we may think except sadly, I bet not everyone is as accepting as Kayla. There can be no redemption without forgiveness.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had a different take on Jack. As long as his tales had no real effect on the people he shared them with, what was the harm? Whatever gets you through the life, and all that. Challenging piece though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When someone is so artificial and glib, it can be hard to have a genuine relationship with them. For Kayla, it’s less about whether he was causing harm or not, but moreso how personally close she felt to him.
      Thanks for reading!


  4. I thought of Uncle Billy from “Leave It To Beaver” when I read this. Always a tale about his wonderful adventures that never actually existed beyond his head. I hope Uncle Jack visiting Kayla with hat in hand is not another ruse and he is actually in need of help that she can give him.

    Liked by 1 person

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