Short Story Fiction
The Hampton Family Reunion
Scott A. Gese


It was turning out to be the perfect family reunion, but then Jason showed up.

Hampton Family ReunionJade Masri/Unsplash

The Hampton family reunion was shaping up to be a major event. Multiple generations from across the country were set to meet on the sixth of June on Delmar Hampton’s 500 acre Texas ranch.

For one full year Delmar’s wife, Julia, had spent countless hours putting the reunion plans in place. Invitations were sent, the catering was ordered, the music was planned. There would be a carnival for the kids and fireworks in the evening. Everything was set for the big weekend long affair.

Nothing had been overlooked. It would be perfect.

On the first of June, family members with motor homes began to trickle in. They helped with last minute details as they caught up on family gossip and finished putting everything in place.

On Friday, family members began to arrive in earnest for the weekend event.

Everything was falling into place. It was shaping up to be a reunion like no other.

By mid-day the party was in full swing. Family members were catching up on the latest news from relatives they hadn’t seen in years.

Everything down to the last detail was going according to plan.

~~~

Julia saw it first. A black stretch limousine pulled through the front gate and drove slowly down the long driveway. People couldn’t help but take notice. Most didn’t have a clue who it was.

Julia did.

She was standing next to her husband. When she saw it turn in to the driveway, she nearly choked on her drink. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing.

In a state of mild shock, she turned to her husband. “Good God, Delmar! Did you invite him?”

“No,” he replied. “Don’t you remember. The subject came up and you threw a fit.”

Julia was growing furious. “Well I’m about to throw another. Do something about this. I don’t want that man here. I don’t want him ruining this reunion. Make him turn around and leave.”

“Jason is family you know,” replied Delmar.

“Your family, not mine! He’s rude, loud, obnoxious and a bad drunk. He’s a black sheep. He doesn’t fit in here. Besides, I can’t stand the man. I worked too hard to put this weekend together. He’s going to ruin everything.”

“Oh calm down, Julia. It’ll be fine. It’s only for a few hours. I doubt if he’ll stay the night. We can’t hardly send him away, can we?”

“WE aren’t going to… YOU are.”

“No, I’m not. He’s here and he’ll stay.”

“Then you better deal with him. The sooner the better.”

Julia was livid and on the verge of causing a scene, so Delmar left her side and headed toward the limo. Julia stood and watched.

Delmar reached the limo just as Jason was stepping out. “Hey there little brother, you’re late,” quipped Delmar as he tried to make light of the situation.

Jason had a drink in his hand and Delmar could smell the liquor on his breath.

“Late, hell. You never sent me an invitation. I only heard about this little shindig through certain people on my Facebook account.”

“Not so, Jason. I sent you an invitation. You should have gotten it a month ago.”

“I never saw it, but then I have been real busy lately. Maybe I just missed it. Where can a man get a drink around here?”

Delmar stopped him. “Rule number one. Stay away from Julia. I don’t want you two causing a scene.”

“What? Is she still upset about that little mishap I had with her fancy pony? It was an accident.”

“It’s that, and everything else you’ve ‘accidentally’ destroyed around here.”

“I’ve always made good on my mishaps, haven’t I?”

“That’s not the point. She can’t stand you and you know it. She’s in a stormy mood right now. I swear, if you’re not careful, you could get hit with a bolt of lightning.”

“Well she’ll have to calm down and get used to me, cuz’ I got a surprise.”

“Please don’t tell me you did something to ‘liven up’ this reunion. We don’t need your help.”

“Nope, it’s better than that. I see Julia now. Let’s walk over and I’ll tell you both at the same time.”

Jason disregarded Delmar’s rule number one and made a beeline for Julia. “Hey there, Julia. Nice little party you got going on here. I was just telling Delmar I have good news.”

Julia hit him with a verbal jab. “Oh, really? Are you moving out of the country?”

Jason shrugged it off. “Nope, it’s better than that.”

Julia kept at him with a sarcastic reply. “What could be better than that. Please, do tell me. I can’t wait to hear it.”

Jason held his ground. “I’m retiring. I sold my business for a small fortune and… Here’s the good news… Ready?”

“I bought the house next door. We’re neighbors.”

Julia’s drink hit the ground a split second before she did.

© Copyright 2023 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.


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