With apologies to the Beatles, the Federation of Egalitarian Communities, and the state of Vermont.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Chapter Seventy: Zelda’s Daughter

A week after Bill Schmitt visited the commune, Zelda’s daughter came by.  It wasn’t anywhere near as pleasant a visit.

“Where is she?” she said to Ken.

“Where is who?” Ken asked.

“That crazy old lady,” the woman said.  “I’ll take her off your hands.”

“Are you talking about Zelda?” Ken asked.

“Of course I’m talking about Zelda.  How many crazy old ladies do you have here?’

“You can’t take her,” Ken said.  “We love Zelda.”

The woman looked at Ken.  “Obviously there’s several crazy people here.”

Marge came in just then.

“What’s going on here?” she asked.

“She wants to take Zelda,” Ken said.

“You can’t do that,” Marge said.  “We love Zelda.  She’s like everyone’s favorite grandmother.”

“Okay,” the woman said. “So there’s a lot of crazy people here.  You still haven’t answered my question.  Where is she?”

“Who are you?” Marge asked.

“I’m her daughter.”

Marge and Ken stared at the woman for a moment before Sal came into the room.  And behind her...

“Yvonne!” yelled Zelda.  “They told me there was someone in here asking for me.  I should have known it was you.”

“Come on,” Yvonne said.  “We’re getting out of here.”

“I’m not going,” said Zelda.  “You can’t make me. They love me here.”

“I got that,” Yvonne said.  “But I’ve known you longer and know what a pain you really are.  I’m going to spare them before they learn it the hard way.’

“If Zelda doesn’t want to go,” Sal said, “you can’t make her.”

“Wanna bet?” Yvonne said.  “I’ll be back here and I’ll come back here with a lawyer.”  And with that she stormed off into the snow.


“She’s always been trouble,” Zelda said the next day.  “All my family’s a bit off but she’s the worse.  Except for her son, Alvin.  Let’s hope that Alvin doesn’t show up.”

“I thought you said that no one in your family ever thinks of you, except at the holidays,” said Nancy.

“I didn’t think anyone did,” Zelda said.  “I wonder how she found me here.”

“I don’t know,” said Ken.  “But you have another visitor.”

“Oh, no,” said Zelda.  “I hope it’s not Alvin.”

“Is Alvin in his forties?”  Ken asked.

“Oh, yes,” said Zelda.

“Then it’s not Alvin,” Ken said.  “This guy is about your age.”

“Oh, my, oh, my,” Zelda said, as the man walked in.  “It’s Theo!”

“Zelda, Zelda, Zelda,” Theo said.  “What’s all this about you making trouble for Yvonne?”

“I’m not making trouble for Yvonne,” Zelda said.  “She’s making trouble for me.  I just want to stay here at this commune.”

“Excuse me,” said Nancy.  “Who is this?”

“This,” said Zelda, “is my husband.  He left me years ago to live with a woman half his age, but we never bothered getting divorce.”

“Yes,” said Theo, “and Matilda sends her regards.”  He looked at Zelda carefully.  “You really want to stay here?”

“I really want to stay here,” Zelda said.

“I had to see for myself.  Okay, I know I owe you.  I’ll see what I can do about Yvonne.”

“She says she’s coming back with a lawyer.”

“I’ll talk with her,” Theo said.  “Sometimes her bark is worse than her overbite.”

“If worse comes to worse, we know a bunch of lawyers,” Nancy said.  “I don’t think there will be a real problem.”

“Yeah, but you don’t know Yvonne,” Zelda said.  “She holds a grudge.  You never know when she’ll suddenly decide to do something.  She’s not the most stable person I know.”

“Now, now,” Theo said.  “That’s no way to talk about our daughter.”

“It’s true, though,” Zelda said.

“Yeah, it’s true,” Theo admitted.

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