Memphis Fast Fiction Home
Marilyn Califf

Father’s funeral was the first time his three children had seen each other in the better part of a decade. We still lived in the same city but were all careful to avoid being in the same place at once.

Mother, with the absence of tact that only comes from being the matron of a house full of feuding children was the first to state the obvious.

“I guess it’ll be my funeral before the three of you are under the same roof again.”

Which stung, but not as much as, “You were supposed to do this together. He’d be so disappointed.”

She was right.

Father had saved for years to start that jewelry kiosk in the mall, he’d taken night classes to improve his English and learn how to run a business.

Father wanted a low-end jewelry empire, with his children each claiming a mall. My older brother broke away first. He started buying scrap gold, which put pressure on our stands, so my sister started selling perfume.

Harsh words were said and sibling partners became sibling rivals, then it all fell apart.

I was just glad when my mall closed so I had an excuse to quit.

Memphis Note
Every Memphis mall has them. Pop up stands selling perfume, gold jewelry, cell phone cases, and whatever else you can imagine. Each, manned by a person in their 20s or early 30s, each looking bored, but trying their damnest to hawk their wares in heavily accented English to everyone who walks past. A little slice of a world market in a Memphis mall. I love it.


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