PRICKLY: Prickly By Nan Ressue


Word Count 565


By Nan Ressue

It was a Thanksgiving dinner like all others until we answered a knock on the door. There on the porch was a well-dressed gentleman, holding his hat nervously but smiling in a friendly way.

“Good afternoon,” said our visitor.  I’m new in town and alone for the holiday.  I wonder if I might join your family for dinner.”

“Well, why not?” Dad  finally replied.  “Our forefathers invited guests to their feast so we will do the same.”

I had plenty of time to give him the once over while we ate.  The most fascinating part was a prickly wart sticking out of his beard just to the left side of his mouth,

I was polite for as long as I could stand it, finally blurting out, “How come you don’t get rid of that wart?”

“Son, he started to explain, “This wart has a secret.  When I press it, I am able to attain any skill I need. It has given me answers to problems, strength when I need it, speed to escape danger, and wisdom to make the best decisions.  Is there anything you need help with?” he inquired with concern on his face.

“I don’t really need anything you mentioned but I do have one request,” I asked with my fingers crossed behind my back…   I want a wart just like yours,” I exploded, jumping up and down with excitement.

“It’s a deal”, he replied with a smile. When you wake up tomorrow morning, you will have your wart

The next morning I was up with the birds and gingerly felt my chin with my fingertips.  When I got to the kitchen, my mother could tell by the smile on my face that my wart had arrived. High school and college were snaps and I soon was president of my own company. “Thank you Wart.  I owe it all to you,” I admitted, stroking it in appreciation.

And THEN, one day during the office coffee break, there she was…my dream girl.

“Do your thing, Wart,” I murmured, giving it two pinches just in case. She smiled beguilingly and I was hooked.  It was a short courtship, a beautiful wedding and a perfect honeymoon.  Lying in bed with my arms around my darling wife I asked, “What makes you so happy this morning?”

“Well, my dear, I have always thought that you were a perfect man who only had one small flaw. I took care of it last night while you were sleeping with one coat of Wart-Away from the drug store.”

In a rage, I leaped from the bed and sprinted into the bathroom to face myself in the mirror.  She was right…It was gone.  She doesn’t have any idea that I’m a fraud without it… No…wait….there’s something happening to the end of my nose….There’s another bump coming right on the tip.  Oh no! It’s turning bright red….and it has prickly hairs growing out of the sides. Well, what do you know! Welcome back Wart!  I wonder what she’ll say about this one,” I said, grinning to myself wickedly.  

“Honey, could I talk to you for a minute?”


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