Thursday, August 11, 2016


How about a bit of nonsense this week? I don’t know where these things come from. The word snuff popped into my head, so I sat down and wrote something using the word. Like I say, it’s a fluff piece, but I hope it brings you a chuckle or two. Not only that, but it’s written in the present tense. I NEVER write in the present tense. This is beginning to worry me.

Sinclair Nevaeh Fleurette. That’s my name. And I hate it! How’d you like to haul that load of alphabets around on your back? Sinclair’s not so bad… compared to the rest, that is. Mom says it’s old English for the French Norman town of Saint Clair. But come on, what can you do with the name. The familiar for Robert is Bob or Rob. William is Bill or Billy. Sinclair is… well, Sinclair. Sure don’t want anyone calling me Sin or—less yet—Clair.
But Nevaeh? Pronounce it for me, will you? Half the time it comes out wrong, so I always just put down N as a middle initial. Where does it come from? I’ll tell you where. My old man likes the rock group P.O.D., and when the vocalist named his daughter Heaven turned around backward, Frank Flourette thought that was neat. Didn’t he realize Sonny Sandoval was naming a girl, for crying out loud? He’s also probably cool with P.O.D standing for Payment on Death. So there’s no help for me there. Being called Nav wouldn’t be so bad, except I’d be explaining what it stood for all the time.
Some guys get called by their last name? You know, “Hey, Jones” or “How’s it going, Irons?” Nobody wants to say Fleurette… except the teacher who’s always calling me Mr. Fleurette. You know what it’s like to be called Fleurette in the middle of the high school gym? Thank goodness, I’m an only child, so nobody else has to put up with it. Except Mom. But Mrs. Flourette doesn’t sound all that bad. My dad? He’s Frank to everybody in town.
So all the other kids settled the problem for me… like they usually do. They came up with their own name. Fortunately, it wasn’t what I was afraid they would settle on… Flower, or worse Little Flower. They took my initials SNF and turned it into Snuff. So that’s what I’m called, and have been for years by everyone under the age of twenty-one in this little Oklahoma town. Snuff! Ain’t that grand?
At the beginning of this school year—my senior class—a new family moved to town. All the way from Quebec up in Canada. French Canadian, everyone says they are. All I know is their youngest daughter is in my homeroom class, and she caught my eye right off the bat. Small, heart-shaped face. Pink, rosy cheeks. Pouty, cherry red lips. And she talks with just the slightest accent, which she claims comes from speaking French in the family. Her name is Antoinette. Not An-to-net, but An-twoi-nette. Beautiful… just like she is.
When the teacher has us go around the room and introduce ourselves, her eyes fix on me when I say the word Fleurette. Later, when I discover we have adjoining lockers, she smiles, dimpling one of those rosy cheeks, and pronounces my last name. It flows off her lips like a bubbling brook slipping over moss covered-rocks. Lyrical. Poetic. Beautiful.
All of a sudden, my last name isn’t so bad after all. Certainly better than Snuff.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why I’m posting this. If you come up with something that makes sense, email me at As always, thanks for being readers.

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