Absolute

“Look, package!” Mummy brought the small box wrapped in plain brown paper.

The boy raised his hands in anticipation. “Mine! Mine! Mine!”

“Yes. Here.” She handed the package to the boy. He tore the paper off, revealing a cardboard box that opened at one end. Inside was an envelope. In the envelope was a piece of card stock with a word printed on it in big letters.

“New word, new word!” The boy waved the card in the air.

“What does it say?” asked Mummy.

“Ab-So-Lute. Absolute.” The boy ran around the kitchen reciting his new word.

“What’s all the ruckus?” Father had a stern look on his face. “Not another new word.”

“Now, honey,” Mummy said in a calm quiet voice.

“Don’t ‘now, honey’ me. I won’t have this in my house. No son of mine is going to be limited to a State vocabulary. I don’t care how often they send him new words. He should be allowed to say any word he wants.”

“But, honey. Police.” Mummy said.

“Police? To hell with the police. They can arrest me if they want. I won’t stay quiet. They can’t tell me what words I can say. Belligerent. Obnoxious. Temperamental. Oligarchy.” Now both father and son were running around the kitchen, the boy with his new word, the father with an endless stream of unauthorized words.

A knock came at the front door. Mummy answered it.

“Police,” the uniformed men said. They chased down father, shackled and muffled him, and took him out to a police van, the kind with the auditory monitoring equipment on the top. “Vocabulary violation,” said one policeman to Mummy.

Mummy and the boy stood in the open doorway and watched as the police van took Father away.

“Absolute?” asked the boy.

“Absolute,” answered Mummy.

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