Flash Fiction · greetings · How to be British · Language

Wotcher

Sunday, June 18, 2017. Daily Brit Wit.

Wotcher: 

Exclamation, informal

A friendly or humourous greeting.

"He tips the cabby and straightens up, hearing several pops from his protesting spine, and pulls the luggage handle taut until it snaps with a loud click. As the cab merges back into traffic, he turns on the kerb to face his parents' townhouse. Passersby carry on around him. He nearly takes out a young lady when he does start toward the stoop, apologising profusely and she smiles benignly. 

His loafers brush the bottom step when his mother throws open the navy toned front door. 

'Nicolai, my boy!' She gushes and wades outside, smile wide and pronouncing her wrinkles. Then she tuts. 'Why have you gotten so thin? Gone from home three months and look at you!'

He sighs but doesn't expect any other greeting from his mother. Not when she was adopted at the age of ten after years living on the streets and then an orphanage. 'Wotcher, Mum, it's lovely seeing you again. I'm doing well, thanks! How are you and Dad?' He replies with cheek.

And earns himself a firm pinch on the cheek. His mother's nose crinkles before she tugs him downward by his tie and smacks a kiss on both cheeks. 'Get inside, Nic; you're lucky it's lunchtime.' 

He grins and embraces her, sinking into the stout woman's arm and inhaling flour, rosewater, his father's tobacco pipe, and cinnamon. She smiles like home. 'Thanks, Mama.' Then promptly returns the kiss on the cheek. 

'As sentimental as your father, you are Nicolai. Always trying to charm me when I know very well you've done something you shouldn't have,' she gripes and ushers him inside. 

Nic protests. 'That's not true, Mum! What slander you spew about your only child!' 

'What did you do this time, Nic?' His father's disinterested bass voice booms overtop the blaring telly. 

'Nothing!' He whines, reverting back to the teenager defensive setting mode.

His parents chuckle. His mother returns to the kitchen, so Nic wanders into the living room. His father doesn't bother turning around to greet him. 

'Is it a new job?' The man inquires. 

Nic holds back a frustrated sigh. 'No, Dad. I've only just started mine back in February, remember?' 

'Right,' he drawls.

Nic decides sitting with his father isn't the best idea, so leans his luggage against the wall and meanders toward the kitchen. His mother bustles to and fro, and he smiles at the familiarity. 

'Would you like help?' He asks. 

She glances over and her dull eyes brighten to a light blue. 'If you want, but it's nearly finished.' 

Nic grins and slides inside, opening the oven to pull out a pie. 'For me?' 

A dish rag slaps his lower back followed by his mother's trickling laughter. 'I had to remind you,' she answers. 

'Remind me of what? That I started out as a baker in this very kitchen twenty-four years ago and I shouldn't have gone to culinary school to become a chef?'

'Something like that, yes,' she nods and jerks her head toward the counter. 'Set it over there.' 

Nic obeys the request. 'Is that why Dad's mad at me?' He queries as nonchalantly as possible. He's not sure it works. 

'What?' His mother spins around as quickly as she can. 'Nicolai, your father isn't upset with you!'

He rolls his eyes. 

His mum glares at the gesture. 

'If you say so,' he demurs." 

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