Fiction · Flash Fiction · How to be British · Language

Berk

Wednesday, July 19, 2017. Daily Brit Wit.

Berk:

Noun, informal

A stupid person.

"She lost the ring on a brisk, overcast Monday. She can't quite recall where precisely she lost it: somewhere between her flat and the dentist's surgery. She's checked each destination multiple times, though eventually had to call it quits and a bad job. A terrible loss, really, that: it was her gran's ring. A worn, golden band with a simple quarter carat, marquis-cut sapphire atop. Thank God above it hadn't been her engagement ring; but it had been the one Gran wore on her left hand in place after Grandad passed and the engagement ring had been moved to the right hand. Gran was buried wearing that ring.

She actually bawled when she noticed it missing. Sobbed quite remarkably after confessing to her father she lost it: her parents cringed at her reaction they didn't even chastise her. They even roped her brother into rummaging round her car without his complaints. She had foolishly held out hope they'd find it then. Her sister had been in Edinburg at the time it went missing and Gemma dreaded confessing it to her. Her sister Amy had been a tad furious Gemma inherited the ring. Never mind the fact Amy had gotten Gran's best emerald necklace, bracelet, and earrings set.

So Gemma never really forgot when she lost the ring, but moved on, deeply upset. Her dissatisfaction stems from general inability to lose or misplace objects. She's a knack for organisation. And on the rare happenstance she's lost an item, she finds it.

Several weeks later, Gemma loses the key to her parents' house. Not that big of a deal, normally, at least in the cases of her siblings respectively; but Gemma's now lost two quite important items within remembrance distance and her credibility is rapidly declining. And to top it all off: her parents are out of town and she's house sitting.

'Lovely,' she hisses under her breath.

The lightbulb string pulls when she realises her mum probably never moved the spare key out from under the aloe vera pot. 'Damn,' she curses upon finding the spot clean.

She's too embarrassed to call either parent, so settles calling Amy for help is less mortifying. Plus, her sister's less than fifteen minutes away.

When her sister pulls up and blares the horn, she's slumped on the front stoop. Indignation flares and she retaliates very maturely by gesturing rudely in turn. Amy quits the car laughing.

'What happened to yours?' Chuckles her sibling as she eases the key into the lock and pushes on the Dutch door. 'And aren't you supposed to be house sitting?'

She growls audibly and dramatically to Amy's amusement, beelining inside and toward the kitchen. 'I'm hoping I left it on the island,' Gemma shouts over her shoulder.

She did: there sits the brass brat when it ought to have been on her key ring like always. Am I losing my mind, she contemplates.

'I thought you didn't lose things?' Amy is dubious and amused, a rotten combination on her because it implies mayhem in Gemma's future, as she saunters through the kitchen's entrance.

'I don't.' She stresses, fiddling with the key to slip it back where it belongs.

'That's not what Harry says.'

Gemma rolls her eyes. 'I'm still unconvinced he didn't find my ring and just decided not to give it back.'

Out of the corner of her eye Gemma sees Amy's swaying arms freeze a couple beats before picking up the same motion.

'What makes you say that?'

Her tone results in Gemma peering upward. Her sister's cerulean irises are minuscule in their widen depths, but Gemma's learnt to read such tells. 'Because it's Harry,' she annunciates slowly, never looking away from her sister. 'What's round your neck? Is that a new necklace? Lemme see!' She leans across the counter space to tug at the silver chain until it pops free the blouse and Amy's not had the opportunity to recover by the time Gemma's snagged it.

And she inhales sharply enough to bring on hiccups. Because at the end of that chain is Gran's ring.

'You- you right berk!' She screeches, clenching her fist around the ring. The disbelief settling over Gemma doesn't hinder her next action: with the fist and a quick, sharp tug, she yanks the chain off her sister's neck.

'Ouch!'

'I can't believe you've had my ring this whole bloody time!'

She opens her mouth to protest but Gemma cuts her off.

'Wait. You were in Scotland. How'd you get this? Did you make Harry do your dirty work for you again?'

She's furious. Gemma attempts to banish Amy from the house, though it doesn't hold. They end up bickering. Yet Gemma tucks the ring in her front trousers pocket, broken chain and all, until she can relish its return."

Disastrous

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