Fiction · Flash Fiction · How to be British · Language


Thursday, July 20, 2017. Daily Brit Wit.



Tell (someone) repeatedly to do something.

*Part two of Berk

"They call Harry, keep him on speakerphone while he drives half an hour to come play referee. Amy's bewilderment disappears within moments of Gemma connecting the call to their brother. They maintain a counter's width between them.

The wait is strained, fuelled by Gemma's fury and Amy's indignation. Harry refuses to alleviate any tension until absolutely necessary, citing the need to be physically present. Whatever the case, neither sister so much as sneezes until Harry strides through the door and kitchen.

'How dare you find my ring, not say a damned word about it to me, and then bloody well pawn it off to her!' Gemma hurls abuse upon her sibling the moment she catches sight of the sandy blond man. 'You know how essential that ring is to me,' she cries in distress.

'Gemmy-' her brother ventures to pacify.

Gemma snorts and shakes her head in dismay, which must have given Amy some nonverbal signal to project her opinions on the subject. The cacophony of bickering sisters brings back recollections from childhood to teenage years.

'Enough!' Harry shouts, cutting off the argument before it escalates. 'Into the sitting room. Now!' He chivvies them toward the medium, powder blue room when both sisters refuse to budge.

It's easy to forget that he's the youngest, Gemma realises as she moves first toward neutral ground. Her steps are large and clipped, not wishing to taunt a surprise attack from Amy. Harry may play Switzerland but he's never managed to ward off guerrilla ambushes.

She's sitting down in Dad's preferred plaid armchair when begrudging trudges announce Amy's decision to join a civilised negotiation. Her sneer doesn't go amiss either. Harry remains standing between the sofa and armchair, not blocking either sister's view.

'Gemma, I want to start off by saying I found it but was only going to keep it long enough to clean it…your birthday is coming up.' Harry defends, hands open and loose at his sides, yet those blue orbs all three siblings share are in earnest.

'An early present?' She asks measuredly.

'Yes, I swear. Mum even knew I found it.' He's quick to reassure.

'Then how did Amy end up with my ring?'

'That's an excellent question.'

'And the answer?'

'Even better. Amy, would you like to take this one?'

'Piss off.'

'Really? Somebody needs an attitude adjustment.'

'Bite me, you tosser.'

'What are you? Twelve?'

'Hey, now, settle down-'

'That's rich-'

'Hold on!'

The room falls silent with another of Harry's baritone booms.

'I lost the ring.' He admits once he's confident the room won't explode.

Except Gemma does (figuratively) explode upon learning this fact. 'You found my ring,' she reiterates, 'only to lose it again?!'

'To be fair, he didn't lose it in the first place.' Amy jabs.

'Not helping,' Harry and Gemma hiss out.

The trio stares each other down.

'So how did you end up with it, Amy?' Gemma finally deigns to ask.

'You mean other than finding it?' She snarks.


'Well…,' Amy shifts on the sofa, crossing milky legs and smirking across the room at Gemma. 'Harry just happened to leave it on my guest bathroom's vanity when he was visiting and…finder's keepers.'

Gemma blinks owlishly."


2 thoughts on “Chivvy

    1. I’m glad I’ve able to capture it so realistically! šŸ˜„ I’m always afraid that it’ll seem too much (or too little) or like it deviates from the gist of the tale. Thank you, as always, for the lovely comments and reading: they mean the world to me!


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