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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Inspired by the Muse song 'Megalomania' from the album 'Hullabaloo.'

Cover image: pixabay. com.



Susan Barker escaped into the kitchen, slamming the door hard in an attempt to drive home her point. At least with it shut she could no longer hear the voices of her two sons as they tore into each other.

Every single time they met up for a family reunion, it worked out the same. They would begin by making little digs, but it never took long for things to turn that bit nastier. And all because of religion.

Susan was an atheist, but she was quiet about it. It was her business and no one else needed to know, not really. In spite of her beliefs she had never tried to influence her children one way or another, determined that they should be left to make up their own minds. This she stuck to, and there was never a problem. At least not until the boys, now men, had left home to go their separate ways.

Isn’t that what everyone did eventually?

The last time they had visited, both Simon and Gareth had brought their partners. It had not been nice to witness as the day descended into disagreements and then outright hostility. When both had arrived alone, Susan had felt her heart drop.

They had made up their own minds, her sons. Simon, like herself, was an atheist, but whereas she was quiet about it, he wasn’t. Especially when he was in the company of his seriously devout brother. Gareth had found religion and had embraced it. And that would have been fine, except he was just as loud about his beliefs as his brother was.

The ‘debate’ was obviously becoming even more heated. She could hear their raised voices as they slammed their way down the hallway and into her search for peace. If they had been the sort to pick up things and throw them, Susan knew that she would now be listening to the shattering of glass and china.

She couldn’t take it. Why did they have to make her dread the visits that she should be looking forward to? It simply was not fair.

Balling her hands into fists, she stomped down the hall and threw open the lounge door. “Why do you have to behave like a couple of megalomaniacs?” she shouted.

Both Gareth and Simon were stunned by her outburst. Their mother had never been one to raise her voice in anger, but that was exactly what she was in the process of doing.

But...” said Simon.

He started...” began Gareth.

I don’t care. Why you cannot tolerate each other’s right to their own opinion I simply don’t understand!” Susan took a deep breath before continuing. “We will not talk of religion,” she looked at Gareth, “or its lack of,” her eyes now held Simon’s, “in this house. Is that clear?”

Yes, Mom,” Simon said.

Sorry,” added Gareth.

The rest of their visit passed in uncomfortable silence, and after they had both left Susan wondered if they would ever return.



Submitted: May 19, 2020

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Mike S.

Arguing religion or politics is a no-no, especially now days; excellent, Hull!

Tue, May 19th, 2020 6:42pm


Yep, thinking about it, both can get just as heated. Thanks for giving this a read, Mike.

Tue, May 19th, 2020 12:49pm

Vance Currie

Interesting topic, Hully. I am a non believer among Christians. The difference has never driven a wedge between any of us. How great it would be if everyone behaved like that.

Tue, May 19th, 2020 9:15pm


Yes. There is a lot of intolerance around, I think.
Thanks, Joe.

Thu, May 21st, 2020 11:57am

Sue Harris

This could have been written for me and my sister... there is no doubt that religion can divide families, cause so much hostility. My parents raised us both to be devout and compliant, except I was the one who rebelled... the black sheep of the family. This story so resonated with me, but in this case my sympathy was definitely with Susan! Good story, Hully.

Wed, May 20th, 2020 3:39pm


Thanks, Sue. There was a split in my extended family over hunting, and there's no need for me to say which side of the debate I was on.
Politics and religion must be about the most divisive of subjects.

Thu, May 21st, 2020 11:50am

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