It’s Friday Ramble: On the Road Edition. I’m traveling for work this week (and trying to get a new Matt Archer short story launched, but more on that next week), so I thought this might be a good time to present a cut scene from Matt Archer: Monster Hunter. If you’ve read the book, you know that Uncle Mike calls Mamie “Daisy May.” Well, the story behind her nickname hit the cutting room floor, but I’ve always liked it, and I thought I’d share it with you. Cheers!
A knock on the door interrupted us. Mike stuck his head in. “Hey, Daisy May, can I talk to Matt a minute? I’m staying for dinner; we’ll have a chance to visit more then.”
Mamie nodded and drifted off to her room. I sat up and put the pillow back on my bed. “You never told me why you call her Daisy May. Or why you don’t have a nickname for Brent.” I didn’t want to talk about the monsters now. I wanted to pretend everything was normal.
Mike laughed. “Well, that’s one way to start a conversation. When Mamie was born, I had just come back from a stint at Fort Carson. I mean, literally got off the plane and drove to the hospital to see her. I wanted to bring a huge bouquet of pink roses, but I couldn’t find any. The best I could come up with was a bunch of half-wilted daisies from the grocery store. So, to make up for that, I brought them into their hospital room, acting all dramatic, and said ‘Daisies for my little Daisy May!’ Dani cried her eyes out, and Mamie’s been Daisy May ever since.”
“How about Brent? Does he even have a nickname?”
“Oh, that’s not a safe story for you to hear,” Mike said with a sly smile. He was daring me to ask again.
“I killed a monster last night. I think I can deal with Brent.” Not exactly true, but so what.
Mike got that hard look in his eye for a moment. Then it faded and he grinned at me. “You have to swear on a stack of Bibles not to tell Brent I told you this. When he turned seven, he told me if I ever called him anything but Brent again, he’d run away from home.” He sighed happily, lost in a memory. “You were so little you don’t remember, but I used to call him Pickle.”
“Pickle?” I started to laugh. “What did he do to deserve that?”
“When he was two, he went through a phase where all he wanted to eat was sour food – green grapes, pickles, lemonade, and so on. To get him to eat chicken or hot dogs, we had to bribe him with pickles. I told him if he kept eating tons of pickles he’d turn into one. Then one day I came over and Dani looked like she couldn’t decide whether to murder me or cry.”
“Brent came out of the kitchen, with his face and hands scribbled all over with green permanent marker, and said, ‘See, I’s a pickle now, Unca Mike!’ I nearly wet my pants, laughing. Your mom wasn’t amused, but the nickname stuck until Brent vetoed it.”