Prunes by Sequoia Hack

“Charlie, place your left hand on the stool and keep it there! No, your other left! By
golly!” Aunt Wilfred’s cheeks fluster a deep shade of fuschia. Her shrill voice pairs fluidly with her put-together Victorian era style; broad shoulders (artificially padded) combined with a tight corset-formed cinched waist rest atop an elegant ruffled satin skirt flowing down to the ground and past. Her maroon colored velvet high heels clip and clop on the tan carpet that Charlie and the stool are positioned atop, walking in countless halos around him, inspecting his posture and positioning.

There is an Addams family tradition in which when a boy in the royal family turns five years old, there is a picture he must pose for and a specific pose he stands in. Those pictures hang in Wilfred’s house for her to treasure forever. Charlie, however, is a boy who doesn’t quite get the significance of posing for a picture that will simply be hung in Aunt Wilfred’s halls. Anyone who knows Wilfred knows to not aggravate her – or else, so he reluctantly holds his body in a rigid line, a black top hat placed one-quarter of the way off the child’s head, displaying his greased-down hair with a middle part. Oversize white trousers and black heeled boots adorn his small five year-old figure, poofing Charlie’s body out to symbolize a transitional phase – he’s no longer a boy but still not a man. His left hand rests partway off the cold wire stool, his body angled away from the camera. “Agh, Charlie. Do not put your hat completely on top of your head. Move it back! No, not that far! It’s about to topple off your little skull! Good, now look into the camera, don’t blink, don’t you dare smile, and say ‘Prunes’.”

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