HumpDay Quickie #26

Posted: July 2, 2014 in Hump-Day Quickies
Tags: , , ,

Sir Prance-a-lot

by Sal Page

Down there, That’s where I’m going to stand it. To remember Michael, pulling at the moss and laughing at nothing. Watching the rushing water and picking up stones while I played with my plastic people and animals surrounded by the sound of the wind in the trees.

I was only gone a few minutes. I went back to get Sir Prance-a-lot and Flash, as I’d christened this plastic man and horse. Forever stuck in a rising trot, he was a riding instructor not a knight. He liked being unplugged from Flash for bandy-legged dancing with the others.

I’d started watching the soaps with grandma so the plastic people had fights, affairs and parties. They had long lost children turning up and frequently pushed each other downstairs. There was a milkmaid with a missing arm, a gardener with no legs and a donkey whose ears had been bitten off before I was born. At least two of the riders were headless but it didn’t stop them coming first in the gymkhana or getting arrested on their birthday.

I remember running inside, grabbing him from the windowsill and heading back down the garden, aware I was supposed to be watching baby-Michael. Funny how this one figure turned up still in the cottage after all these years. I know exactly where he’s going to live from now on. I walk down the path, trying to calm my breathing. It was done with long ago and a girl of five shouldn’t be left in charge of a not yet two year old, even if their mother’s too sad to get up.

It looks exactly the same here. Baby-Michael would be thirty now. He’d be taller than me and have a job. Maybe he’d be married, or have travelled the world or be doing something creative, like writing novels, painting or sculpting. I push the horse’s legs firmly into the ground.

When I got back everything was still, even the wind in the trees and the stream seemed quieter. He was clutching the family of geese all attached to the same pool of grass and lying on the moss with his face in the stream.

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