HumpDay Quickie #87

Posted: December 9, 2015 in Hump-Day Quickies
Tags: , , , , ,

Family Gathering

by Steph Ellis

Through my shuttered windows I can see the family arriving, all bringing old bones and even older memories with them to break the sunny tranquillity of my mind. I stir myself reluctantly but the ache in my joints prevent further movement. It is no matter. Mary will let them in. I have already prepared my daughter, given her instructions.

I turn my face to the sun again, enjoy the feel of its warmth on my face, allow its heat to dissolve the cobwebs that have clouded so many of my thoughts these days.

My eyes follow the reunion with interest. Great-aunt Emma has shrouded herself in a thick shawl despite the clemency of the weather and taken up her usual position on the wicker chair commanding a view of the whole street. She had sat there for as long as I can remember, occasionally admonishing myself or one of my numerous cousins as we charged about the garden. They are out there, playing now. Simon is looking up at my window and waving to me. He wants me to come and play. And I will soon. It’s been a long time.

Granddad Stephen is delivering yet another lecture nobody listens to whilst my father pours a drink to numb himself against Granddad’s poisonous diatribe. Mother is hiding in the background like she always does when Father starts drinking.

Their voices are clearer now, floating up through cherry blossom air. Closer by, I hear someone speaking outside my door.

“It won’t be long, Mary.”

Doctor Jefferson. He seems to have been around here a lot lately. The door creaks but I keep my eyes on the garden.

“Dad.”

Mary, she seems distant, her voice faint. I can feel her touch and I grip her hand tightly. I don’t want to leave her behind.

The sun is rising higher now, Simon has become more insistent and I can resist no longer. I let go of Mary’s hand and leap out of bed, my muscles free from the pain that had claimed them for so long.

I run and laugh and jump for joy. I do not hear Mary cry.

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