Eight by Ten
I don’t really recall how I came to be here:
My only memory is that of cool linen sheets soft candlelight and
whispers that seemed to invade every corner of the room. There was the
warmth of a trembling hand and a smile but I recall sadness in the eyes.
Then light bright welcoming and sound gentle lilting as if flowers dancing
on the breeze then here I was. It is the strangest of sensations I see
everything and yet go unobserved. I have no sensation of movement no sense
of feeling and now as darkness gives way to dawn an arrival. Mary look at
her in her thick cotton nightdress see how she trembles slightly with the
cold, her toes seeking the reassurance of her well worn slippers. She looks
older and more tired than I remember the light seems to have gone from her
eyes. Now she fills the kettle her hand continues to tremble and then a
match flares there is the faintest pop as bright blue flame erupts from the
cooker. I hadn’t noticed earlier but Toby the cat is purring at her ankles
he had wondered into the house eleven years ago and had stayed ever since he
had taken an instant dislike to Mary and only sheathed his claws when hunger
gripped his belly. But Mary loved him as she did all animals. The whistle on
the kettle is suddenly very distracting. Mary is removing it from the heat
and stands for a moment warming her fingers close to the flame; she turns
off the gas and reaches towards a shelf two white porcelain mugs sit as if
waiting for an invitation. She seems lost in thought distracted but then
eventually she removes one and places it on the work surface soon the mug is
transformed as if alive it breathes steam as she stirs quietly with a spoon.
The lid of the biscuit barrel resists her attempts to remove it but with one
final effort it comes free exposing the contents. Mary selects a digestive
picks up the mug and moves towards me she stops suddenly and with an effort
born of age finally manages to sit down on one of the chairs next to the
small table. I watch in silence as she breaks the biscuit into smaller
pieces dunking it quickly i!
still steaming tea until finally savouring the flavour. She sips from the
mug carefully there is a small sigh with the realization that it is too hot.
What is she doing now it’s a ring she has removed a ring from a chain around
her neck it seems to have taken forever but there was determination in her
effort. Oh no I see tears unashamedly running down her cheeks she draws the
ring nearer her sight not what it used to be. There are memories in her eyes
she seems transformed, somehow younger the lines on her features smoother.
What’s happening she is turning has she seen me no that’s not possible is
it? wait she’s reaching there’s a smile on her face. She knows, the look in
her eyes tells me she knows
“Arthur I miss you” she carefully returned the eight by ten to its rightful
place on the wall
I don’t really recall how I came to be here
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of George Carter.
Published on e-Stories.org on 19.11.2010.