Filled with a happiness I haven’t experienced since chasing birds as a boy, I stand in the coffee shop queue. I can’t stop glancing her way in case she disappears again. From this distance, it seems no time has passed – she’s even wearing, as a headscarf, the turquoise shawl I bought her once. From across the table, she’s almost translucent.
’So, how’ve you been?’
‘Death comes to everything, sooner or later,’ she says. ‘To me, it’s coming sooner. I wanted to see you before I…’
They are so alike, happiness and birds – any sign of trouble and they take flight.
He asks in jest and I chuckle, as he expects me to. I pick up the slipping rug that almost sent him toppling down those treacherous stairs.
‘I put it there because…,’ but he dismissed my explanation with a ‘yes, dear’ and asks when lunch will be ready. I inspect the uneven floorboards, looking for the loose one. No matter where I push, they won’t stay level. Someone will trip over them.
‘Lunch, dear? I am quite hungry, you know.’
Will I get away with it if he stumbles, falls and his neck takes a twist?
Josh stood on the bridge the entire time, filming the increasing panic. If one of them had looked up, they would now be making dinner together, laughing about his prank. Someone would tell Josh off for it… Business as usual.
Josh wonders if they’d abandon Heather like this, or Mikey.
Josh wonders if he’s made an unnerving discovery.
Josh wonders if the joke’s on him.
Thank you, Izzy, for inspiring Josh’s unexpected survival.
I’ve gone a bit silly for this week’s MFtS – it probably says a lot that I couldn’t move past plumber once I read Luigi… Hope you enjoy:
The family had no idea that little Luigi would grow up to be…
A plumber entertaining children’s parties. He hadn’t planned it, but kids loved his Super Mario Bros. rip-off uniform. Turned out having a plumber around with some kids throwing all sorts in the toilet helped, too. To him, the kids listened.
Luigi was glad none of his family knew. They’d have disapproved of the clichéd Italian accent. Hadn’t they worked hard to move beyond the stereotypes?
His career came to an abrupt end when Nintendo sent a cease and desist – no doubt alerted by one mother Luigi had turned down when she’d suggested he ‘take a look at her plumbing’.
A couple of announcements first: a story I wrote a while ago went up on The Drabble yesterday (if you’ve read my stories for a while, you may remember it), and I’ve picked six stories I think you should read this weekend. Right, on with the story.
U-Turn Down Memory Lane
He catches a glimpse of lemon yellow tail-fins and chrome and thinks of Grandad.
Most of his early memories have a mythical quality – they’ve always been there but he’s never quite certain any of it happened. That time Grandad took him out in his car, though, he remembers every detail of it.
‘I like your finny car.’
‘You have it when I die, then.’
Grandad died one day before his fifth birthday. He was sent to the children’s home and never saw his Caddy again.
How many lemon yellow Cadillacs can there be in this country?