This Time See Whiteby Mary Thompson
Simpering doctors bring medication and soda. ‘A little of what you fancy won’t hurt.’ And stand there gaping with dazzling smiles as tiresome tang sputters off tongue.
Close eyes, see yellow. Lope along sandy, Cornish beaches with rucksack and family. Stop for snack at hut on Porthminster. What was it called? Continue to end and plunk down on red and black patterned rug with hole in middle. Why didn’t we fix it? And lie there all afternoon till sun has set and we’re as golden as lions. On way home, go for fish and chips with lashings of vinegar. Grace opts for haddock. As always. Why did we split? While Duke and Daisy argue over last remaining sausage.
‘Have the cod, please, one of you. For God’s sake.’
Cram suitcases into Mini Clubman.
‘Are we there yet?‘
Break down on motorway. Fist through windscreen. Tears.
‘Sorry,’ I never say.
Loath to recall the bad. Must remember the good. That’s what the book says. As if a book can tell you such things.
Brownie camera captures sweet smiles. Remove glasses and gaze into lens. Sunflowers, runner beans, mint; windbreaks, cloudy skies, sea; Slow-blinking, tiger-like cats. Love.
‘What a sunset,’ says nurse.
Open eyes slightly and burnished beam slinks through blinds. Beautiful. One tremory hand lifts glass for drink and water sloshes over side.
Gentle thrum on door and Daisy enters in periwinkle jumper with Joshua in squally rage.
‘What’s wrong, son?’
Puts bundle of boy in my arms.
‘He knows I’m sad, Dad. He feels it.’
Nod and close eyes.
This time see white.
About the author: Mary Thompson’s stories have been long-listed and shortlisted in several publications and competitions including Flash 500, Fish Short Memoir Competition, Writing Magazine and Kishboo magazine. She has also taken a number of flash fiction workshops run by Kathy Fish and Meg Pokrass. Follow her on Twitter @MaryRuth69
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