‘Alway’s a colt’s tooth, that one,’ Gramma squinted in the candlelight, needle raised like a weapon over her mending.
Mother whisked the crumbs from the table with her cloth. ‘How can you say such things?’ She stopped suddenly, one hand pressed to her stomach, the other holding the rag before her. ‘He has been our verger for twenty one years. He was always … there.’
Gramma chuckled, sucking on her teeth as if they were barley sugars. ‘Verger or no, I’ve spied him over my prayer book, eyes on bonnets and bodices rather than the altar.’
‘Gramma, really,’ I said from my stool near the fire. ‘You mustn’t say such things.’
She tutted. ‘I’ve known that man all his life, Natty – I’ve known men all my life.’ She shot me a lewd wink as Mother returned to her fussing. ‘And I tell you – Verger Mason always had a wandering eye. Now the world knows he has wandering hands too. Well. No surprise to me.’
Mother stopped punishing the table and hurried from the room. Gramma went on attacking her stitching, lancing the fabric as if it were a barrel filled with fish. After I’d got her to bed and began to redo her mending, I heard Mother crying in the room above, the low keening of a heart fit to break.
Logs snapped and spat on the fire as I settled to finish my work.
Written for Stephanie at Word Adventure’s #tuesdayuseitinasentence. See the word – this week it’s COLT – and create a tale.
I’d never heard of the expression colt’s tooth until I did a quick search for this post – it refers to a young man’s wanton desires but can also mean an older man who keeps a younger woman. I rather like it.