I’ll admit, I was jealous of my brother. While my life was unremarkable, his was extraordinary.
Beautiful girlfriends. A house in Kensington. Holidays to Tonga, Maui, Cambodia.
He lived in the house ten years, but as I walk the rooms, my footsteps echoing, the place feels like a feature in a style magazine. No photographs of family on the mantelpiece. No scrappy school paintings pinned to the fridge or toys on the floor. Not even a dog basket cluttering the hall.
I cuff my cheeks dry. The man had so many trophies and won nothing.
Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the prompt picture and let your imagination fly. See here to join in.
The door squeaked open. Kurt stepped out onto the tenement roof and propped the door open with an old metal chair he’d saved from a skip. He felt in the brick planter – no plants, just bricks – and fished out his tobacco wallet.
The cigarette paper slipped easily through his practiced fingers, flakes of tobacco tamed into a tube. The lighter flared, clicked shut.
The lead roof was still hot, petrol fumes dissipating a little as day gave way to night.
Laney’s voice reached him up the stairwell. ‘Kurt! Dinner.’
Downstairs the baby was giggling, hiccuping, giggling.
Not a bad life.
Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. See the picture and write along. See here to join in the fun.
The path was still there but narrowed in places where trees had encroached, wider where some had been felled.
The fence was new to me – a relatively recent addition. So like my father to erect a fence around his wife’s grave, possessive of her even in death.
I think that was what made me most angry, the fact that even now he’d pegged her in, limited her to a little patch of scrubby earth under the yews. When I was growing up, he’d contained her with a scowl at her evening classes, a tut at outings with friends, until the time away from him dwindled just as she did. Now all he had to use was cheap cedar panels.
Papa kept the photographs in a drawer in his study.
‘My portraits’, he called them, though when Meggy drifted in one long and listless Sunday she found no faces, only photographs of old buildings. The shiny surfaces snagged her fingertips, as if the spires and stained glass were reaching, tugging at her.
Decades later, when his camera had long since been boxed away, she would find the old man dozing, blanket tucked round skinny knees, the images hanging from his lose grip.
She wondered if he’d realised back then that people, like buildings, become ruins of themselves.
Written* for Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s Friday Fictioneers. Do visit here to take part and join this merry band of super talented people.
*Also written in my kitchen, while a builder friend fixes our boiler … along with the climate, the upcoming election and Brexit!