Stories - mainly for women - for a coffee break. The last stories in the collection are the earliest work; at the beginning are the latest works.
The author is more widely published in poetry magazines, but many (not all) of these stories were first published in the small press.
Excerpt from REMEMBRANCE:
Margaret would not be going for her next hospital appointment. And now there was so much to plan and so little time.
Remember, Remember, this was her eleventh hour. She couldn’t move around like she used to, but never mind. Brenda said she had a new lease of life and must look forward to her birthday party. Brenda knew nothing. Asked if she was named after Princess Margaret; Brenda failed at History. Margaret’s first child was born during the last war and she was a baby of the Great War. None of that mattered now.
She had lived too long. The doctors knew nothing; they always sent her away with more pills. No idea what they were for. That Brenda bullied her all the time; tricked her into taking more, when she could barely eat.
She would show Brenda. She’d lived through two wars and was not waiting around until the next. Jack would understand. Jack would never have wanted her to wait this long. To celebrate her 90th birthday. What was there to celebrate, she wanted to know.
Daytime television, she couldn’t be bothered with it. They mumbled, these days. But that thing in her ear; Brenda always bullied her into wearing it. Said she could listen to her visitors. What visitors. There wasn’t anyone left to visit her now. Except Geoffrey. Geoffrey never visited; not since that new wife of his.
On the eleventh day, she always remembered Jack then, anyway. Jack was lovely. She met him at a dance. She shouldn’t have gone really. Tom told her not to go. Tom was her fiancé; he begged her not to go to the dance. Tom with two left feet. There were years enough for milking cows and collecting eggs. Margaret loved to dance; she couldn’t smell the farm when she was in her best frock. She floated away, away from the smell of pigs.
Who’s that? Brenda…?
Hello, Mum, it’s only me.
Geoffrey? But you moved up north… has she kicked you out then?
Mother. That was twenty years ago. Me and Susan are very happy. Brenda’s given you your pills, hasn’t she?
Bloody pills. It took less pills to knock out the bull. Susan, who’s Susan?
We’re married, Mum. You came to the wedding, years ago.
I’m not losing my marbles, you know. Just because I cannot get about so fast. I bought the milk.
You shouldn’t go out after dark, Mum. It’s not safe.
Stop treating me like an invalid. Why can’t I go to the local shop. I can manage.
Mum. People are looking out for you. You must stay indoors when it gets dark. Remember that fall you had. You were in hospital for weeks. And I don’t need that bloody wheelchair. Who will push it, anyway?