United We Fall
The Tap Kept on Dripping
Grandma's punctuation lesson
The Moving Finger
The Monster
Daddy's Girl
A Quiet Place

List of 2013 stories

United We Fall

Molly poured out a cup of tea and carried it to the table. As usual, she was talking out loud to herself as she did when at home alone. Not that she stopped talking when somebody was there. She just did not like silence, and there was a lot of silence in her brain. But she was a kindly soul and always tried to please. She sat down and sipped her tea for a few seconds and then reached across the table. "Here's the paper, now let's see what is in the "To Sell" section. Bikes, cots, golf sets, lounges. What's this? Manchester United doona cover, unopened and only $80. I saw one of those in Spotlight last week and it was about $120. Lovely red colour. It would go a treat with the Ming Blue walls. I think that's the football team Fred likes. Loves his football he does. Watches all those programs on SBS. Daft game I reckon, but he likes it. Now what is that phone number? I think I will give them a call. Better do it straight away. That's a good price." She rose, fetched the phone back to the table and dialled the number printed in the ad. "Hello. I saw your ad in the paper for a doona cover. Have you sold it yet? No, oh that's good. Could I have a look at it? Thank you. Where do you live? Oh, I know that street. I used to have a friend that lived there. Do you know Lucy Adams? No! Oh never mind. Can I come round today? Oh good. Will two o'clock be OK? Right, see you then." She put the phone down and finished drinking her tea.

At three o'clock she came home carrying a bulky package and humming to herself happily. Not only had she got the cover, but she had offered $70 and got it for $75. She was pleased with herself. Not waiting to take of her coat she went straight into the bedroom and unpacked the bright red cover and laid it across the bed. Lovely. Just the way she had imagined it. The red went so well with the blue wall and Jungle green curtains.

At six on the dot Fred walked in. "Have a good day dear?" "Not bad" he grunted and plonked down in his chair. He reached for the TV remote and turned on the set, switching to the sports channel. Molly brought him a cup of tea, quietly chatting about nothing and deliberately not mentioning the doona cover. It would be a surprise.

At ten, Fred got up and went off to the bathroom to get ready for bed. Molly waited eagerly for his reaction when he entered the bedroom. Two minutes later she got it. "What the blue, bleeding blazes is that rag doing on my bed" he roared. "It's a new cover for the doona. Don't you like it" she asked, amazement all over her face. "Like it! Like it! You're as daft as a brush, you silly woman. Me, sleep under that? You have got to be joking!" "But it was a bargain" "I don't care if they paid you to take it out of the shop. Take it off and get rid of it. Now!" Molly moved to comply. Fred was normally a pretty placid type and would never do more than raise his voice a little when annoyed. This outburst was so unlike him. "I'm sorry. I thought you would like it with you liking football so much. I don't want to throw it away. Don't you know anybody that would like it?" "Me. Give anything to a Manchester fan. Wouldn't give one of them the time of day" "But I thought it was the team you liked, the ones with the red pullovers" "You dim wit! I'm an Arsenal fan. The Gunners! Always have been, just like my dad. I wouldn't bother with a flamin' northern bunch. I'd rather barrack for Chelsea or Crystal Palace" "I'm sorry love. I thought it would be such a nice surprise," and she began carefully folding up the offending cloth. In an attempt to calm Fred down she changed the subject "I saw a lovely program this morning" "Oh yeah" said Fred, realising he had gone a bit far, but unwilling to apologise, "What was it?" "It was about the Beckhams and their and their lovely home." Fred turned white and started breathing heavily.

Frank Brown ©
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