Short Story Preview: Small is Beautiful
‘Hello, what have you got there, Helen?’
Ann had dropped in for one of her ‘quick’ coffees – just what I needed to buck me up. We had met at the clinic ten years ago, when our sons were born and in that time she had become a real friend.
Barry and I were in this derelict cottage because he’d been made redundant. Forced into selling our old house to raise cash and electing to renovate this one ourselves, the long evenings of slog and dust were taking their toll. I felt worn out and dispirited. I just longed for the day when we reached the wallpapering stage and everything would be nice and clean…then, just when I felt I couldn’t take any more, my beloved Aunt Mary, my only living relative since my parents died, had sickened and died herself.
Ann picked her way over the battens, tools and wood shavings and perched on a stool at a corner of the table.
‘It’s just come from my Aunt Mary’s house,’ I said, putting the kettle on. ‘I told you – didn’t I? – We had to clear it and sell it because she had quite a few debts. Only that she instructed me to keep.’