Wednesday 24 January 2018

A Viennese Waltz

James McEwan Leggate

 sparkling water

Mary stopped wiping at the kitchen sink and instead she gazed out of the window at the dull dark clouds. Rain was certainly on the way, and everything seemed so miserable as if her world had a screw loose. Oh dear, she wasn’t sure how to fix it.

The fridge motor switched on and interrupted her day dreaming, its humming sound took on a rhythmic beating of da daa . . . dum dum. She imagined herself in a Viennese Waltz cavorting with a tall Austrian Hussar, and so she turned and twirled across the floor. 

The vacuum cleaner in the corner perked up. “May I have the pleasure?” it said.

“Delighted,” said Mary and curtsied. She took the vacuum by the handle, and they swept around the kitchen dancing to the music. 

The sound of the fridge rumbled on as rain washed against the window playing like soft violins, the slow-cooker gurgled in delight and the kettle whistled as a fluttering flute. The washing machine shuddered out a bass of beating drums and the Dolce Gusto joined in with a whoosh, whoosh, sending aromatic plumes of percolating coffee into the air. 

Mary skipped and spun, swinging on the arm of her handsome Mr Vacuum as they whirled around her tiny ballroom. From the clock, a cuckoo sprang out and trumpeted its hunting horn, and the timer on the oven played along with an allegro bleeping in consonance with the kitchen orchestra.

The house front door slammed. 

The music stopped. 

Mary dropped the hoover into the cupboard under the stairs, it groaned its disapproval. She rushed into the hall.

“I am shattered,” her husband said, “I’m completely worn out.” He gave her a gentle peck on the cheek and slouched into the living room where he slumped onto the sofa. 

‘Did I hear our white goods singing?”

“No,” said Mary shaking her head, “besides that’s racist.”

“What!” he said.

“They are not white goods.” Mary undid his jacket. 

“I’m too run down to argue.” He kicked off his shoes and laid back.

“We refer to them as appliances these days,” she said and reached into his trousers’ pocket for the long flexi-cord which she plugged into a battery recharging pack and switched it on.

“Ah . . . that’s better,” he said and closed his eyes.

Mary returned to the kitchen and made a call on her mobile.

A loud voice answered. “Mr Wong’s Magical Electrical Emporium, what can I do for you?”

“Mr Wong, it’s Mary.”

All the appliances in the kitchen gave a short gasp, the Dolce Gusto hissed, the vacuum cleaner peeked out from the cupboard.

“Yes Mary, you need a replacement.”

“Sort of Mr Wong, do you have any hussars?”

All the appliances burst out a short expressive sigh, they were safe, she wasn’t disposing of them.

“You need a new man . . . why not repair the one you have?”

“Mr Wong, my husband is clapped out, worn out and completely flat.”

“We can fit a new battery.”

“It’s no use, he has lost all his energy. I need one with spark, style and stamina.”

“Okay, Mrs Mary I will bring a new one tomorrow, anything else.”

“Yes, there is a small screw in my head that rattles and seems to be very loose.” 

“Oh dear,” said Mr Wong, “sounds very bad, sounds like an emergency.”

“It is an emergency!” she said, “Oh, it really is, Mr Wong.”

“I will come immediately,” Mr Wong laughed. “I will bring new parts . . .  again.”

“Oh, thank you, Mr Wong.” Mary switch off her mobile and placed in on the table. Her smile increased towards a grin. There was always something special about the way Mr Wong fiddled with her parts. His gentle hands made her feel so invigorated, such that her whole world no longer seemed so miserable.

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