Thursday, 25 October 2018

Ovaltine

by Lynn Clement

Ovaltine

 

‘Bye Carol, I’m off now, see you tomorrow.’ The door clicked to.

‘Uh oh, rumbly tumbly,’ Carol said. She opened the fridge door. No lunch. She closed it and it beeped at her, then began to whirl around. Carol stared.  She opened it again. ‘No magic food.’ Her tummy gurgled. Carol’s slippered feet shuffled to the drawer. She was sure there would be food in the drawer.

‘I know Mother has been stock -piling arrowroot biscuits and camp coffee.’ Her brow furrowed. ‘New coffee in blue bottles?  Mmm… purple blocks – chocolate.’ Her stiff fingers eventually peeled back the packaging and she bit into one of the blocks. ‘Yeuk, it’s off.’ She spat it into the sink and washed it away. The water made foam in the basin.

‘Hello,’ she said to the cat who had sauntered into the kitchen. ’I see you’ve got food.’ The cat purred. Carol eyed the jellied meat; her mouth watered. Her knees creaked and she stroked the cat. His food looked juicy and flavoursome.

‘Has mother given you the tinned steak puss? We must be short of cash if she’s got tinned steak in; we only have that for Sunday when Papa has been drinking again. Why have you got it?’

Carol reached for a spoon from the kitchen side, then pressing her back to the wall; she held onto the towel rail and slid down next to the cat. She could smell the stress of those Sunday lunches. She winced and closed her eyes.

When she opened them again the kitchen light had gone off, but someone was shining a torch beam through the window. She rubbed her cold arms and moved her head from side to side, to ease her stiff neck. Blinking her sticky eye-lids she looked ahead and saw a note on one of the doors.                 
  Carol your lunch is in here.
          Love from Trina x
Carol looked at puss curled up on her lap. ‘Now why would Trina put my lunch in the washing machine?’ she asked him.



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