Wednesday 5 December 2018

Tree People

by Hannah Retallick

tap water

‘Jeremy, is the tree meant to be moving?’
‘I said is the…’
‘What, darlin’? Nah, don’t be silly.’
            I told him, I said, ‘Jeremy, I’m right you know, it’s twitching.’
            ‘I know you’re right, your lips moved,’ he said, cheeky like, yesterday afternoon. And he keeps on with the dishes. I ain't complaining about that part. It’s nice to have a man that does dishes…did dishes.
            Well, all that’s gone and changed now hasn’t it? He should’ve listened good and proper, and then we wouldn’t be in this royal mess on Christmas Eve. Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve…
            Today, it doesn’t pay to talk. Not that I’ve tried like, certainly don’t move, and neither does my Jeremy. His scarf is tinsel, and his bauble-lined arms are glistening proper bright in those lights they stuck on us.
            A voice from the kitchen: ‘This turkey’s good and done,’ she says. ‘Go lay the table,’ she says. That was my line before.
            Her mister is green and prickly, standing in the doorway, eying us up like.
            ‘Darlin’,’ he says to his missus. ‘Not sure about these two, they need a bit of watering.’
            ‘Go sort ‘em out then,’ she says.
            While he trickles water into our shoes, he starts looking at us, probing like. Jeremy don’t move and neither do I. It don’t pay to move. That was a prickly discovery…
            ‘Darlin’,’ says the mister. ‘I think we should get new ones – these aren’t great.’
            That was Jeremy’s line before.
We wouldn’t be in this royal mess on Christmas Eve if he could’ve kept his mouth shut. Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve… I’m right you know. Treat people as you want to be treated – that’s what I always say. Now it’ll be us headed for the bin. Nice work, Jeremy.


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