by Lynn Clement
a glass of claret
Staring out of the window, I see tears streaming down the reflection. It can’t be me; I know how to hide my pain. One drop crawls towards another and they clasp at each other, forming a rivulet. It pools, and then falls off the edge of the sill.
The storm is as fierce as forecasted, and yet it has such a pretty name – Fleur. She’s certainly battered her own name sake. Some early spring daffodils are bowing their heads away from the wind like shy maids, as if they have something to hide. The tall bearded trees are shaking with anger and the logs in the wood pile are sodden. They should have had a better shelter. The axe is off its stand and has been thrown to the floor, it will need sharpening now. Grey fists have formed in the sky. It looks as if they are trying to outdo each other. A fork of light splits them, and just for a moment they halt their battle, and then resume their sparring to thunderous applause.
I pull my cardigan tighter round my chest. My sticky fingers touch the back of my neck. I think someone has just walked over my grave, and I know why.
Moving away from the window I look at the boxes. I hadn’t kept to the rules very well. There are too many memories poking up over the rims. They’re probably too heavy to lift, but I haven’t got the energy to do it again.
The letters are on the mantelpiece, the one for my daughter Caroline on top, the other one hidden behind it. They can have that, it will be useful. I don’t need to read it again.
The car will be here soon, even in this storm I’m sure they’ll hurry. I take up my position by the window to watch them arrive. The rain is almost horizontal now and has sheared one of the heads off the daffodils. Storm Fleur’s pent up anger seems vengeful.
A pair of big, yellow eyes head up the driveway. They don’t screech to a halt like they do in the movies and no flashing blue light; I feel slightly disappointed. Two men in long rain coats step out of the car and try to shield themselves from the storm, but Fleur is taking no prisoners today.
My hands have dried now, making my fingers feel crusty, so I rub them together, and tiny claret coloured flakes flutter to the carpet. I slip the latch, let them in, and stare at their sopping wet shoes. They look at my red feet.
‘He’s in there,’ I say helpfully.
They tread on my gooey and now rust coloured Axminster with their wet shoes. Observing the packing boxes, one of them retches into his handkerchief.
‘Not many men carry a handkerchief nowadays,’ I say.
They look at me open mouthed.
‘What happened here love?’ one of them asks
‘Read the letter,’ I reply.
About the author
Lynn is a regular author for CafeLit. She enjoys writing flash fiction and poetry and has won some local competitions in Hampshire.