Tuesday 30 August 2022

One Candle by Mari Phillips, tepid tea

 She remembered how things used to be. Raspberry jelly with wobbly pink blancmange; friends in silly hats singing a tuneless happy birthday; mouths smeared with chocolate and squabbles over parcels and donkeys’ tails.

Cakes with candles and champagne became cakes without. ‘Too many, we won’t remind you, auntie,’ they said. ‘They’d be a fire risk.’ They laughed. And now a bloody cup-cake. Just the one and a beaker of tepid tea. Her heart cried. She reached out her arm. Was that her hand? A knobbly, wrinkled claw. When did that happen? Her head sank back onto the pillow, and she closed her eyes. Not even enough breath for one candle.  



 About the author

 Mari lives in Leeds, writes mostly flash fiction, with several published in Café Lit, and is working on a couple of ‘longer’ short stories. She also occasionally dabbles in poetry. She is a keen singer and traveller, both activities slowly re-emerging after lockdown. 
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