Sunday 16 June 2024

Sunday Serial, 280 x 70, 21 Pre-Christmas Visit 12 December 2018, by Gill James, beer,

This collection is a collection of seventy stories, each 280 words. They were inspired by the first picture seen on my Twitter feed on a given day.

 The annual pre-Christmas visit. The house felt cold and damp. There was clutter everywhere.

His father was frail now but terribly independent. He refused to even have a cleaning lady.

"Why don't you move nearer to me, Dad?" said Tobias.

He father shook his head. "I like it here." He pursed his lips and stared into the distance for a few seconds. "Come on, I want to show you something."

His father struggled painfully upstairs. Once on the landing, he pointed to the hatch into the loft. "It's still there you, know. Pull the ladder down and then you'd better go up behind me."

What was still there?

He held his breath as the old man made his way gingerly up the steps. "There," said his father as he arrived in the loft. "It's all boarded you know. You can walk about up here. And here she is."

The old key board. It was a bit dusty but it still looked the same.

His father dusted the keys with his sleeve. "I played her the other day and she sounded as good as ever.”

What? His father had been up into the loft on his own. He pulled up the stool and started playing.

Now Tobias remembered. All the ones he used to sing with his parents: Pack up your Troubles in your Old Kit Bag, Goodnight Sweetheart, and yes, of course, because it was almost Christmas, White Christmas.

"Come on then. What will it be?"

"How about Jingle Bells?"

They sang and played for over an hour.

"I could do with a beer," said his father.

"Okay," said Tobias, "You get the beers while I get this thing downstairs."          

About the author

Gill James is published by The Red Telephone, Butterfly and Chapeltown. 

She edits CafeLit and writes for the online community news magazine: Talking About My Generation.

She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing and has an MA in Writing for Children and PhD in Creative and Critical Writing.   

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