For Love, Cygnets

Kate tied the letters up with a ribboned bow and placed them into the box alongside the doll and the rainbowed coloured pony. She covered them with bubble wrap and put the lid on the box. The lid wouldn’t close properly so she popped a few bubbles so that it would push down enough to allow the application of a spool of Sellotape. 

Daisy had told her about the customs declaration she needed to apply to the package and how to attach it, she also told her how much it would cost to get the box all the way to Australia. Kate equated the cost in sacrificed cigarettes and cider. At the post office, she handed over the box. On the way out she was tapped up by a bottle of White Lightening.

The next time she could remember it being daylight, she was sat on a park bench looking at swans nesting in lake reeds. A boy called Matt was sat next to her, Matt was nice.

Three days later she fell out of a cherry blossom tree she had tried to climb after Matt had said she wouldn’t be able to do it. He was right.

Wednesday was when she went to her ‘meetings’ and got to hear other people’s stories of how their life was shades of dirty brown and microwave all-day-breakfasts. She would dream about being a girlfriend to someone who loved and needed her. She liked the people’s stories. She didn’t like her own.

Martin came to stay. He took her to a Wetherspoons in town and then they walked home through the park so that she could show him the swans. The female swan got a bit testy when Martin got too close to the nest. Before he left the next day, they made love/he raped her – Kate wasn’t sure which.

Monday was when she had to be at the hospital. There was nothing on tv and there was nothing in the fridge, which was just as well because the electricity had stopped working.

On a Sunday Matt told her that they should get married and that they could have a honeymoon in Florida. He had a cousin who went there once and had told him all about it. He said they could go see the space places.

Daisy told her that the swan’s nest had been attacked overnight, Kate went to the park to look at it. The nest had been half tipped into the lake and there was no sign of the swans. She crossed her arms all the way home. When she got back home a letter had been delivered, postmarked Darwin, Australia. She put the letter underneath her toaster and then counted all the money she had to her name. She climbed into bed.

A man who walked his dog through the park every morning found Matt hanging from the cherry blossom tree. At his cremation, Daisy sat beside Kate, their arms linked together.

The next time she could remember it being daylight was when Martin came to stay. She wasn’t sure, but Kate thought they had possibly made love.

The End

Brief #10 Like the Prose 2021: Denial

Copyright © 2021, Ray Hopkins, All Rights Reserved

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