An occasional series of flash, or sudden, or short-short fictions

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Nellie and Jim

There he goes, with another armful of my things, clothes and photographs, walking to the bonfire. I am in the doorway, watching. He lets the things fall in a heap on the fire, but it's blazing so high that it doesn't dampen down. He picks up a hammer and swings at the arm of the leather settee he dragged out of the house this morning. I remember buying that settee with him.

He raises his arm again and again, lets it fall. Dull and hollow it sounds, marks like wet on the skin. The arm breaks and he kicks it flat, then hurls it on to the flames. The leather crackles, sighs, catches. He attacks the other arm. Maroon jumper with the hole at the elbow, up and fall. Neighbours watch, but say nothing. What can they say? Poor man.

I did not know he would act this way. You find out a lot about someone when they suffer, I suppose. What will he do? What will the boys do? He walks back towards the door. Tears. He does not see. He will not see. He refuses. The clothes, the furniture, the photographs - he refuses everything. Even himself. Oh, Jim, my love. What will you do?

The boys, I miss them too. London is no place for them. Now he brings my shoes, one by one, dropped like coins into a wishing well. I wish, Jim. I wish as you wish.

I can watch no more. I must go. I am in the doorway, and walk through. Goodbye, Jim. Kiss the boys for me. Goodbye, love. Goodbye.

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