Following the the footsteps (pawprints?) of the ever-brilliant Watercats. I thought I'd try my hand at the Wordizzle thing from Raven's Nest. Being a numpty, however, and not reading the rules properly, I didn't get that it was supposed to be just one paragraph (duh!).
Thing is, it's now 23:38 and I can't be arsed to trim my obese opus, so here it is anyway.
Words to include: florida, spit, child bride, operatic, busy, holding pattern, sunflowers, ginger jars, office, superintendent.
I am eight years old, perched precariously on the high wooden stool that I have had to climb like a mini Everest. My feet dangle inches from the floor and I swing them back and forth in a slow holding-pattern.
Mum is busy at the table, making sandwiches. A small ziggurat of Hovis is emerging from the flat plain of the gingham tablecloth we had back then.
I watch the brisk, precise way the knife whisks across the bread, leaving a perfect layer of yellow in its wake.
"Why can't we have butter any more?" I hear my childish voice whining, "I don't like that marger-, madge-".
"It's margerine, and you know why we have it." The knife whisks a little faster. "Mummy's not been well and the doctor says this will do me good," Mum replies wearily. We've had this conversation before and will no doubt be having it again. "It's made of sunflowers. You like sunflowers, don't you?"
"Not to eat!" I protest, "Not to eat!" I pretend to spit out an imaginary mouthful of the evil Marger-whatsit.
"Stop being silly now and eat you tea. Dad will be home soon." She pushes a plate containing a layer of the ziggurat towards me.
Even back then, her face was beginning to show her age. She'd married late - hardly a child bride – to a gorgeous-looking man several years younger. That was my Dad, the handsome superintendant of the building where Mum's office was. None of her friends could believe what a catch she'd made.
Putting off the moment of having to eat, I pick at the bread. I pinch little bits of it off and roll them into perfect little balls and drop them onto the floor.
"Trisha, stop that!" Mum snaps. The loudness of her voice is startling in the quiet of the kitchen. "What's got into you today? First you break one of my ginger jars, now you're making a mess for no good reason."
Defeated, I pick up the sandwich in my two hands, like she always told me to and, watching her to make sure she's watching me, I bite resentfully into it.
As I chew, a thought comes into my head.
"Mum, where's Florida?"
"Oh, it's hundreds of miles away in America," she answers, expertly back-heeling the fridge door shut whilst balancing a plate of sandwiches and a jug of orange in her two hands. "Why?"
"That's what was on Daddy's ticket."
"What ticket? What are you talking about?" Her voice is sharp now.
"It had an aeroplane on it and it was in Daddy's drawer, under his socks."
I wish I could say that Mum did something appropriately operatic at this point, like dropping the plate and the jug to smash dramatically on the tiles. Instead, she just sighed, set them down on the table, thunk-thunk and sank down into the chair.
"You shouldn't go looking in the drawers, I've told you that before."
And that was all she ever said about it.