by Samantha Lewis
The clock on the dusty mantelpiece chimed quietly in the silence. It had no audience.
Two children, similar in age, careered on the outside lawn with their arms lifted high like wings. They were good children, not quite angelic, but good nevertheless.
As Esta looked through the kitchen window at them, she knew that she should count herself fortunate, count her blessings.
Her eldest daughter must have sensed her mother’s searching eyes. Stopping in mid- flight, she stilled herself, bringing her arms sensibly back to her sides. Brushing fallen strands of hair behind her ears, she raised her eyes to her mother’s. A small spark of hope flickered across her face as she offered an unsure smile.
Esta, cut off from her daughter by the translucent glass between them, dipped her head quickly and continued to slice the courgettes in a robotic fashion. Staring at the pointed blade, she noticed her blurred, obscured reflection and the shadowy outline of her face. Transfixed for a moment, she ceased her cutting.
Her younger child, having seen her sister’s fallen flight, came quietly to her side. Taking the descended arms in her own, she looked up at her sister and lifted the defeated arms outwards again to her own head height.
“Come on Martha,” came the gentle, encouraging tone. “Come on. Let’s try again.”
Martha, realising her sister’s need, resumed her part in the scenario, only this time the tips of her wings faced downwards, rather than to the skies. Circuiting the garden several remaining times, their voices and sound effects had quietened. Pulling their game to a close, each girl ventured to the back door. Taking a breath in, they removed their school shoes, placing them meticulously side by side and entered the cloud.
Samantha Lewis, taking a leap into the writing pool.