by Kathryn Smith
Look at you, you old bugger, shuffling towards me in your carpet slippers spilling my tea. What is it about slippers? Are they specially made to grow slack (and eventually hurl you downstairs), or are you shrinking at the rate of knots? That cardigan has grown bigger too – hanging loose round your stringy arms and from this angle your head looks like a rooty old turnip. If only I could get my own tea.
Yes. A couple of mawkish Jack O’Lanterns, that’s what we have become; souls in purgatory. But don’t mind me; I have become mean and prone to self-pity. I must be more positive. After all, today has been hair and beauty day. Do I look peachy Ed? Or am I still warding off demons?
I’d never had a shampoo and set until I came to this place but I soon came to know and embrace that rite of passage that keeps us girls tidy. If you ignore the odd woolly bits where we loll and rub, we are a conformity of neat, haloed, silver heads around the dinner tables – no Will ‘O the Wisps over the peat bog.
I’m parched Ed and it’ll be cold by the time you get it over here.
It’s a delusory frailty because really you are my fairy tale prince, swashbuckling through the enchanted forest. From my tower I can see you beating your way through the tangled path of sticks and frames, littered with puffy feet like hideous fungi about to explode.
Nearly there. Steady. Hold it still. Here are my hands. Do you see me with those milky eyes? The transfer of cup to hand is a rendezvous in space – a match of precision and orbital velocity. There we are; we have docked with a full saucer.
Kathryn Smith loves both poetry and flash fiction.