The reading of the will gave Julian the final confirmation that his mother had hated him. His sister got the house and his brother inherited the business ‘…and to you, my first-born, I bequeath the shoes I was wearing when I met your father, my favourite tan satchel and two volumes on Mesopotamian art.’
He was incensed.
‘I don’t have an artistic bone in my body, she knew how much I hated that satchel, and what am I supposed to do with high heels?’
His siblings presented an alternative view. ‘Have you any idea how important these items were to her? She cherished them above all other possessions.’
Many embittered years later Julian rediscovered the items in his vast attic whilst searching for something of greater worth. A slip of paper slid from the between the two volumes.
‘My darling. Not everything can be expressed in monetary terms. I poured my love into these trinkets, just like I poured my love into you… ‘
Written for: Friday Fictioneers
Rita’s dinner-parties were the stuff of legend – a heady mix of rich conversation and frugal ingenuity. With crepe-paper chandeliers and coat-hanger candelabra she carried off an air of flamboyant spectacle.
Rita herself was grace-personified – a slight, elegant frame of dignity and decorum that desperate poverty had failed to mollify. She sported plastic earrings as though they were diamonds and wore rags as though they were modelling her.
At any given gathering attention inevitably turned to the oil painting that dominated the far wall of her pokey basement flat.
‘Ah yes, my ancestor – the countess,’ she began, as though the words were not well-rehearsed, ‘regaling the revolutionaries who’d arrived to cart her away to the gulag. If the stories are to be believed she made them wait while the portrait was painted and disarmed them with etiquette.’
Guests never failed to take the bait. ‘So, you descend from aristocracy?’
‘Yes,’ Rita always replied wistfully, ‘but alas nothing now remains of that decadent time…well…’
With subtle self-intimation her body language concluded the tale…
…Perhaps one thing.
Written for: Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers