Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Opening Line from Allison Forsythe, she's not to blame for the rest.

Creative Commons License
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.
Today I fed some ducks at your funeral.
It was a cold day, they looked hungry. You might have appreciated my gesture. You used to think well of me. I don't like ducks much, but needed to get rid of the cake somehow. The ducks definitely liked it. The cake was chocolate, your favourite. I dislike chocolate. You could have bought Lemon cake, I like that, but you didn't.

You came to my flat carrying the box from the confectioner's. It's traditional to bring something nice to eat when you want to share good news, that's what you said.
You'd applied for and got a new job, it hadn't come up in conversation before so I was surprised.

'It's what I've always longed for. A job with such a prestigious company. I'll have my own assistants and I'll be in charge of an entire department.'

I got up to make coffee. I enjoy drinking coffee and it calms my nerves.

'I had the second interview week before last, they were very positive and I was pretty sure the job was mine. I had to wait the whole week but the letter came yesterday.'

I hunted for the Kenyan beans to make your coffee; I prefer Peruvian but this was your special day.

'You know I really didn't think they were impressed by me at the first interview. I was very nervous and I think I chose the wrong blouse, I wore that blue one that you said went so well with my eyes, anyway the top button came undone and I didn't even notice until later. I was sure that Kevin had noticed. I was so embarrassed and I thought he'd write me off as cheap, but he said later how he liked a feminine touch around the place.'

'Later?'

'Uhuh. I was so flushed after the interview that the Personnel department secretary thought I looked ill. She gave me some water and I sat in the outer office. Then Mr Malone, Kevin that is, came out. He saw me and he was so kind. He took me out to lunch he said
"Because I expect you haven't eaten today due to butterflies." Wasn't that observant of him?'
I debated over scalding the milk or using cream from the fridge for your coffee, I opted for the milk. Did I want you to burn your mouth? I don't know.

'Are you listening to me Paul, you haven't said a word ?'
I'm fairly sure I'd said something, but you probably didn't hear me.

'You are exasperating, you know that; it's one reason I applied for this job. I think we need a break.You don't really appreciate me Paul; I only realised because Kevin is so considerate and it's such a contrast.
'This cake is delicious, it's Black Forest Gateau you know. I thought you liked cherries. Hurry up with that coffee or I'll eat your share too.'

Digging in the cupboard I found the Demerara lumps and put them in a bowl on the tray with the cups and the coffee pot. I brought it over to the lounge and set the tray on the table. You'd started picking at the cake already and your fingers were sticky so you were licking them. I fetched plates and the bread knife; I don't have a cake slice.

'Cut some for yourself Paul, you'll make me feel greedy otherwise.'
You smiled as I handed you a plate with a large piece on it. I went back to the kitchen for the hot milk. As I sat down across from you you said.

'So I'm moving to London next week.'

I spilled coffee down my trousers.

'Don't look like that. You weren't listening were you? I have this new job with more money and more responsibility. It's good for me.'

You pushed cake into your mouth and smiled at the same time.

'It'll be good for us.' you said, spraying crumbs.'We need space to decide if our romance is still working.'

I poured the milk. You had more cake in your mouth and you were looking at me like I was a small boy. I handed you the cup and saucer and you took a gulp of coffee.

'Gaachh ! Too hot s' burning my mouth.'
I hurried into the kitchen and came back with a glass of iced water. You grabbed it and drank and then you coughed and flapped your free hand about.
'You did that on purpose! You're horrible, you really are. I don't know if I love you at all anymore.'

Tears appeared in your eyes, but whether you were sad or trying not to cough I don't know. I went to fetch tissues from the bathroom as you bit into another piece of cake.
When I came back you were sat on the couch staring pop-eyed at the kitchen and you were making funny gasping noises. I could see you were choking on something so I handed you the glass of water. You raised it to your mouth and still retching and spluttering you drank some. Then your face turned blue and you dropped the glass and the plate of cake. You started pawing at your throat and you looked at me. I think you were looking longingly, but perhaps not. There were a few judders and gasps and then you were quiet.

The Coroner's verdict was 'Accidental Death'. Apparently there'd been a cherry stone in the cake and that had jammed in your windpipe. It took me days to clean up the coffee stains. This morning I saw cake crumbs in the dustpan, that's when I thought of the ducks and how happy they would be.


2 comments:

Rebecca Douglass said...

How sad! Though the chick clearly deserved it, the ducks are maybe the only nice folks in the story :D

Rebecca at The Ninja Librarian , dropping in from Chuck's site.

Allison Forsythe said...

Cool! I like the twist that you added (and I'm glad you liked the line!). Thanks for letting me know about your post!