HANNAH BAGNALL

Short Story Writer

Month: September, 2016

The Things We Did Not Like

We have things in our house that my husband does not like and that I do not like. We have things in our house that my husband does not like but I do like. We have things in our house that I do not like but my husband does like. We also have things in our house that neither one of us likes nor dislikes. We have things in our house that my husband especially does not like and that I do not like but I can live with and we have things in our house that I especially do not like and my husband does not like much but he can tolerate.

When we first moved into our house we decided that neither of us would live with things that we did not like. Our dislike for some of our things was clear to us and it was obvious that we could not begin in our new home with things that were not liked. These things that we did not like were conspicuous in our new home. They were stored in a spare room all together. We agreed that we would find things to replace the things that we did not like with things that we both liked. We were happy to compromise on the things that we liked but the other did not like so that we could both like the things in our new house.

After a few weeks it did not matter quite as much that there were things in our new house that either one of us or both of us did not like. Gradually some of the things we did not like were brought back into use because we had not replaced them before we needed them. We argued when perhaps the other person decided that they did not mind one of the things that we had both decided we did not like and they hung it on the wall because the wall was too bare. Over time we were each less willing to compromise on the things we did like but that the other did not like until it became easier to simply not think about the things we did not like and they became as invisible to us as the things that we did like.

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Cilla When she was Alive

 

If Sylvia had to choose to be anyone she would choose to be Cilla Black. When Cilla Black was alive. Sylvia is not so down on herself that she would choose to be someone else when they were dead. If she was choosing to be someone else even though they were dead, she definitely wouldn’t choose to be Cilla Black. She would choose Aretha Franklin or Dusty Springfield because even when they’re dead they’re still more alive than Sylvia has ever felt. Being them when they were alive would be too much living for Sylvia but she thought she could manage being Cilla Black on a good day even when Cilla Black was alive.

 

Ferry Urgency

The grandmother was saying that the grandfather had no sense of urgency. She pointed out the way he was walking. It was very slow. It was not very slow due to his age. He was young for a grandfather.  He was looking all around him. He was swinging his arms. He was clicking his fingers. This told the grandmother that he was singing. He wasn’t moving his lips so he was singing to himself in his head. Either that or he was humming. Still, he was walking slowly and swinging his arms and singing and clicking his fingers. He had no sense of urgency. The grandmother said that you would not want to have to rely on the grandfather in an emergency.

They were all on a ferry and the grandfather had been sent to find something out. He was on his way back now. When he got closer to the car the grandmother wound down her window and asked him what had he been doing? The grandfather had been smiling but now he stopped. He told the grandmother that she knew exactly what he had been doing because she had been the one who had asked him to do it. She pointed out that he had not been in much of a hurry and he agreed that he had not been in much of a hurry and walked around the car to the driver’s seat and whistled the same tune he had been singing to himself. The grandmother told the grandfather that he had no sense of urgency and he’d never had any for as long as she’d known him. The grandfather agreed that it was more than likely true that he had no sense of urgency. The grandmother told him that she hoped he was never the only one around in an emergency. She’d probably die before he got around to doing anything. The grandfather asked Would you? as if he was asking a favour and told his granddaughter that the toilets were on the first floor.

The Things She had Lost

Quite honestly she’d lost count of the things she had lost – there had been that many. She took a moment to think and she shuffled back in her chair. Let’s see, there had been that pink sundress. Did the younger woman remember? It came with its own bag. The crinkly one. The younger woman was sorry she didn’t remember. She had worn it that time to Shelly’s party  when Robert had said that thing to Julie and Julie had gotten upset. Well anyway, she had lost that and the bag that had come with it somewhere , she had no idea where, and it was a shame because it was one of her favourites and she had lost stranger things than that, she had lost a bottle of Lea and Perrin’s sauce.

Yes, that was right. She had gone to use some in a recipe because she liked to use it in some things even though people thought it was strange but they had to agree that it did add a little something even if they weren’t quite sure what it was, it did add a little something. When she looked in her cupboard, it wasn’t there and she hadn’t remembered running out because that is something she would remember because as she said she liked to use it in things that you wouldn’t usually expect.

When she came to think of it she had lost other food things – one time she had lost some white icing for a Christmas cake. She had bought it specially and when she came to make the cake for Christmas and everybody always said how much they loved her Christmas cake so she made it every year because you have to don’t you. So everyone was expecting this cake and there it was, the icing was gone and she couldn’t believe when she saw that it was gone and she remembered at the time thinking how that was funny. She’d lost count of the things she’d lost and they were all an absolute mystery as things that you lose always are, aren’t they.