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This week's snippet is a tongue cheek skit born out of my weird sense of humour, and begins with this week's word prompt Sweet
The sweet scent of lilacs permeated the room and emphasized the picture, of lilacs in a vase, on the wall above the bed. As a child Norma had loved coming into her grandmother’s room and studying the scene of the horse-drawn hay-cart passing the cottage.
“Your grandfather painted that two weeks before he was killed.”
Her grandmother’s reedy voice shifted Norma’s gaze from the painting to the woman lying in the bed. Her once vibrant wavy red hair had long since turned silver had thinned to allow a pink sheen to peep through.
She knew. She’d been there when the same horse, startled by a barking dog that ran in front of it had bolted down the road. Before the young Norma could register the unfolding events she’d found herself thrown into the hedge and out of harm’s way. At the cost of his own, her grandfather had saved her life that day.
Survivor’s guilt. Norma had heard their neighbours talking about it without understanding. She’d been too busy wondering when Granny would start blaming her for her granddad’s death. Instead her grandmother had wrapped her arms around the desolate child and offered comfort and sympathy.
“He’s waiting for me.” Grandma said now and reached out with her knurled hand to take Norma’s in a surprisingly strong grip. “But I’m not ready yet. There are things I have to tell you.”
“You should rest.” Norma leaned across the satin bedspread and planted a kiss in her grandmother’s palm.
“Time enough for that.” The wrinkled hand shifted, cupped Norma’s face and feathered a caress down her cheek. “Listen to me child, this is important.” A bout of coughing brought an abrupt end to the earnest entreaty.
When Norma offered a glass of water with a straw, her grandmother sipped, her eyes holding Norma’s all the time she sipped.
“Behind the mirror…”
Norma had to lean close to her grandmother’s face to make out the words now. “What?” She looked across the room to the mirror hanging on the wall. Outside the nearby church bells pealed, and the setting sun turned the sky to flame. It wouldn’t be long before the sun slid behind the wood-clad hill at the edge of the village.
Pushing a loose strand of hair behind her ear, Norma waited, but her grandmother had slipped into sleep.
Stepping away from the bed Norma stretched to ease the tightness in her back. The reflected movement caught her attention, she’d check the back of the mirror while her grandmother slept, and crossed the room to lift the mirror from its hook.
The heavy walnut frame held a wooden back that kept the mirror in place and as far as she could see, Norma failed to detect anything out of the ordinary about it.
Setting it on the floor in front of her toes, Norma looked round for her torch. Had her grandmother even meant this mirror? There was one, hanging on the wall opposite every window. And there were a lot of windows in this house.
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