Short Story – Separacation 0

Deciding to include short stories in my blog.  Here’s one to start the Summer off. FB


Fantasy holiday: everyone has one – “what I would really like is to. .. see the Pyramids, climb Kilimanjaro, row down the Amazon, take a theatre week in London, a spa break in the country … “

Bella snapped her paper irritably, the weekend section always annoyed her and this one was worse than ever, so called stars featured in their bliss on a fantasy holiday … you could write in and enter a competition and win the spa break … or the mystery trip

“Stupid, probably a spa in Birmingham and a mystery trip to Blackpool,” she snorted and threw the paper on to the couch where the cat immediately pummeled it into a satisfying crackly bed.

Evan would be mad.  “Oh well no use crying over spilt milk, or crumpled paper, they couldn’t afford a holiday anyway, an unplanned early retirement had killed that hope.

Maybe they should plan a what did they call that, a staycation, do something local and different, a spa trip, a few meals out in a good restaurant, maybe a stately home and gardens visit … actually that didn’t sound bad, leave out the spa though, she wasn’t stripping down for any young madams ’s eyes and the thought of Evan scuffling about in a robe and slippers forgetting to tie the belt and mishearing  conversations was not appealing … how come the stars never seemed to have to deal with past their sell by date husbands on their fantasy vacations? Or vice versa come to that. Maybe they should do separate vacations?

She dismantled the coffee machine and tipped the grounds into the compost bin, whew it was getting a bit whiffy, she should empty it today.  She looked out it was raining still and the path was muddy, she would go down later on. She hid the compost bin in the broom cupboard, no point getting him angry, he hated the compost bin. The cat made a dive for the cupboard, it was currently having a love affair with the mop, scattering shreds of news paper and knocking over its water.

“Dammed animal, get out, go on, scarper,” Evan was down, shuffling into the kitchen in his weekend outfit, grey joggers, a worn T shirt that their son Jeremy had sent him which said “ keep calm and carry on”, and backless trodden down leather slippers which looked as if they had been inherited from Scrooge. He toed the cat out of the back door, “Go on get out. I don’t know why we keep that animal. Now get the floor mopped, and pick up all this paper for goodness sake. I hope it’s not today’s”

“Today’s didn’t come.” Bella lied smoothly, better a lie than a tantrum, she flattened the cat’s cushion on top of the rest of the paper,  fed the toaster and clicked the kettle on for his tea.

Definitely separate vacations .. . separate staycations.  What would be good if she was on her own … get up when she wanted, take the bus to the coast and sit on the front in that nice little Italian café and have delicious coffee, walk along the beach and look for shell and fossils, take the bus back and get a Indian take out, and eat it in the sitting room on the good couch.  The toaster popped, the water boiled, she put the toast on a plate and poured water into the teapot.

Separate staycations  … separacations .. yes, and the second day go with her cousin into town and do the art galleries and have lunch at that ancient, creakingly respectable store lunch room, the one with the cretonne covered couch in the ladies’ room and the kind attendant who would hand out aspirin, advice, hot damp towels and guard your parcels … another world.

But what would he do, maybe go fishing with his brother? Go to the railway museum?

And the third day, a coach trip to a stately home, tea in the National Trust cafe, cake and biscuits and a wander around the gardens. That was enough for a first separacation.

Evan was muttering, “No paper, no butter, no marmalade, wet floor, stupid cat, austerity, budgets, early retirement, no vacation this year,”

“Your brother called,” she said, “he wants to go fishing, next week, three days he said, up the river on his boat.”
Evan looked at her, “He never goes fishing, nor do I, what is he talking about, be more like booze cruise. I’m not going, call him back and tell him I can’t go.”

“Call him yourself, it’s more polite, a booze cruise might be fun, relaxing.”

The cat door clattered and the cat lunged back into the kitchen with a mouse in its mouth, which it dropped and began batting around the table

Evan shouted, “Bastard cat!” and jumped up. His slippers skidded in the water and he lurched forward,. Swiftly Bella pushed away the chair and the mouse leaped across his foot. With a roar Evan crashed to the floor, striking his head on the stove as he went down, and lay still, blood oozing from his ear and nose.

Bella picked up the compost bin and went down the garden to empty it onto the compost pile. She did a bit of fiddling about in the shed, and the veggie patch until a shower blew over.

Then, smiling, she went in doors to start her separacation.