Wednesday, 9 April 2014

BRUSHSTROKES by Heather Shaw


‘I know exactly what it’ll be like,’ Rosalind said. ‘I should never have agreed to go.’
Celia looked up from the blouse she was ironing. ‘Typical you,’ she said through a hiss of steam, ‘getting there before you’ve arrived.’
‘Well, there’s some chance of a handle on the future,’ Rosalind said. She steepled her fingers. ‘The past plays tricks. What’s past help should be past grief’.’
‘Shakespeare.’ Celia’s tone was dismissive. ‘Isn’t it time you stood up to him? Anyway, what did he know about re-unions?’
‘I’ll never get the clothes right,’ Rosalind said. ‘What do escapees from the third-age ghetto wear in public?’ She shuddered. ‘It’ll feel like hunting in packs with opinions more instant than coffee.’
‘You’re not above an instant opinion yourself,’ Celia said. She stared over the ironing board at her sister. ‘Try not to let that shell get too thick.’
‘I don’t know you mean.’
‘Oh I think you do, love.‘ Celia poured water into the iron. ’You’ve been curled inside it for two years now, Rossie – since Hugh.... That shell of bereavement smothers the real you. Come back to us soon. ’
It wasn’t the mention of her husband but the childhood nickname that had Rosalind forcing back the tears.
‘Go to your reunion,’ Celia said. ‘Please.’‘It’s not exactly a reunion. Just a get-together with the other students on the online course, a meeting.’
‘Good idea.’ Celia grinned. ‘Travels end in lovers meeting.’
‘Journeys,’ Rosalind said, ‘It’s journeys. Journeys end in lovers meeting.’
‘There you are then.’
Their laughter was the shorthand of siblings, a shared memory with no need of words.

You can read the rest of the story and discover what happens when Rosalind joins the re-union, in BRUSHSTROKES a collection of short stories by Heather Shaw
Published by Pewter Rose Press. 

Available from Amazon – paperback or ebook.

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