Friday 2 December 2016

Day 2: All that Glitters by Linda Flynn

The baubles, iridescent and fragile shimmered in the light. Thin as egg shells, they were illuminated by myriads of sparkling colours; yet they were robustly round, so that a careless flick might send them bouncing on the floor.

How different the tree looked now.

Sophie recalled the bare branches of the glossy fir, stark green against her freshly painted walls. She was determined to celebrate Christmas, even if she could only afford to buy the tree and would have to gradually scrimp and save to buy the decorations. At least it had roots, so that she could put it out in the garden afterwards, to use again next year. Perhaps by then, she would feel as though she too had laid some roots.
She inhaled deeply the sweet pine scent and it sent her spinning back to Christmases of her childhood; brightly lit, noisy, alive, not listening to the ticking of a clock. Working from home was useful, but quiet.
At times she felt as though she was plunging through a hollow tunnel of darkness. In an unknown town, she was the stranger; there was no familiar face, friendly nod or warm embrace.

As Sophie slipped along an anonymous supermarket aisle she felt like a shadow of herself, without substance. Her mind went blank. She couldn’t think what to buy. Canned, bland tunes blew like a bubble about her.

She would start with an elderly neighbour’s list, that was easiest. As she crossed off each item, she picked up whimsical fare for herself: chestnuts – she hadn’t eaten those for years, tinned apricots, cranberry cheese. It occurred to her that she now had the freedom to eat whatever, whenever, she liked. This propelled her movements, so that they became swifter, more decisive.

There was a contentment to be found in little things: the smell of fresh coffee, sunlight streaming through the window and most of all snuggling up to Barney, her rescue dog.
Little by little the pain of the past calmed to a dull ache; hours could pass without thinking of Mark’s betrayal.
She kept busy by helping out in her community and it gave her a strange satisfaction, taking her mind away from her own troubles. When driving into town, it was simple enough to give lifts to a couple of people in her close who would normally walk or catch the bus. When she saw that the young couple next door were looking harassed, she cheerfully offered to look after their little girl, Angela, for a few hours, which they messily spent with paint, paper and glue.

 About the auhtor 

Linda Flynn has had two humorous novels published: Hate at First Bite for 7-9 year olds and My Dad’s a Drag, for teenagers. Both won Best First Chapter in The Writers’ Billboard competition.
She has six educational books with the Heinemann Fiction Project. In addition she has written for a number of newspapers and magazines, including theatre reviews and several articles on dogs.
Her short stories with Bridge House include: three adult stories, To Take Flight, in the Going Places anthology, I knew it in the Bath in Something Hidden and Snowdrop in the Christmas 15 anthology, Snowflakes, as well as The Wild Ones, for teenagers in Devils, Demons and Werewolves. Two children’s short stories: The Secret Messenger and Timid Tim were included in Hippo-Dee-Doo-Dah. In November 2016, Linda also had a satirical short story, Wake Up Call, published in the CaféLit best of anthology, and Poppy a Puppy for Remembrance was placed with CaféLit in April 2016.
Linda’s website is:


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