Monday 4 December 2017

Brighter than Jewels by Gail Aldwin

Gail Aldwin is a prize-winning writer of flash fiction, short stories, and poetry. Her work can be found online at Ink, Sweat & Tears and Slamchop and in print anthologies including What I Remember (EVB Press, 2015) Dorset Voices (Roving Press, 2012) and The Last Word (Unbound Press, 2012). Gail writes collaboratively with other women to develop comedy for the screen and stage. With the Dorset Writers' Network, Gail supports isolated writers in rural areas. She is an experienced teacher who delivers workshops to young people and adults in community settings. You can find Gail @gailaldwin and

How did you meet Mel?’ Ellie asks. A speck of chocolate on her top lip remains from the sprinkles on her cappuccino. With her eyelids marked in a sweep of italic liner, she looks older than sixteen years. Only the fleck gives her youth away. ‘What’re you staring at?’
      ‘You’ve got something on your lip.’ I point to the spot on my face, where the mark appears on my daughter’s. She licks a napkin and dabs.
      ‘Gone?’ She juts her chin forwards.
      ‘Not quite. I’ve got a mirror in my bag.’
      ‘Don’t worry. I’m going to the loo. I’ll sort it.’ Ellie pushes back the chair, scraping the slate floor of the cafe’s veranda.
      ‘The toilet’s down those stairs.’ I nod my head in the general direction. She takes a few strides then step by step, she disappears from sight. Releasing a sigh, my shoulders relax. It’s hard work being with her sometimes.
Staff wearing full-length aprons distribute menus around the tables in preparation for the dinner service. The paper flaps in the swirl of air from the ceiling fans. Most of the afternoon tea customers have left and I realise I’ve stayed too long. I catch the attention of a waiter and he brings the bill on a saucer. He waits while I rummage through my wallet to find a blue dollar note and pass it over.
      ‘Keep the change,’ I say, even though it’s not usual to tip in Australia.
      I’m waiting on the path when Ellie appears, she smirks at my hat. It’s not the greatest design, monochrome stripes but at least it’s protection from the sun. I like the warmth in Cairns, heat that gets right into my bones but Ellie’s suffering. Her nose is covered in freckles and there are beads of sweat on her forehead. 

Read more:


Post a Comment

Search This Blog


Bridge House Publishing © 2010

Blogger Templates by Splashy Templates