Saturday 9 December 2017

Magpie by Sally Angell

Sally Angell loves literature and writing, and is always aiming to develop new and original ideas in her work. Sally explores the truth and reality of feelings, the originality of language and the possibilities of words. She likes to write stories with contemporary themes,  that also have a universal meaning. Her writing has been published in magazines and anthologies, and read on radio.
When the new shopfront in town was revealed, Ellie was drawn to the window. Anything to lift the grey cloak of her day.

She peered up at the sign, and was dazzled by swirly pink and purple letters that spelt out the name: Magpie. The hopefulness of it made her throat ache. Here, on this dingy street, where retailers were giving up and closing each week, someone had created an oasis of sparkle and colour. Ellie did a quick assessment of the entrance, but knew she had to go inside.

A man in a black overall darted forward, as Ellie scraped the wheels through the doorway. He pushed the wheelchair over to a corner for her, positioning it to face a row of lamps that glowed with soft light.

Ellie snapped the chair brake on, and took off the waterproof cover. ‘You stay there, Hero,’ she instructed. As if he could go anywhere else! But it always made her feel better to talk to him.
‘He’s got beautiful eyes,’ the shop man smiled.    

People always said that. And they were indeed; large and soft and a lovely deep brown. But useless. Not that Hero was blind. His vision was quite good. It was just that what he saw didn’t mean anything to him.   


‘Son,’ Ellie clarified. Sometimes strangers thought she was one of those support workers who supervised clients on trips to the town centre, helping them do shopping tasks. If clocking that Ellie was actually the mother of the thirty-ish man she was pushing around, their faces changed. Pity usually. It made Ellie annoyed. She’d had joy and grief, like any other parent. But it was her life and that was that. It could be hard though. Especially now.

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