A fic written for English which was one of those published for the Kingston Micro Story Competition. A hopeful fic! Enjoy...


Mrs Morris sat slightly slumped in her chair. The flat was rather murky, the bright sunlight highlighting the dark corners and air of neglect. She wondered whether to get up and clear away the wilted flowers but decided against it. There seemed no particular reason to. She could hear the gulls outside cawing harshly, could even occasionally see them as they soared effortlessly past the window. The noise almost sounded like her name, 'Sylvia, Sylvia'. She sighed wistfully. As a child she had lived by the sea, played in the sands and among the rocks. It all seemed so far away now.

She stretched a little and painfully manoeuvred herself out of the chair, to make her way into the kitchen with slow, shuffling steps. She would have liked to have tea, but recently the kettle had become too heavy to lift, and she wouldn't risk dropping the scalding hot liquid over herself. The juice was in the fridge, and with an effort she bent to retrieve it and pour it into a glass. But she had forgotten to bring the wheeled table, and she couldn't carry it when walking with a frame. With a sigh she leant against the counter and raised the glass to her lips with a weakly trembling hand.

It hadn't always been like this. When her husband had been alive…when her daughter had been a child…when she had been a child… Oh yes it had been different. The place hadn't been so quiet for one thing. There was no laughter here. It was an estate almost entirely occupied by the elderly. Although none of her friends were here. In fact she had been the one to move away, those long years ago.

The sound of a car driving up jolted her out of her reverie. The house next door, the building that seemed so out of place, surrounded by flat blocks, was finally to be lived in again. She wondered who it would be. A boy ran across her line of vision, followed by his younger sister. He had a new football, she, a bucket of beach stones. Their laughter penetrated the thick windows. Her glass was empty, but Sylvia made no move to sit down again. Instead, she watched the girl arrange her pebbles in patterns on the grass, occasionally running to show her worn out parents some particularly pretty one. It would be nice to have children here. She continued gaze at the child, with her dirty brown hair tied up in a ribbon and grass stains on her knees. She wasn't sure how long she stood there, though she was vaguely aware of an ache growing in her back. But at one point the girl looked up in her sorting, straight at Sylvia, and smiled. That was all. A simple carefree smile of a child wanting to share her pride in her treasures. Sylvia took in the innocent face, watching her expectantly. She smiled back.


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