Craft Fair — Maplewood House —Saturday

25 May

Craft Fair — Maplewood House —Saturday

The decoupage cards and pastel bunting have been packed away, and the final stragglers struggle to their cars with boxes and suitcases that they scraped along the oak flooring.

It was Cecelia’s idea to let them in. ‘Valuable income,’ she said, ‘help pay for the woodworm.’

I agreed, although only by not objecting. I left the house early. Took the dogs out, let the hired hands sprinkle flour over Mother’s kitchen table, light up the Raeburn, make their home-made scones in my home. We charged for the tables, and for entrance, thought to take a percentage of sales too, but apparently that’s not how it’s done. We put a notice in the free press and on Facebook, and Cecelia said they flocked in.

There is a large scratch on the dresser, swirling round and round, and bash marks on the side. We’ll need a French polisher to look at them, the cost will barely be covered by what we have made today. Cecelia said it was nice for the house to have some life about it again — to watch people admire the surrounds, but now the lawn has tyre marks on it, and there are crisp packets tangled in the rhododendrons.

‘There is a large scratch on the dresser,’ I say, to stop Cecelia in her tracks, but she tsks me.

‘That’s been there for years.’

And I remember Cook sprinkling flour on the kitchen table, filling the house with the sweet smell of baking, and my best friend from school, Antony, I think he was called, coming with his sword and giving battle to the dresser.

‘Bash marks on the side.’ And I hear the belt thwack the side of the dresser, punishing it and me alternately for the transgression of letting strangers in.

I grip hard onto the dresser, and feel Cecelia at my back. ‘I bought you this,’ she said, her hands brushing along mine and onto a crafted wooden rose, ‘isn’t it beautiful?’

I lift the rose to my lips and kiss it, let the forest smell cleanse my senses, feel the sting from my beatings finally ease.

Two flash fictions today – trying to catch up with all the inspiration from http://www.creativewritingink.co.uk/resources/writing-prompts/

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