An animal shape

A shirt over an ironing board becomes a looming shadow, Brighton UK, 2012 © Tanya Clarke

A shirt over an ironing board becomes a looming shadow, Brighton UK, 2012 © Tanya Clarke

Writing Prompt No. 57

“If you can see it I know I’m not mad.”

“See what?”

“There. You see? I am mad.” Hazel grabs her jumper from behind her sister. “Mum. She’s a horse,” she says, fixing her gaze on Patricia.

“Hazel, I think you’re seeing things. Really I do. Are you working too hard? Too many shifts? That job you do is shitty. You need to find something else.”

Hazel pulls on her jumper, pushing her head through the neck reaching in with her hands to clear away her long hair away from her neck. She ruffles her fringe with her fingers.

“I need the money. Rent’s due in two days. You don’t know what it’s like.”

Patricia nods a frown creasing her forehead. She says nothing in return to Hazel’s barbed comment.

“I’ll look again,” she says. “Sometimes Mum sits on the sofa by the window in the sunshine. She loves it there.”

Hazel picks up her coat and bag. “I know it sounds absurd but Patty I know I saw something.”

Patricia stands as her sister gets ready to leave. “I’ll take more notice. She’s just not very easy to live with.”

Hazel hugs her. “You’re a saint Patty. Dad always said so.”

She opened the door turning to say a short Bye. Patricia stood in the hallway the conversation with Hazel turning over in her mind. The sound of hooves in the kitchen stopped her still. Through the sun in the doorway the equine shadow of their mother loomed.

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