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A quote from one of my favorite authors to start my day! CS Lewis wrote the Narnia books which were a revered part of my childhood.

Stella Windermere: 2

The rain had turned to a slow drizzle by the time Stella left the hairdressers. She pulled on her headscarf and buttoned up her rain mac before grabbing the handrail. The steps were cracked in places, weeds pushing through the concrete as if determined to destroy human intervention. Stella walked slowly, unsure of her footing.

‘Here missus, do you want a hand there?’ she turned to see Joe sitting in his mother’s wheelchair. He had somehow managed to park it under next door’s awning and the gap between the shops.

‘Oh hello there Joe. I didn’t see you there. Your mum won’t be too long. she just having a cut. I’m fine thought really, you have enough to do.’

‘I don’t mind, I’m glad to help the old folk.’ Joe grinned and fumbled in his coat pocket, before handing Stella a packet of chewing gum. ‘Here, these have got a new flavor Stella; apple. Try one.’

‘I couldn’t. Not with my teeth!’

She started down the steps, then stopped. ‘What are you doing later this afternoon, Joe? I know that Alfie would like a hand with the pigeons. He’s racing them up on the common.  He’d be glad of a hand, I’m sure.’

Joe’s face lit up. ‘See you later missus,’ he said, just as the door to the salon opened with a tinkling sound, and Wendy stepped out.

*

She parked her Golf on the driveway, safely tucked away from the school kids across the way. It was lunch time, and she could see groups of blue jumpers and grey trousers leaving the school grounds. Just last week, she’d spotted one of them peering into her back windshield and then try the car door; looking to thieve, no doubt. Not bloody likely!

A tinny sound from a radio came from the back garden, and she bypassed the front door, and pushed the small gate around the side. Alfie was in the pigeon coop, talking in hushed tones to someone. He stopped when he saw her.

‘Stella, love, you look a picture as usual. What have you gone for today?’ Alfie pecked her on the cheek.

‘Some sort of warm gold. That hairdresser is using me as a guinea pig for her colors, I’m sure. Morning, Bert. Is Maggie with you? I want that knitting pattern off her.’

‘Morning Stella. She’s in the kitchen putting the kettle on.’

Moments later, they were sat under a large umbrella, sipping tea and eating fruit cake.The rain had held off, and the sun was out.Drops of rain fell from the colorful potted blooms as they sat there, chatting. Marigolds, fuschia and tulips (an eclectic choice, but Stella was that way inclined) tried to outdo each other as the largest blooms. Further down the garden, potatoes and carrots sat alongside onions and silver beets, whilst huge leaves of rhubarb took up the far corner. Statues of gnomes and other furry creatures were dotted about the garden, as if guarding some rich jewels. Their dog Lucy, a sweet mongrel dog that Alfie affectionately called ‘a mutt of 57 varieties.’ sniffed around the pathway, looking for slugs.

‘Come here Luce! Look what your mother has brought from the shops.’ Alfie pulled a packet from Stella’s bag. It was bulky, and wrapped in newspaper.

A juicy bone.

*

Copyright Suzanne Bowditch, 2016

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