Sally Stackhouse | Stories
photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash



Sally Stackhouse

Harold stood in the shelter of the white structure gazing out at the vista beyond.  The haze of light blue or perhaps a shade of teal had a calming effect on his mind.  The misty grey, slightly overcast sky, just one big cloud hit the line of blue and blended effortlessly into the water.  As his eyes traversed towards the hideaway, he noted the sand shifting in small ripples, an almost snow-white crispness to it.  Those were the days of his childhood when the seasons were delineated by the temperature of the weather. 

Photo by Jan Huber on Unsplash

No more crisp autumn days, no more wintery days full of the special sound snow made as he walked through it to school or later in life, to work.  Global warming had an awful lot to do with this climate change.  How he wished humanity knew what they know now, maybe it wouldn’t be too late.  

He stood, still as a statue, his mind was ever busy remembering, little snippets here and there, he gave a little smile even as his legs grew heavy.  He would soon have to move and maybe find a café to have a little refreshment or depending on the time maybe he could get a snack.   He needed a good dose of reality in his life at the moment.  It was no good reminiscing all day long.  

Harold took a deep breath and another, he raised his arms above his head and stretched, he wriggled his toes in his shoes, shook each leg and then began the slow walk back towards the centre of the town.

He smiled at every one who gave him eye contact.  He was a little disappointed in the responses he didn’t get but his grin became broader when somebody smiled back at him.  There was a café.  He was welcomed in by a smiling lady from behind the counter, she told him to take a seat and look at the menu in front of him.  He didn’t want anything too substantial; he would be eating his main meal later on.  His eyes lit up when he noticed the pastries at the counter behind the glass shelves.   A lovely Chelsea bun would do him and a cup of tea.  That would be just the ticket.  

The waitress took his order.  He was just enjoying his first bite of the delicious, sweet currant bun when he noticed artwork dotted around the walls.  He was immediately drawn to one particular painting.  The colours were so vibrant, he loved the vivid blue accent in the piece.  He had no idea what the composition was but it didn’t matter.  He had just the space on his wall at home.  He would purchase it and hang it in the hall at home.  It would be the first thing any visitor would notice as he welcomed them in to the home. 

He enquired as to the price.  A slight gasp through his teeth as he felt it might be beyond his means but then again, he could transfer some of his savings to his current account.  There was no need just keeping it there for a rainy day.  He might as well spend it on something he would enjoy for however long he had left. 

A month later his daughter and her family came for a visit.  Sarah brought all the food as she had promised to cook a roast dinner for them all.  As they sat at the dining table she asked him why, where and what on earth possessed him to buy that painting. 

‘Oh, my dearest girl, I just had to have it.’ 

Later on, in the car on the way home Sarah asked her husband if she thought her dad was ‘losing it.’  His response was, no but maybe he just had a senior moment.  They both laughed but inside Sarah vowed to keep a keener eye on her dad – just in case. 

Word count 677

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