Tidying Up

’What about this vase then?’ his son picked up the very pink and very empty vase from the table and revealed a circle of shiny wood.

‘That’s a gift from the queen,’ he said, his slippers shuffling over the frayed carpet.

‘The queen?’ asked his son.

‘When I was five years old, I saw the queen. She asked me if there was something I wished for.’

‘And you wished for a vase?’

‘I was five; I asked for sweets, and she gave me that whole vase filled with pear drops and mints. You can still smell the mints if you try.’

‘Hm,’ his son took a doubtful look at the dust at the bottom of the vase and replaced it amongst the countless other objects covering the surface of his father’s coffee table. ‘But something has to go, dad. There’s scarcely room to breathe in here.’

‘You’re quite right,’ he sighed, ‘quite right.’ And a minute later his son was locked out of the flat.




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