|Image Courtesy of Tess @ Magpie Tales|
This week's image from Tess @ Magpie Tales is 'wheat field with rising sun' - Vincent Van Gogh 1889 - so here is a short fictional piece of prose called 'Heat'
To read other contributors to this prompt visit HERE
It is August and hot, voices from the car radio fill our silence. My brother Gerard looks out the back window, as if his eyes might take him somewhere else, out into the meadows with the rolled-up hay. I sit behind Mam. Being seven, my legs are shorter than Gerard’s. Below the hem of my dress, my legs stick to the leather seat, making a peeling sound like sellotape when I lift them off.
We should be going someplace nice, we should have a boot filled with summer things, sandwiches, flasks of tea and club orange; but we have none of these.
No one speaks. Mam sleeps; her stick arms resting either side of a sleeveless blue dress. She wears Indian beads and a flowered scarf, covering her bald head.
‘I want to pee,’ I say.
‘Shut up,’ mutters Gerard below his breath. He is angry, and I wish I didn’t know why.
‘I want to pee,’ I say, louder then.
Mam groans between her world of sleep and our world of the car.
Through the driver mirror, Dad stares at me, the whites of his eyes coated in their red trim. I say no more, and hold myself.
I don’t expect her to turn, but she does. She looks tired, soft, and smiles, and as if by magic, she looks like Mam again, and we’re back at home, laughing, playing, washing dishes in the kitchen sink.
Reaching up, she removes her beads, handing them to me, like a present. I close the clasp around my neck, and through them, I feel the heat of her on me.
‘Emily,’ she whispers before falling back to sleep.
‘Mam,’ I say, not expecting anymore.
* * *
Now I warm the beads beneath my pillow. Her heat will never leave me.