'Junk' by Hannah Hill

She straightened the net curtains, the yellowing hem catching on the dust-clad objects that lined the sill. A thimble, decorated with a red fox sat between a medal and a photograph of her mother. She shook open a carrier bag and swept the ornaments along the length of the sill with her arm. Years of dust furrowed and collected as she grouped them together. She hesitated, remembering where the thimble had come from – a gift shop in Shanklin; a school trip when she was ten.
‘What’s this?’ he had said.
‘A thimble.’
‘I can see that.’
‘I thought you would like it.’
‘What do I want with a bloody thimble?’
She paused again before scooping the contents of the windowsill into the bag, placing it onto a pile destined for the rubbish dump. The doorbell rang.
‘Sorry, I’m late, love, traffic’s a nightmare. So what did we say? One twenty for the lot?’
‘Will you clear out everything for that?’
‘Yeah except the fixtures and fittings. Gotta leave those for the next lot. The council always want everything gone. They’ll repaint it, see. Make it look like no-one ever lived here. Leave me the keys and I’ll sort it all out.’
She pulled them free from her pocket.
‘Got everything you want to keep?’
‘Yes. Everything.’
‘It’s a horrible job ain’t it? Sorry for your loss.’
She nodded and handed him the keys. Slowly she walked away from the house with empty hands and empty pockets.

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