'Lists' by Emma Shaw

Light filtered through the shabby curtains, letting him know it was time to consult the first list of the day.

Lists. He obsessively made lists.

Get Up
Clean Teeth
Make Tea
Drink Tea
Have Shower
Get dressed
Don't draw curtains

This is what he did every morning but still it didn't seem right not to have the list by his bed to remind him in case, by some chance, he forgot what he had to do.

Standing in the kitchen considering whether or not he should eat breakfast and, if so, what, the list on the fridge door caught his eye. These were the lists that reminded him what he had to do each day.

Mon – Do Washing
Tues - Put out Rubbish
Wed – Pay Milkman
Fri – Library, unless raining
Sat – Mow Grass
Sun - filing
and so on

Also, on the fridge door were lists of things to buy.

Bread, Milk, Tea bags.
Pizza, Frozen Meals for One.
Sometimes he added Dog Food, although he didn't have a dog. He just liked the look of it on the list.

He never threw away any of his lists but on Sunday spent time folding them neatly and putting them, chronologically, into box binders. The living room was full of the binders now, stacked neatly and labelled.

According to the calendar in the kitchen today was Friday and the list told him it was library day. He headed for the front door and the list pinned on the back of it reminded him to check the weather and, if cold, to put on a coat and take his hat and scarf. Also, which bus to catch.

As he headed down the path towards his front gate he couldn't help but notice that the grass was very long. He turned round, went back inside, and checked the lists on the fridge.

Sat – Mow Grass.

Well, that was tomorrow but he couldn't go to the library with the grass looking like that.
So he removed his coat, hat and scarf and sat down.


  1. Good story Emma. I think I know people like this.

  2. You can tell a lot about him from his lists. I like that he adds dog food for the look of it. Sad ending.


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