Saturday 24 June 2023

'What Mothers Do' by Fiona Ritchie Walker

At the next junction, turn left.

Dylan drove straight on, ignoring the sat nav instructions.

Calculating reroute.  

“You do that,” he told the voice, “I’ll cut round past the old ice rink and – damn! When did they start demolishing it?” He watched a wall tumble down.

Turn right.

Dylan spun the car round.

Turn right.

“I heard you the first time,” he muttered, accelerating.

Stick to the speed limit.

“You sound just like my bloody mother.”

Don’t forget, another point and you’ll lose your licence.

“What the hell!” Dylan tried switching off the sat nav, but the screen stayed lit. “Mum?”

I was in hospital. Then everything went black until there was a flash of light and it felt like I’d been switched back on.

“There was a huge lightning storm at your funeral yesterday. But this is crazy. Must be some grief fantasy in my head.”

Grief? You? I heard your thoughts when the vicar was speaking.

“Bloody hell!”

No, don’t think I’m there. But I’m impressing myself with all this directions malarkey. Your destination is on the right.

Dylan frowned. “We’re at Sal’s and you know we split up.”

There she is, leaving for work and checking the travel app. But the No 11’s cancelled. Go on, offer her a lift.

“And if I do, you’ll disappear to wherever dead voices go?”

Of course.

Dylan got out and slammed the door. The sat nav voice chuckled.

Sal’s thoughts were the first I heard at the funeral. Finally a grandchild! Time for a rest in that peaceful grave of mine, but I’ll be back. Dylan’s not a bad lad really, but I’ll make sure he does the right thing. After all, that’s what mothers do.

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