He entered the kitchen, carrying the silver metal scuttle filled with
coal. The draught brought in the scent of woodbines. She paused her
work, her hands resting inside the bread dough, and breathed deep,
having always loved that smell.
He hunkered close to the fire, his hands almost inside the leaping
"You're cold," she said.
"It's eating me."
She saw a flash of his skeleton, grey and splitting as his hair.
A knock sounded at the door, making her start.
The stranger was peddling hairbrushes and hair accessories. She waved
him away. Her husband urged the young man to wait, pulling his purse
from his trouser pocket, and purchasing a gold hairpin.
As the peddler disappeared down the dirt road, she mock-threatened her
husband with her hawthorn stick, chiding him for a wasteful fool, her
eyes brighter than the hairpin, the fire.
Ethel Rohan was born in Dublin and now lives in San Francisco. She has stories in or coming from Keyhole, Pank, Monkeybicycle, Storyglossia and others.
To link to this story directly: http://wigleaf.com/200911gold.htm
Photo detail on main page courtesy
of Siege N. Gin.
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