accepting the consequence

I only have so much and not much… but life goes on even if something is shrinking – it cannot be my moods…”


by christine tothill



It seems to me that changes are afoot. Times to think ahead and times to sort stuff out. The memory is becoming shorter and shorter as the weeks of this year pass, quicker than ever before. Even in a blink of an eye the words are gone, spoken to me but then forgotten, said from me and then up into space, as if I hadn’t spoken at all.

I can bear to be patient most of the time but when questioned time and time again about that this and bugger all it gets one down. I only have so much and not much… but life goes on even if something is shrinking – it cannot be my moods.

There must be a place to go – to be gentle – to be kind. Where is it to be those things and live today in the fast pace of life? Keeping up with the news but in the background there is ‘before the war’ ‘that was rationed’ and ‘I have already seen this’. The vagueness is set aside to a whisper and a shout then and now for attention. We muddle through together, without knowing who is helping or hindering who. Does it matter? Methinks not. I will remember what was said and it doesn’t matter a sod. As the breeze moves through the moment is gone, forgotten forever until the same words, in the same order, mutter again… and again.

When do the basics go? The real basics? The washing, bathing and cleaning is fine but what about the decline, when is it going to happen. Is it like waiting for a vacation? Is it like waiting for a plane? Sniffing is good; I spend a lot of time sniffing. It tells a story. Burned toast. No deodorant. Not washed. Not changed.

Open doors, shut windows. Lights turned off when they should be on. On the stairs, who has ever heard of turning a light off before you come down? Waiting for the fall. Much time is spent waiting for the fall.

But hey. What about a different day in a different place? The sky is so blue and look at that cloud and those planes up there. That bird on the tree, not that one, the one over there. Those trees are so tall and green and why are there so many white cars! Why has everyone got blue eyes? Why is my coat making me so hot, but my hands are cold, freezing in fact. All those words every time we venture out for a walk, the same ones but not always in the same order. Depending on the season, and how many left…?

Foreign coins offered up for tea and cakes, dollars from Australia and Singapore they are there with pennies. The looking for notes most days, money notes. Always somewhere else, in trouser pockets, in jackets, tucked away in socks or put in the box of something or other, always hiding away for a time but found at last and the moment isn’t happy, just calm as it should be.

Accepting without question. Accepting the consequence without a bother in the world. One must see them through new eyes as if they are starting junior school where the world is scary and the stuff is all new. Learning is difficult and it won’t stay up there, where it should. It just floats away like a blocked up drain.

Originally published:
Issue Seventy-Two
April 2016



Christine Tothill lives in Hampshire, England and writes short fiction. Her stories have been published in QWF, Scribble, Bright Light Cafe, Clover Books, Diddledog, Quiction and more. She is working on her novel and also plays the organ, if there is time left over. Many more of Christine’s stories can be found in the Vault of Smoke.


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