Thursday 14 March 2019


The exercise here is to write a flash  fiction by describing how a person organises their home...


The print of Notre Dame bought at a Bouquiniste in ‘71 hangs at a tilt over the fridge. She doesn’t mind living with things askew. Though the others do. Yesterday’s mugs inhabit a colony on the kitchen counter, tea stains reaching back a month or two or until the last time she took the bleach to them. She wonders if her stomach might look like that. They tell her the Indian Rubber plant is wilting. She makes a note of its state of decay and wonders if it’s too late for horticultural intervention. Bins overflow, somewhat sorted into colour categories, though at time of transfer to giant Panda teeth they’ll complain. Her mind used to be two steps ahead of her feet but it’s the reverse now. She’s putting keys in the fridge, that sort of thing. They say it’s not fatal so long as you know what keys are for. They open doors and memories, she knows. But when she holds two objects in her hand simultaneously there’s a split second when her mind hovers irresolute. There’s too much memorabilia on display on the kitchen dresser: trinkets dating back to the sixties; snow igloos of the Sacré Coeur, miniature Eiffel Towers, barrel organs minus the monkeys. Wicker baskets redolent of some Arcadian idyll, not even hers, overflow with plastic bags, paper bags, and cardboard boxes. On the bookshelf there are vintage video cassettes alongside Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking and Andre Gide’s La Porte Étroite that he gave her when he left for the priesthood. The VCR doesn’t work anymore. She should bin the cassettes and sort out her memories into compostable, recyclable and waste, if only she could decide what’s what. Otherwise she’ll have to leave it up to them. To their discernment.

Copyright with Cathy Leonard  2019


  1. This reminds me of my mortality, and that I need to get rid of a lot of rubbish, so that the next generation will only have to deal with the objects that really matter to me, and hopefully keep some of them! And also, your story immediately made me think of the movie Still Alice, so tragic when the mind goes.

    1. I'm amazed at how much you evoked in so few words!