Page 8 - EGO Magazine January 2020
P. 8

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       The Amber Necklace

       A Short Story By

       Jeremy Baynton (pt. 2)

                  chill, damp Christmas   they had done the whole traditional   forwards. ´Look at it glitter. Delicate too,
                  morning arrived and he   family Christmas. A tree up to the   not chunky.’
                  got up first and made   ceiling, stockings, brandy and carrot out   ‘I’ll go and get your glasses.’
                  some tea, switching on   for Father Christmas, log fire, special   ‘Thanks, yes.’
                  the few decorative lights   breakfast after opening all the presents.   Once she had put them on, she held
       A they’d put up to get the   Christmas dinner didn’t usually happen   the piece up and had a really good look,
       festive spirit going. They hadn’t bothered  until three or four in the afternoon with   studying the links and then the unusual
       with a tree. There didn’t seem much   all that. Different times now.  clasp. She leaned across and gave him
       point as they were heading off to their   They sat back on the sofa and opened   a kiss.
       daughter’s the day after Boxing Day. A   the cards from the kids and each other,   ‘That really is nice. I don’t know when
       few decorations a wreath and some lights  followed by their new slippers. They   I’ll wear it, we don’t go out much these
       were enough.                 looked at each other and smiled.  days.’
         He went back to the bedroom with   ‘I got you something else as well.’  ‘Well, wear it now. Just don’t end up
       two mugs of tea, pausing in the doorway.   ‘Well, bad luck, I stuck to what we   dangling it in the gravy. You can do the
       It got him every time. His wife had   agreed.’           clasp yourself. It’s a really clever design.
       always been thin, and if she lay on her   ´I wasn’t expecting anything. It’s just   The old boy showed me in the shop.’
       back in bed, it created the illusion that   that I saw this in a shop window and   ‘And it is two snakes. I can see that
       there was just a head there on the pillow.   instantly knew you’d like it.’ Taking the   now I’ve got my specs on. They really are   ntv /
       No apparent lump in the quilt and the   box, now carefully wrapped, from under   beautiful.’
       coverlet at the bottom covered up where   a cushion on the sofa, he handed it to   ‘Wasn’t stupid money either.’
       her feet were. She looked back at him.  her.               ‘Ha, might have known! But no, it’s a
         ‘Merry Christmas.’          ‘Acting on an impulse, that’s not like   really lovely surprise.’  uneventful day.             cooking. A couple of small plates left
         ‘Yep, albeit a quiet one.’  you.’                        The day passed quietly, watching       ‘So glad you liked the necklace,’ he   in the washing up bowl. The radiator
         The cat jumped up on the bed with   ‘No I know. But...I just knew you’d   a Christmas film on the TV. before   said leaning across and kissing her   clicking as the central heating started up.  He made her tea and went to the
       a chirrup. ‘Yes and Merry Christmas   like it.’          phoning the kids at home and abroad.   goodnight.                     He made himself tea and tidied up,   bedroom. Opening the door gently, he
       to you as well’. The cat purred loudly   ‘No pressure then.’  Grandson babbling away in the       ‘It’s beautiful thanks. I don’t want to   such as it was. Fed the cat, let her out.   stood there. She was on her back, that
       and started to circle to make herself   ‘She unwrapped the box and admired   background, not talking properly yet,   take it off yet.’  All the mundane stuff that make up a   trick again. Going round to her side of
       comfortable.                 it. ‘I certainly like the box anyway. Two   but getting there. They jointly cooked up   He turned over, leaving her to her   life. He just pottered about, checking e   the bed, he put the mug down on the
         ‘Let’s do our massive pile of presents   snakes, or are they sea serpents, I can’t   lunch, no big turkey just breast fillets for   book.  mails, reading the paper.  Surprised that   bedside table and leant over to kiss her
       after breakfast, I’m quite peckish and I’m   tell without my glasses.’  her and a small nut roast for him with   Waking up at seven, he sneaked out   he wasn’t getting the call ‘Any tea on the   cheek. Her skin was cold, he jerked back,
       sure I can contain my excitement that   ‘Snakes I think. Open it.’  all the vegetables and a particularly nice   of bed, fully expecting her to wake with   go?’ from the bedroom yet.  his heart thumping. With the movement
       long’.                        ‘Alright. Just admiring.’ She opened   bottle of Rioja to wash it down.  the movement. She didn’t, so he crept   The clock ticked on and he carried   her head rolled towards him and onto the
         She smiled ‘Okay then, let’s do that.’  the box and just at that moment, the fire   After a walk up the hill to aid the   form the room carefully, noiselessly,   on bumbling around. Looking up, he   carpeted floor at his feet with a dull thud.
         After breakfast, they lit the fire. It   crackled. It was almost like the scene   digestion, they settled in for more   closing the door. It was still chilly and   realised it was nearly eleven.  His insides fell apart and a buzzing
       wasn’t that cold, it was just that that’s   he had in his head while he was in the   Christmas television and snacks before   damp outside with only the faintest hint   This wasn’t like her. Maybe he should   noise filled his head. He threw back the
       what they did every Christmas. Every   dentist’s chair.  ending having an early night. it had   of approaching daylight. The kitchen   sneak in with a cuppa, see if the door   duvet. The bed was empty.
       year up to now, since they’d moved there   ‘Now that is lovely.’ She said leaning   been surprisingly tiring having such an   was warm and still smelt of yesterday’s   opening would gently rouse her. Yes.  Empty except for an amber necklace.

       8.        The EGO®                                                                                                                                                    The EGO®        9.
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