A task set by the students in my writing group – 300 words max incorporating the word rainbow.

She knows she shouldn’t but she can’t help herself, the car seems to have a life of it’s own, turns left at the lights, sharp right and then into the car park.
She sits for a moment, engine still running, she hasn’t commmited herself yet. It’s stil possible to simply reverse out, get the day back on track, get back to what passes for normal. Now.

With a sudden decisive movement, she scoops up the keys and exits the car. The suddeness of the movement surprises her, reminds her of winter sea swimming when the only way to do it is to plunge immediately into the icy water – no thinking, no dithering. So, she takes the plunge and walks towards the reception desk, head held high.

The Lift is empty, no need to make polite conversation with her almost, nearly neighbours.
Turning the key, she walks into number 24, flick on the light and slumps to the floor, legs collapsing under her.

Everything is as she left it last time and almost blindly, she stretches out a hand amd picks up a yellow plastic pony, its mane and tail bright, garish, a rainbow of orange, yellow and red. She holds the pony to her cheek and cries. Her sobs fill the tiny room and she abandons herself to her misery.
Time passes and then she sits up still clutching the little pony.
She places it in her lap, blows her nose and then gathers the others, the little line of multi-coloured horses, and carefully, methodically, begins to brush their mane & tails with the tiny plastic hairbrush she has kept hidden in her handbag since the last time.
Her hands feel too large for the task


About cathi rae

50ish teacher & aspiring writer and parent of a stroppy teenager and carer for a confused bedlington terrier and a small selection of horses who fail to shar emy dressage ambitions. Interested in contemporary fiction but find myself returning to PG Wodehouse when the chips are down View all posts by cathi rae

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