The Piano and other Short Stories

(The Piano: **Published in Miracle E-Zine Issue 5** A short story about an old man and his piano. Inspired by "The Piano". I added the animation in case you haven't heard of it before, it also sounds nice playing the song whilst reading. I found this piece when I was looking through my old school books, I edited and tweaked it (a lot!) and added flashbacks in. I know how to play this song on the piano! :P )

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2. The Spare Seat at the Table

--Author's Note--

Okay I keep adding this and deleting this because I don't think it's good enough to create a separate movella for. But I suppose I was proud of it when I wrote it so I decided I may as well just add it in another chapter here xD

Days passed by slowly. 
  Everyday Lucy seemed to have the same routine; get up, help out with the animals, clean the stable, go out to play in the fields with John and return home in time for dinner and then bed.
  So it was mildly surprising to have a visitor knocking at the door as they were eating their dinner. Mother frowned as she hated being interrupted during meals, pulled herself up and opened the front door. Lucy followed her simply because of her curiosity. Mother almost seemed like a different person around strangers and acquaintances; she stood with her back straight to appear much taller and seemed to have a great air of confidence, which Lucy knew she didn’t really have.
  Mother immediately forced a smile, “Auntie Sarah, what a surprise! How great it is to see you!”
  Lucy peered from behind Mother in curiosity at the old, rather large lady who dressed in some rather expensive clothes. Lucy couldn’t think of what was so great about seeing some snooty old lady in clothes that was clearly too small for her. But she nodded her head politely, remembering Mother telling her countless times to have good manners and always be polite towards everyone, even people she did not like (including this “Auntie” in front of her). 
  The lady gave a shriek when she spotted Lucy hiding from behind Mother and exclaimed, “Good heavens! A daughter!” as if she was disease rather than a little girl with the occasional fiery temper (which was starting to show as her forced smile turned into a scowl).
  “Lucy this is your great Auntie Sarah, she lives in the city.” Mother explained to Lucy.
 “How old is she?” Great Auntie Sarah asked, peering at her.
  “She’s seven.” Mother replied.
  She gave another one of her shrieks exclaiming “she looks about five! She needs fattening up!”
  Lucy, who was starting to get fed up of this rude lady, wandered back to her half-eaten dinner that was waiting for her. John, who had finished his last potato muttered, “I knew who it was as soon as Mother opened the door.” He smirked but said no more.
  Much to Lucy’s and clearly John’s distaste, Great Auntie Sarah strode into the room then waddled towards the dinner table announcing “that it was far too little for a family.”
  “There is more than plenty for the three of us.” Mother sighed, who too was getting fed up of her rude behaviour.
  “But there are four plates; you must have known I was coming!” She said as she moved to sit down to where a fourth plate sat at the end of the table. She sat down on the empty seat… a seat that wasn’t hers.
  Lucy, Mother and John stiffened, but Sarah, who was already tucking into her roast dinner, was too oblivious to notice.
  “That’s Father’s seat.” John said coldly.
  Sarah looked round at the unsettled atmosphere of the family and laughed, “But William is not here, you silly lot. He’s fighting in the war!”
  This did not seem to make them anything but even more angrier, but Sarah decided not to notice. The conversation afterwards was emotionless and Sarah gave up trying to start a conversation. She left shortly after dinner although before she had planned to stay the night.
  Afterwards mother plumped the cushion on the chair that had been left squashed flat after Great Auntie Sarah had sat on it. Then she sat down next to the chair holding a wad of letters tied tightly together. For the rest of the evening Mother read the letters, the only thing that reassured her that he was alive and well and that one day, he’ll be home and sitting and eating dinner with them once again.

 

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