Inventions, the new play by Bella Dalton was showing at the Garrick theatre and Bella sat in the audience incognito, the play about to begin.
The audience hushed and the curtain opened. A woman sat at a table, drinking Blossom Hill chardonnay and reading a letter. “Oh my God!” she exclaimed, standing up and bursting into tears. A door opened and a teenage girl dressed in torn jeans entered. “Mum, I need twenty quid!”
The woman wiped her eyes. “What for?”
“Why, where are you going?”
“Look, what’s it got to do with you?”
“Listen, I just got a letter from Frank, he’s got cancer, I’m not feeling great right now!”
“I want to ask her about dad.”
“Look Lizzie, Tom left me for Sue when I’d been made redundant and at a time when I needed major surgery. I don’t want anything to do with him!”
“God mum, he’s still my dad!”
–Bella felt her phone vibrate. Surreptitiously she checked her messages. There was one from her sister, Pru. ‘Hi Bella, I need to speak with you. Arthur’s leaving me for his secretary and I’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s.’
‘That’ll make a good plot’, thought Bella.
Featured in the book and audiobook, To Cut a Short Story Short: 111 Little Stories
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