On the House


(700 words) We approached across sandy concrete to the faded green panels of the kiosk. Behind the counter, bustling around, moving cups and plates and things, a lady with a thin face and grizzled curly hair, the Loreal-colour long since faded. She smiled, her teeth falsely white against her brown, wrinkled skin. “Hello.” “Hello,” Joy said, “it’s been a long time since anyone’s been open on the beach. Me and Tony, er, my husband, we walk along here most days.” The lady compressed her lips, “Well, it’s exactly a year today since my Fred died, I figured I should do something to mark his … passing.”