Short fiction: Martha’s Hands

Girl playing piano

I am delivered at 10.26 on the morning of Thursday 19th April, inside a box, in one hundred and forty-seven separate pieces.

“Oh, for crying out loud,” says a voice, as I am being slowly slotted together. “What have you got me one of these for?”

I tune into this voice. It’s silvery and singsong, with the first few cracks of age.

“Mum! Everyone’s got one these days,” says a second person on my left, sharper and brisker. “This is going to be perfect for you with your arthritis.”

“Rachel, I do wish you two wouldn’t waste your money on these gadgets,” says the older woman, with a sigh.

“Wait till you see what she can do!” barks a rougher voice. “This is the top-of-the-range model with advanced motor skills. Look, Amelia – look at these hands!”

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Short fiction: Sisters

Kep kids

There’s a girl running through the rapeseed in the yellow afternoon. Jenny always loses at tig because I’m three years older than her.

“It’s not fair!” she yells when I leap on her back and we crash to the ground. “You really hurt me this time, Olivia!”

My sister rubs her arm in surprise.

“It’s just a bruise,” I tell her.

“I don’t know why we always have to play this,” says Jenny, standing up and dusting off. “It’s too hot. Why is it always ho-ot?”

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