Wednesday, August 16, 2006

PERSIAN VIOLETS by Brian Hodgkinson

This short story is the result of a writing task at our July meeting. We were given the title "Persian Violets" and asked to write whatever the title inspired within us.

By the flickering embers of the dying fire, the old man sat huddled in his armchair, rugged up against the insidious draughts that crept round the corners of the room.

His mind travelled back across the years, to the times he had known this room when a boy, when a young man, a father, a widower.

Was this really the same room?

Was it here he had sat beside her, hands clasped tightly, the scent of her hair filling his mind?

Was it here that he had asked her, all those years ago, to marry him and to share their lives together?

And surely they had seen their families come, grow, and leave from this very same room.

He remembered the scent she had so often used – ‘Persian Violets”’ she had called it.

He sighed, a long unutterable, lonely sigh. Surely she would come sometime? And he slowly fell asleep.

In the cold grey light of morning the housekeeper let herself into the house.

“It’s me, Mr. Collins.” she called.

But there was no reply.

Puzzled, she opened the door of the living room, and opened the curtains. He was there, huddled in the old chair he loved so much.

Quickly she went to him, anxious for his frailty – but he was dead.

And gently releasing his hand, she crossed to close the curtains again. Half way there, she stopped, puzzled.
What was that unfamiliar scent in the air?

And then she remembered – a very old perfume – what did one call it – ah yes, she remembered – Persian Violets!

Brian Hodgkinson July, 2006 ©


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