Conversion Potential by Sally Doherty

I scroll down the list. Four bed detached – too much space. Cottage in half acre of land – too isolated. Two bed terraced – my finger hovers then taps the screen. Chewing my lip, I flick through the photos:

Entrance hall with storage cupboard – Ideal for my oversized umbrella, my faithful companion. The elements can batter without warning.

Kitchen with freezer chest – I can already see the Tupperware boxes: seven single servings of casserole. Sunday is cooking day. You used to be the chef. I’ll never have your flair, your love for exotic ingredients. But you’d be proud of me; I’ve started to add the occasional spice – paprika, cumin or coriander.

Second bedroom with additional wardrobe – A hideaway for my white gown, never unveiled. Next to it, my black suit, still in dry clean bag. I wore it afterwards night and day. For a week even two. Sullying it as the earth sullied you. They’ll stand side by side – white gown and black suit – like bride and groom at the altar. The irony.

Long driveway – Removed from traffic noise, crumpled metal, your face contorted against the windscreen.

Cellar with lockable door – Goodbye memories. They’ve been my shroud long enough. Now it’s their turn to drown in the darkness.

Attic with conversion potential – The trapdoor is too heavy to lift right now. I pause. But maybe. One day. I’ll open it. Sit on the top rung of the ladder, let the sun’s rays filter in through a skylight.

Two bed terraced. With room to grow.

Sally Doherty lives in Surrey with her husband and three-legged Labrador. She started dabbling in flash fiction a year ago, appearing in ReflexFiction, SpelkFiction and EllipsisZine. She has twice won RetreatWest’s micro fiction competition. Sally’s middle grade novel TOBY AND THE SILVER BLOOD WITCHES will be published by March Hamilton.