Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Creative Exercise as an Homage to Katherine Mansfield 1888-1923

1. The Coin


WHEN Milly emerged from the hot afternoon sun and crept indoors holding a greasy old chain, her father sighed and her mother trembled with fury.

‘You really must do something about her!’, she exclaimed, ‘and stop treating her like a baby.’

‘What is it you propose I do?’ asked Milly’s father a little glumly, resentfully.

‘Well, she has to learn. She is doing these things to bait us. God knows if it will ever end if you don’t jump on her now. Amelia, when are you going to stop trying to upset your parents?’ asked her mother forcefully, aggressively.

Milly’s features quickly became troubled. Her bottom lip protruded and she felt bereft, as though a tiny pearl which once lay in her soft palm now decided to suddenly shatter. She didn’t speak for fear the old stammer would return. She wandered over to her father in small, resentful baby steps, and attempted to bury her soft face in his big chest. At that moment he stole a glance at his wife and she signalled back a tortured expression- a look that said ‘there you go again- babying her…’

A swift change of mood crept over the face of Milly’s father as he tried to betray his own moral sense and began lecturing his daughter in order to appease her mother. The awkwardness he felt meant that he unwittingly overstepped the mark.

‘You heard your mother. That greasy old chain is the final straw! Get your act together or we will put you in your room until night time. You are a silly, childish petulant little girl!’

Milly, abandoned, felt her face crumple and hot tears dripped down in anger and shame. As she rushed out of the room, blinded, her father began making tentative steps towards his daughter. He faltered when his wife’s frown came into focus, but charged ahead, determinedly, to rescue his forlorn little princess. When he reached his daughter he shoved a dollar coin into her trembling hand, and she accepted it with grateful sobs.





No comments: