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A Gentle Reminder

Silja Henningsdottir's picture
Submission type:

Silja tapped on Joe's study door. She figures she had waited long enough. Too soon and Joe would be immersed in the various paperwork and mails or updating his ledger. again.

To late and Joe's stomach would be grumbling, anticipating dinner with Kirsten and Anneka. 

So just before Silja returned to her room for a break while the family ate together. Just at the time she knew Joe would be reclining on one of the chesterfields, Malt scotch in one hand and a cigar in the other. Silja tapped.


She heared the muttered 'Bleedin' 'ell' before the cough and finally the 'Come in'.


Silja put her best smile on and strode through the door.

"I took some photo's the other day. They was nice.. One in particularly. So I gotted the Ljósmyndaframleiðandimaður to be making a copies for you."


Silja beamed and thrust a brown envelope into Joe's surprised hand. She turned on her heels and made a swift exit before Joe could gather his thoughts.


"...'Err  thanks?.. " Joe muttered to the closing door.


Inside was not one, not two, but three copies of a photograph. Paperclipped to the back of them was a small note in Silja's inimitable hand.


"I gotted three made, You can maybe be putting them in important places......"


Joe's caterpillar eyebrows curled. He read on.


"... Justs remindings you who the important people are."


Silja had signed off with a row of three 'x's'




Joe Spivey's picture

The Xs made Joe smile. Then the photo of Kirsten and Anneka together softened the smile and the warm feeling inside became more than just good whiskey.

Definitely takes after her mother, Joe thought. ‘Kin’ell she’s getting big, going to be grown up before they knew it. The smile faded and Joe’s face settled into a resigned sadness. He looked into the happy, slightly out of focus little face.

By the time you grow up sweetheart it will all be different. Mark my words, you’ll never have to worry about anything your old Dad did in the past. It’ll all be gone, nothing left to touch your future. Daddy’s sorting that out right now.

Joe lay the photos face up on the coffee table, he’d get them framed first thing tomorrow. He leaned forward and topped up his glass, then settled back and let the padded leather breath under his weight. As he did so, unconscious thought guided his eye across the room to another, much older, photograph. Even though its wooden frame faced away from him Joe’s memory recreated the image’s every pixel.

He sighed. She would be an altogether harder problem, one he still had yet to find a solution for. Forcing his thoughts away from that particular subject for now, Joe returned his attention to securing Anneka’s future happiness.

Leaving the whiskey glass next to Silja’s unexpected present, Joe got up and crossed to the little two drawer filing cabinet behind his desk. After doing the thing to prevent the house turning into smoking rubble, Joe opened the drawer and pulled out a now well-thumbed folder.

It was fatter too and thunked down onto the desk. Joe sat in the big wing-backed chair and opened the stained and ragged edged cover. He leafed through the reports, the sightings, the known associates, all of it, even the increasing number of indistinct, amateurishly taken photographs.

Gunman, Finny’s likely father and the man who once came close to becoming Baka’s husband before mysteriously disappearing, had become aware that Joe was looking for him. And, despite all the best efforts of the emaciated figure in the grainy pictures, it was likely that Gunman now knew he couldn’t hide for ever.

Joe closed the folder. Gunman was a loose-end that needed to be tied up. Joe stubbed the cigar out with a hint more force than was strictly required. He put the folder back and rearmed the ‘thing’. Joe’s nose was telling him it was dinner time.

His hand was on the door knob when Joe stopped.

Of course, he thought. Loose-ends could also just be cut off.




Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.

Hyle Troy's picture

(( A little dabble with Daz sparks a short story which causes another which deflects another...  and so on and so forth...    Epic Saga :)

I would rather die peacefully in my sleep, like Grandad, than screaming, like his passengers

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