Weed It Out*

A mound of grey lay in Vee’s lap, growing with each row of the cardigan she ripped out. She would wind the wool with some of the spun llama yarn and design a new jumper – sweater, she corrected herself – for sale in the shop.

The room went dark. Harry stood in the entrance of the refurbished barn that was now headquarters of “Twist of Fate”, their llama farm and wool business. The wool almost disappeared in the fuzzy unfolding morning. Vee liked working without the help of artificial yellow light or the buzz of flickering blue fluorescent bulbs. She liked the neither here, nor there of early morning, the darkness behind her and the full light of day to come. She felt hopeful. Continue reading

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Kenspeckle

I don’t want to be front and centre, Harry. You know how I feel.

Vee, your kenspeckle head is famous.

No one in Kootmacs knew Vee before the scalp fire except Harry. Infamous Vee, Lady Mexican Hairless, she thought. Bald as an egg.

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The hunt started. The grounds of Twist of Fate were a cat’s cradle of yarn threaded from trees to fence posts, scribbled through the bars of the fence, down the hill to the llama pen and back again. Wool rainbows hung from branches. Continue reading

Ms. Fix-it’s Christmas

All the nails Harry drove into the post were bent. As Rose stood above him watching, he bashed another one in, crooked again. His head pounded so much when she was near you’d think he was a nail and she the hammer.

“How many times this month have you fixed this section of fence, Harry?”

“Three, I believe. Yes, three. That’s all. I’m improving, eh Rose?” His smile matched the nail.

“Wouldn’t you rather be planting herbs or tending the lily beds?” she asked.

Rose proposed a solution. Hire her boyfriend Derrick who had many talents -including pounding nails.

A boyfriend? Harry pulled at his bumptious eyebrow hairs, hating the boy instantly. Harry’s imagination bent and followed the curves of the twisted nails thinking about Rose and her lover. Continue reading

Rose’s boyfriend

Text message to Rosie Yes, come home. Yes, bring your new boyfriend. Xo Mom

Text message to Mom Derrick and I want to take u out to dinner – Noseworthy’s Bistro. Don’t cook.

Text message to Rosie Anything I should know/avoid/praise about Derrick?

Text message to Mom He’s from Newfoundland. He’s an orphan.

It hit me hard, like she had disconnected all the valves in my heart and then reattached them to the wrong arteries. Another boyfriend – an orphan boyfriend. Upside: No in-laws. Downside: Unknown gene-pool. But at least she’s coming home. Continue reading

Rose Laine

Harry plucked burrs from the tall black llama, Elvis’, coat, humming “You were always on my mind”, and glancing every few seconds through the window of the Twist of Fate, their knitting studio in the converted barn. He could see Vee and Rose Laine in profile. Neither smiled. They looked like they were negotiating a peace settlement between Israel and Palestine, not participating in a job interview. Vee didn’t smile much these days. She told Harry smiling pulled on the scarred skin of her scalp which felt like wet tissue paper about to tear. Continue reading

Long and winding

I’m staring down at the old bag when she sticks out her hand for me to shake. Except it isn’t a real shake – she just offers me her fingers like she’s reaching to pat a dog.

Christ, her head is a mess. The old fart who brought me to the interview warned me. He said just focus on her pretty green eyes but I can’t help staring down at her. I’m 5’ 11”, everyone looks short to me. When she says she’s five foot three I hold the snort. Unless snootiness is measured in inches, I’m thinking – and there’s lots of that coming out of her Mexican Hairless-with-psoriasis scalp. Continue reading