The Almost Daily Thread

musings from the blue chair

A Short Short Story – Waste

on November 14, 2014

Celtic Cross

Celtic Cross

Through the damp Scottish afternoon, we searched the stone streets for a warm cup of tea. Turning a corner Alice and I happened upon a small luncheonette. Yeasty, sugary smells called to me, the visiting tourist. Greasy, hot smells of fish and chips conquered cousin Alice, who had learned to love the hearty food after being stationed two years on a nearby submarine base. A tiny door bell announced our entrance.
Behind the far counter, a thin red-head moved quicker than her wrinkled face bespoke. She filled orders from the bakery counter while deep-frying fish and chips, all the while passing conversation from one patron to the next.
“Help you, sweetie?”
Three shelves of treats called to me. One morsel more tempting than the next.
“I’ll have a tea scone. No, the Dundee Cake,” I answered with conviction . “Nope, I’m sure I want the strawberry tart.”
A voice from behind me insisted, “Those tarts are too dear for me, lassie.”
Alice shrugged off my bewildered look and motioned for me to sit in a seat at an occupied table. I hesitated but joined a dark-headed, stout woman who continued, “Such a price for a wee strawberry tart.” She went on to speak of wasteful spending then turned in the direction of an immaculate U.S. sailor seated across the aisle. Her verbal trail meandered to tell of her only daughter who, ten years prior, married an American sailor.
“Fancy Yanks come flashin money and dreams and take our daughters away. When I think of how dear it must be to ship my barins from port to port, them never settlin, never gettin to see their Granny?”
The sailor felt the barb, threw his napkin on the plate and pushed his remaining fish and chips away. The bell shook his exit and announced the arrival of a grey, bent woman wrapped in a battered coat and frayed tartan scarf who ordered a meat pie and took the sailor’s seat.
Our tablemate quietly finished every crumb of her cinnamon scone and drained her tea cup while I relished my delicate tart and second cup of tea. She pocketed her extra napkin, twisted her scarf, buttoned her wool coat and called out a singing, “Cheerio.”
The red-head came from behind the counter and began stacking dirty dishes, moving smoothly from table to table, acknowledging everyone. As she topped her stack with the sailors uneaten food a shrill voice called from the front table, “Dearie, could you bring another pot of tea as you come, please?”
“Right away,” the red-head nodded and left the tray of dirty dishes. The grey woman quickly produced a white pressed handkerchief from the pocket of her frayed coat. “Look ‘ere,” she exclaimed scrapping the remains of the sailor’s lunch into her handkerchief, “Someone’s left a perfectly good plate o’ chips.”
She placed the bundle into her handbag and resumed eating her meat pie.

Celtic Cross is one of my favorite fabric pieces. It’s aprox 14×14. Sweet. I love how the colors compliment each other and it looks like sky and flowers! I learned a lot working on this piece – about doing things backwards and upside down and finally right-side-up! Price of this piece is $55.

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