This article is taken from Stand 234, 20(2) July - September 2022.

Elinora Westfall A Terrible Thing has Happened

There were two things Mrs L. M. Everland wasn’t.

She wasn’t married. Never had been.

And she wasn’t a good cook.

‘It’s rabbit,’ she said, putting the chipped white plate down in front of Tabatha, ‘or it was,’ she added, turning away, wiping her hands on the old red dishcloth she so often had over one shoulder.

‘I expect you’re used to much finer things. In London,’ she said with that glimmer of amusement in her eye as she set the tea kettle on the stove to heat up for the fourth time that evening, and Tabatha sliced a not-quite-boiled potato from a tin in half with her fork, forgoing the blackened cubes of rabbit for now.

‘Not much,’ Tabatha answered after swallowing.

Mrs Everland sat down on the chair on the opposite side of the table with the kettle slowly boiling behind her. She moved the jam jar of Hellebores from the centre of the table to one side so that they could see each other better, revealing the scorch mark in the middle of the table, and the old wax pockmarks in the old scrubbed pine table where the candle had been in the winter.

‘Did someone give you those?’ Tabatha asked, watching how the few wilting yellowed leaves among the green quivered slightly in the gentle breeze that came through the half-open window.

Mrs Everland smiled one of her secret smiles, gave the ...
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