The Conversation – Magpie Tales


“This is where we marked her passing,” you say.

“She didn’t die here?” I hardly dare ask the question, my voice barely a whisper. You are a man for statements, not explanations.

“She did not die here,” you say. It is a bald statement.

Yet again, as has been our custom, I let the silence hang between us. It is a new routine, to replace those of my prior, solitary existence.

“She died out there,” you say, pointing to the hills that brood on the horizon.

“I am sorry,” I say, looking at you. You are staring towards those hills, as if to destroy them with your thoughts. I kneel down, reach out to brush the dust and lichen from the worn stone, to reveal her name to the elements.

“NO!” You grasp my arm, pull me up and away from the headstone. I bite down on the yelp of protest as pain arrows across my shoulders. You do not like dissent. I have learned this lesson well.

“She was careless,” you say and stride away from me. You mount your horse, landing in the saddle in one, supple move.

I turn my back and walk into the house.

You will return.

You will return.



Here’s my latest entry into Magpie Tales. There is a theme running through my weekly writings once again. If you want to know more about Sarah, please read my Five Sentence Fiction and Three Word Wednesday entries. Can you identify with her at all?

Reticence – Magpie Tales

magritte, rene, not to be reproduced 1937

Not To Be Reproduced, 1937, Rene Magritte

Christophe folded his clothes, laying them out on his bed before placing them in his suitcase, precisely and methodically. So it had ever been.

He did not need to turn from his to task for the exact layout of the room to be available to his memory. Burnished mahogany armoire to his left, ornate chest of drawers in the recess next to the fireplace and elegant sash windows to his right. The deep sash windows, each lower pane lifted precisely six inches to allow a healthy breeze to refresh the stale air, were dressed in elegant plum brocade curtains.

Nothing had changed since he had left all those years ago.

“Monsieur?” His manservant stood in the doorway, hands open in enquiry.

“Oui, Gaston. I am ready.” Christophe snapped shut his case, locked it and pocketed the key.

“Will we be returning… after, monsieur?”

“Non, Gaston. I am here to do my filial duty, that is all. We will leave as soon as the service is complete and the mourners have left. They expect nothing more, nothing less.” Christophe stared at Gaston, daring him to comment.

Gaston said nothing.

The father and son had not spoken in twenty five years, and now Monsieur Clement the elder was dead.

If they had anything to say to each other, it was too late now.


Here’s my latest entry to Magpie Tales. I have been fascinated with Magritte’s art since discovering him as a teenager – my step-Dad has a book of his art on the bookshelves at home. ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’ was my favourite, partly because of the play on words. This story is certainly not reflective of my relationship with my step-Dad, thank goodness! I thought there was something mournful about this painting, hence the tone of my piece.

I hope you enjoyed this, do let me know what you think.

magpie tales statue stamp 185