Day 19: A Tangled Melody in A Minor by Mary Thompson

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On the 19th Day of Christmas Mary Thompson gave to me…

As the heat rose, the angels spun, their paper-thin bodies skimming the flames like fireflies. Faster and faster, round and round. Weary of the argument, Annabel turned to watch them, these tiny, cherubic beings led by their heralding trumpeter, who was heading upwards towards the magnolia ceiling. Tinkling, tinkling, whirring, whirring. Annabel imagined their utopia as a white melodic heaven, beyond the ceiling, beyond the clouds.

Her father  turned then, stabbed a roast potato with his fork and yelled, ‘can’t we stop that abominable noise?’

The others pushed peas and parsnips around their plates and kept schtum, while Annabel looked him straight in the eye and said, ‘no, Dad, I like it.’

He thumped his fist on the table. The carrots squealed, the sprouts shrieked and the turkey leapt from the table, landing with a thud on the floor. Grace snivelled, Tim sobbed and Mum froze, as usual. And Annabel said again, ‘Dad, I like it.’

Her father growled and stomped out the front door and the others scurried upstairs. But Annabel just sat there, listening to the tinkling chimes and gazing at the light as the world grew darker. When the world was as dark as it would ever be, the angels stopped spinning and followed their trumpeter, away from the debris, up and through the ceiling and out into the cold night.

Annabel darted to the window and peeked out, watching spellbound as their delicate silhouettes glided across the starless sky, their fading chimes a tangled melody in A minor.

Mary Thompson

Mary Thompson works as an Academic English tutor in London. She is a recent winner of two BIFFY 50 awards.(Best British & Irish Flash Fiction 2018-2019) and has just been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has been published in various places, including Retreat West, Ghost Parachute, LISP, Literary Orphans, New Flash Fiction Review, Pidgeonholes, Elephants Never and MoonPark Review, and is forthcoming in Pithead Chapel.

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