five words thingy? hur dur
I remember the sickening smell of boiled cabbage when my father died. Before, we had always teased how his cooking would one day be the death of us and by some cruel joke of the universe, it had. Now no one touches his pans or cookbooks or issues of Empire magazine. No one laughs in our house any more.
I stood in the same kitchen, the place of his death, where his ghost would dwell if you believed in that kind of thing. There should have been a chalk outline of his splayed figure on the tiled floor, there should have been a detective twirling his extravagant moustache as he inspected each member of my family, proclaiming that there was a Mister Grime who was in the kitchen and had been killed by...
I dropped my accumulated pile of dirty clothes in front of the washing machine and stopped. My hands shook, perhaps from the cold, it was as cold as a tomb in that room. Another memory strayed into my sombre head as I mechanically shoved my clothes into the machine, a memory of the funeral.
Black suit, heavy shoes, heavy heart, heavier coffin. My sister had been a wreck and I had held that wreckage close to me like she was the one keeping me afloat. Our mother was gone, she had been replaced by a drab, spiritless creature who wore her skin like a funeral dress.
I pulled myself away from those memories, delicately, as if they were spider webs and if they were to tear then I, myself, would fall apart. I stared down into the black reflective surface of the washing machine. As my clothes churned I thought of the smell of cabbage, of funerals for men called Grime, and of the empire my father had built in this house out of my family, and how it had fallen, broke apart, drifted away like old clothes dropped into a fast-flowing river.