Thursday, 19 February 2015

Copper by Jessica Gregory

Words with JAM BIGGER Short Story Competition 2014
3rd PRIZE WINNER (250 word category)

‘Gordon Edmund Davey’, etched in copper, clouding in the rain, muddying a once gleaming surface, inlays turning green. And the sodden wood that holds it softens through the seasons; polyester backs rub against the supports and slowly polish off the surface. Four legs sink into the soft park soil that relentlessly turns with churning worms.

For Gary and Sue had fundraised at work, for his memory, because he liked that place –  there every Sunday, all weathers.  A collection box at the pub. Gordon’s picture on the front. Took a while, but eventually the grumbling punters reluctantly pushed the change from bitters behind his grinning face.  And Sue cake-saled at the town hall. Her famous banana bread sweating on paper plates, stale by the evening, unsold portions carried home through the dusk and drizzle in a Tupperware box tucked safely under her arm.

They’d argue over inscriptions, sentimentalities and witticisms. Gary suggested a quote. Oscar Wilde maybe, but Sue said Gordon didn’t care for poofy writers anyway. In the end, it was just ‘In Memory of’, predictably. It is stamped into metal on a Monday and polished to perfection on a Tuesday. And Gary holds it and rocks it to and forth so its sunset hue glints at him. Ready to be set in wood and cast out to the weather; to gangs of kids who stub cigarettes out on his name; and couples who fumble under darkness; and solitary pensioners, their bodies resting on the memory of another.

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