Role reversal by Louise Worthington


Mum’s shopping bags split and the frozen dreams, the pre-cooked hopes tumble out onto the kitchen floor.


In the bathroom I find her searching in the medicine cabinet peering in-between the pills, lotions, cremes looking for a miracle to rewind her years.


In the garden a wheelbarrow precedes her, and the claw of arthritic fingers lose their grip trailing thorns in the shadows of soaring branches she cannot reach.


Rearranging the airing cupboard, she finds some warmth with the beach towels hibernating with the summer holidays she almost remembers.


Spring cleaning, she smears her elbow grease against the windows, trails the up-turned rainbows of her universe and the complete Os of longing to remember.


Mum conducts the birds with her extendable yellow duster and smiles like a child.


I finger the worry beads while Mum passes me the baton.

Louise Worthingtons short fiction has recently appeared in Scribble, Boston Literary Magazine, Microfiction Monday Magazine, Storgy (forthcoming), The Drabble, 101 Words, Fresher Press, Paragraph Planet, A Story in 100 Words and Northern Flash Fiction. She self-published her debut novel Distorted Days in 2019. She has a degree in Literature from Essex University.  

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