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#173: Strewn

#173: Strewn
Odd Spot - The Age - 10/08/2022

Strewn all over the kitchen table were bills and bank statements. Grace was adding numbers up while Peter leant back, hands cupped behind his head.

It was no good. There simply wasn’t enough.

Peter, in one deft move, swiped his hand across the table, scattering the papers up and across the kitchen. They swayed on their way down to the floor.

Matilda appeared in the doorway, her hair dishevelled from sleep.

Grace got up from her chair and hugged her daughter. There was every chance that, at least, Matilda knew there were things worrying the family. Money.

Grace released her because Matilda had been clutching something in her hands. The clenched fist had dug into Grace’s chest.

Matilda’s eyes darted between her parents and then at the floor.

They both attempted to explain that things were fine, they might have to move houses. She listened intently to the explanations of what it meant when daddy lost his job, and now they couldn’t afford to live in this house. They needed to find somewhere cheaper. Somewhere he could find a job.

Tiny tears appeared in Matilda’s eyes. She held out her hand and declared she’d pay daddy. Her fingers unfurled, revealing some coins from the recent visits by the tooth fairy.

Peter bent down and hugged them both.