The kettles on the tray

Mrs Whithers had a talent to select the most interesting and magical items available. It was a talent that cultivated on its own without any input or effort from her. She didn’t think about it or even tried to get better it she just naturally did. It was almost a logical extension of hers by now, that developed most likely from the many hours she had spent shopping through antique shops, an activity she enjoyed immensely. 

There were several kettles on the table, none of them had any similar characteristics, they had large snouts or small snouts, big or small handles and yet they all looked very much alike. It was strange how something so simple could be so different but have the same use. More than that it was as though all the kettles had a persona or a manifestation and it was this manifestation that was the same between all of them, allowing a certain shared consciences to grow between them.

Mrs Whithers stared at the kettles trying to choose one over the other and found it a very difficult task indeed. It had to be a kettle unlike the other ones naturally, if it was the same as all the others it would be just another kettle, what she wanted was a kettle with personality. But this was a new problem for her, in front of her stood not one but over a dozen kettles of all different shapes and sizes none of which was without character, but there was something about them that disturbed her. They way they seemed to almost share a connection between them a connection she could not see or even be a part of.

After much debate she decided the kettles were better off in someone else’s care and it might prove beneficial to leave them on the shelf in the antics shop and focus on other trinkets.

She had always enjoyed walking through the antique shop it was always a pleasant adventure that took her mind off the day to day problems, although her present day problems limited themselves to taking her medication and meeting with Mrs Ruth for tea and biscuits. She had prepared several biscuits and scones herself and planned on bringing those with her. Mrs Ruth never got out much anymore and this was at least one way to could catch up and chat about their respective families.

After walking through the shop for several more moments she found something that cought her fancy. It was a large glass dinning tray that looked like it was quite old. She stared at the price tag and decided that it would look great on her small living room table. Without a second thought she took the dinner plate in her hand and went to the cashier.

‘Good day Mrs Whithers,’ John was standing behind the cash register today. He was a short and slightly chubby guy, with short blond hair and dark brown eyes, ‘how can I help you today?’ he asked.

‘Just this dinner plate John’ answered Mrs Whithers.

‘Would you like me to gift wrap it for you?’ he asked.

This always annoyed Mrs Whithers, she had been coming to this very shop for more than a decade now and still even though she never answered yes to any of the previous times she still got asked if she would like her buy to be gift rapped. ‘No John, I would not like my dinner plate to be gift rapped if it’s all the same to you’ her answer oozed with sarcasm that was unfortunately completely lost on John who just smiled and nodded.

‘That will be 55 pounds’ he said with a large smile. His teeth were not all white Mrs Whithers noticed with disdain, a young man like that with bad teeth what had the world gone to when teeth were either so poor they looked as though might just fall out all by themselves or so white they shone like the sun or a very bright TL tube every time you opened your mouth. Mrs Whithers gave John his money and left the shop behind her John called ‘Have a nice day’

Her way home was uneventful and quite tiring it was a long walk and she regretted not taking her cane along. Even now she was as stubborn as a mule about certain things, when Jac was around things were different, he would comment to her about everything so frequently that at the end she would just do whatever he asked just to shut him up. In her heart deep down she knew the only reason he was commenting in the first place was for her sake, knowing full well that she wouldn’t complain about pain or any sort of ailment.

By the time she reached her home her body ached and she felt rather fatigued, she sat down on the sofa taking time to place the dinner plate on the small table and rested for several moments. Several moments grew slowly into several hours and by the time she got up again most of the day had come and passed, it was time to go and see Mrs Ruth. She took her homemade biscuits and scones and headed out to Mrs Ruth’s home a quick walk along the park.

At Mrs Ruth place they enjoyed a nice cup of tea and several delicious scones. Mrs Ruth complimented Mrs Whithers on her efforts and they both enjoyed a mildly relaxing afternoon.

            ‘What about your grandson Henry?’ Inquired Mrs Whithers ‘Is he still with that girl of his?’

            ‘No, unfortunately he is going through a bit of a phase I am told at the moment’

            ‘A phase?’ wondered Mrs Whithers.

            ‘Yes. A I the best there is and I can do whatever I want phase’

            ‘Ahh…’ answered Mrs Whithers knowingly nodding her head. ‘Isn’t he a bit old for that though’ she said pondering.

            Mrs Ruth nodded in agreement ‘he most certainly is, but you know kids nowadays are not the same lot we were, there are differences in education I supposed but it is more than that, I think it has more to do with the way people are today rather than before. Everything needs to be so much quicker today, and everything needs to be there available preferably yesterday, it is a crazy pace they live in.’

            ‘I always wondered about that, my grandchildren are in New-York so I don’t get to see them very often anymore, but I’m sure it will all turn out fine’

            ‘Did I tell you that Henry died?’ Mrs Ruth exclaimed suddenly remembering.

            ‘No, is that Mrs Ashton husband?’ Mrs Whithers asked.

            ‘No, Mrs Aston’s husband Ralph died a month ago during that strange hiking accident’

            ‘I thought he died from a heart attack’ Mrs Whitherd mused.

            ‘He did, but if you ask me there is something fishy about it’ Mrs Ruth answered looking at the sky in thought.

            ‘…Henry…’ Mrs Whithers gently reminded her friend

            ‘Oh yes, he died peacefully in his sleep two nights ago’ answered Mrs Ruth with a sly smile on her face.

            Mrs Whithers stared at her with incomprehension.

            ‘…in the bed of Mrs Topper!’ cried Mrs Ruth in triumph slapping her leg with her hand and regretting it as soon as she did so. She bruised easily and a small tap even was enough to leave a visible mark.

            ‘I didn’t even know he had an affair’ said Mrs Whithers feigning surprise.

            ‘Oh yes it was the buss of the street’ said Mrs Ruth proudly.

Mrs. Whithers, wasn’t much of a gossip, it wasn’t so much the fact she didn’t like gossiping but rather a carelessness that she had towards it. She knew Mrs Ruth enjoyed it immensely and every other day stories that were told once were told again, at first Mrs Whithers corrected Mrs Ruth whenever details were not completely accurate but when she realized this might prove less beneficial that letting Mrs Ruth tell her stories, she stopped correcting her all together, and contained herself to only a listening capacity.

The stories turned and turned and after two more hours of them it was time to say farewell. Mrs Whithers promised to visit again shortly probably several days from now, and headed back home. After the short walk through the park she arrived at the front door of her house, opened it and walked inside. She shut the door and went to sit on the sofa in front of her newly acquired tray.

Mrs Whithers sat there motionless for several moments staring at the tray in front of her. She wasn’t afraid, happy or confused, she was annoyed. In the tray in front of her was a pile of juicy red fruits she didn’t really recognize. At her age she didn’t really like surprises and definitely not ones that followed you home.

She got up and called the antique shop. ‘Antiques R, Y, U, love us, John speaking, how may I help you?’

Mrs Whithers didn’t like the way John pronounced the letters she preferred a word not to be shortcut to a letter but rather remain the word it was intended, or maybe evolve into a new word but not stripped from what it was intentionally and remain a broken shell of something resembling an incoherent sound. ‘John I’m sorry to say the tray is not going to work for me’ she said gravely.

‘Oh I am sorry to hear that Mrs Whithers, can I enquire as to the nature of your discontent?’ he asked.

‘Well it happened again’ she said by manner of explanation.

‘I see’ said John ‘I will be around later today to pick it up and put it with the others. Naturally we will reimburse you for your troubles’

‘Very well’ said Mrs Whithers casually ‘I will see you later then.’ She added and hung up.

She sat back down on the sofa and looked at the fruit, they looked very juicy, tender and most likely tasty. A sneaky smile crawled over her lips, reaching out to the corners of her mouth. It will still be some time until John shows up so why not make the most of it after all the fruit was there for the taking. She reached out her hand and grabbed hold of the juicy red fruit, it was soft and squishy just like a good ripe fruit should be. She took a large bite out of it the juice flowing into and out of her mouth on to her chin, her last passing thought was oh what wondrous flavour…


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