Invisible For A Day – Short Story By Veronica Wiltshire
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Madge was looking weary, as she saw her reflection in the wardrobe mirror. It was to be expected really, seeing as she had not had the holiday she was promised for the Spring and now they were nearly into August.
“What I would give for a day off,” she murmured. Jane had come in from next door to give her a hand with the housework. Something she often did, just for the company.
“Well. why don’t you just go off somewhere for the day, I might come with you.”
“I could go tomorrow, I suppose, my sister has been feeling poorly and could do with a hand about the house.”
“Ah, but you don’t want to be working on your day off.” Jane shook her head, “you should have a real day off. Away from the house, the kitchen sink, and the housework.”
“And the cooking,” Madge chimed in. The two sat silently on the bed for a while, deep in thought. Then Jane raised her hands,
“I’ve got just the solution. Why don’t you go on a coach trip, the W.I. are doing one and are leaving from the Library at 8 o’clock,”
“Yes, but Frank has his breakfast at 8.30 and Jill gets up just after that. I will have to get them breakfast before I can think of going anywhere.”
“No,” Jane continued excitedly, “You tell me what to get and in the morning I will slip in and leave the breakfast on the table for just after eight, then when they’ve gone off to work I can slip something in there for their lunch and again for the evening meal. By then you will be back, but don’t come straight here, pop into my place for a night-cap or something.” Madge sat silently mulling things over in her mind.
“Hmm. Must say it does sound good, but they will wonder why I am not in the house, they will be looking everywhere for me. No that wouldn’t do they might call the police, reporting me as a missing person.”
“I doubt whether that would even enter their minds” Jane hung her head, “just so long as the food is on the table they don’t give a toss as to how it got there. I mean do either of them say “Oh that was a good meal mum, or Madge as it may be, you must have worked hard getting that.”
“Do they heck!” Madge raged, “I don’t think they ask me how I am from morning to night, from day to day. I’m just there doing for them.” They sat silently for a moment then Madge continued, “not that I mind, that is but it would be nice if they did treat us like humans and not like machines.”
“Doubt if it ever enters their mind” Jane hissed.
And so it was to be. Frank got up, ate his breakfast, and left the house for work. Jill got out of bed, went down to breakfast, used the bathroom and she went off to work. Lunchtime they both came in at different times, ate their lunch and left again for work. 6 p.m they both arrived practically the same time, Frank sat in the armchair and read the newspaper, and Jill went straight up to her room and was on her mobile for half an hour. Neither of them called out to Madge, and when they saw the meal on the table they sat down and ate, oblivious of their mother’s absence.
Madge, having enjoyed her day out and finished it off with a night-cap at Jane’s came back to the house at 10.30. Frank was just switching the TV off, saw her after she had taken her coat off and muttered,
“Are you ready for bed then, I’m off.” She stood for a moment, flabbergasted at the fact that he had not challenged her as to where she had been. Jill called down from the landing to them both saying she was going to the bathroom and then to bed. Madge didn’t know quite what to say, she was just about to say “well I’ve had a good day” but before she could Frank uttered,
“Oh the dinner tonight was good what did you do different to it?”
I think you could conclude from that – that she is invisible every day, she just was not there for their niggles and arguments. But, thanks to Jane, she WAS invisible for that day, presumably they did not have any niggles or arguments, or did they?………
Thank You Veronica!
Thank you for your short story, it did make me smile!…… Poor Madge I think if I was her I’d go for the whole week! (which is probably why I’m no longer married…….).