Monday, 28 June 2021

'Taking Flight' by Lucienne Cummings

‘You stole the show!’ says Dad.

‘I didn’t!’ I reply, wiping off my eye makeup in the dressing room mirror. 

‘Well what’s that then?’ He points to the glittering roll of what could be mistaken for fabric in the corner. Magic drifts off the material, just as it used to do when I was small.

‘I’m just...borrowing it for a while.’

I should have hidden it under the bed in the clowns’ caravan like I was going to. No one dares annoy the clowns. Dad would never have found it.

‘What am I supposed to do without it?’ 

‘Spend some time with Mum. Rest. Enjoy some time without any injuries.’

‘You’re pensioning me off.’ Dad rubs his wrist where he sprained it last month. ‘I can still perform. I’ve never dropped you, have I?’

‘No, but – ,’  

‘You think I’m past it!’ He sounds desperately tired, and the dark circles under his eyes loom large in his reflection.

‘Dad. You’ve been the star of the Flying Andersons for so long. It’s time to hang up your spangly tights and let your children carry it on.’

I turn and hug him. As he relaxes, I look over his shoulder. The gleaming roll in the corner dims almost imperceptibly, but in the next moment sparkles again as brightly as ever.

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