Tales from the Saturday Shed: The prompt this week is SWATCH.
For those with the time or inclination: Feel free to join in!
I was four when my mother first took me to the Time Shop. She needed an extra thirty minutes that day.
“Soft or hard?” asked the woman behind the counter.
“Better make it hard,” said my mother. “My in-laws are coming for tea, and I promised to make them scones.”
The woman smiled and produced a bolt of fabric. It sparkled and shimmered.
“No, darling.” Mother gently took my outstretched hand. “You mustn’t touch.”
“Let her play with the remnants. They won’t do her any harm.” The woman pointed to a metal basket. Inside, I found scraps of light, silks that really flowed like water and a strip of braid that twisted around on itself. When we left, the serving lady gave me a swatch of golden linen and told me to use it wisely. I didn’t understand, but I took it home and hung it in my bedroom window. My room glowed with every shade of yellow, even on the darkest of days.
My mother would only go to that shop once or twice a year. “No need to waste time,” she would say, “we only buy what we need.” And she always gave back her unused minutes.
It was thanks to her we never had to ration our time. There was little free time, but we were never out of time.
When I was twelve, I used my tiny scrap of material as my mother lay dying in her hospital bed. For the first and the last time, I told her how much I loved her.