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Sunday, June 16, 2024

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‘Moving’ a Short Story by B.Karasinghe Arachchi – Auckland

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Nothing excited more. We sold the house. Now moving.
 ‘A new house.’ I ran to the kitchen and then back to the lounge, now empty. Jumped up and ran a circle, where the leather sofa was. ‘I want a separate room next to yours, Mom.’ I hugged her.
‘Yes, love.’ Mom pulled the Hoover.
‘To keep my Barbie Trike, and the Blue Bingo and sleep in the night.’
‘Yes.’ Mom agreed. ‘Big man now. In the Remuera primary next month.’ She kissed my head. ‘See what Dad is doing.’
Dad finished the lawn, scraped and smiled.
‘Movers unloaded the stuff at the King’s storage.’ Dad told Mom on his way to the lounge.
‘Don’t we go to the new house today Mom?’ I stuffed all my storybooks in the Navy Blue Bingo.
‘No love. One week at the Quest, Parnell, till we get the money. Then the new house…’ Mom fondled my head. Such a coolness in her fingers!
‘Luxmie’. Dad called Mom. ‘I have forgotten to clean up the basement.’
‘Sh… Sh…Sh.’ Mom touched her chest. We are already late. You know Alex in Raywhite. Will come on the dot at 6.00 for the keys. Their house and we are out.’
‘No worries.’ Dad nodded. ‘5.30 the latest.’ He took a shovel, a rake and off to the basement with a Red Star cap on. Dust covered the gumboot. Head knocked the pillars.
‘Bloody dark.’ He looked back over the shoulders. ‘Hell of hell here. Can you bring a torch please?’ Dad yelled.
Mom ran out and rushed back with a torch. I passed it. 
Few pieces of broken chairs and two mattresses, a bundle of old newspapers, a TV and a dusty-rusty gas cooker, few wire rolls and three boxes of broken glasses were taken out one by one. I helped Mom to load them in the Flexi Bin by the garage.
Dad disappeared inside. He worked with the shovel. The thumping noise echoed. The dust filled the underfloor and sneaked out. We sneezed. Dad coughed.
The noise stopped. Dad tossed himself out, coughed and puffed. Sweat and dust covered his chest, hands and thighs. He wheezed and clutched his tummy. Lips trembled and the mouth quivered.
‘Why?’ Mom screamed. ‘George?’ She got closer.
Dad looked around, squatted on the floor and wheezed more. ‘A skeleton.’  He uttered
‘Skelton of a child. Half buried.’
A car honked. Mom and Dad looked at each other’s face. Dad’s eyes rounded like the headlights of Mom’s car, the red Mini.
‘Alex?’ Either Dad or Mom murmured.
None moved. Mom or Dad. 

B.Karasinghe Arachchi
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