Outside: Part Seventeen

This is the seventeenth part of a fiction serial, in 802 words.

Without reading the reply from Charlotte, Gillian tried emailing Matt again.

Dear Matt. Please let me know you are alright. I am so worried about you. Love, Gill. x

As she went to put the bones of a chicken in the bin, she realised it was full again. So she pulled the bag out and tied it up. Not wanting to risk more aggravation with the rude women next door, she left it on the floor by the front door. Later that night, she would put it out the front, by the wall. With any luck, the bin men might just take it away. Even if they didn’t, it wouldn’t be anywhere close to that Kirsty’s garden.

Then she ate her chicken sandwich and plain crisps, staring at the screen hoping that Matt would reply.

With no action on her blog, it occured to her to write another post. It also dawned on her that she didn’t really have a clue about blogging, or what to do to get more readers, and to make some additional blogging friends.

Hello again. I don’t have many contacts on here, and that seems strange. Am I doing something wrong? Let me know if I am. I don’t like going outside, and I think there are lots of others who don’t go out, and are happy to stay inside their houses. If you are one of them, let me know. We can support each other, and be friends.

Gillian had ignored the prompts to add tags, and categories. Her posts were not tagged, and she hadn’t even considered following anyone else, as she had no idea how to search for anyone in the same situation. It seemed to her that her blog name was the most important thing, as it had already attracted a few followers and comments.

When nothing happened in the next twenty minutes, she went and made another chicken sandwich. There was a lot left of that large cooked chicken, and she was already thinking that she might have cold chicken and chips for dinner later, with big dollop of Branston Pickle.

Becoming annoyed with the blogging because nobody seemed to be reading her blog, she watched a film on the television that afternoon. It was Back To The Future, and although she had seen it lots of times, it always made her laugh. In the last advertisement break, there was an ad for a furniture company selling sofas at half price. Looking down at the sofa she was sprawled out on, Gillian thought it might be nice to have a new one. This one had been in the house for as long as she could remember.

Not bothering with the last segment of the film, she was soon scanning the furniture company website, trying to decide whether to order the sofa in leather or cotton canvas.After deciding on leather, she really couldn’t make up her mind on colour. Navy blue looked lovely in the photo, but dark brown would go with the rest of the furniture in the room. Then the thought came to her that nobody else would ever see it to consider any colour-clash, so she went with navy blue. A little window poppped up on the screen, confirming the payment, delivery within four weeks, and telling her that a confirmation email had been sent.

There were three unread emails. The order confirmation, the one from Charlotte that she hadn’t got around to, and a reply from Matt. She clicked on that one immediately.

Dear Gill. I am so sorry to make you worry. I was a coward, I’m afraid. I took forty tablets after drinking almost a full bottle of vodka. But then I got scared, and soon phoned for an ambulance. They took me to hospital and I had to have something to make me sick so I could bring up the pills. Then they did blood tests after, and kept me in overnight. They are sending me an appointment to see a psychiatrist, even though I told them I won’t go. My life is in such a mess at the moment, and though I really do appreciate you being so supportive, it is best that I don’t involve you in my problems. I just wanted to let you know that I was still around, so you would stop worryng. Take care, Matt. x

The jar of Branston Pickle had such a tight lid, she couldn’t open it. Remembering what her mum used to do, she tried holding it firmly in the frame of the half-open kitchen door and twisting it. When that didn’t work, she ran the lid under the hot tap then put on a rubber washing-up glove to get a turn on it. But it wouldn’t shift, no matter what she did.

Cold chicken and chips just didn’t taste the same without Branston.

31 thoughts on “Outside: Part Seventeen

    1. Thanks, carol. That’s the whole point about Gillian being online so much, and blogging too. She hasn’t really got a clue how any of it works, and she can’t be bothered to find out.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

  1. (1) Forget about Branston Pickle! Instead, just create your own jarred pickle chutney. I suggest a variety of diced vegetables, including rutabaga, carrots, onions, and cauliflower pickled in a sauce made from vinegar, tomato, apple, spices, and real sugar.
    (2) Where would you rather be, Gillian? In Kirsty’s garden? Or under the sea in an octopus’s garden in the shade?
    (3) Gillian repeated to herself, “Cold chicken won’t sicken, and chips will spare the hips.”
    (4) While watching “Back to the Future,” Gillian saw an ad for a furniture company selling sofas at half price. Shouldn’t the company be selling its furniture at 1955 prices?
    (5) I don’t know. For me, navy blue leather furniture just goes against the grain.
    (6) The doctor told Matt, “You take the blue pills with vodka…the story ends, you wake up in a hospital bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pills with wine…I’ll show you why rabbit stew and mushrooms is better than cold chicken and chips.”
    (7) “I was a coward, I’m afraid.” Or, put another way, “I fear that I was a chicken.”
    (8) Gillian tried holding the jar firmly in the frame of the half-open kitchen door and twisting it. The lid stayed on tight, but she did succeed in twisting the door frame.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well if she gets the sofa there has to be a delivery man…..maybe he can open the Branston pickle for her, if she can wait that long. But a lot can happen in four weeks and I have a feelings it’s going to!

    Liked by 1 person

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