Life With Mabel: Part Eighteen

This is the eighteenth part of a fiction serial, in 730 words.

With Reg packed off to Europe, Mabel and Winnie were free to experience the joys of living together full time. Sharing the cooking, cuddling on the sofa as they watched the television or listened to records, then finally ending up in bed together, swearing undying love after the time of passion.

By the first Thursday, Mabel was already wondering if they could possibly arrange it to move in permanently with her lover, and make Reg live on his own next door. She fantasised about leaving him dinners to warm up, and didn’t even bother to think of a reason to give him about why she would no longer be his proper wife. Winnie tried to calm her down.

“You must never do that. Reg can never know about us for sure. He can suspect what he likes, but I don’t think he has a clue, to be honest. Should you confront him with the truth, his world would crumble. And don’t forget about your parents, and his. They would never accept it. You can forget your job too, and mine. We would have to move away to a big city, and even then the stigma would follow us. Let’s leave things as they are for now. We have more freedom than most women like us can ever imagine in their wildest dreams”.

That made Mabel grumpy, but when she calmed down, she knew Winnie was right.

On the Thursday evening, she told Winnie she would calm down. “I reckon we can get him to let me stay over three nights a week at least, he’s always off fishing with Clive at the weekends anyway, so one extra night never hurts. But I will need more in time, and if that means moving away, even leaving Reg alone, I would definitely prefer that to keeping on pretending”. Winnie knew how to really calm her down, and did that in the way she knew Mabel liked best.

Friday morning was nice and sunny. Mabel was a bit miffed that the first week was almost over, but cheered up to know they had two more weeks of bliss. She turned up at work in a good mood, feeling bright and breezy. Fridays were a fairly busy day, and she was soon preoccupied with everything a supervisor had to do. It was one of those days that just flew by. No dramas, lots of sales and happy customers, and she could even forgive the manager for sitting in his office doing sod-all.

Just after four-thirty, there was a commotion in the High Street outside. Mabel wanted to see what was going on, but couldn’t leave the shop floor when it was near the end of trading. Ten minutes later, a customer came in, an older lady who shopped there almost every day. Before she even purchased anything, she spoke to the young salesgirl behind the counter.

“Oh, what a terrible thing. Some poor woman has been run over by a lorry. It doesn’t look good, they have covered her in a red blanket, right over her head too. But I could see she was wearing a nurse’s uniform before they covered her up. It was blue, and her black stockings were torn at the heel”.

Mabel felt the cold feeling in her insides. This was the time Winnie got home from work on the bus, and she wore a blue unifrom and black stockings. It had to be someone else, another nurse. But she didn’t know any other nurses, so was terrified it might be Winnie. Without thinking, she ran out of the shop, and along the High Street. She could see the lorry stopped in the road, causing problems for local traffic. And the police were there too, but the ambulance had already left. She ran up to one of the policeman.

“Can you tell me if it was Winnie Finch? She’s my best friend and neighbour, and she’s a nurse”. He shook his head. “I’m afraid we have no idea, madam. I can tell you the victim was female, aged in her forties, and wearing a nurse’s uniform. But other than that, I don’t know. If you can help, perhaps you can go to the County Hospital? They are taking her there”. Mabel nodded, then turned and started to walk back to Woolworth’s.

When she got outside the shoe shop, she fainted.

34 thoughts on “Life With Mabel: Part Eighteen

    1. Mabel is only 21 at this time, whic is 1953. ( Married at 18 to Reg). Winnie was around 45, so she seemed old to Mabel. It was mentioned that Mabel thought she was ‘about 20 years older’ in a previous episode.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. (1) Stigma. It follows. (Oh, the horror!)
    (2) What did Mabel and Winnie wear? They wore, um…itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, yellow, polka dotted panties… From the kitchen to the sofa. From the sofa to the den. From the den to the bedroom. Panties off, and then…
    (3) Does this episode happen on Friday the 13th?
    (4) It was one of those days that just flew by. No dramas. Mabel was happy. Until a dramatic turn of events that made a frantic Mabel faint.
    (5) Overheard:
    Mabel: “Can you tell me if it was Winnie Finch?”
    Policeman: “Why? Is she your lovebird?”
    (6) Bad citation: “I can tell you the would-be killer was female, aged in her forties, and wearing a nurse’s uniform. She’s a deadly viper named Elle Driver.”
    (7) Mabel fainted outside the shoe shop. Printed on the window: “Time heels.”

    Liked by 1 person

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