She cut the tender boiled turnip with her silver fork and steak knife, dipped it in honey mustard, and ignored the cat brushing himself against her hosiery. Orchids were scattered everywhere in the cramped dining room – hanging from the ceiling, sitting in the corners, on the hutch, in the window sill. Some were purple, others red, a few pink, most yellow. Seven empty chairs circled the table. The children never came in to eat anymore.

She accepted that, now.

They were busy playing, jabbering, observing, spending time with others like themselves. Once she had insisted they stay with her during supper to keep her company. She was still lonely after all, but her brother convinced her to let them go. The children seemed happier now since she had undone the bindings that kept them, they flitted about here and there with the speed of a passing tornado, never quite settling in long enough for a cup of tea. Most of them said their greetings and well wishes at least.

The cat meowed and hit his head against the table leg when she reached down to pet him. Silly cat – good thing he was cute too, otherwise she might have sent him back to where he came. She pulled up the tablecloth to get a good look at him. Big green translucent eyes stared back at her placidly. Purring madly, he reached a paw for her as she bent to pet his ears. He extended his claws and swiped her leg, leaving tears in her silk hosiery and her leg. “Ouch,” the woman shooed him with the back of her hand. “Be gone hairy pest!”

He ran to the living room, likely to his perch on the back of the sofa. She rubbed the scratch marks. Those would sting and fester if she didn’t clean them soon, as she learned from past experience. Just her luck, to have a psycho-kitty like him as a roommate, especially one predisposed to outbursts. She guessed the cat had a rough life. Also her luck to have him in her life

Fortune turned for her last year and big changes were still in the works. The children were no longer the center of her life – which she was both bitter and thankful for, if she was honest with herself – and she stopped having the visions and dreams. She considered herself blessed. Everyday she felt better, better saw the line between fantasy and reality, and knew how to tell the difference. No longer was she haunted by vagrant, petty thoughts. No longer possessive, compulsive, or paranoid. The hooded reapers were gone from her life. The world turned in the right direction and her feet were planted firmly on it.

The woman finished her meal of turnips and greens, set her dishes in the sink, and grabbed the Cabernet with her favorite stemware. Tonight was Wheel of Fortune reruns. On the way to living room she got the hand vacuum. First things first, she needed to clean the cat’s ectoplasm off of the sofa.

THE END

***

Word Count: 508

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3 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Friday: Fortune and Change

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