Eggs and a whisk.

#300DaysofFlashWriting: Day 14 story on ‘Stare’

Here’s another piece for the #300DaysofFlashWriting challenge, where participants write for ten minutes only on a prompt posted online by my friend Shekina on her blog and social channels. This was written from the Day 14 prompt, ‘Stare’.

The Figurine

Laila hated the figurine with a passion that almost outweighed her love for her husband.

He had found it at a car boot sale in Chorley. “A bargain!” he’d said triumphantly as he placed it on the mantelpiece next to a photo of them on their wedding day seven years ago.

“What even is it?” she’d asked, distaste on her tongue. “It’s kind of… ugly.”

He shook his head. “It’s fine art, that’s what it is. It’s probably worth thousands. The idiot I bought it from didn’t have a clue.” He paused and looked at Laila. “It’s a mother holding a baby, I think. An original. Not a replica. Says so on the bottom, see?” Laila squinted, but she couldn’t make out the words on the sticker.

She stared doubtfully at the figurine. It looked like a misshapen white lump with eyes. Eyes that stared back at her. 

Privately, she resolved to move it as soon as her husband went to work the next day.

She spent the next week moving it to a different room, one where she didn’t have to look at it, but her husband quietly moved it back to the mantelpiece in the front room each time.

Laila started to spend less time in the living room. She took up baking, spending hours and hours in the kitchen producing fluffy layer cakes, huge muffins, sticky brownies and crunchy cookies all through the week. Her husband complained that he was putting on weight. She took most of what she baked to her own part-time job in an office, and gave some away to the neighbours.

Still the figurine stared at her whenever she went through the living room.

One day, Laila decided that she couldn’t take it any more. She went out to buy the biggest cake tin she could find and some professional cake decorating tools. She then made an exact replica of the figurine out of cake. She looked at it critically. It didn’t stare back. The eyes were just indents in icing.

Up it went on the mantelpiece before her husband came home.

She strolled through the living room with the figurine in a box, her husband none the wiser.

“I’m just going to take this cake to the neighbours over the road,” she said cheerfully.

Her husband grunted, his eyes fixed on the television.

Laila went to the pond in the park and threw the figurine as far as she could. It made a satisfying splash as it entered the water and sunk to the bottom, never to stare at anyone ever again.

© 2021 Dipika Mummery

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

See all of my pieces for #300DaysofFlashWriting.

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