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Friday Flash – The Twelve Houses – Part 2 of 8 – Lies, Fantasies And Home Truths – Friday Flash Fiction

Friday Flash – The Twelve Houses – Part 2 – Lies, Fantasies And Home Truths – Friday Flash Fiction

Oona and Iain we’re the first to arrive at their gate so it was Oona who invited Lucian and the Heatheringtons in for a drink, which due to the fact that sons Kirk and Robbie had lit the barbeque turned into the type of event that Barbara referred to as plebby.

Serena Hetherington nipped back to her house to bring some steaks and sausages. Lucian brought himself, his company and the company of two of his cats, a Siamese called Ratboy and a large black tom cat called The Colonel. Both were epic hunters and were largely responsible for decimating the ducklings on the pond.

The Colonel launched himself onto Serena’s lap and did his best to look cute. He almost managed it but the tattered ears and evil orange eyes got in the way. Not that Serena bothered, she had already convinced Iain not to remove the cat-flap that the previous owners had left. The rationale presented to Iain was that removing it would cause unnecessary disruption and cost. Both parties understood that in reality it was to let Lucian’s motley crew of felines come into feed and take a break from each other.  As Serena tartly put it, “If I’m to put up with your tom-catting around, Iain, you can put up with a few tom cats!” The most regular feline visitor and sometime over-nighter was the Colonel who was Serena’s second greatest fan. Her greatest fan was not her husband Iain, it was Lucian, who would also like to have stayed the night.

Lucian watched Serena feeding Colonel a piece of steak and recalled the time when he knew himself to be falling in love with her. It was a hot summer day in June last year, the 19th to be precise and Serena had come round bearing a gift of fresh raspberries, strawberries and a jug of thick Jersey cream. She also bore a gift of two large turkey carcasses that she had picked up from the farmer’s market. Both carcasses had plenty of delicious freshly cooked turkey meat on them and Serena had asked for them when getting herself and Iain a hot turkey sandwich.

Serena had brought the turkey for the cats but the lion’s share of it would find a home in Lucian’s stomach. She had also come to enquire after one of Lucian’s cats, a pregnant female called Tara who had been struck a glancing blow by a passing motorist. It had been Serena who had found her and who had rushed her to the nearest vets. It was Serena who had paid the vet’s fees so that Lucian could take the animal home. And it was this that led to Lucian’s falling in love for the first time in over 40 years.

Lucian had reimbursed Serena but felt that merely paying monies owed was not sufficient to express how truly grateful he felt. Though the kittens had not pulled through the mother was doing as well as could be expected and was getting stronger by the day. The fact that Serena cared enough to ask prompted Lucian to ask whether she might be interested in joining him for lunch at a well-regarded restaurant with a delightful garden area.

Serena, for whom such treats were a rarity as Iain reserved them for whichever young mistress he had on the go, accepted with alacrity. And so it was that Lucian found himself driving Serena in his convertible Rolls Royce to a beautiful garden restaurant by the riverside. It was a place where he had always fancied dining and where lunch would cost him more than his month’s state pension. But he did not care one iota for the conversation flowed as lightly as the wine and Serena was a vision of loveliness in a perfectly cut floral dress that showed her fabulous figure to perfection. Her glossy black hair framed her elfin face and her big blue eyes twinkled brightly in the sun light. She reached across several times to touch his arm when emphasising a point and Lucian felt the kind of electricity flowing through him that he thought he would never feel again.

Lucian’s happy reminiscing was interrupted by the sound of raucous male laughter because the other males in the group had gone out to watch Barbara lumbering after Ratboy with a sheet which she was trying to throw over him. This game would go on for several minutes until one or both got bored. It was the high spot of Ratboy’s day and the main reason he chased ducklings. He was not over keen on the taste of raw duck. He much preferred it to be plucked and cooked but dodging Barbara’s attempts to round him up and remove from the pond area amused him.

It amused the lads as well but once she realised she was the subject of such derision Barbara stormed back into her house to have a restorative glass of Pinot Grigio and a word with her daughter. Lucinda sat there open mouthed while Barbara outlined her plans for Lucian’s romantic future. It goes without saying that these plans did not involve Serena Hetherington but a more mature lady of wealth and status. For Barbara had decided to sacrifice herself for the greater good and marry Lucian, not that he’d been consulted of course.

Barbara outlined her plans, which were to marry Lucian and ensure that his house was got up to standard. Then Barbara and Lucian would live in it together. Lucinda pointed out that she and Tris should have Lucian’s house with its extra basement flat as they were planning to start a family. Barbara regarded her sponging daughter coolly before pointing out that Barbara’s house would be sold to give her and Lucian plenty of money to enjoy their “golden years” and that Lucinda and Tris would be given a sum of money to put towards the rental on a small flat. After that they would be on their own because Barbara felt that they should now be able to stand on their own two feet. Also her favourite son Tarquin was starting to become very vocal about how much of his inheritance was being squandered on ‘that loser, Lucinda.’

Lucinda, who had come to scrounge more money from her mother, was livid. “You’ve always been jealous of me you nasty old cow. I hope you’re not going to embarrass me by slobbering over Lucian you fat old sow! You’re wasting your time everyone knows he’s got the hots for Serena. I’m surprised the disgusting old letch hasn’t pushed Iain under a bus yet!”

With that Lucinda stormed out the door. A pale and shaking Barbara left a message on the letting agency’s answerphone asking them to contact her as a matter of urgency. She e-mailed as well, the sooner this matter was dealt with the better.

She then picked up the phone and dialled a familiar number. “You’re absolutely right, Tarquin, the sooner I deal with this the better. It’s being going on too long and it needs to stop. And now my darling boy Mamma needs your help!”

To be continued …

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

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