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January 29th, 2014

Free Short Story from Jeffrey’s Shorts!

Shorts for hairy legs

Carrie boarded the bus to Gloucester and duly zapped her bus pass on the machine in front of the driver, who was murmuring to himself that, even now, he could not get used to this new way of doing things.

Carrie found a seat next to Deidre whom she knew as a regular member of a local Anglican church. ‘Any sign of a new vicar yet?’ she asked.

‘No,’ replied Deidre. ‘We had one round of interviews but nothing came of it. It’s more than two years since Henry left – he was a nice man – don’t see why he had to move.’ Hardly pausing for breath, she continued, ‘Anyway, I’m off to see the eye specialist at the hospital. I have to go every month; it’s a degenerative condition called rhesus pigmentosis. I do a bit of shopping on the way back, so it makes quite a nice outing!’

Carrie thought a monthly trip to the hospital didn’t sound like much of an outing, but she kept quiet about her own plans for the day. Deidre, however, was in no mood to close the conversation. ‘How about you? Where are you going?’ Without a pause, she immediately answered her own question. ‘Into the town, I guess. I always say these drivers are so polite, not like those where my sister lives. She was only saying the other day that she wished their drivers could be like ours; we get much nicer types our way, and better looking too!’

Carrie was still wondering if she was going to get a word in when Deidre turned to her and asked, ‘Don’t suppose you have eye problems, do you?’ It was more of a statement than a question, and then she continued, ‘Is Seph still wearing his shorts? They suit him – especially with those hairy legs. Oh, I do like hairy legs!’

As the bus drew into the station and the passengers prepared to get off, Deidre got up saying, ‘It’s been nice seeing you again. I enjoyed our conversation.’

‘What conversation?’ Carrie asked herself. Deidre had posed three questions, one of which she had answered herself, and there had been no chance to reply to the other two.

‘Why are people so interested in themselves and so little in others?’ Carrie pondered as she made her way to the cardiology department at the hospital, where she faced the prospect of major surgery. How Christian is it not to listen? What would Jesus have done?

Back home, Carrie made herself a cup of tea and thought about the day. The heart specialist had been kindness itself, but there were loads of unanswered questions going around in her mind, questions she wanted to share with someone: Can I face life-threatening surgery? What will the family think? How will I tell my aged widowed mother who thinks most, if not all, doctors are crooks. In all her 85 years she has hardly ever had to trouble the medical profession.

She surveyed her husband’s photograph and wished for the umpteenth time since the photo had been taken three years ago that he were still alive. He looked handsome in shorts – real ones – not those long Bermuda things, but ones that really showed up his
muscular and, yes, hairy legs. She longed to be able to hug him, and them. Quite stupid. In fact, downright stupid.

Just then the door opened and in bounced her beloved bearded collie. ‘Hello Seph, come to your mum, my precious!’ she said.

‘It’s time you stopped treating that animal as a human being,’ intoned the formidable voice of her mother. ‘And why, oh why, do you insist on dressing him in those ridiculous shorts?’


Jeffrey’s Shorts is available from Amazon in paperback & Kindle formats.


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