The Morning Gift – by Deborah Mercer (Adult)

Amy isn’t sure she’s glad she has a little brother. She doesn’t mind, but she’s not really that excited and would much sooner have had a dog. Mum and Dad have assured her that they will love her just as much as ever, if not more, but she’s still suspicious as to why they had to say so. Five year olds with saucer-like brown eyes can have hidden depths.
Still she’s happy that Mum and her little brother are coming home and that both are absolutely fine. Her Auntie Pat (who isn’t really her auntie) has been looking after her and has taken her to the florists down the road to get a big bunch of flowers for her Mum. She can choose them all herself!
Amy has never seen so many flowers in her life. Velvety red roses, tulips as yellow as the little duck she likes to have in her bath, and irises so blue it almost hurts to look at them! There is shiny green foliage too (big leaves, as Amy calls them) and huge bows in even more colours than the flowers.
But one display in a bucket has riveted her attention, amidst all the colours and textures and scents. From a distance it looks like white candyfloss, but close up she can see hundreds of tiny little blossoms.
“I want that!”
“Yes, of course we must have some of that.”
“I want ALL of that!” Normally she would have been reminded to say please, but something in those eyes of hers makes Auntie Pat hold her tongue. She and the florist exchange a glance, and then a nod.
The florist makes up a huge bouquet of nothing but the white candyfloss, wraps it in shiny silver foil, and puts a silver bow on it.
Proudly, and deciding she really DOES like the idea of a little brother, Amy bears it home and guards it carefully by her side waiting for the homecoming.
She’s sure Auntie Pat would never tell a lie, but has to wonder.
Can it REALLY be called “Baby’s Breath”?
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Learn more about the contest which inspired this story:  Nutshell Narratives 2019-03
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