FLASH FICTION

Leylandii Hedge

Mrs. Smith said she couldn’t stand it. She thought it an outrage, blocking the light, its acid leaves a blight on the garden

Mr. Smith said there was no point getting all uppity and upset because it didn’t solve the problem.

 Mrs. Smith cursed. She screamed.

 Mr. Smith said his wife would give him a heart-attack. He said he would speak to the neighbours.

 Mrs. Smith said the neighbours had deaf ears and were insufferable.

 I will speak to them firmly, Mr. Smith said.

  Mrs. Smith ran inside, slamming the door. Loud words ran up and down the stairs.

 Mr. Smith walked to the neighbour’s house. He returned with a grey look about him and his head downwardly cast.

 Mrs. Smith did not even ask.

On Monday morning Mrs. Smith drew out a substantial sum of money from the bank in town. The neighbours returned from work at six p.m. There was no sign of the leylandii hedge, not a single leaf.

Old fingers
What I remember of the walk in Suffolk is this: black tree roots like the gnarled old fingers of lost giants, a broken silver birch fallen into a ditch, many reeds and sweet blackberries and the ground sandy-soft. I have forgotten the pain in my back and the irritations of paths wrongly taken.

The home of writer Bronwen Griffiths