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Mr. Willets Loved Fish

by beanie 

Posted: 04 July 2004
Word Count: 492

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“So you can deliver this morning then?…wonderful…and the colours haven’t run have they?…marvellous…and it’s how much you say?…that’s fine…thankyou.” Mrs Willets replaced the receiver, and removing a handkerchief from her pocket proceeded to wipe the sweat from her sticky palms. Pausing, her eye was caught by a photograph on the dresser by the telephone. She picked it up, clutched it tightly to her bosom and whispered, dreamily, “soon now Alfred, soon”.
Replacing the photograph with care to it’s place amongst the myriad of ornaments and knick knacks collected over a lifetime with her husband, she selected two at random and carried them upstairs to the bathroom. The whole room had an unusual under-the-sea quality about it. Seaweed murals on the walls, a statuette of Neptune, trident in hand, and a huge fish tank, mounted along the entire length of one wall, filled with guppies, angelfish and other exotics. The window, covered over by a poster depicting an enormous whale tail smacking down with its’ great weight upon the waves, hid the inside world from view, and a dim blue light bulb only added to the surreal and eerie effect.

Mrs. Willets positioned the two ornaments, both of them dolphins, on the side of the bath and then gently turned the taps to fill it up. Moving to her bedroom, she took a pen and paper from the drawer in her bedside cabinet, and sat on the edge of the bed to write. A short note but written with tender care and precision. As she finished writing and placed the paper down, the doorbell rang.
“Thankyou, thankyou so much,” she murmured to the curious young delivery driver, and quickly closed the door. Taking some scissors from the kitchen, she cut the string that tied the parcel, and removed its contents. “Perfect”, she thought examining it carefully, and then took her new possession to the bedroom, where she undressed and slipped it on. A tight fit, but gleaming and smooth to the skin. Mrs. Willets stood and admired herself in the mirror, “Well Alfred, what do you think?” she said to her reflection. Picking the note from her bed, before smoothing down the fabric one last time, she hopped clumsily to the bathroom. The bath now full, she turned off the water, and from a cabinet placed a small brown bottle between the taps, and the note behind it. Sitting on the side of the bath, she swung her legs up quickly together and slipped into the water. With a soft smile, she took the bottle and quickly swallowed back its contents. The bottle now empty, she replaced it carefully and lay back in the water, admiring the reflective quality of the light on the thousands of sequins that made up her Mermaid’s tail.
“I’m coming my love”.
The ink on the note was already starting to run from the water droplets splashed on it, but it was still clearly legible…”Mr. Willets loved fish”.

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Comments by other Members

Nell at 09:41 on 04 July 2004  Report this post
Hello beanie,

There's something deliciously tender about this little short - it should by rights end on a note of sadness, but I was left smiling. Perhaps that was due to Mrs Willets' joy at joining the dear departed, or the images that the story creates, possibly a combination of both. It has that slightly magical quality that I enjoy very much. One or two typos:

it’s place (its)
its’ great weight (its)

Possibly a comma after note - I had to read twice to get the sense of the following sentence. A short note but written with tender care and precision.

I guessed that the costume was that of a mermaid before this sentence, so I'm not sure that you need together in the following. It feels as though you're deliberately feeding the reader information that they don't need, but see what others think.
...she swung her legs up quickly together and slipped into the water.

For some reason the beginning quote marks on the last sentence are around the wrong way.


Best, Nell.

roger at 14:42 on 04 July 2004  Report this post
I'm with Nell on this - 'lovely' - sad in a way, but maybe not if she's to see Mr W again, and dressed as he'd like her! I agree re 'together', and there are several places where a comma would be helpful. Overall, a nice piece nicely put together.

Dee at 14:55 on 04 July 2004  Report this post

Lovely little story, Beanie.

I agree with Nell, the end could have been sad but you finished on such an upbeat note that I felt happy for her. The mermaid tail sounds beautiful.

If you insert a space before that last pair of opening quote marks they’ll turn the right way round.

Welcome to WW.


beanie at 05:17 on 10 July 2004  Report this post
Thanks all for your comments, it's been much appreciated.

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