The Final Prayer

Extract:

Angela came to church but not often. It was Zimbabwe, 1985, and our songs and prayers rose with the optimism and reconciliation of those first years of independence. She tended to arrive late, just after the service started, and seemingly slipped out during the final prayer because I did not see her at the door where we all ritually hugged and asked after family. “They are all right if you are all right too,” and prolonged our goodbyes lest some misfortune befall us between now and the next gathering.

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On Marriage and Toilet Lids

Muffin sleepingApparently, the dogs woke Andrew last night to tell him that Sebastian was home. Picture this – we are in the bedroom – door closed. The dogs are in the hall outside the bedroom – door to the kitchen closed. Sebastian and Sascha are in the kitchen with the cat-flat opening to the outside world. Sebastian slips out in the dead of night to visit the cat nightclubs; he gets high on catnip. On the way back, he fancies a takeaway, grabs one from the colony at the corner of the street, and brings it home. Sascha catches him sneaking through the cat-flap and gives him what-for for being out so late, hanging out with his good-for-nothing mates and bringing home a stinking, greasy takeaway. She grabs it from him and it scoots across the kitchen floor. This wakes the dogs who want to join the kafuffle (cattuffle perhaps) but frustrated by the closed kitchen door they decide to split on him instead. They scratch and bark at the bedroom door. I’m dead to the world (hee hee, snore). Andrew gets up, opens the door to see  Sebastian, snatch his supper  from Sascha declaring – “paws off – go out and get your own takeaway you good-for-nothing, lazy wee scumbag”. Andrew grabs the now cold, and half chewed takeaway, and flushes it down the loo. Still high, Seb protests sheepishly, Sascha smirks, the dogs giggle behind their paws (Muttley style), and I snore. This morning I got up wondering what the dogs were telling me – sniffing around the kitchen – pointing their noses accusingly at Sebastian who is now sober and sulking, Andrew is awake and grumpy and I found – the toilet seat up and the remains of a dead mouse floating on the water. “Andrrroooo” I shrieked – “can you never remember to put the toilet lid down!”