weird stories (2)
An old couple who have been abroad recently. Their daughter and her husband, who have with them a clinging, rather silent toddler. Barbour jackets. Why would people like this arrange to meet one another and exchange gifts, in the middle of a winter afternoon, in a Little Chef in the middle of Gloucestershire ?
“Is that for me ?”
“Yes dear. It’s so difficult to know what to bring. Frightfully expensive.”
“It looks just like one of those Swedish ones.”
“Are we ready to order now ?”
The child moves its wide, sickly eyes over the Little Chef menu and can’t make up its mind.
“I think he’s panicking because he thinks he won’t be able to eat it all.”
The younger woman talks constantly about someone called Jonathan–“There’s something about Jonathan,” she says. “He’s like a sort of brother figure or something.” And then. “It would be nice to see Jonathan again.” And finally, “Jonathan said, ‘I hope she feels guilty about it!’ Ah ha ha ha!”
Neither her husband nor her mother are very happy with this. The husband keeps quiet, but Mummy finally puts an end to it by asking–