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Janet usually sat in the back seat when they went out for a little run. To the seaside, to do one's deep breathing exercises and lick a ninety-nine sitting in the lee of the sea wall, the residual warmth of the sun against their backs. Or to the countryside, pottering along quiet pretty roads, remembering muddy walks and chilly picnics, the stuff of long ago family life.

And always towards the front seats came the flow of words: memories, reminiscences, associations. Hard to catch without straining their ears and twisting round uncomfortably in their seats: incessant, interminable, irritating.

Then Janet had her little stroke. She still loved an outing and fortunately there had been no physical impairment. But the words had gone, inside perhaps, so the trips were silent now except when the front seats heard themselves rabbiting on, a flow of inconsequential inanities to break the sad silence.

Story by:

Elizabeth Graham

11 August 2016