But ‘gargantuan’ starts with a G. I don’t have any more G’s.
Barbara said this as much to herself as anyone else.
She did that thing she always did with her share of the yellowing, chipped tiles, moving them around in both hands and letting them make little click-clack sounds. At length she carefully drew two As and an N, using them to decorate Helmand’s G with gnarled, arthritic fingers. “Argan”, she said, sounding pleased with herself.
Feck is ‘argan’, Helmand wanted to know.
Eh, wash yer mouth out, Barbara replied.
I’ll wash it out when you stop bloody making up words.
I’m not! Oh, honestly. I don’t want to play anymore when you get like this.
Like what, Helmand protested.
But Barbara was already rising, bracing herself with the arms of the chair and making that final concerted effort to fully straighten. She grabbed the half of her shawl that had slipped off and wrapped it about her shoulders. A makeshift poncho.
Y’might want to read a book or two, being as we’ve actually got some, she said.
Agh, muttered Helmand, with a wave of his hand. He watched her slightly bent frame shuffle away toward the sun room. There she found some soft pink slippers; wriggled her feet into them one at a time as she held on to the edge of the glass door.
There was still a balletic grace about her, Helmand thought, even at this advanced age. And a ferocity that had barely waned. He saw her pause and lift a palm to shade her eyes from the bright sun, and then she was out into the garden.