Margaret Williams' world view is revealed through the characters in her short stories. her work conceals sharp twists and jaw dropping surprises.
WAITING WITH INTENT
CROUCHING low, trying to look inconspicuous, waiting, hoping, ready. Her grey friend rounds the corner, slowly, suspiciously. Sits up, scanning, paws folded, like an old woman with hands on her ample stomach. Brain giving the all clear. Starts forward, cautiously. Stops, sits up again, scanning, wary. Advances towards the peanut feeder, swinging up easily. Rosie out of the starting gates, legs going like pistons, launching herself up the steps yipping but no match for the speed of the squirrel who, with arms outstretched, dropping to the ground and away like an Olympian athlete. Both disappearing in a flurry of legs with the squirrel gracefully scaling the nearest tree, leaving Rosie waiting at the bottom of the trunk, breathless from the sudden exertion but still waiting with intent.
THE OFFICE WAGER
‘OOOH – look at him. He’s HOT. I LOVE a man in uniform. Wonder who he’s waiting to see?’Carol’s new workmate, Mary, was staring into the reception area at the airman sitting there patiently waiting.
‘Yeah, he is nice. Come on now Mary, it’s nearly time to go home and we must get this finished before we leave,’ admonished Carol.
They continued with their work, but a little later came the urgent whisper,‘Carol, he hasn’t taken his eyes off you. Wish someone would look at me like that.’
‘Don’t be silly, Mary. Let’s get finished, so we can go home.’
Ten minutes later they were packing up for the day when Mary said ‘I bet you lunch tomorrow you can’t get him to take you out for a drink.’
Carol looked into the reception area and smiled, ‘Okay, you’re on. He takes me for a drink, you buy lunch, he says no then I pay.’
Carol strutted out and swayed past the airman, accidentally dropping her bag almost at his feet. Being the gentleman she knew he would be, he picked it up, stood politely and handed it to her. Carol looked back at Mary who gave her a discreet thumbs up.
Mary couldn’t hear what Carol said to the airman but she distinctly heard him say,‘I’m sorry Ma’am, but I am married - and very happily too.’
Then to Mary’s amazement Carol shrieked and threw her arms around his neck, and he twirled her around, holding her tightly. ‘You horrible man. You were meant to say yes. Now I will have to buy lunch tomorrow.’ She laughed. ‘Mary, come and meet Phil, my husband. He’s home on leave from Afghanistan.’
You can read more of Margaret's stories in our anthologies, available direct from us or from Amazon. Also now on Kindle