#Outlook

Winning first place in the first competition for Hibiscus Coast writers club for 2020 – Flash Fiction based on the lyric’s from a song. Can you identify the song?

Outlook.

‘Evening, love, how’s your day?’ Rose felt a flutter in her stomach.
Her fingers tensed around the phone, she needed to stay calm.
‘Fine and no sickness,’ rubbing her stomach. ‘I saw the doctor and… .’
‘And? What did he say?’
‘The test results were inconclusive. The doctor has referred me to a specialist.’
‘A specialist? Why a specialist?’
‘Nothing to be alarmed about, love. You know how thorough Doctor Weatherall is.’ Rose picked at the scab on her thumb until it bled. She sucked the metal tasting fluid.
Her heartbeat quickened as she recalled the doctor’s words.
‘It’s your heart, Mrs Snowdon, I know you guessed so.’
Rose shuddered. ‘Will this affect… .’
‘Not necessarily. Don’t worry, we’ll monitor your condition closely. Once you see the specialist, we’ll know more, and the outlook may improve.’
Like the weatherman, the doctor could be wrong. Neither of them gets it right all the time.
Nothing to do but wait, wait to see the specialist.
Wait and hope and pray.
Pray for sunshine.
Not a thunder day with winds that chill you to the bone.
Often, Rose felt the chills.
‘And you, how’s your day been, Shaun? When are you coming home?’
‘Soon. Tuesday’s thunderstorm has delayed progress, lines down, poles needing replacing, the usual mayhem after such a big weather event. Home by the weekend, I promise.’
‘Sunshine’s promised for the weekend. Wouldn’t that be great?’ If the orb doesn’t appear, I have my own sunshine to share, Rose thought.
Sunshine, sunshine, sunshine.
‘Yeah, it would. Honestly, Rose, how are you really feeling?’
‘Tired, but otherwise, fine,’ Rose assured Shaun, concluding the nightly phone call.
Rose moved to the kitchen. She placed the chicken soup her sister Maggie had brought earlier, into the microwave.
Over coffee, Maggie regaled Rose with her litany of complaints:
The neighbours, lowering the standard of the neighbourhood with their garish garden ornaments – pink gnomes, pink flamingoes and a raucous cockatoo. Her tight-fisted pessimistic in-laws, refusing to invest in husband Harold’s latest fail-safe business opportunity, sighting the bleak financial outlook. And poor, weak Harold, not standing up to his parents, and convincing them to invest.
‘Hah, and the kids. Don’t mention the kids. Wednesday’s are hell, ferrying three ungrateful kids all around town: the Mall, the BMX track, ballet class, soccer practice, piano lesson. Wednesday, don’t mention Wednesday! Not a good one at all!’’
Maggie stopped mid-rant. ‘If your condition worsens, and the unthinkable happens, at least you’ll not have the burden of leaving behind a motherless child. That’s a blessing.’
Rose clasped her hands to her chest to quell the drum beating within her heart.
The microwave beeped. Rose had lost her appetite. She padded into the lounge and stretched out on the sofa, unconsciously rubbing the barely discernible stomach-bump.
Rose switched on the television.
‘Tonight’s weather. Today’s been lousy but the outlook for Thursday, your guess is as good as mine.’

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