Flash Fiction · How to be British · Language

Fringe

Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Daily Brit Wit.

Fringe:

Noun

BRITISH for bangs.

“Johanna peers around the crack in the door, her body blocking the majority of the hallway’s lighting from sneaking inside the the darkened bedroom. She shifts slightly to allow a sliver to guide her eyesight. Now she can see the silhouette of her child snuggled in bed. Her eyes clench shut. She nudges the door enough to slip inside and leaves it.

Her footfalls are lithe, reminiscent of a long forgotten dancing career, as she tiptoes and stops at the twin sized, four-post bed.

And Johanna’s heart shrivels and expands in pain at the bruised face of her daughter. Tentatively, she stretches out her dominate hand to push aside the child’s fringe. It takes a good few sweeps to get the sticky strands to obey. Then the mother runs her nails teasingly through the downy, honey tresses. The child isn’t running a fever, thankfully, so Johanna seizes the opportunity to reassure her nerves her daughter’s perfectly all right.

‘Jazzy,’ the mother prods tenderly at the slumbering girl. She crouches and adds more weight to her fingers as she continues carding hair. ‘Hey love, Mama needs to see those pretty eyes.’

The child makes a minuscule protest at the back of her throat but otherwise remains unresponsive.

Johanna grins. ‘Jazzy, you promised me,’ her tone is sing-song and she turns her laughter into an exhaled puff. ‘I already gave you ten extra minutes.’

‘No,’ the lass whinges. Her eyelids scrunch first followed by the little nose and eyebrows. ‘Go ‘way,’ she shoos.

‘No can do, little one.’ Her mother returns, shifting her upper body weight to rest upon the mattress. Then her left arm slips under her daughter’s shoulders and tilts her up. ‘I’ve to monitor your concussion, Jazzy. Let me see you?’

‘Do I’ve to?’ She slurs her words together, but Johanna isn’t alarmed: her child always responds the same grumpy way upon waking.

‘Up,’ she says in reply.

Jazzy hisses in frustration but bright verdigris irises pop open and that last bit of tension Johanna was harbouring melts away with her daughter’s fierce, though exhausted, glare. The girl allows her mother to sit her upright for their fourth round of poking and prodding in the middle of the night.

‘I don’t like football anymore,’ her girl grumbles as Johanna finished the examination.

She chews on her lips. ‘I’m not sure I believe you,’ she teases.

Jazzy grouches some more, but she’s already edging back toward slumber. When Johanna makes to leave, Jazzy’s little hand shoots out. Johanna gives her a look, yet her girl’s fluttering between lucidity and misses its implication. With a fond sigh, Johanna scoots the child from the edge and toward middle. Once she’s settled, Jazzy latches on like a koala and begins snoring.”

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