Jeff paused at the entry to the kitchen silently observing his mother seated at the table. His father’s urn sat next to her plate, gleaming in the low morning light, and a pile of mail graced the opposite side. A single sheet of paper shook in Elinor’s long skeletal fingers. She sighed and placed it down gently, smoothing the creases as he took a seat across from her.
“Morning, Mom. What’s that?” He gestured to the discarded letter. World weary eyes met his, a smile fighting to show itself on her age ravaged skin. She waved a hand over the letter.
“Nothing, really. It’s not as if I didn’t expect this…” She took a deep breath, dabbing her eyes with her napkin. “It’s from the bank. The sale has been finalized on the farm.” Her lip trembled and tears clung to her lashes. “I know it has to be this way…we couldn’t keep it in the family forever…”
Jeff clutched his mother’s delicate hand in his own, his blocky, square tipped fingers reminiscent of his late father’s. “It’ll be okay, Mom. I-“
Elinor cut him off, a forced expression of cheerfulness gracing her elegant profile as she glanced over at the clock. “Pshaw, don’t molly-coddle a melodramatic old woman.” She met his gaze again and her lips curved up. “Besides, who’d want that old dinosaur anyway? Barn’s crumbling, house needs new plumbing…I’m glad I never have to use that dastardly antique of a stove again!”
Jeff raised an eyebrow at his mother’s sudden about face. “Are you sure you’re okay with this Mom? Ready to let go?”
“Yes,” she said, her fingers lightly stroking the urn. “It was time.”
“Well, that’s unfortunate.” Jeff pushed up from the table.
“Why do you say that?”
“Because I’m the new owner of the property.” Jeff placed a kiss on her brow. “I was hoping you’d show me how to work that old stove.” He smiled at the tears of happiness trickling down her cheeks.
This flash fiction brought to you by Trifecta and their word of the week: Dinosaur – 3: one that is impractically large, out-of-date, or obsolete