The Appearance Of Murder*

“Rather a lot of parcels have arrived for you,” Dad says.

“Oh, good,” I say, looking at the pile of boxes and padded envelopes on the dining room table.

“What are all these packages?” Mum says, looking at me with that you’ve-gone-high-again-haven’t-you look.  Or as a friend once put it: “Your mother looks terrified: as if a bomb’s about to go off.”

“Well this one’s Seb’s present – the wolf gloves,” I say, picking up a padded envelope which has travelled from Turkey.  “And that’s my brother’s birthday present.  The big one is the Prime Ministers’ illnesses book and…”

“What’s that big box?” Dad says.

We all stare at a large white box.  I know what it is.  It’s a dress that I ordered by mistake.  Maybe it will be amazing, I think.

“It’s a present for me,” I say.

“It’s not a present if you had to buy it for yourself,” Dad says.

“It is,” I say, opening the box, taking the dress down to my room.

The dress isn’t amazing, I realise once it’s on.  It doesn’t fit, for a start.  It’s too big and it’s horrible.  It’s going to have to go back.

“Do you want me to send that back for you, darling?” Mum says, staring at the dress, when I emerge from my room.

“It’s awful isn’t it?” I say.  

“It doesn’t fit,” Mum says.  “Anyway: you don’t need any more dresses and…”

“Well it’s the party season,” I say.  “And…”

“You’re spending the party season in hospital,” Mum says.

Just have to find out how to return it then.

Had better help Mum with supper and wake Dad up: he’s snoring.

The attached photo is the fluffy monster.

Happy Friday everyone!
*2015.  By John Nightingale.  Crime fiction novel.

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