Grannying for Beginners


“No sausages.”


“No noodles.”

Azure eyes widen, bottom lip juts. “Nanny Nina has noodles AND sausages.”

I see her dad Jason at three – same eyes; no pink dress, just a red and blue Spiderman costume. I washed it so often the threads became web-like. Should’ve stocked up… why have I forgotten everything?

“Ham sandwich?”

“Have you got red sauce, Nanny Becca?”

I swoop her up, get a mouthful of blonde curls and strawberry shampoo.

“Don’t carry me, I’ll ride my unicorn.”

Kangaroo hops to the kitchen – thought they’d be a smoother ride, unicorns and grandkids.  Dismounts, then ties her reins to the cutlery drawer knob. Skips to the worktop, her hair frizzles and flounces in a crown of unicorn static.

“Can you cut it into sunflowers like Nanny Nina?”

I carve crusts, shape five pointy petals, then plonk it on a yellow plate.

“Is it a star Nanny Becca?”

Ketchup plops scarlet on white tiles. She points her toe, smears semicircles; red rainbows for her, more black marks for me. Her blood-soaked-bandage socks won’t make it home.

“Are they ruined Nanny Becca?”

“No, just need a wash.”

I bought two multi packs just in case, there… hidden in the wardrobe depths; lilac shell toes and laughing mermaids.

“Nanny Nina has no mermaids, just sausages… I love you Nanny Becca.”

I remember the sticky-out bone on my wrist. Jason used to press it to shoot out spider webs. I got this. I tap it once.  Nanny Nina is swathed in a snarl of spider silk, her designer worktops an abattoir of pork products.

I start a sea shanty, take little hands in mine and glide across the ocean floor. The pink and white unicorn and me share a wink, the way mythical creatures and superheroes often do.


Margaret Timoney is from Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal. She enjoys flash fiction and has had some pieces published in The Ekphrastic Review and The Pine Cone Review.


2 thoughts on “Grannying for Beginners”

  1. Grannying for Beginners – Fantasy allied to reality works well here. The pitch of verse back and forth flows while the command and control of narrative pace grips the reader’s attention.
    The dark side of age is hinted by reference to leg ulcers and counterpointed by the mention of ketchup. Fiction and fact blend.

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