Sophie loved these summer days, when the sun was warm in the morning.

It seemed to drink up the dew from the grass on the small hill behind where she lived.

She imagined the sun slurpling up the dew just like she would use a straw to get the last of the strawberry shakes her mother made when Molly came around to play.

The girls would run up the hill through the long grass, waking up the daisies and dandelions and giggling all the way.

At the top they would catch their breath and giggle at Jack the most loving and silly spaniel that lived with Molly.

The best fun though was the rolling race.

Setting off together they rolled down the hill through the grass and dandelions laughing and giggling and screaming as only small girls can.

The slope was gentle and laughter would always roll with them at the sight of Jack, his ears flapping madly as he kept up with the rolling, giggling, screaming girls.

Near the bottom of the slope where they had made a finish line of an old skipping rope they would both claim to have won, neither knowing who actually got there first in their manic giggling dizzy silliness, but neither caring, for the love of the game and their friendship which they knew, in their childish certainty would last forever.

They let the giggling subside and by tradition shared some of the many coloured jelly sweets that they both loved and never seemed to run out of.

“You should get something to eat” shouted Sophies mother, but little girls are addicted to rolling and giggling and laughing and screaming you see.

So they made their way back up the hill, this time collecting daisies as they went for their next best game, making chains for braclets and necklaces and above all, more giggling.

At the top, under the trees it was always cool and shady.

Jack would flop down and pant only to get up every few minutes at the sight or sound of a bird above or something small scuttling deeper in the shady spot.

They made their fragile jewellery.

They ate some more inexaustible jellies.

They did LOTS of giggling.

Sophie had bits of dandelion in her hair and they decided that was nice too and would collect those next time and become flower children as Molly said that was a good thing.

Molly and Sophie always agreed about such things and hugged and laughed at the thought of being covered in dandelions.

And they rolled again, daisies flying from them, and it mattered not at all.

“You really should eat something”

As she held the hand of the mother she loved so, only to see her become the child she still loved so, Jenny sat in wonder at the look of bliss on her mother Sophies face.

Physically as sound as an eighty five year old could be expected to be, she had left the real world and withdrawn all too swiftly and Jenny missed her so much.

That she was in no pain was a blessing, that she seemed happy more so. But she missed the conversations and laughter so very much.

“Mum, please try and eat something, just a little”

Usually quite silent these days, the mother that was now the child seemed to giggle oh so softly, and the child that was now the mother squeezed her hand a little.

The squeeze was returned just as softly, but faded.

Sophie settled back into her chair with a sigh, the smile still on her lips and was gone.

And it occurred to the child that was now the mother that in her sweet confusion, Sophie was blissfully happy.

All too small a comfort for the space left in her life.

Only two weeks later did she learn, due to the usual contacting of distant relations, friends and by the use of the well used and thick book of people Sophie loved that her childhhod friend Molly, had also died.

On the same day as Sophie.

Within five minutes of the time Sophie departed.

Also smiling.

Which made Jenny wonder if the confusion was not her mothers but hers, in not understanding exactly where her mother was in those last few weeks.

And in that moment she heard a small girl giggling, somewhere in the distance.

And understood.

© stevescriber 2023
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fascinating, must read it again. well done!


Some lovely images here Steve, and a moving and memorable story. I enjoyed it a lot. Thank you for contributing.


Since both you and IYP contributed such contrasting stories, it was impossible to make an impartial, choice. I’m asking you both to set a new fiction challenge. I do hope you’ll agree. best wishes Ellie 🙂

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