The lodger’s money

Trying something a little different here: write a story keep it at exactly 250 words. We’ll see how it goes. Just trying to keep things simple for now.

The mother and her daughter were sitting at the small table by the window in the otherwise empty kitchen. The lodger came in and sat down. The mother yanked closed the curtain on the window that looked on the road. She turned to her daughter: did she have anything to say for herself? The daughter continued to stare at the lodger. She sat curving her spine, contrary to her recent, conscious habit. Her mother repeated the question. She bent further forward, her head tilted back and her broad chin elevated. She kept her small teeth tight together. The silence acted as a goad on him, and he jerked forward in his chair.

So it is nothing to you? Is it nothing that you have ruined our relationship? You have made everything rotten. Do you have nothing to say to me? The mother looked at him out of the side of her eye. She sat for a moment, then sent the daughter out of the room.

She said, I ask myself, what have I done wrong? Does she fear me so much, she couldn’t come to me? The lodger interrupted her. But she isn’t afraid of me, I would have given it to her if she had asked. She knew that.

The mother accepted and dismissed it with a gesture: her hand, curled slightly, came in to her body, palm up; then it rotated and, flat, palm down, and went out straight to her side. She knew it, she knew it.