Short Story: A Girl's Best Friend

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About this Short Story

Written by
Joe Brown

Set in pre-decimalisation Britain. Is it really the sewing machine that is this girl’s Best Friend? Or has she just devised a novel way of avoiding repair bills?

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It was Saturday morning. I ambled up the High Street, enjoying the summer sun on my face, and there it was. Right beside the bus-stop as I'd been told. Both windows were filled with second-hand sewing machines of all descriptions. The shop door was open, so I walked in and went straight to the counter at the rear of the shop. A stern-looking woman in her forties looked up from the sewing she was doing on a machine beside the counter and asked: “Can I help you?”

I smiled at her. “Are you Mrs. Davies?”

She nodded.

“I'm Joe. Mrs. Connelly said you had a radiogram you wanted repairing.”

“Ah.” She stood up and slowly looked me up and down, which made me feel distinctly uneasy. Her eyes came back up to my face and held my gaze and she gave a little nod, and turned away to pick up her handbag, from which she produced a piece of paper. “My address is on…

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Hugh Cron said "Hi Joe, well I must admit, I have read a lot of stories here on Shortbread but that is the first time that I have come across that type of content. I wonder if that has anything to do with the lack of comments? You write superbly well and you are fearless with your subject matter. Being true to the story is all that we can strive for no matter what direction it take us in. All the very best my friend. Hugh"
4 years ago
Joe Brown replied saying "Hi Hugh, thanks for your comments. You are most certainly right - folks can find events such as those I depicted distasteful, and best not spoken about. As I mentioned in a previous response, most of what I wrote is true. After leaving her house, I had pondered on how creepy she was, put this together with the dog's behaviour, and my young imagination did the rest. I never forgot the events, so much (, much) later wove the tale you have read. As much as anything, this is a story about me, and where my imagination takes me - sometimes to places that others may wish I would keep entirely to myself. Having said that, I remember being shocked at the naiveté of both my parents, and their apparent blindness to what was going on all around them in the late fifties/early sixties, some of which I have written about both on Shortbread and elsewhere. Or, maybe I'm wrong, and they found it so unspeakable, it simply wasn't discussed, other than dire warnings regarding men in trilby hats and dirty raincoats, with 'reefers', which if I smoked, would end up in me having unspeakable items inserted into various orifices of my body. Thankfully, I never met any of these guys, so this never happened to me!! Warmest regards from Joe."
4 years ago
Joe Brown said "Hi Desmond, thanks for your comment. I wonder how many people these days know what an 'octal valve' is? Seriously though, I wondered about the detail, but after cleaning up my initial draft decided it was necessary to give the story it's authenticity. As with most things I write it's based on experience - I did service the radiogram, and the woman was very 'creepy'. Can't say more than that!"
8 years ago
Desmond Kelly said "I didn't see that one coming as the actress said to the bishop - nice detail and rounded off with a laugh."
8 years ago

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