Alice's Secret Cupboard
by Fiona Mc Cashin

Alice has a secret cupboard in her house. It’s full of presents she hasn’t sent yet, will never send.

She met a man on her way home one day. She bought him a present on impulse, but he never showed up the next day, and she never saw him again.. That was how it started. It’s not that she especially likes giving people presents. In fact, it embarrasses her. Maybe that’s why she let a solitary gesture become a habit.

There’s one for the guy who turned out to have the girlfriend, the friend she fell out with, and the aunt who died. There are presents that were too small, presents that were too big, and presents that were inappropriate, but most of the things in the cupboard are simply things she thinks certain people should have. She often buys gifts with no intention of delivering them to their rightful owners. Maybe it seems facetious, but nine out of ten of those people would probably just give her a funny look, and turn away.

No-one ever asks why so much of her focus is on people who aren’t in the picture. Maybe it’s just too obvious to mention.

There’s one cd in there that she’d love to listen to. But she can’t take anything out of the cupboard. Because that’s how she gets by. That’s all her love in there.

Fiona Mc Cashin lives in Belfast where she runs her own (unofficial) mobile library. Membership is compulsory, as is a full discussion of each book borrowed. She also collects snowglobes.