Nanny Cobb was written after a 'Write a ghost story' prompt but I find taking things seriously a bit of a challenge at times so this was the result. A few people have suggested that it feels like an introduction or the beginning of a series which on re-reading it does. So maybe one day we'll find out how it develops. I did actually fulfil the brief properly and I'll find that story for a later post.
Nanny Cobb was sitting by the kitchen range, not doing anything just sitting, in a way that people are incapable of these days. Now they would go somewhere special with lots of other people and all sit together with someone teaching them how to sit and call it meditation but Nanny Cobb knew nothing of that so she was just sitting. And for as much as she was good at it the cat, fortysomat (she'd run out of names and lost count somewhere in the thirties) was even better and was curled up on the window sill by her side.
All was right with the world until the sound of two people walking up the path was getting loud enough to drown out the sitting and Nanny Cobb realised she was going to have to repel boarders again. This really was getting too much this must be at least the fifth time this century, how many times did a body have to assert their rights to their own home.
“Yes it is in a charming location but you can see from the state of the property it’s going to need a considerable amount of work. You still haven’t explained why you bought it without even viewing the property. I mean surely you should at least have got some kind of estimate from a builder for the renovation work.”
Mr Walker was showing Maggie up the path in a crab like fashion and talking non stop obviously wishing he was somewhere else. Any sudden noise and he’d have been through the front gate before the sound of his scream. Maggie took pity on the poor man assured him she’d be fine and watched him through the broken gate at practically a run.
Nanny Cobb had reluctantly risen from her chair and stationed herself just inside the front door blocking the hall and put on her stare, the one that used to send little children running. Fortysomat’s contribution had been to open one eye and close it again. She readied herself for the inevitable scream as Maggie shouldered the door open with a large box cradled in her arms. Nanny Cobb lowered her eyebrows just that little more as Maggie turned and saw her.
“Oh hello, do excuse me” said Maggie as she walked right through Nanny and into the kitchen.
That definitely wasn't the way it was supposed to go. Usually they either turned and fled or froze and needed the extra “whoo hoo” to get them moving. Apart from that annoying woman who was determined to “help you with your unfinished business” Nanny had no unfinished business. Just a deep seated sense of belonging to her house. She'd had to set 'nearlyforty on the woman. Poor cat was never the same again and didn't last much past that.
Maggie put the box down and turned to address Nanny “I’m terribly sorry that really was rude of me but I was starting to lose my grip, your Nanny Cobb” Maggie said with no fear of being wrong” My names Maggie I'm so pleased to meet you. Can't really shake hands though can we.”
Nanny was having none of this friendly lark and was gearing herself up for some serious “Whoo hooing” when Maggie continued.
Of course you won't know me will you I keep forgetting as I know so much about you. Maggie Cobb, an awful lot of generations but we're related. I've bought the cottage and was hoping we could be friends”
Friends you chose, relatives you were saddled with and Nanny had never been saddled with anything she didn't want to be. She looked around for Fortysomat considering the cat option but the bloody little traitor was purring and rubbing itself against the intruders legs.
This one was obviously going to take a relatively long time to shift.