Thursday, 8 September 2011

The Chair

It’s just a chair. Just an old chair on top of a skip. It’s an old fashioned wing back chair in heavy brown and gold brocade. Threadbare where the head of the owner would once have rested. Its wooden legs are faded and scratched, the brass studs holding the material onto the frame dulled and pale. The cushion displaying none of the bounce that it had possessed when it was new. Just an old chair.
It’s just an old chair, but, when it was new, it was a wedding gift. A gift beyond the dreams of Ray and Alice for setting up their new home. It took pride of place near their window where Ray could sit when he came home from work, could watch the world go by on a Sunday morning. Where he could sit and listen to the wireless on an evening and relax. The chair that he was sat in when the second World War was declared.
It was the chair he sat in when he opened his call up papers and where Alice sat at his feet and cried with her head on his knee, stroking her wavy black hair. Reassuring her of his return to be able to see the baby that was due in barely two and a half months. The chair which was the only place Alice could really get comfortable in her last months of pregnancy.
It was the chair that his son had first pulled himself up onto in preparation to take his first faltering steps, and the chair in which his daughter ended up being born on. It was the mainstay of the dens that his children had built and hid in during their childhood. It was the chair in which his daughter, Olive, had gone into labour with his first grandchild.
It was the chair in which Ray had sat and cried when they’d found out Alice was dying. The cancer ravaging her body quicker than the doctors could keep up with. And the chair he sat and cried in again on the day she died cradled in his arms on their 53rd wedding anniversary.
It was the chair in which he had lived, and the chair in which he had cradled every one of his children, and grand children and great grand children. It was a chair that had given him great joy.
It was the chair in which he’d died. On a Sunday morning watching the world go by, he’d closed his eyes and slipped away, ready and smiling.
It is just an old chair on top of a skip.


  1. Very good descriptive piece. If you wanted to flesh it out, which I don't think it needs, possibly use all senses. The smell of the chair, where the head rested maybe a hint of brylcream. But its your piece.

  2. I really liked this, I love the idea of the whole family using the chair in some way, and I can just imagine the chair in a skip evoking a very sad image, well done xx

  3. As I said on Facebook, Rachel; I love this. It's painfully beautiful. It made me quite sad, actually. A talent. X

  4. I really like this it appeals to my own way of storing the history of things and keeping them beyond there use just because they played a significant part in an experience. Thankfully I have nothing as big as a chair in my memory box, mostly cue balls and corks but their are odd things like the dress I wore on my 5th birthday that made me feel like a princess, now that's something I could never fit in again but never could get rid of x