The Emancipation of Margot Feather Added£0.99
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(A short story of 3663 words)

The Emancipation of Margot Feather


by Elizabeth Stott

Margot could have danced, but she bashes away on an old typewriter in her husband's carpet business. Feather's Carpet Empire had never amounted to much, and had her husband listened to her, things could have been very different. But, one day, she hears a voice from the fire escape...

Mrs Margot Feather types on the old mechanical typewriter with her hands high, as if she is playing a piano.

‘I could have danced,’ she says to her husband, who is studying a batch of new headed notepaper with his half-frames, ‘But instead I bash away on this old machine. Why can’t you get me a computer?’

Mr Feather replies, ‘What use is a computer to me? And besides, your feet are not the feet of a dancer, but curiosities of medical science.’

Mrs Feather pulls the paper from the machine making a ripping noise like a chiropractor’s manoeuvre.

Mr Feather looks over his glasses. ‘Be careful with that letter. I hope that you lined up the heading. The letterheads were expensive.’ He leans across their facing desks and takes the letter from his wife. ‘There is a comma missing!’

Mrs Feather pushes herself round in her swivel chair, stretching her cramped feet and sighs.

‘A computer would have spotted that. And I could have corrected it before printing it out and thereby wasting your expensively headed paper.’

‘I’ll put one in by hand. You can make us some tea!’

With difficulty, Margot stands, her posture as exact as she can manage. Her high-heeled shoes are not sensible for a lady with toes that cross one over the other like chopsticks. She teeters into the kitchen behind the shop. The kettle and the microwave sparkle in the shabby little room. An assortment of cups and mugs are neatly stored in the battered cupboard. Ordinary ones for every day. Special crockery for important visitors (hardly used) and some expensive biscuits (for the important visitors) past their use-by date...

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