DIY with Biscuits

The sound of the drill was not enough to completely drown out his voice.

‘Sure that’s in the right place?’ Gerry asked.
I focussed on the screw disappearing into the wall.
‘Mary? You hear me? You sure that’s not too low?’
‘Yes, Gerry.’
‘You want me to do it?’
‘No, Gerry.’

I stepped back to look at the successfully installed bracket. The first of two in my adventure to get the shelf back up. My shelf, for my books. Gerry was talking again, something about putting the shelf lower so that he could put another one in above. He mentioned his books, moving them over from his place. I don’t think so, sunshine.

I told him to hold the second bracket against the wall, where I’d previously measured and marked. He seemed to struggle with this simple concept.

‘The pencil marks, there look,’ I tell him.
‘Ah yeah,’ he finally held the bracket where I’d asked. ‘They’re not very clear.’

I snatched the shelf from the floor and carefully placed it on the brackets, before adding the spirit level on top. Perfect. I started taking it all off again.

‘That was level was it?’ he asked in a tone that suggested it wasn’t.
‘Yes, Gerry.’ I picked up the screwdriver.
I held my hand out for the bracket. Gerry held out his hand for the screwdriver.
‘No, Gerry.’
He handed me the bracket, sighing.
‘Thank you, Gerry.’ Fuck you, Gerry.

I started to drill holes over my (perfectly clear) pencil marks. Once done, I looked at Gerry and he smiled at me. He had a lovely face, he really did. Shame he was so annoying.

‘Make us a cuppa, will you?’ I asked pleasantly. ‘I’ll be ok from here.’
‘You sure?’ Ugh, he looked so innocent. He really had no idea. He thought this relationship was going well. God knows how.
‘Yes, Gerry, I’m sure.’ I smiled for him.
‘Okie dokie!’ he walked out the room, an inexplicable skip in his step.

I couldn’t keep putting it off. I’d sit him down when I’d finished this, tell him over a cup of tea. A cup of tea with biscuits. It’d be fine.



Harry Wilding is studying for a Creative Writing MA in Nottingham. He used to make short films but decided to start writing prose again due to the smaller budgets involved. He has had work published by Popshot, Flash Magazine and Everyday Fiction.