Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Richard D. Cooper would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Threescore and Ten

By Richard D. Cooper All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Horror

Threescore and Ten

Today is the wife’s seventieth birthday. I popped out this morning and sneakily bought a card and a bunch of bright yellow daffodils from the garage on the corner. Don’t tell her, though! For all she knows I went out yesterday and got them, but to be honest I just didn’t get chance.

I have so many things to do around the house these days. For a start we seem to have a strange smell coming from somewhere. It’s unpleasant; rather sharp and sickly in the nostrils. The wife keeps moaning about it, insisting that a bird or some other critter has got stuck up the chimney and died. I have tried shining a torch up there, but I can’t see anything. And anyway, it seems to be coming from somewhere in the living room or kitchen.

That’s not all. The rooms are becoming more and more cluttered and dusty; and because me and the wife both suffer with chronic back problems, we can’t seem to keep on top of the cleaning. Our three children have long since moved out and started their own lives elsewhere. None of them drop by very often. In fact, I don’t think the wife has had a birthday card off any of them. That makes me angry. We brought them up better than that.

Anyway. Back to the smell. I’m in the living room looking for the cause of it. I have to step over the dinner plates from last night; and plates from the night before (mental note: Must wash up later) and look behind the sofa. It seems worse here.

You’re blocking the telly, the wife just yelled! I mutter sorry and step out of the way. As I do so, I knock over a stack of newspapers that really need putting in the recycling bin. I kick them angrily.

Temper, temper, the wife smiles. I return the smile, but it’s strained. I need help around the house, but her back problems seem worse than mine. Instead, I re-stack the yellowing newspapers and carry on searching for the bad pong.

I go into the kitchen, sniffing and frowning. Bad in here too, but not to such an extent. God! Look at those worktops! Can’t see them for dirty plates, cutlery and tea-splashed mugs. I must get round to cleaning up later.

Back into the living room. Ask the wife if she would like anything to eat or drink. She says no; at least I think she said that. Hard to tell with her. She tends to mumble a lot just lately.

Instead, I put her daffodils in a vase and place them on the windowsill. First I have to wipe away a few dead flies. It is spring-time, after all. I stand back and admire the flowers. A splash of bright colour against the grey net-curtains. They need taking down and washing really. I will do that next week.

Back to finding the source of the smell. If we had any pets I’d swear they had gone to the toilet in here! That’s what it’s like. It’s like shit.

On my hands and knees now (wincing as my seventy-two year old back clicks sharply) and peer beneath the sofa. Lots of food crumbs and tangled dust-balls. Looks like a battle field from my point of view; the carpet fibres represent mud, the dust-balls snarled barbed-wire. Anyway, nothing under there. I stand up with a grunt. The wife is staring at me. She looks ill. Sunken-in. Like that painting called The Scream or something.

Watch the telly, not me, I say. I only mean it in a joking way but she doesn’t laugh or anything. I look over at the TV, wondering what it is she’s watching, and notice that it isn’t even switched on. That’s odd. Could have sworn it was. The screen is coated in a layer of dust. But then again, what isn’t?

As I walk by the sofa I lay a hand on the wife’s shoulder; to reassure her everything will turn out ok. She feels cold. I should put the heating on really, but it costs a lot of money.

I love you, I say.

Love you too, hubby! Till I’m threescore and ten!

I smile and shake my head. That’s an old saying from our younger days. I remember dancing with her to Strangers on the Shore at our local club all those years ago, circling the floor, swaying slowly to the dulcet tones. Never leave me, I remember saying. Her eyes had been sapphire blue; like a tropical pool. I wanted to swim in them forever.

Never. I’m with you till I’m threescore and ten and beyond . . .

I’m still smiling as I wander into the kitchen for no apparent reason. I pause for a moment, frowning, and then wander back into the living room.

The wife has slumped. She does that a lot I’ve noticed. I straighten her up and flap away a fly that is crawling across her face. Pesky things. I ask her if she wants a cup of tea, but I don’t get an answer.

The smell is back. Strong; bitter. I should open a window or something, even if it’s just to get some of these flies out, but the wife hates being cold. I sit down next to her and pull her close. She doesn’t protest.

It’s a funny thing, life. You meet all sorts of people throughout it; a seething mix of both good and bad, but the ones that mean something – I mean, truly mean something – never seem to stay with you for long. As human beings we’re fated to hate change, no matter what the next person says. Change is big, and in my opinion never good. I like things to stop as they are. I’m fine with that. I love the wife and she loves me; so why should we bring that to an end?

So. I’ll sit here a while and hold her against me. She’s cold and I need to warm her up. I’ll sing to her. She likes that. Afterwards I’ll start looking for what’s causing that terrible smell. I might even start cleaning. Then again, perhaps I won’t.


Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Richard D. Cooper
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

jessiehs: This was absolutely amazing. I loved how it went back and forth between perspectives. I actually cried at the end I was so happy. This was amazing. I can't even think of another word to describe it. Thank you for writing his.

LouiseJ2: I enjoyed the detail you went into with regards to the case. It made the UNSUB appear believable. The crisis in the middle of the story was my favorite part, very dramatic but not over the top. I feel like sometimes pairings can be overdone but I liked that some of the relationships were a little...

AMATULLA VOHRA: the story is very good and the story is absolutely amazing .I had a great time reading it.I loved your story very much and I wanna say just keep writing................it's a great story and a very unique one too....

Pilleip: This has been a bit different genre from what I usually read but a real delight. I like the vamps being different from cliche. I like the intriguing and unpredictable plot and the quirky characters. The only complaint I have is that I want to read more but the book run out. I hope there's going t...

Katharine Southworth: I think this is an important love story. The author tackles the highs and lows of a romantic relationship and I truly empathized with both characters. As one descends into depression the other must find ways to cope with watching their loved one suffer. This is a heartbreaking struggle that I hav...

sarahsweet898123: I loved the story ... its was fascinating. ... cant put it down.... the way it was written....was so beautiful. .. the details. .. especially the characters. ..I loved them so much ... Garrick and mairi... every time there was some kind of attraction. ... just cant help it .... no words to express

Kalyan Shobhana: There is not a moment in this book where you think...let me stop now. this book cast a spell that compels you to finish it. in the end...you just hope and pray that may it turn out to be a series and the author keeps writing more and more. Let's just say this books makes me want to be selfish ,so...

CurlyRed: I read this entire book in just under 4 hours I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! i found myself emotionally attached to the characters and making personal connections that i had never experienced before while reading a book! I was constantly wanting to read more, every chapter left me on a cliff hanger tha...

263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...

More Recommendations

romboili000: As I read this book it made me realize the importance of trusting big God. And believing that you can love even when it feels impossible. This story definitely has made me what to become a better person in Christ and just life. So thank you that's all I have to say because you wrote this story so...

brettylee: The narrative is slick yet punchy. Life, Family and Friends I believe is the core message so it’s easy to relate to. It’s surprisingly action packed. The author does a good job at keeping you guessing. Just when you think all is right, whack, the unexpected happens. The dialogue is energetic and ...