The end of a rope sticks out from underneath the sofa. She reaches down to grab the rope and pulls.
A small takeaway paper bag slides into sight.
She gags. How long has it been there? She can’t bring herself to check, but she needs to be sure. She reaches for the knot tying the bag close.
“Mum!” Her youngest dashes to her side. “Gimme.”
“What is this?” she asks instead.
Her youngest shifts from foot to foot, then dashes off once more to return with her eldest.
“Oh. You found it,” her eldest says, “Thanks, mum.”
He reaches for the bundle and she hands it over without a thought. By the time her mind catches up, the bag is already in her eldest son’s hands.
“What’s in it?” she asks.
“A surprise. You’ll see.”
And she does. Two weeks later, when her two boys present her with a set of handmade earrings and necklace strung together with the materials they had hidden in the bag.
“Happy birthday, mum!”
Genre: slice of life