• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 11
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The Gift

It would be impossible to deny that she had some unusual friends. The presents she’d received for her birthday were a mismatched assortment of items bought from charity shops; books with notes attached saying ‘you must read this’ and the wine and chocolate people had won as prizes and didn’t like. She didn’t like them either but was far too polite to say so.

The statue of a harpist with a diving mask and air tanks had to be one of the strangest she had ever been given. When she’d arrived at work it had been on her desk in a box. The label on the box said ‘Precious - Handle with care’ and there was a card inside that was barely legible with the word ‘Breathe’ on it.

She decided that someone was trying to send her a subliminal message to help her cope with her stressful job and so she closed her eyes and tried deep breathing. After a few minutes she gave up and went to get a coffee.
Returning she found that one of her colleague’s children was trying to take off the diving mask with a glint of mischievous determination in their eyes.
“Would you like it?” The child nodded in reply and marched off clutching the statue.

“One gift gotten rid off, another ten to go,” she mumbled and by the end of the day she’d managed to pass on most of them, except the coffee cream chocolates that no one wanted. Just as she about to leave work, a red-faced executive from the art gallery opposite dashed in and asked if a parcel had been delivered by mistake.

“It’s got a statue in it by a really well-known artist and it’s worth a small fortune. It isn’t here is it?”


The Gift

Fortunately, and without even crossing her fingers she was able to say that it wasn’t ‘there’. She picked up her bag and smiled.
“It’s my birthday. I’m just going out for a drink with friends. You are most welcome to come. You look as if you could do with one. Although, perhaps if you tried taking a few deep breaths you might feel a bit better!”