January 15th – And as she walked away, she took it all with her.
She couldn’t really leave it there.
That wouldn’t be fair to anyone, really. After all, most of it was hers, and what wasn’t hers wasn’t going to make any difference to anyone, not in the long run. And she had a big bag.
The trouble was, Katie was getting a bit of a reputation. One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure is fair enough, but one woman’s half-drunk bottle of Pinot Grigio is that woman’s half-drunk bottle of Pinot Grigio, and to see it disappear into the depths of Katie’s more-than-adequate bag was more than some people could bear. Especially as (or so it was rumoured), Katie carried a supply of corks with her in her more-than-adequate bag for the sole purpose of stoppering up the spoils of war and carrying away her plunder.
The Minesweeper, they called her.
Behind her back.
Obviously they didn’t say this to her face: in all other areas she was fine, she was Katie. She split the bill in restaurants without question, she was a good host, she always bought a round. It was the fact that she took half of everyone else’s round away with her that was the problem.
After a particular barbeque, on a warm summer’s evening, where the wine and the conversation had flowed freely, and Katie had been heard clinking as she made her way out of the back garden, they decided to do something about it.
It took some planning.
The following weekend, a Bank Holiday weekend where the sun shone like it too didn’t have to go to work on Monday, the plan they’d hatched the previous Saturday was put into place.
Nobody did anything different. They talked, and opened the wine, and drank the wine, and opened more wine, as they always had done. Except this time, on the pretence of showing Katie something exquisite in the guest bedroom upstairs, she was spirited away, and a couple of holiday strength laxatives were spirited into each open bottle that had worked themselves into Katie’s part of the patio. Nobody tried to look too closely as, one by one, the bottles casually made their way into Katie’s more than adequate bag. There were knowing smiles as Katie clinked her way home at the end of the evening.
She was going to have a shit Bank Holiday.
It was only later the next day, when their phones lit up and the WhatsApps were flying, did they realise what had happened.
Katie’s grandmother, and five other ladies from the nursing home, were in hospital, three on a drip. One was on a drip. The local press blamed the nursing home management; the nursing home management blamed a visitor who ‘had brought in treats for the ladies in strict contravention of the rules.’ Katie wasn’t named, but she wasn’t answering her phone.
Katie’s friends, obviously, blamed themselves.
Inspired by a prompt from here