Margaret Mallory was a well travelled, well educated, well brought up woman who, when asked to describe herself in one word, considered herself “interesting”. Our description of her would still have begun with an “i”:- “irritating” or “interfering”.
She was a nice woman really, when one got to know her, but unfortunately the main aspect of her character that came over on an initial encounter with her was that she was dominating, rude and quite frankly “up herself”.
At our social group’s lunches, she would always insist on sitting in the middle seat at the table so that she could listen in and interrupt any and every conversation that was going on. Although partially deaf, it was seemingly possible for her to listen to several conversations at once.
She was a born organiser, and would never resist the opportunity to butt in and try to organise a person’s whole life. She always had some logical reason why we were doing things the wrong way. The right way was her way.
We hated her.
That was until, after many, many years of her irritating, interfering company at our social events, and after many, many outbursts of anger at her irritating attempts to interfere in our personal lives, she did something seemingly totally out of character and showed some human compassion.
When one of our social group sadly was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Margaret was the first to visit her in hospital, and she visited on a daily basis. We were all so upset, we couldn’t bring ourselves to go, well not until we could compose ourselves not to react to our friend’s rapid deterioration. We didn’t want to upset her any further with our obvious distress. But Margaret visited and performed useful tasks for our friend that the nurses didn’t have time to do.
After that we started to see Margaret in a different light. She was a control freak, yes, but she also had compassion and was able to take control of difficult situations. We had learned to cope with her incessant interfering by teasing her about it. She would readily admit it, and would joke about it with us. Another good quality was that she could take criticism and never took offense at being ridiculed. But it never stopped her poking her nose in where it wasn’t wanted.
In the end, that was her undoing. As with the saying “curiosity killed the cat”, so it killed Margaret Mallory.
We were out walking around London one day when Margaret spied something wrapped up under a car parked outside the American Embassy. We tried to stop her, but curiosity got the better of her and she went to investigate.
It wasn’t a very big bomb, probably it had only been designed to make a public statement and just kill the occupants of the car, but it killed our beloved Margaret, God rest her soul.
Creative writing May homework:- use “something wrapped” in a story, combined with our ten minute writing prompt from our May meeting:- describe “Margaret Mallory”