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Then She Fell…

Philippa Danks

Isobelle Carmody Award

for Creative Writing


Winter, 1999

‘Hubert, I’m getting sick of this shower plug getting blocked! And

this toilet! I hate this house!’ shouted Fanny from the bathroom that

adjoined the bedroom where Hubert, her beloved husband was

getting dressed for work. Fanny walked into the bedroom, lay down

on the bed and said in a calmer manner, ‘Hubert, are you sure you

don’t want to move, to an apartment or something closer to your

work? Imean, we could spendmore time together, or sleep in longer?’

Fanny finally persuaded Hubert to move to an apartment and

was busy, searching through magazines and newspapers, websites

and real estate agencies, trying to find somewhere suitable. Late at

night, after hours and hours of tiresome work, she came across one

advertisement with a number highlighted in a massive font. These

numbers were the price of the apartment and were the thing that

convinced Fanny completely. The pictures shown were of an old,

rundown room with cupboards and carpet both faded in colour. But

this did not stop her. There was also one very strange, suspicious

shadow lurking in the corner of the room. It was quite small and

round in shape with a spiky object poking out of its main body. But

of course, Fanny’s eyesight was not sharp enough to recognise this

doubtful figure. Hopefully he’ll agree, thought Fanny.

That Thursday morning, as the sun began to rise, Fanny and

Hubert made their way to the red brick apartment. Windows and

balconies were lined up perfectly above a tall metal door. In front of

that door stood a young lady, looking prim and proper with her hair

done in a tight bow and a neat business suit fixed to her fit, athletic


Tracy Tullun, their real estate agent, toured the two around the

whole building until they finally reached a door with number 13

written on it. Inside, spiders and cobwebs hogged the corners of the

rooms. Paint was peeling off the walls and dust was everywhere! It

was clear that there was some talking to be done in order for both

Fanny and Hubert to be convinced.

‘I am sorry, this apartment does need a little clean up. Would you like

me to organise a cleaner? It would look magnificent with some nice

furniture and a new paint job. I can also get you a painter.’ Tracy was

very keen to sell this apartment and was trying her best, giving it all

she’d got.

After many minutes of convincing and bargaining, Fanny and her