by Matt Potter

Packing it was like playing tetris. One thing on top of another, building layers, my multi-coloured life seen through the large windows of a 35-seater bus.

“It's not working,” Veronica said. “There's no way we'll make the emergency evacuation queue in time, Dad.”

I studied her fifteen-year old face, seeing nothing similar between us. She looks just like her mother, I thought, whoever the anonymous egg donor was.

“That's very obsessive compulsive gay,” she added. “You can't take a chandelier on an emergency dash across a nuclear desert.”

Ah, but her eloquence! That she gets from me.

The back door slammed as Marvin stepped outside.

“Dad wants to pack a chandelier in the event of a nuclear attack,” Veronica said. “It's ridiculous.”

“Could it be used for something besides providing an elegant setting for dining?” Marvin asked, stroking his beard. “Multi-purpose objects should be given a chance to prove their manifold uses.”

Veronica threw her hands in the air. “Neither of you are taking this seriously,” she said. “You think it's a joke.”

She walked away and stood against the fence post, arms folded, scowling. My heart thumped in my chest. Times like this I truly loved her, her grumpy teenage face a life force.

I walked over and put my arms around her. “What do you want me to take out?” I said softly.

She leaned into my shoulder. “Those caftans for a start,” she said. “Except the white one. That could work well at a post-apocalyptic toga party.”