Bean Counter by Dianne Bown-Wilson was commended in the Sentinel Annual Short Story Competition 2015 judged by Alex Keegan.
A leopard never changes his spots, my mother used to say with a resigned pursing of her lips. But since ‘that night’ she doesn’t any more.
She used to say it about Dad who was, is, a typical accountant: steady, pragmatic, controlled. Whether that was his nature and he chose his profession to fit, or whether his work reigned in what was once a more effervescent disposition, I can’t decide.
“Oh, he’s always been like that,” Mum says. But then, thirty-five years on, perhaps today’s torpid reality has driven out all memory of any recklessness that might have punctuated his younger life. After all, she must have thought him exciting once upon a time.
Anyway, to understand what happened you need to know a little of how things were. A few years back my father’s advertising agency, established some twenty years earlier with his best friend Brian and until then, unswervingly successful, was about to go under. The reason for this change in fortunes was simple: Brian, the creative, the yang to Dad’s yin, had been diagnosed with cancer. Read the full story.