top of page

A Cure for Melancholia by Melissa Taggart

Best Novel Idea, Flash Fiction Semi-Finalist, LISP 2nd Quarter 2020

A Cure for Melancholia by Melissa Taggart

Nellie my mother’s only sister died quite expectedly, found-drowned. After her bold escape from East Riding Asylum, twelvemonth after assured diagnosis of chronic mania with delusions. She was left without a patriarchal family unit having no such defence against self-destruction. Lacking all qualities for the domestic environment leaving her with no other choice to fall victim to self-murder.

Half-rats by midday, the best quality port I had to my disposal, normally only to make its appearance at evening parties to be served to guests. Giving into drunkenness and gluttony withal, is drinking when you are not thirsty a mortal sin? Amid my drunken stupor my glance catches a letter on the mantle with black edging, the contents contained Nellie’s death. Yet another envelope lay next to this, red waxed sealed sent by The Penny Post just days after my aunts’ quietus. An inheritance, her last will and testament. Nellie before her affliction held enough assets to live on land without working, well educated, daughter, of an Aristocrat. An inordinate home in current disrepair, filled with baroque ornamentations was to be gifted to myself, her last living blood relative.

Memories now overcome me, as a wee bairn my mother would tell me tales before I drifted off to slumber. Aunt Nellie a maker of hats both bizarre and of a curious nature. Hid them in secret a room of her home, they had magical powers and held within them wonders one would only discover if worn. This was my favorite of mother’s tales. I am certainly drying out; the port has all been drunken, time to retire the bottle.

Got the morbs unexpectedly, maybe the cure for what ails me lies within the brick and mortar in which my aunt once lived.



bottom of page