THREE CHAIRS AT A TABLE.

 

peony photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash,

window Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash Roses photos by ORNELLA BINNI on Unsplash

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Stan, my friend with the sad eyes and scarred hands walked in the park. His daughter giggled beside him. She twirled around holding out her tiny arm and clutching her wicker basket. She danced until the flowers inside bobbed, her cheeks flushed and eyes shone; I watched them from my window. He put out a protective arm to slow her while he mouthed words that I was never to hear. My fingers stroked the pretty net curtains as I watched the scene below; they flapped softly in the breeze as if to wave  hello.

 In preparation, I laid the table with my most attractive linen smoothed the fabric with my hands and placed the crockery precisely. I stacked nibbles, dainty cakes and treats in the centre on a three tiered stand, I remember being pleased with the appearance of my peony filled jug in the centre.

Going back to the window I noticed the traffic, it was particularly heavy as it buzzed to and fro beneath me. I glanced in the direction of the park in time to see them. Dad stretching his torso as he stood up, he ran his ragged fingers through his hair, tugged at his tie and put a hand towards the child. Still swinging the basket she held on to his fingers, and craned her neck; high enough to catch his eye, he stooped to speak, she nodded and smiled. Together hand in hand they walked towards the gate; it was a touching scene one I won’t forget.

I recall a smile played about my lips and a delicate fluttering sat in my stomach as I made the last minute checks. I placed a beaker of milk and two china cups and saucers on the table. The kitchen like the rest of my second-floor apartment was neat and pretty. My tiny breakfast table I’d dressed in a gingham cloth with three chairs tucked under, it gave the room a welcoming feel as if it had always had room for two more.

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That’s when… I vaguely remember hearing a dull thud come from outside. I had a hesitant thought making me stop for a second, but I rushed on to the bathroom to reapply my lipstick,  looked at my watch and thought they should be here by now. Agitated by both the tardiness of my visitors and the noise from the road I returned to the living room. I picked up the baby doll pleased with such a perfect gift. Looking down on confusion through the freshly cleaned glass, there were people and vehicles everywhere, shouting and crying, the squeal of a siren, a distant whining of an ambulance assaulted my ears. I backed away slowly dropping the doll to the floor, then turned to look at the table;  a jagged sound coming from my windpipe startled me, it made my heart race and my stomach clench. Through lashes clouded with unshed tears, I thought how nice three chairs at a table can look.

 

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This should be a link to me reading it … fingers crossed that it works.

I need to know 1. If it works 

2. If it helps the sight impaired follower.

3. If you found it useful in any way. 

4. If you’d prefer me not to I’d like to know that also. 

Please leave a comment on the sound thank you in advance.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7WJ-42kvYrWQ2RzRHgxUVFnRjNoOUlCNEE0TUlBTUZyWUVn/view?usp=drivesdk

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Into The Deep

 

He watched the moon glow red in the sky
Throw colour over ripples of  grey,

A whiff of a scent as if in a dream,

A flash, then he’s falling away.
Into the deep, green tentacles flap,

as if; happily waving goodbye.

A panic, an unheard scream,

bubbles bursting towards the sky.
Down in the grime the muck and the slime

beside the hull of an upturned boat,

Protrude  oars, like arms reaching out …

as if to get ahold of his throat.
An eel comes to look at the boy with a book,

who into the water was spilt.

Who struggles and fights,

his  legs disturbing the silt.
Deep down he plunges

The light disappears in a mist,

Like angelic detritus he floats,

intoxicated with heavenly bliss.
The dark clears, a nymph beckons

with barely a flick of her wrist,

A wisp of a thing, lures him deep

Her face he tenderly kissed.

He’s now way below,
Where tides ebb

And flow.

And dreams

Reappear

With

The

Fish.

This piece I have written in response to The Ink Owl with the prompt into the deep I plunge, using the theme of fantasy. Press Here to join in or read some fabulous entries.

Did I succeeded?  did my foray into fantasy work? or should I leave well alone? Answers will be most welcome *waves*

The Bird Was Witness.

 

ALERT! This flash does contain two swear words, I do not wish to offend therefore am letting you know before you read. This is a refreshed  #flash from Nov 2016.

Photograph by permission of Derrick J knight. Thank you once more.

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bird sat high on top of a telegraph pole, its black shape stark against the sky, I watched it through the steam on the window. With my palm flat against the glass, I cleared a better view; while my novel was clenched snug under my armpit. Sitting in the window seat reading I could zone out the sounds of the room and breathe easy.

Then it started… “Ange, Ange, come here now! come to me bitch”. I looked at the bird looking back at me and placed my book on the windowsill. The card game was getting rowdy, ”Angie” he shouted, warily I approached, “What Tom, what do you want? “ He grabbed my waist and tugged me into his lap, laughing, that sneery false laugh I grew to hate. Fear ran up my neck as he made a show of me in front of his mates.

He looked at them and pinched my chin as he forced my head to face them. Tom wrenched my hand between my shoulder blades. “Here boys, have you ever seen such a miserable cow… eh eh?” his grasp was cruel, his breath thick with stale booze and cigarettes. I felt the spray from his mouth warm as he spoke against my ear. Tom released my arm and pretended to tickle, but he dug and prodded with force, my cheeks flushed and prickles ran up my spine. My legs jerked as he stabbed his fingers deep between my ribs. The table caught by my ankle shifted, cards scattered as it righted itself with a thump. I struggled, kicking my denim clad legs in retaliation his fingers jab jabbing painfully; as his temper deteriorated.

The mood instantly changed, Stan leapt up threw his hand on the table, he kicked a spent chubby and took the Iou’s in his calloused hands and tore them; throwing the pieces like confetti in the air. “Fuck this you knob”, he booted the table over…”I’m off” he shouted. Pictures rattled as he banged the door. Mark and Des were worse for wear, swaying, they glanced from one to the other and back, both stumbled to the door in pursuit.

One swift movement had me flat on the floor with a swaying Tom above me. “You fuckin bitch, you just had to, didn’t you? Each word was punctuated with a kick and a gob from his mouth. The first one caught the bone of my hip the second connected with my thigh as I struggled lobster like across the carpet. A flurry of pokes, punches and kicks came thick and fast, he crushed my lips into my teeth with a direct punch. Stubbies bounced and rolled about like Otters at play, I spat two teeth onto the carpet which got his attention, it gave me a chance to swallow some air.

From the corner of my eye, I caught sight of the bird, me looking at it, it looking at me. Ashamed at this spectacle being seen. Me, a weak victim, small and helpless. Somehow the thought made me gather myself. I grabbed a bottle and scrambled to my feet. Holding the neck with cramped fingers I drew my arm out to the side. I remember screaming “No” He lunged forward teeth barred.  I screwed my eyes tight and swinging right to left the bottle connected. Phlegm hit full in my face and mingled with the tears and blood that dripped from my jaw. As if I was a character in a novel,  in slow motion the bottle cracked him below his left ear and flipped from my grasp. His eyes bulged, snot flew from his nose as he fell back. Stretching myself forward fingers splayed I tried to grab him before he fell, but only caught air. His head thudded against the leg of the upturned table and he dropped. Blood puddled behind his head and a lone trickle dribbled from the side of his gaping mouth.

Unable to look, I turned my head to face the window. I could see him, the bird, looking at me. He seemed to bob his head like a gentleman does when he catches your eye in acknowledgement. He ruffled his feathers and continued his pose.

 I felt the vibration of feet through the floor when I dialled 999. “Police and ambulance, I can’t hear you… I think he is dead, we are at 42 Granby street, come quick *hiccough* please”. Still holding the phone the door flew from its hinges the room filled with uniforms and bodies. A policeman shook me, grabbed the phone and spoke into it. My ears and head were ringing but I could only see angry faces as lips moved silently and Tom lay still, and only the bird was witness.

 

What do you think, was she in the wrong ?  please leave any comments as they are my wages for writing and each one is valued and replied to swiftly. Have a great week.

 Ooh!Ahh!

Dan has taken on the lovely Linda Hill’s #soCs and the prompt is ooh! ah! press to join in HERE.  Pictures used here were obtained via google, but though I used all due dilligence,I am unable to credit the artist as the owner of the copyright evades me.

stream-of-conciousness

Ooh! Ahh! He cried as I launched myself at the guttersnipe. With a tug of his lobe and a boot firmly at his raggedy behind. It should have had him scurry up the nearest  drainpipe and out of my pockets. But no, he artistically flopped to the dirt lifeless, and stiff. Now his already grubby self was plastered in faecal matter of both human and horse from the gutter.

‘Stand up I tell you,’ his acting skills would have had Shakespear signing him a contract.  I kicked with my beautifully buckled shoe, the sight of the schitt’e smeared item and the stench, had me heave. If he didn’t move speedily, vomit would join the mess on himself. I have no doubt he’d be smelt from a mile away for more than a week.

*retch, heave* this time there was no stopping it. I wafted my lace kerchief in front of my nose, heard rather then felt the slop hit my other shoe then splash my breeches. Just at that precise moment, he rolled over, leapt up, grabbed my fob and showed his heels. I cried ‘Thief! Stop him!’ As i felt for my watch, it had gone, leaving me the stomach churning stench.  I cried for the loss of both face and watch… I sobbed ‘Ohh! noooo!’

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I hope my interpretation tickled your sensibilities and maybe like me you were a trifle pleased at the comeuppance of such a fop. Do leave your comments I answer with vigour.

I’m Only Human After All

I called, but your name lodged below my voice box and like a bubble, it floated until it popped.  Slowly I turned back the bed, cotton sheets now held the smell of stale lovemaking sweat and perfume. Bare feet kissed the wooden floors leaving a mist; an impression of where I walked. Across the room down to the utility with my arms full. Once loaded I glanced down, my nose curled, my mouth sticky and memories flooded back. I peeled my dishevelled stained night shirt from my aching self and it joined the sheets. My mind was busy trying not to think as I scrubbed and soothed my flesh, steam covered the pointless tracks on my cheeks as Rag n Bone man’s lyrics pounded over the sound of the shower ‘I’m only human after all. I dropped a pill, swigged stale coffee left on the drainer and sat wrapped in a towel. The dusk alerted the back of my mind it snook in to disturb my … nothing, my emptiness.

This was ridiculous I am a grown woman Out loud I said ‘pull yourself together’. For the next week or so I was working on auto, walking to work doing my admin answering when I had no choice, until  Friday night backpack on ready for home I felt him watching. A damp trickle formed between my breasts as I scanned left to right, I knew he was there somewhere. Head down, my shoes slapped against the damp tarmac, three, four, slap slap, counting, walking determined not to be startled. ‘Hi toots, I thought it was you, fancy a drink’? His voice I was ready for I let a smile touch my lips. ‘No thanks, busy busy’ I strode on. Almost jogging now alongside me breathlessly he stopped me with  ‘Hey hey what’s the hurry, come on we can continue where we left off,’ he twisted a strand of hair by my cheek as he bent at the knees to peer into my face. ‘I said I am busy now please just’ I snatched my shoulder from his grasp and carried on. I didn’t look back, slow down or think about him I just allowed my feet to pound the pavement slap, slap, slap. Ashamed that’s what I was, ashamed and regretful and I couldn’t accept what it was I had done. Weeks had passed since he met me from work but I still felt uneasy, he hadn’t called or text or poked me on Facebook, but still, I was wary. Maybe he didn’t know my name either, I couldn’t remember him using it.

Angie and Jack had been arranged for months dinner with friends that would get some normality back. I tousled my hair and dressed casual but nice, I pouted in the mirror checking my lippy, that was the most relaxed I had been for a month or more. After fajitas, we had tequila and chilli chocolate buns with mallow topping her food amazing as always. Ange and I laughed and reminisced about school, Jack cleared up and Angie and I began to talk freely. ‘What’s doing girly? You have been somewhere else for a while, I thought we trusted each other, told every grizzly detail like we always have’. Jack called through, he was walking to the pub leaving us to our stuff while he indulged in a lairy game of pool. Ange followed for a kiss she grinned and mouthed thanks as she closed the door. ‘Well … I’m listening’. She did that thing, that glaring eye staring folding arm thing that she does when she’s mad.

‘Nothing to say really, I just, well I was stupid, a slut and I, I am ashamed. After Todd and I finished I felt lost, God that is so cliché, but I didn’t feel attractive or wanted…’ I dropped my head in my hands roughly rubbed my cropped hair and grunted.’ Ange plopped on the edge of the chair with me rubbed my shoulders as I released a  yowl so guttural  I startled myself. ‘C’mon you’ll feel better, I won’t judge you-you know me better than that’.  I scrubbed my face with my palms and wiped them down my thighs. ‘I went to that club on the corner the one with the tattooed bouncer the cut gay guy… I had some jagger bombs and I … began to dance winding myself round guys legs rubbing up behind them. They didn’t know me nor me them, it was sort of a freedom a liberating sexy I know, a slutty thing to do. The bouncer Jason pulled some guy off me for stuffing his hand up my skirt, he tried to call a cab but I wasn’t having any of that. In my head, I was showing Todd even though he wasn’t there. Next thing I know is I take this guy Marks mouth in mine and he mouthed a wafer under my tongue… don’t get me wrong I wanted, I was reckless. I’ve been having flashes come back to me of the stuff we did, the table the kitchen outside the front door for god’s sake. He met me from work one night a week or so later it freaked me out, how could I be so stupid, it was fine he just wanted … more he hasn’t been back. I’ve been petrified, I took him home, the things we did, don’t say anything I can’t cope with your disgust too.’ We sat for a while with a box of tissues between us Ange crying for and with me, me crying out of self-pity and shame. ‘I went to the clinic on Duke Street and had tests… well you just don’t know, do you. I find out in a fortnight but so far several are back and I’m clean just waiting on Hepatitis and HIV. I would not hold it against you if you never spoke to me again.’

Clearing the dinner debris and emptying the dishwasher although together, it was completed in silence. We made coffee and Jack came in the front door pink-faced, smiling and relaxed, he pulled a face pouted his bottom lip and said ‘I am going up bye then’ and he gently closed the door. Red-eyed and nervous I said ‘I can not cope without your friendship please don’t hate me’. I held both her hands and stared into her face. ‘For the last time I will not ever hate you, but I am hurt, hurt because I was too busy to see the effect Todd’s affair had on you because  you felt you couldn’t come to me, I  let you down and you put yourself at risk’. Sometimes we do stupid things, sometimes it is no one’s fault but our own… and sometimes we are lucky enough to walk away unscathed. I Jane Masters, head of finance, single thirtysomething female, should have known better but I won’t get it wrong twice, but as the song says … I’m only human after all.

Flower photo borrowed /thieved temporarily from Geoff LePard I thank you, Geoff. Press here to visit the master🔜 here🔚

A new venture into a different genre yet again inspired by the magnificent  Rag n Bone man song I hope you enjoyed both the song and the story I look forward to your comments *waves*.

As My Tea Gently Steeps.

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I saw his reflection as he slid a hand along the wall craning his neck to look at my back. I stood at the kitchen sink pretending oblivion. He bobbed his head twice to check, he thought me stupid, blind to his presence, then he continued upstairs.

We at the guild of women had been warned, don’t answer the door to strangers, keep them locked, chains on. They failed to tell us what to do if in broad daylight the bastard jimmied your door, knife in hand, bag up his shirt. I hummed gently, cloth in hand I wiped the sill.

The sun hit my Rhododendron as he dragged his feet down the landing. A squirrel chased a chaffinch from the feeder when he knocked Fred’s picture from my bedside table and said “ fuck” his filthy mouth next to our bed.

The kettle whistled as he rushed from room to room. I put on the radio, clenched my fist to steady my hand. When I relaxed my jaw a taste of metal filled my mouth but I carried on… The pot warmed  the tea leaves steeped. I flinched as he slammed my door stealing my memories, leaving his stench in my home, my Fred broken beside my bed.

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This is a post a story from last year I believe deserves a second chance I hope you  agree.  

A serious piece seen from inside the mind of an eighty something widow. How cruel of me to place my vulnerable character in such a wicked position, but they are there, hiding, and scared, often alone. If this micro story makes you think of someone in your neighbourhood differently; then my job is done. Do you keep an eye on a person in your street, or do you know of a  person like her. I’d like to know your thoughts please let me know in the comments bye for now 😇👋👋👋;) . 

Five Silly Things.

The scribblers prompt this month was to reveal and describe five silly things I do or say so here goes.

I make stuff up.

 I once held a conversation about my imaginary childhood in a place called Black Rock. This was accompanied by an Irish accent (very bad). After ten or twenty minutes I smiled nicely and made to leave. That was when the Irish couple I had been speaking to… waved goodbye and hoped I’d  call in when next visiting their home town of Black Rock. *smug*

I am bonkers.
I secrete note pads and pencils about my person (see my story glimpes of me ) pencil in my hair, paper in the top of a holdup stocking.

I can be dramatic.

I  lay my hand backwards across my brow, fluttering my lashes as I swoon. Next I hold the pose for three seconds (i know you are doing this) in a breathy voice say “But… you do love mei (pause for effect) dhont yoou dharling”  and finally
batting my lashes I drape myself across the husbands lap. This is quite Edwardian in nature and makes said husband blush.

A quirky being am I.

I am an early riser that is my thing.  Singing is also a thing; one that most people prefer me not to do. I vocally reproduce the ‘Good morning’ song in the guise of Doris Day at the top of my ( not so crisp) voice, while dancing in a mock hoe – down fashion (at least once a month) to rouse “the husband” from prolonged slumber.

I admit to mischeif.

I frequently Pretend I am of the same origins as people trying to sell me things over the phone. I repeat exactly what they say in their own vernacular… until they put the phone down.

I am nothing if I’m not inventive.

I have been known to plop myself cross legged on the library floor in the children’s  corner and read aloud with voices and actions. This either has parents dragging children away with startled looks or gathers them in front of me; teddies clutched to chests thumbs in mouths… *whispers* and that’s just the parents…

P.s. I can count but Ellen stylee.

                            ~~~~~

We find ourselves living in our motorhome while we wait for keys to our freshly purchased home. Intermittent wifi and phone signal means my adventures in the blogosphere are few and far between. Stick with me please as I search cafe’s and supermarket carparks for a signal… As Arnie once said “I’ll be back.”

‘My Scared

The picture prompt is on loan from Michelle Terry. Many thanks and good luck to the scribblers.

A thousand nightmares and endless councillors later…  I faced the elephant in the room, or maybe it was the room in the elephant.

Mum’s eyes were huge and I remember thinking that it would be awful if they popped right out. I am not sure how old I was back then when she tied a tea towel around my face. But I can recall it clearly, It had white lettering across a blue band on a pure white unstained cloth, I remember it hanging in the kitchen but never used, it was special, a for looking at cloth. So I couldn’t see and with my legs straddling her hip, she clutched me tight as the cold air made me shiver. There was a frantic juggling of my bones as she ran for what felt like hours; maybe in circles. Eventually, she stopped and whispered, ‘I have to hide you to make you safe’, I couldn’t stop my teeth from tapping but I thought if she took the cloth off she wouldn’t have left me. I know, she would have seen ‘my scared’ and taken me back home.’My scared’ as I remember calling it, was the way I felt and it was huge that day when she said, ‘best not to make a noise’ she didn’t sound like Mum, her voice was cracked and growling.  As she lowered me to the floor I felt my legs get warm and wet which made her dig her nails in the tops of my arms her breath was damp on my cheek as she snarled “Filthy bitch’. I heard the door close, rattle and a click. Some memories are precise almost intricate, while others are feelings, like wisps of smoke I can’t hold on to.

As clear as day I remember how my belly ached, my throat burned and my tongue had stuck to my own mouth before she returned. Many dark visits with no words followed,  I had noticed her hair became matted and often covered her face,  she would push a cup across the floor and quickly she left. I learned to do my toilet in the farthest corner of my room but after five or so cups of lukewarm soup or oats my waste travelled across the mud floor; eventually covering me. My hair got stiff, I scratched my head until it bled and scabbed…I had sores on my sores.

I can’t, doctors say, (or I refuse) to remember much more; until the end. I told them how It was never day or night just dark and dank. It sometimes would just come, a memory that is,  swooping from nowhere. One such memory was how I once I grabbed her, I tried to kiss her, how she screamed and punched me, my chest hurt as my back made contact with the wall. A long time passed maybe weeks, I couldn’t tell, but when she returned, my stomach hurt so much that I couldn’t crawl to my dirt corner or lift my head. Mother, I stopped thinking of her as that a long time before, but on that visit, I thought she had come back to me. I had awoken to a damp warm cloth scrubbing my face, then she spoiled it. She pulled my lids apart stared at me, her face crumpled as she swore, and phlegm hit my full in the face before she left. I thought at the time she didn’t want me to look back. Later, a tin mug of thin soup and a huge crust of bread was put through the door. I opened one of my eyes; the other was stuck and didn’t want to, I saw her dirty bony hand bring them in,  just her hand as she pushed them across the soiled floor, but couldn’t move, so never ate them.

Now fourteen years on my fully grown up self, on my twenty-first birthday, I am a stronger woman, a woman who mostly dreams of the arms of the paramedic who came to my Mothers aid, who found more than expected, who undoubtedly was my knight in shining armour.

I return to my prison to face what went before.  Bile fills my throat, my eyes begin to involuntarily leak and I vomit behind the swing frame over and over. In the garden, I scan the scene and wonder who if anyone played there while I was away with ‘My scared’ in that place. What shocks me most is the proximity to the house, she would have seen my room from the back door, could have stopped ‘my scared’ in a second… had she been well enough.

I enjoyed the prompt and felt a snapshot was enough but I may return to this for a bigger project at a later date.Did you feel her fear? Did I help you visualise her surroundings? Leave me a comment I will reply as soon as I can.

The Salty Sailor.

Click here to join in with the fictioneers HERE.

Photo for friday fictioneers  exclusive use only, by © Fatima Fakier Deria.

Across the harbour he gazed, floating money pits, gin palaces, toys for the wealthy. Phlegm hit his boot, he screwed his eyes against the sun. Stuffing a cheroot between his discoloured teeth he thrust chapped hands deep in his pockets. With hunched shoulders he watched his feet as he scuffed on the dry earth and lurched away. He may earn his living on them but he’d never own one.

Below the harbour was buzzing, tanned yachtsmen flirted with ladies. Coiffed girls with plummy accents giggled and money was no object;  but there was no room for salty sailors in this bar. 
This is a snapshot of a bigger story, curtailing it to 100 words was tough and I hope I captured the irony of the sailors lot. Please leave a comment I love to connect.

Breaking the Rules

photograph courtesy of Paul Miltiaru press HERE to see his beautiful photography.

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 He could walk a coastal hike

Take the road atop a bike.

Sail o’er the seas of old

On a ship that’s made of gold.

He could fight a hundred men

Chase a lion from his den.

He’d be a champion of men

The countries Olympian.

But let him walk along a street

Without shoes upon his feet

He’d  bring shame and despair

On the townsfolk living there.

You can win a Quadrathlon

but never flout a road sign.

Photo of British quadrathlon team courtesy of Wikipedia.

Which rule did you break?  (Other than a parking or speed signs )

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I flouted the rules of propriety with the above, as I thought one way, was my way…