#writephoto picture prompt.

I wished I hadn’t seen him, I squeezed my eyes and prayed that he would disappear once I unscrewed them.

In the forest, Granddad always carried his loaded gun; broken of course, but … shot ready. “Just cos you a girl don’t mean nowt” he would say. “You needs to know, and to do.” Each time I nodded my head, I secretly begged not to find him. In the clearing he glistened with snow. Head held proud, no hurry to go. He looked back the way he had come. I darted forward; a distraction technique. Without a breath his gnarly hand caught my nose and cheek. A backhander he called it, a gentle reprimand. Grabbing my lobe he dragged me, not releasing for a second until home. My face wet, my heart bled but … my conscience clear. We never spoke of our last hunting trip. We neither repeated or apologised. Our last meeting was on his deathbed, our eyes met one last time. Silently he closed his lashless eyes, and nodded his naked head.

 

 

Press the thanks to join in or read other responses to the #WritePhoto prompt. Thank you Sue

Do comment please.  “Have you had a moment? when you stuck to your guns?

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Was He Living A Dream?

Sheets tangled, tightened and stuck to the flesh of his flailing legs. It took, what felt like hours to realise the grating and rasping breath was his. Tom steadied himself and the race of his heart slowed, his eyes screwed and fists clenched as he said out loud “I woke up and realised it had all been a dream.” He voiced that statement, many times over during the coming hour, never making it true … but desperately wanting it to be.

Ping! his eyes opened, he was wired at the squeak a turn of the handle. Once more his chest pumped his legs violently kicked. Why couldn’t he free his legs? A screech of rusted hinge and rubbing wood made him still. Play dead, play dead, he mumbled to himself. Kate’s face pushed the door wider her hands holding a tray, her perfectly straight yellow teeth on show. “You are awake, well that’s good.” She nodded. Kate placed the tray on the dresser after swiping items on top to the floor. Tom watched as her palms pressed into the denim covering her thighs.

“Kate? What … (he stuttered) the Fuck is happening?” Slowly she lifted her eyes, they had held a gaze on the smeared denim encasing her thighs. In Toms mind, a little too long. “Happening? Happening … what, is, happening?” She approached the bed, wide eyed, smiling. Her mouth sour, her clothes grimy. “Tom, Tom, Tom. Think!” He flinched, snatched his head back and gulped at the stagnant air. Not wanting to make things worse he looked back; forced a smile in her direction, and asked. “I am a bit lost in this, my mind is confused. Why are we here?

“You passed out, on my Nan’s bed. She is not best pleased. In fact she was gonna call Gramps, until I arrived.” Think yer sen lucky I was about. Now lay still while I takes a closer look.” Kate tugged the damp sheet, untangled it from his calf’s. A sharp suck of air whistled, Tom lifted his head as his bare belly was exposed. “What a numpty, jeez this is worse than she said.” Tom heaved, the smell of burned flesh and hair filled his nostrils. That was when he caught sight of his abdomen. “N,n,n,n no tell me its not true.” He roared. Gramps bust through the door a face like thunder his fists as big as young Tom’s head. “Shut yer mouth, you good for nothing clown.” He threw Tom’s shoes and jeans st the white faced boy, picked up the empty whisky bottle as if to strike the boy. Kate took her Granddads arm and crooned gently in his ear. “S’okay Gramps, come, I will sort this … go sober Nan up.

Kate gave him a few minutes before going back in the room. Tom trembled, sat on the edge of the bed staring down. She put the tray next to him and began to clean the area and cover it the way Nan had shown her so many times before. “Your’e a fool Tom” she cleared the swabs and put the rest of the dressings back on the tray. Kate turned at the door “you’ll not live that down,” she nodded “there are reasons people retire and reasons you have to be over 18.” Tom clutched his Jeans covering his groin, tears threatened but never fell. Jeers from his pals followed him home. He carries the tattoo to this day, an exquisite snake, rising up to his belly button, fangs on show. Poor demented Josy had long since gone, and Tom … well, he wears her last tat.

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The story above is a writing exercise from the Dream Author Coaching Programme I am taking part in. To use the statement “I woke up and realised it had all been a dream” within the body of a story. Use it in a way that is refreshing, surprising and or interesting, to delight the reader and not disappoint.

Let me know in the comments if I succeeded or not. I am thick skinned be kind but honest.

The Ebb Of Summer.

As I captured this mornings buds on the bush by the door. I was reminded of this writing from last year. After a tweak or two I repost it. A throwback Thursday; as relevant as it was back then. The last of my roses, still beautiful to me … even as they fade. Like the Ebb of Summer.

I shiver, pull my wrap tight about my shoulders. Evenings have drawn in; become sharper. Dew-laden mornings make my toes curl and the chill pinch my nose. Only two weeks ago we sat in the garden … way past ten. We sipped wine and listened to the night. We had no inclination to close the bi-fold doors, or to shut out the last of the warmth. Instead we jabbered about everything and nothing, until the light crept below the moon and purpled the sky.

As I flinch from the chill I know, my pyjama clad gardening this year has passed. Nor will we eat breakfast outside amongst the birdsong. I already miss him … reading aloud from the papers; while crunching toast. Tomorrow I will put flip-flops, sleeveless tops, shorts and sunscreens away. But today I will savour the last rays that warm my bones. The last of the peach Roses next to the door.

As the sun sits low in the morning sky; I see the Autumnal work to be done. The dust motes that dance in its lowered beam across the table, the streaks on glass that summer hadn’t seen. The Rhubarb’s last crumble waiting to be cooked. I see the rake that needs an oil before leaves hit its Tyne’s. There are beds to be made warmer. A sigh leaves my lips as I turn to go in. A season departs as I rouse another in its wake.

Thoughts of frosty mornings, warming soups, logs crackle and muddy boots. Rosy faces, knitted hats, harvest suppers, coconut mats. Shepherds pie served with peas. Suppers by the fire on cushioned knees.

Cuddles on the sofa under fluffy throws. Hear the crackle of a fire, taste hot chocolate laced with Brandy while warming our toes. Heathers pop their heads up to view Autumn’s arrival. Hedgehogs scurry past along the fence-line; like dryer balls, they roll up when the Cat flicks its tail. A memory beckons and Autumn has taken the Ebb of Summer away.

Could you taste the Autumn? Leave me a comment or two … just to please me.

The Primadonna Festival Through My Eyes.

A festival celebrating writers Music and Artists in the heart of Suffolk.
https://www.primadonnafestival.com/

What I took back from From the Primadonna Festival other than a plastic beaker, a wristband, piles of contacts and a head full of hope.

By Ellen Best.

 
Changes are afoot in the world of books. Changes especially with writing from the margins.This was an amazing revelation for me. Hearing that there is now some recognition. That the voices that go unheard, not because they are not good enough; because of closed doors, or doors that they do not have a key too now have a chance. Kit De Wall, inspires, and shows us, the ordinary people, that no matter the background … you can be the best. The festival encouraged and gave us onlookers access to people in the industry, that we otherwise we would never have reached. This story, of an Authors selfless act that touched many of us festival goers and particularly me as novice writer, is the one that I will remember.
Kit DE Wall, set up a competition for working class writers, those without the background that afforded degrees or privilege. Out of that opportunity thirty three such burgeoning writers had the privilege of being published in an anthology called ‘Common People.’ Stories and memoirs from the hearts and mouths of the working class. Available in all good leading bookshops.

Only the foresight of Kit, bought about the hundreds of submissions for a place in the book. Would be writers given a chance, given a voice. Many writers inside the ‘Common People’ have been driven forward, careers launched that for years went unheard. The voices of the working class need the same opportunities as those that have access and ability at their fingertips. Working class writers, after all have an authenticity that needs to be documented. She/ kit, in the future hopes to work on a simular idea to encourage rural writers. She hopes to open doors that they often find closed to them. We watch that space with interest and hope she succeeds in the near future.

It was the most sophisticated tenty festival I have been to.

Glorious weather, posh nosh, loos, lots of talks and interactive exercises. Cake, music, craft and comedy, writing and performing. Massages in the woodland, yoga at sunrise, dancing until dark to name but a few of the activities. Oh, in case I forgot to say … there was cake! As they said on the bumpf “the world as it should be for one weekend” Roll on next year I say, it earned a place in my diary.

As this found its place in my bookcase.;

Https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1783527455/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1569347703&sr=8-1-fkmr2

The books purchased at the festival, the ones I queued to have signed; had accumulated in an environmentally friendly cloth bag in my boot. I took four in at first and placed them gently on the kitchen table. A few minutes later I added another three. That was when I decided that just maybe the rest could wait until I found space in the burgeoning bookcases. It was coincidental that it coincided with a weird look on the husband’s face.

“Are we having a book sale? some sort of fund raiser?” I saw him force his eyebrows together as he opened a few pages. ” Well you can’t sell these, someone has written in them. Not worth a light now.”

*sigh* I left the rest where they were along with the Picasso esque yoga top, beautifully designed, printed on environmentally sourced cotton and sold to me by a wonderful artist who I know will go far. https://www.instagram.com/Amyislesfreeman/

“Have you had as much fun at a festival this summer? I would love to know. answer in the comments I simply love to chat.”

This photo was loaned from the Primadonna newsletter I am third from the right. Having A Ball.

Diamonds.

Her cheeks carry the imprint of diamonds,

Where she pushed her face to see.

What life would be like beyond that fence,

To be welcomed in the land of the free.

Dusty hands grip tight, a heart still full of hope,

Unshed tears make her chin wobble, but determination helps her cope.

She gazes at the fancy dresses the boats being used for fun …

Not to escape in … or for the winds to take their Mum.

People on the other side, oblivious to her watching, or the sadness that it brings.

Play happily in the sunshine, The only diamonds they know, are set in lovers rings.

 

 

The photograph (with permission, on loan from Diane Hartnell)

On attending one of the fabulous workshops at the Theatre Royal Bury Saint Edmunds. We were challenged to use pictures as a starting point, to twist the scene and produce a piece of performance for a show called ‘The Other ends.’

The poem above ‘Diamonds,’ is my response. Performed at the Bury arts festival on 19th June. Our group will be on stage between 11am and 12 noon, where we will be accompanied by two choirs and when all the ‘Other Ends’ will be showcased.

I would love to know “have you pushed the boundaries of comfort and put yourself on the stage, if so how did it go?” Leave a comment I just love to chat.

Five Tasty Buttons.

Five chocolate buttons were the undoing of her.

There, on the saucer adjacent to her empty mug sat the five caramel filled white chocolate covered buttons. The child watched the door for Mothers return. A hand slithered surreptitiously towards the willow patterned saucer and grabbed. The woman snatched and stuffed them into her dribbling maw. A cacophony followed, the child shrieked, her Mother pointed … police were called.

Because of those innocuous chocolate delicacies … she finds herself in the Church hall attending addicts anonymous.

Gingerly she stood screwing her finger round a tail of escaped hair, “My name is Josy” she lied; they all did, “I am addicted to … she mumbled … dregs.” Her cheeks took on a shade of beetroot. “I have to eat or drink what others leave.” You could hear a fly attempting to kill its self against the Gothic Window, bump, bump it went.

Her breathy speak and wet palms were proof of her struggle. Tom the resident peeper began the rousing clap, congratulating Josy for managing to admit the shameful addiction, the first step is always the most difficult.

At the end of the share session, they mingled over tea and chocolate covered hobnobs. She didn’t accept a cup or plate. Tom thought it was her resistance technique. So quietly he lay his palm on her shoulder and nodded. Josy, startled, shrugged him away and scowled. People eventually said their goodbyes and drifted off. Except for one … Josy, she hid behind a pillar until they had gone.

The weekly rag ran with the headlines … Local woman detained for psychiatric assessment, The lady who so far remains unnamed had to be forcibly restrained after being found under a table in the Church of Mary and Saint Ethlereds hall. Beside her, saliva smeared plates and cups scattered willy-nilly across the newly laid oak floor. The distraught rector had to be sedated at the scene. Through his sobs, he told of being unceremoniously grabbed by the leg; pulled beneath trestles and forced to endure such an abomination. “She was sucking on my fingers licking my palms for the longest time; it was awful.” He cried.

The Jane Doe was held under section 136 of the mental health act for 72 hours to be assessed as to her competency to stand trial, this being her second arrest in as many weeks.

I love to hear your thoughts, it helps me hone my craft. Play along, tell me in the comments what other fabricated addictions could the people have … in this church hall.