It Keeps Me Awake.

To join in the Friday fictioners prompt at rochelle’s place press here

The photo prompt is below I now have 1000 words no more.


“It keeps me awake, that tick tick sound, the whirr and the clickety-clack; It comes In the middle of the night.” I am still full of sleep sat on my bed where I tossed and turned. Sliding my stiff feet over the edge, I wriggle my toes into the fluff of inadequate slippers too flimsy for stairs. But they hug and reassure me that it’s okay to be standing. My bones creak at the thought of carrying the weight of a whole body at this time of night. I orientate myself to drag a wrap from the foot of the bed and tug it on; tying the belt too tight in temper.

“Every bloody night, when will it stop?” I spoke out loud as I stomped downstairs. In the half-light that shone from the gap in the curtain, I could see it. As if the moon was lighting up just one thing Great Grandmothers treadle machine sat on the hearth bathed in light. I walked up to the old treadle and looked at it; weighing it up as if it would be different. Tonight I noticed something odd, a piece of scrim sat under the presser foot as if a seam had only moments before been sewn. “This is stupid, I know you are long gone, Grandmother and you didn’t even meet me so why would you haunt me.” I looked about hoping no one was there. “I don’t know what you want or if I am going mad but please let me sleep.” If she was there I’d cack myself, and if anyone else was they’d surely have me sectioned being as I lived alone and didn’t believe in ghosts. I put my hand out to touch the wheel and the clickety-clack of the pedal made me jump, for a split second, it had whirred into life.

At the door I flicked on the light, things always seem better with a light on. I noticed the empty bottle on the coffee table the red ring staining the wood, ”Well that didn’t help me sleep did it” I said to the emptiness as I scratched my head and frowned. In the kitchen, I made a cup of tea and gathered a cloth and soap to tackle the stain, but on my return, it was all in order. To say that I was freaked out would be an understatement. First, the treadle working on its own, then the fabric under the needle which incidentally hadn’t been there before and now the wine stain and bottle vanishing. Being a logical person I thought about it and drank the tea. Mother had said “a cuppa sorted everything.” I smiled at the memory and wished I had more of her, more than the old long-legged doll sitting naked next to my bed and her grandmother’s sewing machine. Thinking hard I asked myself “If Mother were here what would she say,” no answer whooped into my head, no ghostly spectre glowed in the dark and answered, Mum didn’t come back.

I went to the treadle and placed my hand on the oak table, squatting down I began to peer into each nook and cranny. There between the presser foot under the scrim was a piece of paper. Gently I pulled on the paper, it was rolled into a thin shape and poked in the hole where a bobbin should be. Unrolled, it revealed itself to be a drawing of a dolls dress, a rough pattern drawn in pencil on what seemed to be tea stained paper. Down one side, it read “1917 Dorothy Moore, all bodies dolls etc are to be covered. All girls must digest the pattern into their memories, and use the new machine to sew straight seams and hems. In future, their dolls, like piano legs will be dressed appropriately”.

Can this be great grandmother telling me to dress Mums doll? Or is it grief playing tricks? Either way, I would make the dress tomorrow and hope the rusted treadle was up to the task.


This is my first time joining the Friday fictioners prompt and I’d love your comments, I will get back soonest. *smiley face*

Post card to Ellen… when writing to take your mind off horrid stuff, you could be stressed and not read rules properly or even go stark staring bonkers. This should have been one hundred words and not the thousand I thought also the deadline isn’t two O’clock and I haven’t a clue where I got that.

19 thoughts on “It Keeps Me Awake.

  1. What a spooky story. Welcome from me, too. We all struggle with the 100 words from time to time, but it helps cutting the writing down to the bare necessities. A great exercise I think. AFAIK there arent’t too many rules. Serials aren’t much liked, the writing shouldn’t be too graphic, commenting should be easy–I don’t know about any deadline. Hope to see you next week. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am away next week but will join in when I’m back. Thank you for reading, I thought it said 1000 … just silly 😇 I’ll get it right next time. Pleased to meet you virtually 👋👋👋


  2. Dear Ellen,

    It’s my pleasure to welcome you to Friday Fictioneers. Lovely story. Although quite long. The challenge of our group is more than just writing a story to fit the prompt in one way or another. It’s also to cram that story, beginning, middle and end, into 100 words or less. I’m willing to bet that you could do it. 😉 Nonetheless, nice story and, again, welcome.



    Liked by 1 person

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