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.

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 😇👋👋👋;) . 

‘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 Connection

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She sat, on a low wall three bricks high. A wall that once was tall, now it’s a crumbled remnant beside the main road. She wore wrinkled long socks, one higher than the other. They offered no protection against the easterly wind; that bitter December day. Her ditsy floral skirt flicked against the already chaffed skin leaving pink welts. A grey knitted cardi hung from her shoulders, the sleeves clenched tight in her hands as she waited. Flat barren fields of East Anglia solid from the morning frost were inviting her gaze, eyes glassy and wide, unblinking.

I noticed her many times as we flashed by on the way to Norwich. Each time we’d go I would see her, with pain in her shape; a stillness about her. Once we stopped at the village shop, while I waited I asked her story. The postmistress said, ” She’s about forty a local she is… not been herself since her daughter… some says she were taken and others say different.” Slowly she shook her head as she stamped my letters. “Only six she was, her girl. Where she sits, it’s where she waited that day and every one since, for the school bus to bring her; she never came home.”

On one occasion I stopped, pulled the car into the lay-by. I walked over and took a space on the rough wall alongside her, leaving a gap of two bricks between us. A respectful gap I thought. I gazed across the flat land as she did. “Hello, are you… Are you okay?” I felt a tug, a connection, fleeting though it was. She sat unmoved, undaunted by my presence. I felt the cold from her, saw the fogged breath, I could taste her sadness. An overwhelming urge to reach her enveloped me. Determinedly I unzipped my parka, putting it beside her I untied my wool scarf and wriggled my fingers free of the gloves. “Please, your skin is blue, take these, they’re for you.” I shouted, as the wind whistled by my ears and bit the end of my nose. The pile almost touched her chest; I began to tremble, a feeling of despair, soaked into me. Her eyes flickered as I put the clothes in her lap. “I don’t need them, can you hear me?” A pat to reinforce the point made her flinch, and with a straight back but without a second glance I returned to the car. She hadn’t moved as we passed her, the bundle propped on her lap, her glassy eyes staring forward. Alone, she sat.

That day, the clouds gathered so swiftly that everyone around the conference table stared at the snow. The CEO said “Due to the change of weather we will take a working lunch. The sooner I get you home the better.” I remember hoping she had put the clothes on and wondered if anyone could relieve her… because of the weather. I couldn’t get her out my mind, her eyes, the liquid that refused to drop but puddled in her lids as if scared to fall. Her forlorn image haunted me.

On the return journey we stopped next to the wall. I remember the wipers swished, the flakes came hard and fast, but she wasn’t there. Pleased to think her in the warm I began to feel better.

In the spring my job took me once more to Norwich. We stopped at the place, next the road. Amongst the grass which grew in the crumbled brick, wedged between the cracks was bunch of brown withered flowers tied with a bright woollen scarf. The connection had forever made its mark, imprinted forever in my heart.

This was entered into the bloggers bash competition 2017. I am thrilled to say my story was the winner. I am both pleased and honoured to have my work chosen.

Being able to meet everybody in real life (opposed to virtually) at the #BloggersBash2017 in Westminster London. An award ceremony organised and attended by a superb bunch of brilliant bloggers (I couldn’t resist a good alliteration).

I hope you like my flash fiction as much as the judges did.

 

The Rendezvous.

Join in by February 22nd  #writephoto here Thank you Sue Vincent, your prompts always inspire.

 

 

At sunset, the summer-house looked beautiful.  Scared to be first in case she was stood up, Rebecca held herself tight to the trunk of the aged oak. She watched the darkness and waited while trying to control her breath and her thoughts that made her tremble. Out of the shadow, a figure appeared moving with urgency until it vanished inside.

“Breathe just breathe,” She whispered as she shook her fingers and straightened her back. Heat burned her throat and bile filled her mouth, bent at the waist she spat into the undergrowth. Found a mint in her pocket and placed it on her tongue. Once composed she tugged the hem of her skirt and walked forward.

It took a moment for her eyes to adjust but she instinctively knew where her lover was. “You came then, I was scared you wouldn’t,” fingers tangled with hers and felt like sparks shooting up her arm, this couldn’t be wrong it felt so beautiful. She didn’t speak just let things silently take over.

After, when tangled in the blanket on the floor, breasts glistened and chests heaved as they shuddered in unison. Watching the sky alter from gold to deepest mauve Rebecca spoke. “It is so beautiful, everything is perfect, I will never forget this” Tears glistened on her lashes as they squeezed each other’s hands and pledged undying love.

“I know, first times are meant to be perfect and it is. I thought you were struck dumb, that I was destined not to hear your voice tonight.” Rebecca’s laugh tinkled and she covered her face with the blanket wiggling her feet.

As the sky darkened they gathered themselves, collected the evidence, leaving the summer-house as it was found, without signs of their rendezvous. Hand in hand they walked to the clearing one last kiss before they reluctantly parted. “I’ll call you tomorrow,” said Rebecca walking backwards twisting a curl around her finger as she went. “I can’t wait whispered Sarah” both wearing grins big enough to shame a Cheshire cat.

 

 

I hope in this day and age we all understand love and kindness come in many guises. My question today is “Do you remember the first flutter of love and was it in a secret place?” please leave your answer or observations in the comments… I will come back to read them soon.

Seeing The Wood For The Trees.

February 9, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a rainbow in a puddle. Is it a silver lining of sorts or a false reflection? Think about what it might mean or convey. Simple science? Hope? Or the doom of humankind? Create action or character reflection. Go where the prompt leads you.

Respond by February 14, 2017 to be included in the compilation (published February 15). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!   Press to join in🔜here🔙

Sandy, her  boots splashed, hat pulled low, frowning with lips pursed, determinedly marched on. “Keep walking the same path Sand; (she heard in her head)  you’ll fall down the same hole”. “Okay dad enough!” She roared wiping her face “Avoid the wood; you’ll miss the trees”.  ” just leap shall”?  She cried.  Jumping she landed smack in the puddle, hiccoughed as tears cleaned mud from her cheeks.

Robert on seeing her, threw a leg over the stile and ran. “Don’t tell me … there was a rainbow at the bottom.” He smiled, his strong arms gathered her and Sandy saw the rainbow.

Thank you Charlie Mills, Cheesy … maybe but today is Valentines.

Did you see the rainbow? Where was yours? Answers welcomed and responded to with relish.

Merry Merry Christmas.

For my virtual friends all over the world “Merry Christmas” Happy Holiday’s whatever your beliefs be kind to each other. To you all “Peace on Earth”.

I will be away for a while but will See you next year. Xxx.

Our Christmas tree.

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=video&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjU0p3zlvzQAhVYNVAKHdp9AJMQtwIIIDAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DJKJExBXRorA&usg=AFQjCNGwQn0b_e4u8wmmelaZYT0v55eqnQ&sig2=50zeOoKehYeOiiJSy0nO7Q&bvm=bv.142059868,d.ZWM

Enjoy festive music if you can keep your eyes off Mariah’s chest… ooooherrr missus.

The Colour is Christmas.

Sue Vincents photo prompt press here to join in the fun. Use the image below to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, by noon (GMT)  Wednesday 21st December and link back to this post with a pingback. Please make sure that the pingback works and if not, copy and paste your link into the comments section of this post.

Inside the tiny house that is home to the Carpenter family, nestled in the suburbs of London Emma looked up at her Mum. “Mummy the sunshine in my picture, ” she said pointing to the drawing on the fridge door “it is sunshine colour, isn’t it? And the grass with Daddy and Mummy it is grass colour isn’t it”? A frown sat on her face as she pursed her lips while waiting for an answer. Mary crouched beside her daughter and explained about colour and name, she drew her a colour chart while her little brother straddled Mary’s hip. Mary told her the colours of their clothes and the cushions on the sofa. During the day they sang colour songs and told rainbow stories, drew rainbows to add to the already crowded fridge door.  Emma and Tom went to bed that night tired and happy,  knowing that tomorrow would be Christmas.

On Christmas morning Emma skipped into the Kitchen. “What colour is today mummy? ” She lifted her head and wearing a huge smile Mary looked at the five-year-old who was clutching pencils and pursing her lips. Mary smiled, wiped her forehead with the back of her flour encrusted hand and bent to her daughter’s height “what colour do you think Emma”?

Mary wiggled and hummed to the music on the radio as she cut the last sausage roll and wiped her hands on the tea towel stuck in her waistband. Throughout the house, the air was thick with the scent of pastry and cinnamon and the sounds of happiness. The question forgot in the excitement of the day.

Tom crawled up the hall chasing his new train giggling as he went.
Dad burst through the front door stamped his feet and brushed a light dusting of snow from his hair. Joe’s nose was red and he rubbed his hands briskly to warm them.”Kisses” he called as he smacked his lips and waved mistletoe above his head.”Kisses I want kisses” he roared as Emma and Tom rushed to be lifted in a sloppy lip smacking embrace.
There were lanterns, twinkling lights and paper decorations dangling from every space in the little house. Carols rang out from the kitchen radio and sparks snapped against the guard on their open fire.
Dropping everything Mary ran to join Joe for a kiss; Singing as she went. Flour covered kisses ended in chuckling and tickles. With all four sat breathlessly on the floor. Emma looked up into her Mothers eyes and quietly said
” I think the colour is Christmas mummy”.

This is a story I wrote last year re vamped, extended and wearing its very best party frock. I hope you like it and it gives you all you need to be put you firmly in the seasonal mood. 

Do leave me a  comment I love to chat.

Hunger.

prompt picture credit to Virginia Frances Sterret. Jane Dougherty’s microfiction challenge #27 to join in or read press here link and post your story by next Thursday 22nd December.

 

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Melinda often escaped to the folly, where she would wear her mothers gown, paint her delicate lips, smear her smooth cheeks with rouge and ink her brows. She would  loose her hair from its restricted braids and play makebelieve. She’d call her ghostly friends from the recess of her mind to pamper and preen; laying out scenarios thought up in a dream. But as daylight twinkled through the stained glass and threw colours in the space she knew to not be caught. Melinda would creep back into her other life before she was missed. One last twirl one last sway around the mosaic floors then as quiet as the running stream she’d lock the folly doors. 

Face scrubbedand her dress folded neatly away, Melinda with hair bound under a turban entered the kitchen as Mandeep. Where he worked tirelessly making concoctions mixing a pinch of this a pop of that. His passion for creating a feast was known far and wide as his three Michelin stars were proof . Mandeep no matter how famous he was known, or how high he climbed in his proffession he still had to hide behind a sad facade. Hoping one day that Melinda would be able to satiate this gnawing hunger to cook in the restaurant kitchens openly. He longed be seen having fun eating sumptuous food, sharing stories and no longer have to live a lie. The irony of his situation was, his religion nor his family would have any problem with his orientation, but to climb the ladder he coveted he had entered a western world of bigotry and intolerance.

Through The Snow.

#FridayFictioneers have once more been challenged by the lovely Rochelle. In a hundred words no more or less use the picture and write.

The photograph is on loan strictly for Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle for the loan

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Through the snow I watched them skulking in the treeline. It was comical really; me watching them watching my animals. The herd oblivious to any of us, heads in the trough eating. Warm mash, measured and scooped, mixed as a cook in the best of kitchens would.  Warned about a spate of nastiness I was ready, the locals thought it was travelers on the Gypsy camp. But as I could clearly see it was youths from the estate. I alerted the police and they were on their way. They wouldn’t slice the tails and forelock’s from my herd.