On the day in question, she took the black tarmac path that snakes behind the row of terraced houses. Houses with their postage stamp gardens that are secreted away behind red brick walls. They sit prettily on the edge of the small English market town. Across the width of the path are the allotments. Every forty or so feet of its length are gates, if you stand still enough, you can sometimes hear the squeak and crunch, as rust drags itself across the warped hinges. The home owners can slip out of the doors of their walled gardens, and walk to their patch. Sectioned plots of land just big enough for fruit, vegetables and herbs to grow. Each one has a wooden shed, some are used for hiding Dads from noisy homes, while others are potting and tool sheds. Some, are the holders of secrets, places where illicit pairings take place.
Old Jack, wanders the allotment with a paint kettle, and a blackened gnarled brush. “A ten pound note will get your shed protected” he calls waving the brush. Jack sleeps wrapped in bubble wrap and cardboard; close to the Brazier. Often he rests inside unkempt sheds that he tidys in return. He blows and snorts as he splashes his face at the ice cold pump. You can see where his stained hands are dried on the threadbare seat of brown corduroy trousers. The scent of Creosote wafts around him like midges beside a Scottish loch. Often people smell Jack long before they see him. A harmles but important character of the allotment.
As she walked, she looked at the bustle going on both in and around the allotments. Old men nod in acknowledgement to each other; men with no need to waste words on pleasantries. Years of shared knowledge and friendship, camaraderie and memories have passed between them. Women with their hair covered, and gloves protecting their hands, lean on wheelbarrows and forks. Girls laugh at secret stories. A young woman colours as she looks about; checking she wasn’t overheard. An elderly couple stop what they are doing to smile at each other, and touch fingertips … A shared silent moment. Father’s dig and tend the early veg. Cutting curly spring cabbage for dinner, digging in Manure, sold to them all by old Jack. She scans the scene spotting a damp steamy pile at each shed as she passes, pressing a fine linen handkerchief to her nose.
Life goes on around her as she continues on the path. The sun shone on the crisp morning, birds sang and dogs wagged their tails. A boy on a micro scooter passed her; head down, furiously concentrating on the pounding of his white trainer against the path. A cough pushed spit from his mouth as he passed her. It slapped against her stockinged leg making her gasp. The woman wiped it with her handkerchief, curled her lip in distaste as she lifted her head and screwed her eyes. He poked up a middle finger and snarled back. A moment or two passed before she straightened her collar and went on her way.
The path comes to a halt. Cobbles trail a curve around the periphery of the luscious green patch of neatly manicured lawn. Several keep off the grass signs are the only things to mar its perfection. A dozen impressive buildings stand around the edge like sentinels. Her eyes scan the area and her brisk steps echoed as she looked for the large black door of number 5; the doctor’s surgery.
Old Jack squinted, and blinked. His green eyes followed the woman. Drawn to her composure, he followed at a distance along the track. Something bothered him, like an over-wound clockwork mouse with no control of her speed. He watched until she pushed on the heavy black door.
Inside they were very efficient. Fifteen minutes later it was over, Her chewed raw fingers struggled to push the three oversized buttons through the fastening’s of her best coat. Fingertips twitched, she pressed her palms into the worsted fabric to still them. Silently she tugged on the cuffs of her pristine leather gloves. A sound, a crisp snap made her flinch as the door closed behind her. Standing for a moment, she took a shuddering intake of breath, placed her smart shoes one in front of the other. She walked the cobbles in the same manner she came. Controlled, back along the tarmac path. But old Jack saw the difference, he saw her legs tremble, the tightening of her lips. Oblivious, she concentrated on the rapping sound her shoes made against the tarmac surface … Click-clack, click-clack. Holding her head high she blinked furiously a fixed determined expression on her face gave nothing away to the onlooker; the passer-by. So she thought. All was changed for her. Her world had tilted in a sentence. But life on and around the path continued. Birds sang the sun began to shine as the wind dried her lashes. He watched, until she closed the gate that shut herself behind those red brick walls. He listened for the clink of keys opening her door. His view obstructed not by the walls or the door its self … but the clouds in his eyes. Jack shakes his head slowly as he logs another look at life along the footpath.
What do you think happened? Leave me a comment I answer quick smart.
Watch them unfurl in the fragileility of spring, Opening our eyes allowing us to dream. Sun scoots low to expose streaked windows and stained tablecloths that soap failled to clean. Dust motes dance without rythm or beat, As the light stings our eyes and warms our feet. lettuce and sweatpeas sprout in soil filled pots, With dafdodills normality comes in restless spots. But do not be fooled enough to blink or sigh, For Jack with pointy fingers and lazer eyes Sends snapping frosts throughout night skies. He burns lime green leaves until
they are as as black as Magpies eyes
Stomps on plants with leadend boots.
Its plan is clear to freeze the shoots. Now our gardens spoilled spring hadn’t sprung So we begin again
with steaming pile
Of Pony Dung.
Which is your favourite season and why ? Let me know in a comment
I dropped, into the soft velvet sofa, pulled the leg rest over, and scrolled through until I found the film we chose. Well, we had a thumb war, and I won, as I would. I chose the Prodigy, lets see how my little brother and his nerdy pal enjoy a real horror.
Tom, sat next to me, pushed his glasses up his nose and gave a squeaky laugh. I muttered ,”Freak.” And paused the credits until Jack arrived. A few minutes later I said, “We will watch the trailer until weeb features gets here.” I press play, stomp to the door and shout. “Gamer boy, hey, we are starting without you.” Then cozied back into my corner. I stretched the gum with my tongue and slid my eyes sideways without moving my head to see if Tom was scared yet. A screech made him jump and he grabbed my hand. I sat stock still. I could feel wind get in my eyeballs because they were stretched in shock. I didn’t blink or move, then a blob of saliva emerged from behind my teeth, and hovered slowly, it spilt over. I tried in desperation to suck it back; too late, it splashes. A wet patch began to spread at the end of my right breast. Unfortunately, I am bra less, and my nipple twitched at the change in temperature. This is awkward.
Watch a movie with your brothers nerdy mate, he gets scared, grabs my hand, I dribble. He now thinks I fancy him … my nipples harden which he thinks is my reaction to him holding my hand.
“Tom! sicko, let go!” He snatched his hand away, dropped it into his lap with a funny choking noise. That was when I knew. “Oh God” that was when I knew. He couldn’t take his eyes off my boobs, and his hand wasn’t big enough to cover the reason for the fear on his face. I grab the remote as I stand, and the screen goes black. No more movie, or comfy sofa, just painful silence. The sort you feel crawling up your neck, under your skin.
My slippers slapped hard against the oak floor as I ran to escape. “Shit,” I swear, as I click the door closed. I lean my forehead against it, still holding the knob. My breath slowed, my face cooled and my leg twitched.
Just then, Jack leaps the last two stairs. He went to push by me.”What’s up sis, too scary for ya, such a loser, wimp.” On my bed, in a bra and clean sweater, I have space to think. Movies will never be quite the same.
My first try at a YA piece, did it work? Practicing different styles, for a different audience is tricky.
This was a rag tag prompt press Here to join in or read.
Feed back is what I need. Question, “did it read as if an adult (ole fossil) wrote it, be honest, with your comment. Please?”
In 99 words, no more or less, by the 21st January write using the prompt ‘Protest’ 📚 press the pile of books to join in at Charli’s place or to read some amazing responses … after the 21st.
“Quiet!” shouted Miss Brooks, “Okay Girls, hands up if you think you’re the weaker sex.” Shouts, and stomping shoes echo. Her voice raised, her palm hit the desk. A puddle formed in her eye, she grabbed her hands rubbing vigorously, as a drip plopped against her lip. Her tongue, snatched it away unseen, while she counted raised hands.”Please miss,” eyes swivel, and I colour. “I think it depends if they smack the desk harder than you.” The noise level climbed. “It isn’t gender or braun that predicts strength, but Emotional intelligence Miss, females win that every time.”
tough one this week, the lone voice stood up for what she believes is right. Do you think the question should even be asked? Have you ever spoke up, voiced your opinion? Answers in the comments i can’t wait to reply.
A burst of verse, in response to the prompt. First I had to feel the word, have empathy, then … if I was nothing … what would I be? I am fortunately, not nothing. But did you like what I penned, was it fit for purpose? Let me know in the comments. I am full of chat. 😆😉