‘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 Empty

Sue Vincent’s  picture prompt once again challenges us… press here to join in or to read some fabulous responses..

Remnants of yesterdays bonfire smolder on the bank, barbed wire posts too damp to burn are propped at angles like skeletons legs. The wind whips my hair across pinkend cheeks, wipes drops from moist eyes as I trudge aimlessly across the empty landscape. A gnawing in my abdomen makes me tremble; my hands shake as I recognise my own emptiness.

An hour passes me by, legs heavy and joints begin to ache as I work my way home. Lifting my foot to plant it firmly in the kissing gate where we stopped and kissed last night; the irony of it makes my lips twitch and my chest tight. In the emptiness I succumb to tears; self indulging, long overdue by my reckoning.

Last night around the fire we had talked, loved and hoped. We hoped that three weeks late was a sign, we had held each other tight, talked until wishes were invisible to the moon.

This morning I woke to his whistles as he cycled to work. A fleeting smile at my lips soon vanished as the dull drag in my gut became apparent. Tonight I will have to tell him we were wrong. Smoothing my palm over my cheeks I take a deep breath, kick off my boots and straighten my back. Today will go so quickly here in the empty.

Auschwitz 1.

Arbeit macht frei” (work set’s you free)

 

Beneath a winters sun a biting wind blew,

Where nobody saw and nobody knew.

With tears in the eyes of our guide

Shock on our faces no-where to hide.

I couldn’t remove her words from my ear

The ones no decent human wants to  hear.

Watching through a fog knowing the reality

It slid beneath flesh and warped earth’s polarity.

Ramming evil home, planting it deep

like marrow into the bone.

Escape was not made for here,

corrections happened and slaughter… its clear.

They walked towards death one by one,

Without the fear of what was to come.

When water became gas, to help them cope,

they sang the  Hatikvah, their song of hope.

I see piles of  hair when I try to sleep,

the discarded shoes torn from innocents feet.

I see their faces before me as I softly weep,

Brush crematoria soot from a tear stained cheek.

This place bore witness to pure evil that time,

it can not be erased from the depths of my mind.

At the shooting wall I picture them standing that day,

Singing hopeful  prayers they refused to face away.

The Nazi machine, its power so strong,

kept the furnaces burning all night long.

Hundreds were cremated day after day,

Not fast enough to clear the piles of decay.

First their status then their pride

Ripped them apart nowhere to hide.

For all the souls that gather there,

Their fortitude, their pain and despair.

I beseech you all, to stand and see

the shooting wall… just like me.

The rose was placed on one of the beds that held six bodies in the barracks of Auschwitz one. Poignantly positioned, by someone paying respects on March the second 2017.

A  piece of me shifted that day, my eyes clouded and my heart cried. I thought long and hard before posting this and though I hope you leave me a comment I will umderstand if you don’t.

Coat!

Linda prompts “Coat” to join in or read wonderful responses press👉here 👈

He’d coat his tongue with sour lies,

Hold a gaze she learnt to dispize.

Reveled when he made her twitch,

swiped her away as if an itch.

Punch a fist beside her head,

Force his self upon the marital bed.

She’d blink and flinch  jump and twitch,

He’d call her his whore his stinking bitch.

She fought and  pushed through the night,

with every breath and all her might

She bore a child that she would love

They held fast hand to glove.

Softly suckled him to her breast
concentrated on how to be the best.

Children came they grew strong,

Proud and good knew right from wrong.

The day came when they left the nest

put their lives to the test.

 On that morn as the sun lit up the sky

She believed in herself and with head held high…

Pulled on her coat without a goodbye

And left the bastard high and dry.

Counting Forbidden Fruits.

Thank you Jane for the challenge once again an exquisite picture to prompt us to write press 🔜here 🔙 to join in or read wonderful tales.

The image for this week’s challenge is by illustrator Virginia Frances Sterret and comes from a book of French fairy tales.

“Warning This Is Not A Fairy-tale”.

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Ernest lay amongst the duck filled pillows, his chest squawking and rasping eerily in the darkened room. Occasionally he propped himself up to spit and decorate the now cardinal stained cloths at his bedside. The drapes were parted to light up the illustration on the wall without throwing light willy-nilly about the room.

He recalled the juiciness of the fruit, the pure, and the innocent that he plucked fresh and devoured. As his memories awoke, his loins stirred beneath the blankets. One, two, six in fifty-three, nine in sixty-four. His mouth filled as he wretched and decorated another cloth. Sixty-four was best he thought as he grabbed at his maleness below the sheets. The time of promiscuity, the upper middle classes at least were disgusted by the freedoms that the young flaunted. Giving him cover and power, who’d believe a half-naked hippy smoking pot in the park over him; no…Sixty-four had a good bouquet.

A nurse entered the stale room to bring fresh handkerchiefs, administer a bed bath and leave his morning news. He may be dying, hopefully, any time now; she thought, but he made her skin crawl. A portly chap who too often stroked or grabbed her in feigned sleep, she’d be glad when this one was done.

The illustration was Ernest’s favourite, it had been the most successful lure, and he intended it to be the last thing he would see on leaving this god forsaken world. .The thought of where he was destined to go held no fear for him. His position and wealth allowed him to indulge in his one passion…  until the eighties when do-gooding became the rage. But many a fellow could never satiate their needs, and would die never sampling the flesh or fulfilling that wicked desire. And here he was, unable to tally how many… how many pieces of forbidden fruit he managed to taste.

 

This evil tale is strictly fiction and bears no resemblance to anyone living or deceased.

comments are welcomed and responded to soonest.

Watching Dad.

His arms were strong and he seemed so tall when we were his little girls. His eyes crinkled at the sides when he smiled, he nipped and tickled and made us squeal. Invincible he was way back when… when we were small. He brushed my hair and shared a joke. He made me feel loved. Each one of us thought we were his favourite, when really were equal in his eyes. He taught me how to polish boots so I could see my face and made me giggle more than once when I was saying grace. I remember him showing us, how he won a race, with his arm up in the air flicking his fingers until they clicked re-living the moment, the winning post. That time it was just for us a private demonstration to entertain, a reconstruction riding the finish with commentary to boot.

He chastised me, taught me right from wrong. Sometimes he stood in my corner like a giant … a giant of a man but small. I learned some cheeky rhymes from him some I never understood. But he could make me laugh when I was feeling sad. Dad was the quintessential cheeky chappie, with a twinkle of a smile in his eye and a joke on his tongue. He’d give a flick with a towel to make us run. He would squeeze our hands until we made a squeal especially if solemnity was expected. His face would crinkle and his shoulders shake; in silent laughter.

Dad sat me on my first big horse and taught me how to make a warm mash. Horse husbandry he taught me, the hoof pick, the curry comb and how to groom. We would brush until the horse’s coat would gleam and persperation ran down my cheeks. He showed me how to plait my hair he taught me to ride a bike. I could see a lot in him that I would grow to like.

Now as a woman I watched a shadow of my Dad. Hanging on to the remnants of this cruel life. Those rheumy eyes searching our mothers face for what… Looking hard into her, he was making sure she was still there. Clinging tightly on, a silent pact, a sliver of hope shoots back and forth between them. A look full of love that spans a lifetime of memories; both good and bad. Times spent in passion, lust and humour, love and anger all that was in between. The life he had before us and the sorries that went unheard or unseen. Things he can never put right; now lying in his bed, things he will never be able to change, you cannot turn back time. “I can’t change the past,” he said. 

Cruelly, slowly, painfully we watched life dragging him piece by piece, gouging away until he had no tomorrow’s. Years of life as a husband, a father, brother, uncle and a Gramps, it was all about to alter; and it did. Nothing will ever be the same, there is now a gap, a space, a gaping hole that no one outside sees. A chasm so huge it pulls us to our knees.

Written with love and the fondest of memories. The world lost one more on October fifth 2014.
 

Don’t be sad for we had him,  be sad for those who never knew him and were missing his fun.

Is there a person who has gone but still  brings a smile and a fond recall to your mind? Leave me a comment and I will answer soonest 👋👋👋😘💕

 

For The Longest Moment.

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For the longest moment the world stopped, the air became thick and the branch creaked. I watched the legs twitch as urine ran freely from the bottom of his trouser legs, and there was a splash from the shoe that flipped and bounced off the lawn.

Not a sound could be heard inside our home, until  the tick and click of the boiler the quiet roar that still makes me flinch today.  I  didn’t  play with dolls after that, sudden noises made me jump, made Mummy cry and our house sad.That one thing dirtied our garden and spoiled our beautiful tree. My childhood was no more, that single day changed our world, and stole my Dad.

 
This is a hard subject to cover and I did not undertake it lightly. It is a fictional story and any likeness to any actuality is coincidental. Thanks to the daily prompt for leaving the word “Tree.  press tree to read many more great stories. I first wrote this for a literary competition one that asked you to write the uncomfortable, this was short listed and I think worth another look.

Have you tackled a difficult piece of fiction? do you tread where your heart would never wish to go?  Was this believable? Please leave a comment I will respond at speed, thank you and remember it is a story. 😇💘💕

Empathy Calls .

I laugh until the air has gone
Then gasp to draw some in.
Speaking makes me happy
my smile shines from within.
But tear drops plop shamelessly
on cheeks that are too old,
to bear the sight of homlessness
amongst streets  paved with gold.
With hope she looks for a coin,
or a sip, to ward away the shame.
Too hide the pain of life,
Done living on the game.
The want to wash away reality,
Replace life with dreams and cheer.
Or deathly silent moments
That  dull the pain and fear.
We judge them so lightly
Label them; and sneer.
Not seeing their plight,
We rarely  shed a tear.
So why not hovver in that doorway,
Stoop, and smile to say hello
Because they are only human
With no other place to go.

Continue reading

I Want To Turn The Clock Back.

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I want to turn the clock back; to before you went away,

To get the chance to tell you, and beg of you to stay.

I want to turn the clock, to face against the wall

To hope that the sickle, this time, fails to fall.

 

I would cradle your tiny body and together we would sleep,

Beneath the comfy blanket with booties on your feet.

You would recognise me by the noises that I make,

The songs I’d be singing while I baked for you a cake.

 

The house would fill with laughter as I introduced to you,

A sister and two brothers, who would be in love with you.

They’d fight to let me hold you, and smother you in love,

You would have fitted in the family, like a hand into a glove.

 

But clocks don’t go backwards, time refuses to stand still,

Mothers can’t make it happen, we haven’t got free will.

If we did, we would have held you and never let you go,

But you got taken to a corner, of time we’ve yet to know.

 

The sun keeps on shining, as does the falling rain,

The sunflowers still blossom, though not the same.

Growing up a family, with your missing name,

Like gazing at a sunflower through a broken pane.

 

Today, a long past memory was jogged, a never forgotten moment recalled and tears were shed; but all is just as it should be.

Looking It In The Face .

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She rests her head, I examine her face

Her beauty buried beneath wear.

The folds of skin that crack the space

Where blushing cheeks once shone.

 

A beauty spot, faded lashes

Now translucent almost  gone.

She rests, she rests her eyes

those eyes that have seen so much.

 

Reflected I see love in this face,

The skin that felt my youthful flesh.

That held my arm that time,

Proud to be seen there.

 

I said I would, I do and did.

She gave her life to me,

To cherish to love and pleasure

Then, now and forever.

 

Opening her clouded eyes I see fear,

As her mind refuses to know me.

Memories stolen never to return

I pray for her to rest those eyes

Once more.

 

In trying to experiment with finding my voice I put this together to see if I could be authentic when writing with a male perspective. Your comments would be appreciated thank you.