The bike.

Emily took her helmet and silently slid the bifolds back to reveal the garden. Her once warm face received a blast. left with pink cheeks and a pinched nose which she wiggled as she fastened the helmet neath her chin. She closed the doors, pleased to have paid extra for the silent sliders. Emily heard the first birds of the day and spied a squirrel munching below the hazel. She filled her nostrils with Autumn, felt the frost in the air; mingled with wood-smoke in the wind. Emily marched down the path to the back of the cart lodge. A light caught the handlebars, a ribbon of anticipation bubbled in her chest she smiled to herself. Her leg thrown over the saddle and fingerless gloves took the chill from the grips; she was away.

Slowly, she passed the Beech hedge its copper leaves dangled precariously from the boughs. A row of horse-chestnuts were almost naked. The huge trees ran fifty yards down the length of the beech hedging, interspersed with red Hazel. Emily could only smile on such a day as this, she knew there was something magical in the air and had always loved the first ride of the season.

Oblivious to the crunch of leaves quickening behind her, or the raggedy breath wheezing puffs of cloudy air. She meandered, gazing at the sunrise and its colours spread over the fields.

She sensed danger rather than saw him, the taste of fear on her tongue. Emily peddled faster but as speed picked up, her bike was tugged hard. Over the handlebars, she drifted slow motion it seemed. The thud was the last thing she remembered as the world spun blue and green.

With a twist of her head, pain shot up her spine as the darkness enveloped her. She didn’t know what hit her. The lining of her nose stung with the scent of bitumen and burned wood. Prone on a bed of coal she lay, tears ran freely into her hair and her ears filled. One shake of her head cleared her ears but caused spasms of pain to ricochet into her toes. All she could see were sun rays bursting through the grid, way above her head.

The photo/ prompt is Sue Vincents #writephoto to be found here. The gif is taken from a short animated Oscar-winning film called ‘Father and daughter’ to be found on youtube.

My short is open to an ending or maybe it is the beginning of what?

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Genetically Challenged.

Fourteen weeks ago we moved back to Suffolk. Those who follow me will know this and I won’t be boring you with the story I promise, just a reminder of how we moved away to Somerset, we didn’t find our forever place so after four and a half years we sold up and moved back.

We threw ourselves into the refurbishing of our house. Eventually, we thought to find a doctor, a dentist and an optician etc. A week of changing addresses, doing paperwork, joining electoral roles and collecting information took place.

During my new Doctor consultation (I thought him very thorough), a gamut of questions were fired at me, from under an arched and knowledgeable brow. Lots of poking and prodding, weighing, measuring and listening occurred. Squeezing, knocking and the questions went on for an exceedingly long time. Next, I was given bottles and forms to both fill and present to the hospital. This is where I cut to the chase and leave my usual shaggy dog story peacefully in its dog bed.

I had been to the doctors over the last four years with, the pains in my joints, falling asleep that we all laughed about, the getting lost and the misty or foggy headedness, the heartburn and the chills I had when everyone else was warm. All the above were individually poked fun at, none more so than by me. Silly me, getting old, winding down getting a bit quirkier than I was before. It seemed, the harder I tried to get myself fit, the slower and crappier I felt … the more often I stayed in my pyjamas the more it became an Ellen thing, to be laughed at.

I had my thyroid checked several times, my blood, cholesterol and sugars, to no avail. I was told to lose weight, about 20lb was suggested for optimum fitness. At this point the doctors (I had seen a few) I felt, were beginning to think I was lazy and maybe wasting their time. They said, maybe it was taking early retirement, or I was depressed missing family and familiarity, but losing weight and getting fit would help. So on I struggled a sleepy, chilly, foggy headed woman who was more and more muddled, weak and in pain.

Well, I can tell you that I am not lazy, fat or a hypochondriac, I have a genetic condition that has been very gratefully spotted by my new GP. How lucky was I to have moved back and to have seen someone who knew what he was looking at?

I have Haemachromatosis, basically, I store iron, my blood then chucks it into my organs, the brain, liver etc. This toxic stuff causes havoc where ever it lands. There is no cure … but there is a treatment for which I am very grateful. And though scared, I will suck it up and get on with it. I won’t let it win or change me, it won’t define who I am.

In the past few weeks, I have had needles and cameras in orifices I would have preferred not to, I’ve seen pictures of a few places … even I hadn’t seen before. I have been humbled by the kindness of medical people and scared by the condition and the vast amount of knowledge that I am unable to take in, but I am loved thoroughly by those who matter.

Here is the joke, you knew there would be one … I have a needle phobia, always have had and the treatment, the only treatment is Venesection. Blood letting, phlebotomy, removal of my toxic blood. Before we left for the first treatment the husband thought he would … relax me, he wore a wicked grin when he searched you tube and had to wipe his eyes for the thirty minutes he played me Handcocks Half Hour, a comedy radio skit from 1961, where Tony Handcock donates blood.

One Venesection down and I didn’t disgrace myself, I am sucking it up! What the hell else can I do? So I guess right now, according to Tony Handcock I have an empty arm ‘Tah Dah boom!’

Every ten days a pint has to be removed until numbers stabilise (how long is a piece of vein/ string). Then the gaps will widen to monthly and in a few years, maybe I can get to four times a year with monthly blood tests. But basically … ‘If you want to live, you got to bleed, forever.’

The husband, he suggested leeches, we have a well in the garden so it could be an option. Someone actually said ‘You must wish you could self-harm.’ Then some people are sick! I became upset when a family member said ‘So what, it’s not a biggie,’ easy to say when it’s not you, said from that place of comfort. Another writer/ bloggy person unbeknown to him gave me an idea *Thinks*.

An advert!

Wanted! A Gentle Male Vampire with sharp teeth.

The successful applicant would be required to come to my home under his own steam. To be dressed in traditional uniform and to specifically partake of dinner twice a month, until further notice.

Wages will be in the form of warm B rhesus negative

Iron enriched the oxygenated blood.

Conversation will not be necessary,

Though good oral hygiene is a must.

The applicant/ Sanguineoue being, will not be permitted, in fact, will be forbidden to partake of any other beverage from any source whilst in my employ, or my home.

Once the task has been completed he will depart the way he arrived, leaving no sign that he ever attended.

If interested in this position please reply by email/ sonar or echolocation … at your soonest opportunity. Only experienced thirsty practitioners need reply.

P.s. no sympathy required I am lucky, I at least can be helped.

My explanation for erratic posting and absence needed explaining. Sometimes I can’t focus enough to grab my words and writing or talking coherently is not happening. It hopefully will improve and I will be back, talking, writing and reading regularly.

P.S. When the specialist said, “You’ll see, we will get you back feeling normal, it will take time; we will improve things.” He was looking into my eyes holding my hand. That’s when the husband laughed aloud and said: “That will be novel, nobody’s accused Ellen of normality in years.” Both men were in hysterics, I think that says it all. I have always risen to a challenge and Genetically challenged will be no different.

Reviewing ‘Not Thomas’ By Sara Gethin.

I purchased this book and had been looking forward to reading it, after twenty or so e-books that I had promised I’d read were finally finished. The books had been clogging my tablet and sitting heavily; as guilt does on my mind. Life gets in the way of promises and dreams and is oblivious to anything interrupting it. So we sold up in Somerset and relocated back once more to Suffolk, the doing of that move left things undone, books unread, friends uncalled, my blog bereft of fresh stories and my manuscript on hold.

So I purchased Not Thomas and was excited to read something fresh by a name I didn’t know. I was drawn to the cover, the boy at the window looked thoughtful the colours inviting. I had spotted the promotion popping up on Facebook and Twitter, I followed her name to see who she was on WordPress. I read it, the cover, ‘Imagine You’re Five, Alone In The House, And Someone Gets In’.

I purchased and waited for it to arrive. We are refurbishing and I may have waited, but in my head, as I say life cracks on. People are not always honest about their rituals on receiving a parcel of a book, but I read the outside of my package, stroked it a little *sigh* and removed the cardboard. Number one, I am not odd, or certifiable but I do love a book. Two, trusting my rituals to followers may make them ‘come out’, admit they have some as … diverse as mine, but hopefully won’t make them scarper. So, I now have my very own copy in my hands, I caress it with my eyes , sniff its perfume, ooh i love to smell books.

Well then things went a bit skewed the surveyor turned up and round two began, my reading time vanished with talk of bi-fold doors, dry-rot and bathrooms. To cut a story short; which really isn’t the way Ellen rocks, Thomas was put on hold. A bout of illness slowed my progress on the house as the husband put down his size nines and firmly but kindly made me stop. So amidst the dust and noise, I picked up Thomas and recovered by reading.

Firstly no spoilers! Just my thoughts and opinions.

The scariest thing is the way this five-year-old boy tells his story/nightmare as if it is normal. Although the fear is palpable there are moments of pure gold like his letters and post scripts. While you read, if you’re not careful you will need tissues both ends, because you can’t put it down even to pee.

Sara manages the language perfectly, it is simple and pure, as a child’s voice is. Most of the book is told by Tomos clearly, concisely and in an earth shattering simplistic way. The absolute horror going on around him, the neglect so casually passed over by his Mum. The attitude ofturn the other cheek the neighbour had across the street, she who looks back at him from her window. It is as if they have not a clue that it’s wrong. Mum, loves him in her way, she doesn’t allow him to reach her paraphernalia hidden in full view in the bathroom, she takes away his ladder so he doesn’t come from his high bed and see stuff or get hurt. You can feel Thomos’s love as he cwutches up with her on the sofa.

This book is by far one of the best reads I have had in five years, the writer is the most exciting new thing to come out of Wales since the Severn Bridge. If you read nothing else this year you simply have to read ‘Not Thomas’.

P.S. I see another book ready to spring from the ending.

It is the day after I finished reading the book but I am not ready to let him go just yet. So Not Thomas joins me for breakfast, a feast I would have fed Tomos if I could.

My review I know is a little different from the norm but I hope you enjoyed it, I am not known for writing book reviews on my blog which must tell you how passionate I am about this one, and hope you will be too. #LoveTomos

Please leave me a comment below.

 Ooh!Ahh!

Dan has taken on the lovely Linda Hill’s #soCs and the prompt is ooh! ah! press to join in HERE.  Pictures used here were obtained via google, but though I used all due dilligence,I am unable to credit the artist as the owner of the copyright evades me.

stream-of-conciousness

Ooh! Ahh! He cried as I launched myself at the guttersnipe. With a tug of his lobe and a boot firmly at his raggedy behind. It should have had him scurry up the nearest  drainpipe and out of my pockets. But no, he artistically flopped to the dirt lifeless, and stiff. Now his already grubby self was plastered in faecal matter of both human and horse from the gutter.

‘Stand up I tell you,’ his acting skills would have had Shakespear signing him a contract.  I kicked with my beautifully buckled shoe, the sight of the schitt’e smeared item and the stench, had me heave. If he didn’t move speedily, vomit would join the mess on himself. I have no doubt he’d be smelt from a mile away for more than a week.

*retch, heave* this time there was no stopping it. I wafted my lace kerchief in front of my nose, heard rather then felt the slop hit my other shoe then splash my breeches. Just at that precise moment, he rolled over, leapt up, grabbed my fob and showed his heels. I cried ‘Thief! Stop him!’ As i felt for my watch, it had gone, leaving me the stomach churning stench.  I cried for the loss of both face and watch… I sobbed ‘Ohh! noooo!’

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I hope my interpretation tickled your sensibilities and maybe like me you were a trifle pleased at the comeuppance of such a fop. Do leave your comments I answer with vigour.

‘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.

Empty Nest..

 

He’d coat his tongue with sour lies,

Hold a gaze she learnt to despise.

Revelled when he made her twitch,

swiped her away as if an itch.

Punch a fist beside her head,

Force himself upon the marital bed.

She would  blink, 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.

Who Can Hear You…

Writers quote challenge /5 at Haddons musings is ‘thinking’ this week, so press🔜 here🔙 to join in

‘Thinking  before you speak’

On a pavement Cafe at the end of the street

two smart men took themselves a seat.

Tristan he bragged  about his car, £48000 look at it gleam

Mercedes coup’e a Successful man’s dream.

Harry said I worked hard  taking overtime when I could

couldn’t take a holiday or even a siesta

His  £17000 well spent on a pepper red  fiesta.

They argued together the fors and against,
compared fuel consumption  the weaknesses and strengths.

 

homeless-640715__340

Now Mary she sat on the ground by the door

listened to them both open mouthed… in awe.

She sat head bowed a note that said ‘park’

to remind her to get in her box before dark.

Her mac was large came down to her feet

An excellent choice when you lived on the street,

for underneath was all she did possess

Plus two pairs of gloves and four hairy vests.

She didn’t speak nor look in their eyes,

when they lit cigars and binned crusts from their pies.

Silently she sat as they said their goodbyes

Missing the quiver of her lip and the tears in her eyes

They dropped  her a pound  and crossed to their cars

She could have been an alien living on Mars.

A light bulb moment!

The pictures are courtesy of pixabay a wonderful resource for free media.

Let me know what you think, would you have in your excitement looked at Mary? I’d like to think I would have taken my discussion inside and thought about how she would feel listening…

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”.

759px-old_french_fairy_tales_0008

 

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.