‘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 Salty Sailor.

Click here to join in with the fictioneers HERE.

Photo for friday fictioneers  exclusive use only, by © Fatima Fakier Deria.

Across the harbour he gazed, floating money pits, gin palaces, toys for the wealthy. Phlegm hit his boot, he screwed his eyes against the sun. Stuffing a cheroot between his discoloured teeth he thrust chapped hands deep in his pockets. With hunched shoulders he watched his feet as he scuffed on the dry earth and lurched away. He may earn his living on them but he’d never own one.

Below the harbour was buzzing, tanned yachtsmen flirted with ladies. Coiffed girls with plummy accents giggled and money was no object;  but there was no room for salty sailors in this bar. 
This is a snapshot of a bigger story, curtailing it to 100 words was tough and I hope I captured the irony of the sailors lot. Please leave a comment I love to connect.

Breaking the Rules

photograph courtesy of Paul Miltiaru press HERE to see his beautiful photography.

feet

 

 He could walk a coastal hike

Take the road atop a bike.

Sail o’er the seas of old

On a ship that’s made of gold.

He could fight a hundred men

Chase a lion from his den.

He’d be a champion of men

The countries Olympian.

But let him walk along a street

Without shoes upon his feet

He’d  bring shame and despair

On the townsfolk living there.

You can win a Quadrathlon

but never flout a road sign.

Photo of British quadrathlon team courtesy of Wikipedia.

Which rule did you break?  (Other than a parking or speed signs )

sign

I flouted the rules of propriety with the above, as I thought one way, was my way…

A Song or five.

A super blogger asked me to take part in a song for a day for five days, as we are moving house this will be difficutl but I will take a twist on the rules and post 5 songs on one day so I can take part. Please visit Here  at the lovely ladiesthatlunchreviews

The rules are to post the lyrics of a favorite song five days in a row, explain what they mean to you and add the video if available. You then nominate two other bloggers who can participate if they wish and my choices are:  Steph Richmond and my lovely friend from unfolding the fog.

My choices are ecclectic and maybe my favorite colour is yellow, I love blues and jazz, Who wouldn’t love listening to Janice or coldplay…The world is a better place with music and tomorrow my favorites will be different because a memory was nudged or a note bought a tear for what ever reason enjoy my choices today.


The First Stand For Equality

The painting borrowed is a Princess picking lice from a troll. Jane Dougherty’s picture prompt press here to join in or read the responses.

picking lice from a troll

 

.The people of the kingdom thought it a pretty job being a Princess, opening buildings dancing with Princes. But behind the scenes under the castle but above the dungeons… this princess had her work cut out.

This place was where the true ruler lived if an agreement hadn’t been sought… if a truce hadn’t been struck, well it doesn’t bear thinking of. As with most Kingdoms, for a kingdom to become such,  the good has to prevail… hence the truce. In the throne room the king sits with his queen, they feel at ease, the princess is getting her training and  in turn keeps them safe. They have their kingdom so to all intents and purposes… all is good with their world; until.

Princess Romana,  takes off her crown slumps to the floor she crosses her arms. *thinks* why am I the one working so so hard, they sit atop their thrones being fed sweetmeats and dancing while listening to lively music, laughing at the jester’s amusing words. She scratched her head and shuddered… “yuk” she cried, looking at her hand crawling with lice; she ran to her chamber. Romana tugged at her braids and fought with her sash as her ladies, both gloved and aproned, pulled her a paraffin scented scolding bath. “Leave… all of you”  she scowled and clutched a bearskin to cover her pride. Once the water was bearable she eased herself beneath its depths. Tilly the maid, her friend and confidant pushed the huge oak door to see if it was safe to enter. Submerged beneath the stinking water with her nose like a reed poking up for air Romana sobbed. An hour later after being lathered and scrubbed until her skin was rough and raw, her hair combed with the finest of combs, and handfuls of her blonde hair had been gathered from the floor she still whimpered. Tilly stood her on a turning plinth and stroked soothing balm into the skin of Romana, and stroked her forehead until the shuddering stopped and she slept.

By the time the princess had cried silent tears and the bath removed from her room and scrubbed, the court had heard of her misfortune and demanded an audience with the king. On his knees before the king the lord trembled “Oh mighty ruler king of this land, I come on the say so of your court, I beg you to see through the impudence of my words and know they nieve as they are come from the love and caring we have for you and the kingdom.”  The King bellowed “Get on with it! But be aware, I will not be some weak minded pushover and though the executioner has been resting for many a year he is at my call”. The King sat stiffly and his fingers tightened on his sceptre as he frowned at the quivering shape before him. “We, your Royal highness, have learned today of the Princesses distress, we believe that time has come to put a stop to the distasteful tasks she undertakes. She one day will be queen and she too will have to subject her child to the same degrading filthy task. Lord, we beseech you enough is enough this cannot continue. We have knights trained and willing to fight. We have archers son’s of lord’s ready to fight for the princesses hand. All we ask is for our wonderous lord to think on the suggestion. Not waiting for an answer bowing to his knees eyes on his feet he slowly reversed himself from the great throne room.Once calmed the King summoned his wife his mother and his knight commander, over supper they talked, demanded and finally agreed that the Queen as was her duty would speak to the girl.

A pale unhappy Princess went to her mother’s chambers to seek comfort. The queen had agreed this task would be hers and hers alone. “Romana it has come to the attention of the court and indeed the land, of your unhappiness. She raised her hand to still her daughter. The knight commander has arranged for a challenge to be thrown down to the King of Trolls”.Romana gasped…”Yes, he who you groom and feed and care for in the undercroft;  below the banquetting hall. The knight who thwarts the troll will win your hand. Before she could get any further the Princes shouted.  “He will not! I refuse to be treated like a prize in an archery tournament”.The queen gestured her to sit, her high colour disturbed her greatly.” Let me explain” the queen said.  A truce was made when you were conceived that the child born of my loins would live until marriage to serve and groom him the king of Trolls. In return, the kingdom would be free of rampage and disease. Once you married, the fruit of your labour would take your place… so you could rule in the knowledge that you and your kingdom would be safe from The trolls evil”.Feeling pleased with her description the Queen relaxed, until…

“You mean I have been picking lice from his coat, wiping jam from between his toes,  spooning mucus from his nostrils, and picking the flesh from his teeth every day since forever, because the king was stupid enough to agree!” The Princess was incensed she strode up and down screamed and tugged her clothes, the queen thought she had gone insane. “Take me to father now” the queen twittered and trembled she pitter-pattered behind her furious daughter to the door of the throne room. Suddenly Romana slowed, looked thoughtful and taking her mother’s arm and guided her up to the solar. Romana had formed a plan she would not be a prize, only for the man she loved and certainly wouldn’t want to be seen as weak by those who one day would be her subjects. Her mind turned over her idea as she embroidered with the queen, as she stitched she planned and all the time she contrived to show her mother that she had changed her mind and agreed.

Some nights later, while the knights drew straws in the banqueting hall the thunder rumbled, Romana’s plan came to fruition. She collected the great helm with a huge spike a top, a hat she had the blacksmith’s son make in secret; and paid him a handsome sum. She lured the Troll undercover of darkness. They went by torch light up past the merlon to the parapet. The stupidity of the Troll amazed the Princess, he believed she had brought him there to gaze at the bridge where underneath his family lived. She convinced him they would be hoping to catch site of their great masterful Troll to bow before him this night, and so they could see him clearly he was to wear a helmet with a mighty spike fit or so she said for a king. The thunder made him jump, but she patted his hand and led him on. Once at the highest point, he leant out over the parapet at the princesses insistence. Just as he did a crack of lightening struck with humongous force. Romana fled just as the spike conducted the force into the hapless Troll, an almighty bellow shook the battlements people ran to the courtyard to gaze upon the sight of a burning bellowing beast tumbling into the moat. The heat sizzled and left the moat dry with the only remnant being the spiked helm embedded in the earth beneath the castle. Romana became the first woman to have the power of a king, and women’s rights movement was born, and today on this blog it is recorded as ‘The First Stand For Equality’.

helmet-1383111__340.png

.The Great Helm.

Above is a vague likeness to the one used in my true fairytale the pictures are by way of pixabay. Of course, the actual one had a spike and we, unfortunately, have no recorded evidence as cameras smartphones or other photographic sorcery was at the time deemed evil. Thank you for reading your comments will be waited for in anticipation.

 

 

March Marches On

Linda Hill challenges with the word March press here to read or join in the fun.

It was the sound and sight of spring,

That bouncing boxing lop eared thing.

He ruled his paddock won his mate

in his hole next the five bar gate.

The March hare mad as can be

Brings spring to life this morning for me.

Fox stalks his vixen flicks his brush

Jumps atop his choice in a rush.

Twice or thrice maybe more

grinds her into the floor

when her belly is round and full

another vixen he will pull.

March Marches to the beat

of Mother nature’s  drum

To procreate

We call her

Mum.

 

 

A bit of whimsy to warm your soul and tickle your fancy. I hope you liked it.

A Short Stream Of Consciousness.

Linda Hills stream of conciousness prompt please press 🔜 here 🔚  to read and join,  it Is fun #SOCS  No editing just pouring onto the page.


My Dad used to say “Nice things come in small parcels” he said it mostly to cheer me up…  Mum said “so does poison”  If as she often pointed out every family has their cross to bear, then it is possible I was it.

I am one of four girls who were all… a slighter build than me, they had dainty feet and were bor… fortunate with prettier eyes and full lashes and without double chins. All three had wavy or curling hair, they were popular, and taller than me, all three were in the top choice when teams were picked, and all three had tone, rythm and speed.

wpid-cymera_20141201_190627.jpg

Where,  I never grew into my large clumsy feet or had the ability to beautifully sing and dance. My bum was always big in this … whatever this happened to be. My singing voice… well least said and all that.  I swear someone put my eyes on upside down and stole my midriff… seriously, how is it that I have a standard leg length, a six foot arm span *holds head* “really” and am four foot eleven and a half. I was the girl that the netball captain dreaded having to take, the sister that the vicar told “god had better things than the choir on his mind when he made me” ! Promptly giving the collection plate over ( my then new job). And just in case you think like a butterfly I morphed into my wonderful self… No!

Singing is my passion and I could still win X factor the voice and be a singing sensation, but no one other than me hears the way my ears do… I still have straight as a poker hair, bigger feet,  shorter body, upside down eyes,  two chins, weigh more than them, I hide from the ball, miss with a bat and in comparison my bum is still big in that.

In case you think I feel sorry for myself NO! You see I am unique, I am an anomaly. I can laugh at myself, make others happy, I am kind and generous.  If I don’t compare myself to my sisters, I am average weight and fitness with a standard sized foot. My siblings are smaller (not shorter) and lighter than the norm. They are…  they, and I am me, a friendly, happy, quirky woman who writes. My husband, who by the way insists my differences drew him to me, loves this bonkers loon and wouldn’t alter a bit of me.. except maybe my  penchant for singing and being bouncy as I wake.

 

There I kept it short and shared pieces of me.

Do you fit neatly into your family have you grown into your space? I am dying to hear.

Wearing A Smile.

The prompt for ‘A Scribble Of Writers’ is the picture below. The picture belongs to Margaret press to here to ask for use of the picture or to join in with the scribblers.

City life is fast and furious, not a soul knows your name once you’re out of context. Heads down watching feet, wrapped up on a dark street. Christmas is only Christmas until midnight, then it loses its glow. Sales hit the high street stores and only a few twinkling lights remain, as the remnants of the day disappear.

 “This year will be different” I said,  pulling the collar up on my red Christmas coat, I stand tall, I feel like a super hero wearing this. I march down the main street, buildings in shadow, frost in the air, me on my toes. I trail plumes of white from both nose and nostrils; a determined stride soon warms the soul. *Thinking* this year I will make it different. I take time to notice the faces and smile at each figure I pass; regardless of no forthcoming response. “Nice evening, seasons greetings” I call; with a skip in my step. 

Our eyes meet so I nod,  a twitch of his lips makes me feel great. Ten steps more and I see her, she looks about eighteen, tying her belt, checking her phone, brushing away hair with her hand as she walks, then bam! “I am sorry” she said scrambling to her feet, she pulled me up while rubbing my cashmere coat with her cold thin hand. “No problem, no bones broken”. Are you okay? Late for something are you”? I said concerned. Her bottom lip trembled as she mumbled a sorry once more. “Look I am fine, let me buy you a drink,  there’s a wonderful teahouse around the corner, we will both feel better for a hot cup of tea”. She stooped, grasping her bag from the pavement; wide eyed, she swallows and nods. 

 The tea was hot and the fondant cakes comforting. She wipes her mouth with a serviette and quietly tells me her story. I nod and smile, shake my head in… I believe all the right places. Her story was one most of us knew and had experienced, girl meets boy and it doesn’t quite work out the way they hoped. We shared the bill and clasped hands for a second as she continued on her way,  and I on mine. 

On return to my flat, in this loneliest of cities, my keys rattle and echo through the hall. On the surface,  all  was just as I left it … but everything had changed. I felt good, invigorated from the walk, and worthwhile. My face is still wearing its smile and my red coat didn’t lose its glow the day after Christmas.

Giving others a greeting, acknowledging  their presence, throwing out a smile or simply listening, takes but a fraction of our time but can change so much. Let me know if you agree in the comments… I love to hear your views. 

The Connection

wall

She sat, on a low wall three bricks high. A wall that once was tall was 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 fisted 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.

I notice 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”.

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, 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; there 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, I wondered if anyone would 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.

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, there, 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.

 

This is for the bloggers bash competition. here

capture-bb-comp

I hope you like my flash fiction. All comments are more than welcomed.

 

 

Ham!

Linda’s prompt for #Socs  is  Ham!  To join in or read some

fantastic responses click 🔜here🔙


I once laughed til I cried

over a song about ‘spam’.

Was surprised when  given a book

Called ‘Green eggs and ham’.
I was thrilled when  cooked

Chips,  beans and ham,

for the first time,

by a visiting man. *wink wink*.
You never know what form

memories will take,

or how we inadvertently

nudge them awake.
A smell of lavender

Reminds me of Gran,

reading the rhymes… you guessed it

From green eggs and ham.

The taste of pig does it for me

It rumbles my stomach

until i fill it with tea….

Anyone for a sandwich?

A whimsical ditty … My husband listened (as they do) and said “You do know you’re weird… dont you”?

Comments welcomed and responded to promtly.

.