Misconceptions of what makes a good Wife.

We worked hard, determined I was, not to be ‘A Carried Wife.’ More worried about other’s perceptions, I got it wrong. Because he was a lawyer, earning big, didn’t mean people would expect me to slack. Engrossed in that thought, I took my eye of of the ‘us.’
Not seeing his palor, hearing that cough. I failed as his wife. Each night I fell into bed shattered, not fit for the part. Worked, unaware of his appointments. I didn’t hold his hand, wipe his head. Here I am now, clutching a cold yellowed hand, wishing … it wasn’t his deathbed.

Written in response to the picture prompt set at Charli’s Carrot ranch. Thank you for having me back. If you want to give her challenges a go, press the horse 🐎

Please comment I love to talk.

My response to The Word of the Day #Guidance.

The last Sunday before Christmas and as you can see the word is Guidance. Actually, this is my first foray in to the daily prompt site. Any of you readers, story tellers or bloggers can join in … by pressing ➡ Here! ⬅.

This year, the spirit of Christmas has been aloof. On Friday, yes 22nd December. I finally made an attempt to decorate for the festivities. Random visitors, maybe popping over to see us during the time between 22nd and 2nd of January we need to be welcoming, and have made the effort.
This year, there is no formal gathering of the clans. No, ‘Our Christmas.’ No magnificent meal for 21, including seven Grand children aged between nine months and fourteen years and two dogs. No wild inappropriate jokes to laugh at, and no story telling or present gifting to the Grandchildren under our roof … next to our tree. All of which we love doing and having; as we did last year. But this year, we are at the youngest daughters for Christmas lunch, at the eldest daughters for New years eve. All gifting will happen on doorsteps Christmas eve, but we won’t get to see the opening, the bright eyes, the ohhhs and ahhs of excitement only found at the point of the opening. Unfortunately, we only fit that amount of excitement, chairs tables and laughterand food , in our house … on a seperate day, ‘Our Christmas.’

Families, often have absent Mothers or Fathers, in-laws, step sisters and brothers. Extra Grandparents, uncles, Aunts and pets. They all are missed by someone … if away from home. It is just the way life is. To accommodate all, under one roof at the same time is nigh on impossible. Though we try, we invairiably miss out someone, an ex Husband that you cannot bring yourself to even pretend for a day to want under your roof, or a miserable Aunt, or the nephew that gets raucous after a tott or two … and has been known to moon at the people passing by the window, who unsuspectantly get a shock going home from church. Morbid Malcom, who wishes his time had passed, and voices such, every fiftythree minutes; once fuelled with Sandyman’s Port, or Harveys Bristol Cream..

It would be unkind to want everyone to fit in with us. Not every year. When have what we call ‘our Christmas’ which is at a date somewhere between 25th Dec and 7th January. Depending on when we can get most people to be … at the same place and same time. Most of the food (prepped by me) is cooked by ‘The Husband’ who stubbornly refuses assistance, until clearing up time at least. As you may realise by now, we are missing it, before we would have had it. I wish I had seeked out some guidance before saying “Not this year.” Truth be told we have both had obstacles during the year, and I felt, it would be too much, both for him, and me.

So up went the tree, cards were written, parcels purchased and wrapped, all in four days. I will bake a special cake for the four Grandchildren at our eldest sons house and deliver cake and gifts Tuesday morning. Christmas day’s desert I will bake on Tuesday evening, while ‘The Husband’ delivers gifts to the youngest son’s home and two more Grandchildren. Christmas will be on time, with nobody missed. All will be wonderful, in it’s special Christmas day slot, this time with our youngest Grandson George; seeing his first Christmas day.

Let us hope for a healthy New Year. Maybe, just maybe, I should have listened to my own guidance. Another year we will accept the help of everyone. It would be better than not have one at all. We, after all, can only do it as long as we are still here.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Have a cool yule Solstice, Enjoy your festival of light and Hanukkah. Any other beliefs I have missed out please forgive me, and please, have a peaceful new year.

What do you do for Christmas? Let me know in the comments. 🎄🎅🧚‍♀️

Was He Living A Dream?

Sheets tangled, tightened and stuck to the flesh of his flailing legs. It took, what felt like hours to realise the grating and rasping breath was his. Tom steadied himself and the race of his heart slowed, his eyes screwed and fists clenched as he said out loud “I woke up and realised it had all been a dream.” He voiced that statement, many times over during the coming hour, never making it true … but desperately wanting it to be.

Ping! his eyes opened, he was wired at the squeak a turn of the handle. Once more his chest pumped his legs violently kicked. Why couldn’t he free his legs? A screech of rusted hinge and rubbing wood made him still. Play dead, play dead, he mumbled to himself. Kate’s face pushed the door wider her hands holding a tray, her perfectly straight yellow teeth on show. “You are awake, well that’s good.” She nodded. Kate placed the tray on the dresser after swiping items on top to the floor. Tom watched as her palms pressed into the denim covering her thighs.

“Kate? What … (he stuttered) the Fuck is happening?” Slowly she lifted her eyes, they had held a gaze on the smeared denim encasing her thighs. In Toms mind, a little too long. “Happening? Happening … what, is, happening?” She approached the bed, wide eyed, smiling. Her mouth sour, her clothes grimy. “Tom, Tom, Tom. Think!” He flinched, snatched his head back and gulped at the stagnant air. Not wanting to make things worse he looked back; forced a smile in her direction, and asked. “I am a bit lost in this, my mind is confused. Why are we here?

“You passed out, on my Nan’s bed. She is not best pleased. In fact she was gonna call Gramps, until I arrived.” Think yer sen lucky I was about. Now lay still while I takes a closer look.” Kate tugged the damp sheet, untangled it from his calf’s. A sharp suck of air whistled, Tom lifted his head as his bare belly was exposed. “What a numpty, jeez this is worse than she said.” Tom heaved, the smell of burned flesh and hair filled his nostrils. That was when he caught sight of his abdomen. “N,n,n,n no tell me its not true.” He roared. Gramps bust through the door a face like thunder his fists as big as young Tom’s head. “Shut yer mouth, you good for nothing clown.” He threw Tom’s shoes and jeans st the white faced boy, picked up the empty whisky bottle as if to strike the boy. Kate took her Granddads arm and crooned gently in his ear. “S’okay Gramps, come, I will sort this … go sober Nan up.

Kate gave him a few minutes before going back in the room. Tom trembled, sat on the edge of the bed staring down. She put the tray next to him and began to clean the area and cover it the way Nan had shown her so many times before. “Your’e a fool Tom” she cleared the swabs and put the rest of the dressings back on the tray. Kate turned at the door “you’ll not live that down,” she nodded “there are reasons people retire and reasons you have to be over 18.” Tom clutched his Jeans covering his groin, tears threatened but never fell. Jeers from his pals followed him home. He carries the tattoo to this day, an exquisite snake, rising up to his belly button, fangs on show. Poor demented Josy had long since gone, and Tom … well, he wears her last tat.

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The story above is a writing exercise from the Dream Author Coaching Programme I am taking part in. To use the statement “I woke up and realised it had all been a dream” within the body of a story. Use it in a way that is refreshing, surprising and or interesting, to delight the reader and not disappoint.

Let me know in the comments if I succeeded or not. I am thick skinned be kind but honest.

The storm.

Thank you Wallace Peach for this amazing prompt.

February prompt

Any one who was … anyone knew about the storm and Dorothy. Time magazine, Mental health periodicals and well, they wrote a book and a film. But, in the Circus community, and burrowed beneath the grass lands. The story of Monica and her six Mousletts. Abandoned by a wayward Father; as they were. Then rescued by Humphrey the Hefferlump from the most atrocious storm; was mentioned, far and wide.

How although he was fierce and feared by all who encountered him; he gently shaded Monica and her Mouseletts until the storm past, and the snow settled. Then he sucked them all up his trunk, collected the wibberly wobberly house from the bough of the Acacia tree. Took them all to his watering hole. Where to his surprise … but no-one else’s, they all came to a watery end.

Humphrey, never was to be kind again. A rogue with the courage of a Lion and the heart of a Tin Man, who unfortunately was too stupid to know he was missing the intellect of even a scruffy scarecrow.

Sometimes the moral of the story is clear … once an old rogue Hefferlump always an old rogue Hefferlump.

The prompt picture is on loan with thanks from Pixaby and the Oz gif from giffy. Thank you also Esme Slabs for the sharing space Here!

“Was I too cruel … or not cruel enough?” Answers in the comments please I can’t wait to respond.🤣😂

Take Care Not to Become The Next Project Abandoned.#FridayFictioneers

If you would like to read more or join in please 🔜 click here

Thank you for the prompt photo below Ted Strutz.

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We holidayed, near Dijon; in Burgundy. In a Farmhouse with orchards a rambling landscape and numerous trees. After visiting Les Halles for picnic food and Burgundy. We strolled around the grounds; warming our souls in the suns rays. Idyllic and perfect. We came upon a car as if years earlier someone climbed out; never to return. An inspection revealed several old cars, one with a family of Door-mice living in the glove box. On our return, John asked.”Projects are they?” Waving behind himself. With a derisive snort, Pierre answered in a clear authoritative voice. “Projects sir * … Projects abandoned.”

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We holiday in beautiful sleepy slow places to chill and capture the moments we sometimes neglect. It refreshes the bond and reminds us how without thought or consideration we too could so easily become project abandoned. Thank you for reading do you think we all should consciously work at connecting with our relationships? Or is it snowflake mentality you’re married so get on with it? let me know in the comments I simply love to chat.

Her Solitary Hike to Freedom.

My rucksack was packed tight with an arctic sleep-sack strapped on top. At low tide, I could wade out … Two months before, I had loaded the dinghy, stuffed with supplies and a two-way radio. Once there, I scrubbed until the skin on my hands became rough and the sores sticky. I pounded rugs, hung hooks for mugs and on a calendar I put a Red cross to signal the chosen day. Painting the outside left each muscle and tendon aching; at last, it was done.

Today was the day. Surprisingly It was easy to leave, I waited until I heard the rumble, saw the soft yellow glow and smelt the fuel. I could almost taste the freedom. On The table, I placed a sealed buff envelope containing a thin gold band. One single elaborately scribed word graced the front; where the address should be. I tugged hard on the handle. A slow lift of my lips and drop of my shoulders felt good … the door clicked shut. Without looking back, before posting the keys through the door I sighed. That sigh was to carry me to my long-awaited destination.

The huge pack was a weight on my shoulders, but one worth carrying. I stuck to the tree-line along the road; ducking from sight, avoiding towns and villages. I slept in barns and an old rusted lean-too; or under my tarp … laced between branches or rotting fence posts. Foil pouches of tasteless food and energy bars swallowed on the move; gave me strength. A dry heat built up where the nylon straps rubbed, but the blisters couldn’t stop me. I trudged on; never losing hope or sight of the end.

A deep intake of breath filling my lungs excited me. At last, the salty smell of the sea drowned the aches and dulled a migraine.

My head, full of fond times and good memories filled the endless stride of my journey.

Uncle Tom took me to this isolated place as a kid. He named it ‘The Retreat.’ By thirteen I knew exactly how it worked. The tides, the isolation. The best fishing spots, where to put the lobster and crab pots.

A lost teen I was … until Tom took me back to basics. If Mam thought I would fail and run home; she was disappointed. Summer, Winter and warm lilting springs were spent at the retreat. It became the only place I wanted to be. Uncle Tom had posted me the keys and owners log; six months past. In the pack was a note, with one word written in black Italic script ‘Escape.’ A stamp from the nursing home was the only identification. On that day my plans began in earnest.

Glenside nursing home called me, the day he passed; there was only me left to tell. My plans were fluid as if I was being guided, memories of conversations filled my waking; as much as they soothed my sleep.

The old map snagged on the zipper of my rucksack; as I logged another ten miles. The wind whipped and tugged It from me. Cross with myself, I crouched down to stave off the worst. My finger followed an old faint pencil line; the map reading lessons Tom gave me came in handy that day. Back on track, fed and watered I hoisted the kit over my painful shoulders. With teeth clenched, I rubbed a hand across my jaw and pushed my booted feet firmly into the sandy soil. It was two more hours of hiking before I gave in to a rest. Too dark to orientate myself and too tired to try; I kept the pack on my back, slid down a smooth trunk and tugged the tarp over my head and slept.

At dawn, a sea fret soaked the tarp but my face must have beamed. Unable to remember the last time I ached from a smile; It was such a good feeling. Even the searing pain in my body couldn’t wipe off that grin.

At a five-bar gate, my steps slowed, my eyes narrowed as I watched a farmer bringing in his herd. A fleeting nod in my direction and a frown made me wonder if he recognised me. As mad as I was for loitering it was good to know a face from the past. The last mile was tough. A steep scramble down to the pebbled cove.

There on a sandbank, half a mile out I caught sight of her. Resplendent in her best frock. Her Windows seemed to wink a greeting. A sigh left my lips my heartbeat slowed and the scent of the sea filled me. Only the cry of a Gull broke the sound of the wind. Not far now, I said in my head. Exhaustion made the wade out so much harder. Weighed down with water I had to force myself on. My legs shook uncontrollably. It took all my strength to reach the door, turn the key and enter my new home my safe place.

His car slammed to a stop, creasing the garage door and jerking him forward. Pleased he didn’t take the last drink, or he surely would have more than a bruised chest. The alcohol saved him from much of the pain as he staggered to the front door clutching his chest. “The bitch” he mumbled. “She knows to have the garage open,” His anger only grew, as he tried in vain to get his key to work. Furious, he picked up a boulder from the lawn’s edge and hurled it forward. The sound was like a bomb exploding as rock met glass. He looked around and saw the curtain twitch at number 18. He turned to face it and growled like a rabid bear as he shook his fists and screamed abuse. Swinging his arms as he turned was a bad move. His weight toppled him head first through the gaping hole. The last thing he saw was the word ‘Escaped.’

His eyes flickered and his lashes raised. Searing pain shot through him. He blinked rapidly; the tears ran down his cheeks as the room stopped turning. He could make three figures out. Two of which stepped back; as they seen him wake. “What the Fuu” he shut his mouth swiftly. “Where am I? What’s going on?” The doctor leant in with a light, looked in his eyes and the nurse checked the screen beside him. “Do you know your name?” Said the Dr While he scratched with his pen on a chart. “Yes, I am Frank … Trubshaw. ” He spat as he spoke, “What’s going on? What’s wrong with me.” The doc looked over his spectacles raising his eyebrows and nodding his head. “You sustained several injuries including a lacerated torso … glass punctured your lung. You have fractured two vertebrae, have a broken scapula and fractures in both your tibia and fibula.” The rustle as he turned the page was loud to Frank’s ears. “You received, two transfusions and were in a medically induced coma for eight days.” He gave him a moment to let it sink in, then glanced at the clock and nodded. “Frank, can you remember what happened?” Said the voice on the other side of his bed. “Two minutes sergeant no more.” The doc said sternly waving his index finger. Once cautioned the policeman continued. “Can you tell us where your wife is?” He leant in closer Frank was perspiring heavily. “Helen, where is she.” Frank frowned, his eyes bulged, a fierce pain shoot into his skull and his back arched.

On opening his eyes Frank slowly recalled the room. A nurse, Sat in a winged chair beside him; her hands curled in her lap. “Water nurse … Water please.” At the last word she shifted; looked confused, stood up and left. The door had barely closed before A doctor folowed by the nurse burst in. “Water, please, he croaked. His voice wobbled and his mouth dry. She gave him water from a pink sponge on a stick, he sucked greedily and she administered more. Again a light was flickred to and fro, the doctor scratched with his pen; charts were filled in. “Well Frank, gave us all a scare you did. We will clean you up and see where we go from there.” With that, he left the room. She worked silently, methodically trying not to make eye contact. When he needed turning a male nurse assisted but there was no conversation. Hours later, when he was clean and a bit more alert; the doctor returned. “What do you remember Frank?” He peered over his spectacles and squinted. “I was speaking to you” Frank stuttered, ” and a pain in my head …” He began to shake. “Okay, okay, try to stay calm.” When he had got his breath Frank asked; “what the hell happened?” The doc introduced himself as Dr Pearce and told him he had a bleed into his brain. “We have fitted a stent which appears to have done a decent job.” He told him tapping the side of his own head to somehow he thought it would reassure the man. “You must rest and stay calm; the next day or so will be tough, I can’t pretend otherwise. The police need to speak to you,” He held up his palm and nodded. “Not until you are stable … All in due course.”

Oblivious to the media coverage I spent my first three weeks between bed and table; eating enough to soothe me back to bed. My exterior wounds were healing nicely thanks to the abundance of salt water to bathe them and air to dry them. I soaked my feet in water drawn from the deck and warmed above the pot-bellied stove. Welts had scabbed on my shoulders enough to bear the weight of a fleece jacket. Internally I would take a lot longer to sort. It was bright and warm, the sun lured me to sit on the porch … the first day outside since arriving. While hugging a mug of hot chocolate and allowing the sun’s rays to caress my face; I heard my name. My top lip twitched and a sweat formed like pimples above it. Invisible hairs stood to attention; down my arms, back and legs. I ran. Unsure of how much time had past; I remember the door cracking, a shaft of light burning my eyes, big arms trying to pull me from the safety of the closet. My fists hit flesh my teeth sank deep, kicking and bludgeoning with all the strength I could muster. Then nothing.

Two months I have been fighting my demons, first from a hospital bed now from my home; my retreat.

Frank has been charged with abuse, false imprisonment, causing mental and physical harm and multiple counts of assault and rape. I am informed he will be facing trial. Frank has been remanded in custody for the duration of his recovery in a prison hospital wing.

Luckily for me, Ben, the unsuspecting farmer who found me huddled in the closet; had recovered. He has long since forgiven me for his broken nose, bitesto his cheek and bruises. He spends time with me; on my porch, sharing memories. Memories of us as children, fishing with Uncle Tom, being scolded for fooling in the dunes, drinking milk from a bucket on the farm. One day who knows … I may find the courage to invite him inside.

Thanks to Esme Slabs who loaned the photo’s that inspired the idea. If you would like to join her Facebook bloggers promoting group click HERE And let the fun begin.

Thank you Lorna from Gin and lemonade. Home of the prompt, to be posted by Friday 9th November.

the prompt is Home go on press it to join in.Home

I share this at EsmeSalon where we can connect with new bloggers, and share our writing. We get to read and comment on other posts press “Here” to share or have a read.

Another wander down the new genre path for me so my question is did it work, was it believable ? Answer in the comments please I can’t wait to chat 😊