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 😊

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The Ebb Of Summer.

Lorna’s #Ginsperation is a fresh weekly prompt press HERE NOW to join or read. Have fun I know I will.

I am sharing this with Esme on Esme’s Salon A wonderful sharing platform find the blue frog to share your post    “HERE”  connect and have fun.

I shiver, pull my wrap tight about my shoulders. Evenings have drawn in; become sharper. Dew-laden mornings make my toes curl and the chill pinch my nose. Only two weeks ago we sat in the garden; way past ten we sipped wine, listened to the night. We had no inclination to close the bi-fold doors, or to shut out the last of the warmth, instead we jabbered about everything and nothing until the light crept below the moon.

As I flinch from the chill I know, my pyjama clad gardening this year has passed. Nor will we eat breakfast outside amongst the birdsong. I already miss him … reading aloud from the papers; while crunching toast. Tomorrow I will put flip-flops, sleeveless tops, shorts and sunscreens away. But today I will savour the last rays that warm my bones.

As the sun sits low in the morning sky; I see the Autumnal work to be done. The dust motes that dance in its lowered beam across the table, the streaks on glass that summer hadn’t seen. The Rhubarb’s last crumble waiting to be cooked. I see the rake that needs an oil before leaves hit its Tyne’s. There are beds to be made warmer. A sigh leaves my lips as I turn to go in. A season departs as I rouse another in its wake.

Thoughts of frosty mornings, warming soups, logs crackle and muddy boots. Rosy faces, knitted hats, harvest suppers, coconut mats. Shepherds pie served with peas. Suppers by the fire on cushioned knees.

Cuddles on the sofa under fluffy throws. Hear the crackle of a fire, taste hot chocolate laced with Brandy while warming our toes. Heathers pop their heads up to view Autumn’s arrival. Hedgehogs scurry past along the fence-line; like dryer balls, they roll up when the Cat flicks its tail. A memory beckons and Autumn has taken the Ebb of Summer away.

Could you taste the Autumn? Leave me a comment or two … just to please me.

Give Notice To Write.

Thank you Linda Hill press Here to join in or read. Saturdays Stream of Consciousness word is ‘notice.’ #SoCs

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A link to where you can purchase above mug is my gift to you!
Happy writing.

Go Away I'm Writing Bone China Mug

“Go away” is not nice for someone you love to hear.
I began to wonder how other writers got “space”or privacy to write. How do you have room?
What do you do to get room to pull faces, pace the floor, screw up sheets of paper for no good reason and toss them by the door. We do not need others seeing us chewing our lips, clenching our fists, grunting, groaning or raucously laughing at what is in our heads, so how do we manage?
Here are a few things I can think of some work and some … Some maybe not so well.

A. In a loud voice state “I need to be at my desk this morning” then slam the door.

B. Put a note on the door “Shut happens” and hope. This can be propped on your desk if you live in an openplan home, stuck to the window if ou have a garden office or attatched to the back of your head.

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C. With a desperate look and dramatic voice, beg to be left alone for at least eight hours, taking a flask and sandwiches with you, so there is no need to be disturbed with lunch.
D. Smear chocolate around your mouth, mess, up your hair, while still in your pyjamas, run around the house maniacally while chanting “I need to write ” repeatedly until husband, flat mate, parent or partner, get so concerned they tell you ‘ go and write.’

E. Have a frank discussion about how long and when you need to write, the day before; preparing the way.

F. Pour a cup of tea in the pictured mug, and if there dares to be a tap on the door to your writing place, thrust it through the partially opened space and shake with vigour.

G. Write out a formal notice to quit.

Dear ….., (insert name) Husband,

I am giving you formal notice that on Tuesday at eight A.M precisely my services as …. (insert your own) wife/superhero will be withdrawn. I will not be approached for any reason, other than to recieve bi- hourly deliveries of snacks, shoulder massages, smiles, or cups of my favoured brand of tea. During such visits conversation will not be permitted. Normal service will resume at six pm. I thank you in advanced for your co-operation.

If you can think of any better ones, or some that you have tried, please leave them in the comments … Do keep them clean and I will add them if appropriate to my list. Happy writing my friends.

Summer Tag.

I always loved Tag as a kid, today I am responding to a set of questions for those of us in the wonderful Facebook group .

https://m.facebook.com/groups/SharingInspiringBloggers/?ref=gs&fref=gs&dti=169304370376175&hc_location=group

Here are the Questions and of course my answers.

SIPB Summer tag.

My favourite holiday destination.

is Lerici in Italy, i is where the natives holiday, where The Husband took me on our first holiday as a “couple”.

My favourite childhood memory of summer.

Sand in sandwiches (that is how they got their name … well I thought) tin bucket and spades, three sisters the parents and me. Splashing about, being scared in case the undertoad got me… I didn’t ever see one; though I looked.

Which do you prefer ice-cream or frozen yoghurt.

Ice-cream, but this girl never says no to any Dairy.

What is your go to dinner on a hot summer evening? Feel free to share the recipe!!

Spatchcocked chicken, roasted with butter, herbs, garlic and lemon under the skin.

Served with steamed baby new potatoes, Asparagus tips, tiny corn cobs, all in a dish. Crumble Wensleydale cheese over the mix of potato and veg. Put in the already hot oven until cheese melts a little, then serve Alfresco with a light rose wine. Magnificent!

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/videos/techniques/how-spatchcock-chicken-video&ved=0ahUKEwitoJ-3o9vcAhVUe8AKHQFoA78Qo7QBCCUwAA&usg=AOvVaw2ruclixgpBudl3q1AEvX4B

What is your favourite BBQ food!

Due to having been diagnosed with Haemochromatosis last year. I am restricted to chicken or white fish, but I now make a Mexican style bean burger and home made slaw, so I join in and love the ambience created by a barbecue with family and friends.

A song/s that take you back to an amazing summer.

Andre`a Bocelli’s Mi Manchi.

Our song. The Husband took me to watch him live, singing in his home town, in his own outside theatre, amongst the Tuscan hills.

How do you beat the heat in the summer?

I don’t, I just go with it, lucky to be alive experiencing the sun on my bones the air on my skin.

Do you prefer swimming in the ocean or a pool?

Float, I float in the Ocean. Not a swimmer, medically I mustn’t get too tired 😢😡

What is your preferred summer vacation. Travel with family? Solo? or Friends?

The Husband and I, in the motor home, working our way from England to Italy. Finding new places to stop, new people to watch; making memories.

So flip-flops or barefoot?

Either, I love barefoot and am always at home. But on sand flip-flops stop the sand burning my feet.

SIPB peeps your are it! Tag!!

Now it is your turn. Cut and paste the questions, answer in a post on your blog then link to Reshare. https://www.facebook.com/groups/SharingInspiringBloggers/ It is a super group if you want to join in follow the link join the group and make A Summer tag post. Good luck and hope to see you there.

  1. What is your favourite Summer holiday destination?
  2. What is your favourite childhood memory of Summer?
  3. Which do you prefer: ice-cream or frozen yogurt?
  4. What is your go-to dinner on a hot Summer evening?
  5. What is your favourite BBQ food?
  6. Share a song that takes you back to an amazing Summer
  7. How do you beat the heat in the Summer?
  8. Do you prefer swimming in the ocean or a pool?
  9. Do you prefer to travel with family, friends or solo?
  10. Flip-flops or barefoot?

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.