Microfiction challenge #15: Freedom.  The Beauty Of Emmeline. 

                                    

 

Emmeline took Earnest‘s hand and with a gentle tug she walked him into the surf. Holding his arm aloft as if in dance.  His face lit up, his nose twitched as he inhaled great nostrils of sea air. Each step he took brought a new experience. Each Gull he heard was to him an orchestra and so animated was he that Emmeline could hear it too. Earnest was lost for words his senses were full to bursting, the feel of sand betwixt his toes; the exhilaration of salt spray lashing his cheeks, his ears so attuned to the mighty oceans roar; he trembled.

Emmeline smiled, a tear joined the spray upon her lashes, and she knew it was worth the ruined shoes and sodden hem to see his face. Earnest threw wide his arms, ripped the fastenings from his great coat and cried. “As God be my judge, I am humbled to be a blind man, for never could a sighted man see more than I this day”. 

Emeline’s adventure paid off for once, her forwardness was not out of place. Together they would grow old knowing there was nothing that Earnest couldn’t see… including the beauty of Emmeline.

 

 

We are using one of Ilja Repin’s paintingsThis is my response to the  prompt, press  Jane Dougherty to join in, connect with many great blogs and read some super stories.

How did I do? Did you believe in Emmelines story? Leave me a note I will respond soonest; once I’ve changed from my wet shoes *wink wink*.


DON’T BLAME IT ON THE MAGPIE.

Singing in the Rain

This is about my rebirth, moving away from familiarity, family and friends. Starting afresh and trying to fit in. Leaving employment where I was held in high regard, to retire ten years earlier than I imagined, given the oportunity to write. Find a new life with a new husband.

Me and He, have only lived in Somerset for three and a half years, we relocated from East Anglia and are still trying to fit in to rural life, amongst people who’s families have resided in the area for generations. We have a pleasant home at the end of a small Cul-de-Sac in a tiny village. We have a mature garden with tall trees and a stream running along the bottom. The gardens a south facing corner plot; the reason we bought it.

Today I will introduce you to Doris and Mandy. Both names I changed for privacy sake; and my safety. Doris is eighty something years young, has a string of children, grand children, and great grand children, Somerset born and bred with a rich accent to boot. She lives alone in her bungalow at the end of the close.
Last year Doris had a car accident, after some weeks in hospital she was allowed home wearing a neck brace and sporting a twisted hand and a nasty leg injury.

The other person is Mandy, she is also Sometset born and bred. We go walking together, shopping and generally enjoy being what my Father would call “Silly buggers”.

So between Mandy and myself we pop in on Doris and check she’s okay. Mandy picks up medicines and shopping, I bring her the few yards to our home where we chat, drink tea and hopefully stop her being lonely. Yesterdays visit went something like this.
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Mandy brought Doris in for a cuppa, a cake and a chat. Doris was selling the church/village monthly paper which she put on the table, as I fetched my purse.
“Thrush hasn’t visited the area for nigh on three years” Said Doris as She took the money for the paper. She sniffed and went on to blame the majestic Magpie that bounced like a youth across my back lawn.
*Pointing* she said “Bloomin vermin they are, steal eggs, eat chicks and hedge hop, that’s the rascal”, she unpeeled her coat and nestled her bottom into a big armchair. I was pretty sure Mr Thrush had been feasting from my lawn for three weeks now, but not wanting to contradict until I was certain; I kept schtum.

Doris and Mandy debated the culling of Magpies and Badgers in Somerset, as they blew their tea, licked chocolate from their fingers and chortled away in their Somerset dialect. John ‘best half’, championed the Magpie and thought Badgers beautiful, which gave me an opening to voice my opinion. Doris was having none of it “Vermin I say, and so would the farmers if you asked them”.
Doris let slip a few snippets of village gossip (which are now in my note book for later use) she wagged her finger in her I’m telling you manner several times before her cake was finished. A pleasant interlude was had, everyone hugged and thanked my best half for the lively debate and the ladies left.

This morning in writer mode I got up about five thirty after an hour #writing #Editing I took my morning tea to the french windows and sat. The sun filtered by the rain began to sneak through the sycamore at the bottom of the garden. Then there on the lawn, delving it’s spikey beak through the sod in search of a juicy breakfast was Mr Thrush. My photographic skills or lack of stopped me from catching a picture good enough for here. But fortunately my sister in law is an avid photographer and allowed me to post her picture of a thrush in full song.
Our love of the wildlife here had me researching the RSPB website; hoping to see if I could do anything to encourage more into the garden.
My googling revealed that the Thrush is on an RSPB red list; which means numbers are very low . But I was pleased to be right when I read that the Magpie and Sparrow Hawk are not responsible for the decline of small song birds.
The ‘offender’ as Doris would say, are the farmers, for filling in wetland ditches and pulling up the hedgerows. The very people that were being defended ( by the farmers daughter) only yesterday at my table.
Now I just have to get the courage to tell Doris she is wrong…
I may leave it a while, after all I can’t afford to lose a source of information, or upset the locals… not this week.

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press  here to read others take on Coleen and Ronovan’s prompt.
My picture says it all… tea the cure for everything, the first step to fit in to a new life. A rebirth of us.

Darla’s Second Chance. 1.

 

This tale documents the first time Darla was invited, with new significant other, to eat, make merry and maybe stay over. Moll n Frank knew Darla from her old life; when she was the before wife. Moll had worked alongside her for several years, they were quick-fire jesters who dropped double entendre’s back and forth; like humbugs in a playground. They had sons who were nodding acquaintances, but besides that, they just clicked. Frank was an unassuming man who adored his wife, Darla had only met him once or twice, a man of few words; he’d have to be with Moll for his wife.

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Darla was nervous and wanted to show Mark; Mr significant other, how he’d be accepted by her friends also how much fun being with her could be. She dressed with care, perfume and panache, stuffed a large handbag with some bits a toothbrush, a silky slip; secretly called her wishing gear. Mark and Darla arrived in his two-seater speedster with the roof down. “Mark, I looked nice when we left home” she cried, trying to untangle her hair with her fingers. Giving her a lazy grin he pulled on the roof unfurled himself from the car and said “You look lovely”, his warm brown eyes twinkled and followed the line of her body, she shot him a pink-cheeked smile as she straightened her skirt.

They walked around the house baffled, looking for the door, eventually, Darla dialled Moll, “We are outside Moll, Which door? Where do we get in?” Moll came laughing to the conservatory, explaining one door was to her sons flat, the other Aunties entrance. Quickly she ushered us into a hallway strewn with toolboxes and electric drills. “Husband and son in construction” she called as she glided elegantly over obstacles, waving her hands about for balance, “watch your step”.

Introductions were made and drinks dished out in glasses as large as buckets. Frank quietly passed out nibbles at the large Kitchen table, while Moll stirred something on the range. Auntie wandered in wearing a pink nylon dressing gown and a sweet smile, she sang Polly put the kettle on and wobbled up to the table; shuffling her feet. Moll shouted, “Frank now!” Frank turned her around and softly crooned in her ear as he took her to back to bed. Having been pre-warned, Mark didn’t bat an eye, lazily lifted his drink and swallowed. Moll poked a wooden spoon into her hair, strained and drained pans, constantly chattering as she did.

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Frank returned after a few minutes “Come with me” he said as he ushered us outside. Sparkly lights and candles flickered. A table was set and Lights glistened off the pool like a fairy tale. Sitting opposite Mark, Darla kicked off her shoe and gently pushed his trouser up and stroked his leg. Unfortunately, Mark thought it was the dog, scooted his chair back and peered under the cloth. Quickly tucking her feet under her chair, Darla feigned ignorance; although her red face gave her away. At that moment, Frank and Moll carried in trays of food, Darla in a high-pitched voice said “Look at this you must have been cooking all day? I don’t know how you do it “. “It’s nothing but a few things in a pan, I let the range do the rest” she clattered spoons and china down. They brought back a pot of Thai curry, pilau rice, and warm naan bread with oodles of little side dishes.

After two wines Darla knew to stop; she needed her wits about her and didn’t want to get anything wrong. There was a gentle hum to the night as Mark was encouraged to tell his sailing adventures. They all made the right noises so he would elaborate. Mark held everyone in the palm of his hand. Darla and Moll cleared up and left Frank discussing the plight of construction.

“What do you think? Isn’t he smashing? She whispered,” I hope you like him, Frank seems to… doesn’t he? Darla garbled the minute they were alone. “You landed on your feet”, Moll’s eyes filled” about time something good happened to you, grab it, girl, enjoy every minute”. She winked, lifted her head as someone came in. “Oh, I say you’re quite the gent Mark, pop them on the table” Mark slid the loaded tray across the bleached pine and asked if he could help. “No, all is in hand, you can tell Frank to pour the dessert wine”. Moll and Darla grinned and squeezed each other tightly. Dessert was key lime pie followed by coffee, cheese and biscuits port and Brandy.

Darla was squiffy though she did her best to walk with poise to the washroom. As she stood she pulled the tableware with her. Quick thinking had Mark stretching to grab the tablecloth, he pulled it from the waistband of her skirt; which saved further embarrassment. Grateful for the intervention but acutely embarrassed at yet another blunder Darla hid in the washroom until her scarlet face cooled, lipstick had been refreshed, and poise was gathered.

Holding her head high her shoes clicked across the patio. It was then when walking past them to take her seat, she saw Frank’s mouth opening and closing; like a fish gasping for air. She heard a titter from Moll gather momentum and explode into laughter as she wiped her eyes with her napkin and pointed towards her friend. “What? Have I missed something?” Darla turned in the direction of the hand, feeling sure she would find the cause of such laughter; there was nothing. Within a flash, Mark was holding her back firmly against his torso… he tugged the hem of her skirt free. That was when she realised, her sexy lingerie had been on show. Stockings, garter, suspenders and worst of all her thong. Her sister persuaded her to buy them telling her how lovely she’d feel and how much her effort would be appreciated. Darla who had not worn or owned anything like it before was mortified. She gulped for air, sniffed and flicked her hair and with all the elegance she could muster, took her seat, thrust her glass towards the centre of the table, and in a clear voice said… “Time for fizz I suspect”.

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This is part one of Darla’s story, I hope you like it enough to leave a comment and watch for part two.

“Has something akin to this happened to you?” I would love to hear your opinions and views in the comments. Have a great week.

Postscript… Any resemblance to persons known or unknown or any similar situation is absolutely coincidental.
I Thank my husband for the photo of his car and Pixabay free images for all others.

The Lure of Calypso.

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She rode the back of a wave like a professional surfer, lifting, curling, arching her back, her body rose above the water and powered through tubes. When the winds dropped and waters were once again calm, she disappeared. Calypso was exhilarating to watch.

For the past year, a fisherman had been recovering from an accident. The trawler lay wrecked on the ocean bed, his body and livelihood smashed like the hull. Andrew was sailing back when a freak storm lifted his vessel and tossed him overboard. Waves smashed him off the rocks and spat his broken body to the sand.

Andrew was found lying face down with his clothes ripped. The body was unrecognisable, salt encrusted his hair and seaweed bound his feet. Wounds bled from every visible part of the man, his bones protruded from his leg, arm and shoulder. Swollen and unrecognisable, Doctors didn’t hold out much hope.

Many operations and procedures were undertaken to pin and repair the damage. Andrew had been comatose for several weeks before he was able to speak and let them know who he was.Through those early weeks, he screamed with terrors, his eyes rolled in his head as he called the name Calypso in his fevered sleep.

Once on his feet, much of his recuperation was taken up at the window of his Cliff top home. Searching and waiting, watching closely to each lick of the sea. Hours were spent looking at the coastline through the glass panelled front of the house. He sat and watched, hoped for a glimpse of her. With his grandfather’s spyglass in front of the window; he waited.

Slowly Andrew recovered and other than the strange hallucinations about that night, he soon regained his strength, only a limp and scars were left to remind him. No matter how much better he was, he could not get Calypso out of his mind. She was a mermaid-like creature that called him that night. She whipped up the sea to a terrifying crescendo then lured the semi-conscious Andrew to the shore. How did he know her name? Was he going mad? Did she really kick up the storm that almost killed him and wrecked his vessel? He couldn’t fathom why he would believe this. Not only his mind, but his own eyes challenged him as he struggled with the memories.

Every night that the moon was bright and the sky clear, he’d search the sea looking for answers. With the old spyglass propped on its plinth, he would sit and search. On one night in particular, like a magnet, he was drawn towards the window. Calypso appeared as if through a fog, he blinked, looked again as he fought to steady his hand. She put on a display that made him groan, his masculinity stoked, the desire was pumping in every pore. Knowing his sanity was at stake he forced himself away from the sight, but moments later he twitched and was drawn back. Andrew picked up his own eyeglass, hoping to get a closer view, but could not see anything other than the rippling sea. That was when he knew the catalyst was the old spyglass, it was as if she were inside.

The harbour masters glass had been bequeathed to him with the house and belonged to three generations before him. He grew up on the stories and myths of the sea at his Granddad’s knee. Stories he listened to and one day would pass on in tradition to his children and grandchildren, but they weren’t stories he believed.

Andrew frowned as he lifted the glass to his eye sweeping his gaze left to right, catching his breath at dark shadows. His chest tightened, breathing became ragged and his hand shook, as once again he saw her, It was like she was calling him. He heard the soft lilting song travelling through the air around him. As if she was putting on a show, Calypso arched her back and whipped her hair over her head, it felt as if she was looking straight at him when she beckoned him with her hand. He stepped back, shaking his head in disbelief, he went to splash his face and compose himself; he was afraid for his sanity . Logically she could only be a figment of his imagination, that’s what he had to believe.

Pulling on his coat he grabbed a cane and walked down to the Jetty. The wind whipped up a squall from nowhere and made his footing less sure. A grey sky dulled his vision, the shingle rattled with the waves as the sea growled with anger. Andrew’s sight was obscured by the weather, so he climbed wearily back the way he came. Taking himself to bed, he hesitated at the medication on his bedside; then swallowed them down.

A lousy night lay ahead, the exertion on the jetty left him in pain and weak. He couldn’t get Calypso out of his mind, events played out in his head. At last, he decided this nonsense had to stop, he was a rational man and wouldn’t allow the accident to change him. Andrew packed the glass into its box and put it in the loft. He finished his healing at his Mothers house, and soon his mind was clear and Calypso was forgotten.

Sometimes he hears an eerie song which catches him off guard. Just sometimes, the call of the Mermaid challenges his mind. On the night of a bright moon, a flash of colour can be seen out at sea. And once in a while, when returning tired from days on the waves, the spyglass has appeared on its plinth there in the window, and he can’t resist one last gaze.
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This was my attempt at fantasy. Have you stepped out of your comfort zone?
Tried something new, If so what was the outcome?
Do you believe in Mermaids?
Leave me a comment I’d love to know.

A Pleasurable Book Review

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The lovely Kim Gosselin award winning author and member of the society of children’s book writers and illustrators,  sent across the great sea her newest book  ” Babies Of Two”. I was thrilled to be sent the book the signed first edition will have pride of place in my forever bookcase.
The art work is superb the illustrations  fit each page perfectly thanks to Alisa Belzil.
The story flows with wonderful fluidity in a poetic form that is clear and holds a childs attention beautifully. The book speaks with the voices of the unborn twins, a unique depiction of childbirth tastefully portrayed.
I gave the book to my daughter in law to test out on my granddaughter Ivy, it is with Ivy’s seal of approval that I say… A fab book that would be enjoyed by all who read it including potential sibling of twins and any other child who loves reading and or looking at beautiful pictures, it covers both the entertainment value and the educational.

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My From The Heart Valentines gift.

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I purchased a spud gun, to remind him of his youth! A giggle and a kiss that  sealed the start of this gloriously decadent day. For a Valentine should be a measure of your lives a bit of a tickle not serious just… fickle. A show of happiness that he already knows and trusts. The receipt of such a gift  is unlikely to have ever been given before; therefore original .
Then came my gift, not wanting to advertise I will not photograph the wrapping.

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A chocolate honeycomb filled Bunny  was prestnted in a pre opened package minus a leg! He remembered us laughing at an advert on television which in it’s self is lovely, as me and television don’t often or should I say don’t regularly meet;  as it seems to act as a sleeping draft. A bunny only needs one leg… to hop.

I know I am a bit of a loon but I have it on good authority that all the best people are. 

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For The Love Of An Anti Selfie

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Just the other day it hit me, I can not compete let alone compute with the “selfie” brigade. Each time I look, a new one is posted, a pout, a bat of an eye, a sideways, forward leaning, hide the wrinkles, suck in the chin type of one *Gasp*.
So today, I changed my gravitar to what my husband calls the bag lady selfie, strictly speaking he took it so it probably doesn’t qualify as a Kim Kardashian style Selfie at all. But no one in their right mind would want a photograph of themselves looking (as my Dad god rest him would have said) ‘like a bugger’… would they?

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A freezing wind was blowing across the small town of Dinard on this day in March. The rain had been shooting sideways and found it’s way under my eyelids; it was cold.  Just before the photo shoot… We were in an open topped car looking for a super march`e. I was being facetious about driving around in the cold and possibly dying in the attempt to purchase the gubbins required to make an impromptu picnic lunch; so added layer upon layer of clothing while we went along, still maintaining my temperature to be around the nose dropping off frostbite levels. Eventually we spotted a small store with a flickering light on the sqeaking sign. I lept from the car in haste, forgetting or not caring how I looked and entered. Our shed at home would be bigger than the store, but I managed to find ham, pat`e, bread, wine and grapes, as you would in France. After packing my bag I stood by a lamppost waiting  to be picked up. Around and around the fountain he drove taking photo’s, while he grinned and waved, but the crosser I got the more he drove around.
“Click” job done, the cross patch baglady was born. Now I pop it on my gravitar to say,” Hey” so what, it’s me in my ordinariness; if anyone thinks the word “ordinary” is the correct terminology for a loon.
Have you an anti selfie? Is your other half holding it hostage dangling it as a threat? If so why care, just put it up, we can call it “Anti Selfie Day”.

Incase you’re wondering… The only place the photo described is left, is on my gravitar here, a virus wiped out a huge amount of pictures on John’s computer and as yet I haven’t found a way to retrieve it.

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The Day I Met Mertyl.

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Illminster high street, the market cross.

The rain hit hard it bounced back to soak my knees, I drew the neck of my jacket tighter, looking at my feet as I rushed for shelter. It was with a hefty bump that a body collided with mine. “Sorry dear did I hurt you?” The lady said. The woman in her late eighties I’d hazard a guess, had taken shelter in the same spot but from the other side of the market cross. Here I was, fit and healthy, a snip of a girl in comparison to this lady, and she was checking if I was okay; this was what was known as … good old British fortitude.
We sat to allow the worst of the rain to stop and Mertyl began to chat as she pulled a transparent polythene rain hat free of her fine white hair. In no time at all, with a little encouragement, we were in full swing chatting and reminiscing.
Mertyl’s memory took her back to nineteen forty one; the story that follows is the one she told.

“The American servicemen had come in , they were given some five pound notes for currency before they left and little else…  they were walking all the way down the Portland road in Weymouth, it is a very long road just under twenty miles long”. At this point Mertyl was gesticulating wildly, indicating the way they walked.  “There were no toilets and some of the men had just arrived on the sea planes after long journeys. Their pockets full of chocolate and large five pound notes; they were so much better off than our men. The yanks were weary and had still a long walk ahead of them.

An English officer gave directions and told them they could relieve themselves behind the munitions factory if they had to, but they must be discreet or they’d find themselves in jail.”
“Well dear, my husband was the postie, and he came home on his bike to tell the tale. He was ringing his bell and all of  a bother,  he couldn’t wait to tell me the. He said how they rushed behind the factory desperate to relieve themselves. There were no privies and they feared what the officer said about the English bobby. It was a good fifteen minutes more walk  before reaching the camp. Later that day my Percy returned to the factory where he found… My dear it is a little mucky.” She said, while wafting a lace trimmed handkerchief in front of her face.
I assured Mertyl it was okay I had heard mucky before. “Well dear you see they had no paper, the vegetation had been cleared for fear of fire behind the factory, and not even a dock leaf was in sight. Percy heard them say that they wiped their bums with the five pound notes, it was all they had, that was a lot of money you know. Five pounds could feed a family for a month in those days.” I nodded and made encouraging noises so she would continue.
“He tossed and turned all night, but before day break he put on his gardening gloves took some newspaper from the privy,  got on the bike and off he went.
When he came home, I couldn’t believe my eyes he had a roll of newspaper as fat as a pillow under his arm. I boiled a pot and he put warm water and sunlight soap in the tin bath.”
I asked if she was worried that the neighbours would see.
“My dear it wasn’t odd to have a bath in the back yard then, especially in the summer, but the stench of the mucky money against the warm suds made him heave. He cleaned all fifteen notes, smoothed them all out and once they were dry … well dear, we weren’t too proud we couldn’t afford to be.”

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An Old white five pound note.

The rain stopped, she shook my hand and waved, tugged on her hat and disappeared into the day.

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I am so pleased that I carry a notebook, and that It was on me that particular Saturday morning, when I met Mertyl .

The names have been changed but the story is as true as her memories allowed. The pictures are mine except the photograph of the lady, gratefully on loan from https://pixabay.com/

“How many of you have been told extraordinary stories when you least expected.
Do you unexpectedly lure in the story tellers, the loonies on the bus, have you ever been shocked at what a stranger told you?” I’d love to hear your thoughts. And in-case you didn’t know it I just love to talk so jump in I will answer soonest.