A look At Life Along The Footpath.

On the day in question, she took the black tarmac path that snakes behind the row of terraced houses. Houses with their postage stamp gardens that are secreted away behind red brick walls. They sit prettily on the edge of the small English market town. Across the width of the path are the allotments. Every forty or so feet of its length are gates, if you stand still enough, you can sometimes hear the squeak and crunch, as rust drags itself across the warped hinges. The home owners can slip out of the doors of their walled gardens, and walk to their patch. Sectioned plots of land just big enough for fruit, vegetables and herbs to grow. Each one has a wooden shed, some are used for hiding Dads from noisy homes, while others are potting and tool sheds. Some, are the holders of secrets, places where illicit pairings take place.

Old Jack, wanders the allotment with a paint kettle, and a blackened gnarled brush. “A ten pound note will get your shed protected” he calls waving the brush. Jack sleeps wrapped in bubble wrap and cardboard; close to the Brazier. Often he rests inside unkempt sheds that he tidys in return. He blows and snorts as he splashes his face at the ice cold pump. You can see where his stained hands are dried on the threadbare seat of brown corduroy trousers. The scent of Creosote wafts around him like midges beside a Scottish loch. Often people smell Jack long before they see him. A harmles but important character of the allotment.

As she walked, she looked at the bustle going on both in and around the allotments. Old men nod in acknowledgement to each other; men with no need to waste words on pleasantries. Years of shared knowledge and friendship, camaraderie and memories have passed between them. Women with their hair covered, and gloves protecting their hands, lean on wheelbarrows and forks. Girls laugh at secret stories. A young woman colours as she looks about; checking she wasn’t overheard. An elderly couple stop what they are doing to smile at each other, and touch fingertips … A shared silent moment. Father’s dig and tend the early veg. Cutting curly spring cabbage for dinner, digging in Manure, sold to them all by old Jack. She scans the scene spotting a damp steamy pile at each shed as she passes, pressing a fine linen handkerchief to her nose.

Life goes on around her as she continues on the path. The sun shone on the crisp morning, birds sang and dogs wagged their tails. A boy on a micro scooter passed her; head down, furiously concentrating on the pounding of his white trainer against the path. A cough pushed spit from his mouth as he passed her. It slapped against her stockinged leg making her gasp. The woman wiped it with her handkerchief, curled her lip in distaste as she lifted her head and screwed her eyes.  He poked up a middle finger and snarled back. A moment or two  passed before she straightened her collar and went on her way.

The path comes to a halt. Cobbles trail a curve around the periphery of the luscious green patch of neatly manicured lawn. Several keep off the grass signs are the only things to mar its perfection. A dozen impressive buildings stand around the edge like sentinels. Her eyes scan the area and her brisk steps echoed as she looked for the large black door of number 5; the doctor’s surgery.

Old Jack squinted, and blinked. His green eyes followed the woman. Drawn to her composure, he followed at a distance along the track. Something bothered him, like an over-wound clockwork mouse with no control of her speed. He watched until she pushed on the heavy black door.

Inside they were very efficient. Fifteen minutes later it was over, Her chewed raw fingers struggled to push the three oversized buttons through the fastening’s of her best coat. Fingertips twitched, she pressed her palms into the worsted fabric to still them. Silently she tugged on the cuffs of her pristine leather gloves. A sound, a crisp snap made her flinch as the door closed behind her. Standing for a moment, she took a shuddering intake of breath, placed her smart shoes one in front of the other. She walked the cobbles in the same manner she came. Controlled, back along the tarmac path. But old Jack saw the difference, he saw her legs tremble, the tightening of her lips. Oblivious, she concentrated on the rapping sound her shoes made against the tarmac surface … Click-clack, click-clack. Holding her head high she blinked furiously a fixed determined expression on her face gave nothing away to the onlooker; the passer-by. So she thought.
All was changed for her. Her world had tilted in a sentence. But life on and around the path continued. Birds sang the sun began to shine as the wind dried her lashes. He watched, until she closed the gate that shut herself behind those red brick walls. He listened for the clink of keys opening her door. His view obstructed not by the walls or the door its self … but the clouds in his eyes. Jack shakes his head slowly as he logs another look at life along the footpath.

What do you think happened? Leave me a comment I answer quick smart.

Who Can Hear You

‘Think before you speak’

On a pavement Cafe at the end of the street, two smart men took themselves a seat.

Tristan, he bragged about his car, ‘£48000 look at it gleam, Mercedes coup’e a Successful man’s dream.’

Harry said ‘I worked hard taking overtime when I could. No room for a holiday or even a siesta.’ His £17000 spent on a pepper red fiesta.

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

Now, Mary, she sat on the ground by the door

listened to them both open mouthed … in awe.

She sat head bowed by a note that said ‘park’ To remind her to get in her box before dark.

Her mac was large came down to her feet, an excellent choice, when you lived on the street.

for underneath, was all she possesses, two pairs of gloves and four threadbare dresses.

She didn’t speak nor look in their eyes when they lit cigars and binned crusts from their pies.

Silently she sat as they said their goodbyes. Missing the quiver of her lip and the tears in her eyes.

They dropped her a pound and crossed to their cars. She could have been an alien living on Mars.

A lightbulb moment!

Let me know what you think. Would you, in your excitement of the moment have stopped and looked at Mary? I’d like to think I would have taken my discussion inside, thought about how she would feel; overhearing.

The Colour is Christmas.

Inside the tiny house that is nestled in the suburbs of London Emma looked up at her Mum. “Mummy the sunshine in my picture, ” she said pointing to the drawing on the fridge door “it is sunshine colour, isn’t it … And the grass with Daddy and Mummy, it is grass colour isn’t it?” A frown sat on her face as she pursed her lips; waiting for an answer. Mary crouched beside her daughter and explained about colour and name, she drew her a colour chart while her little brother straddled Mary’s hip. Mary told her the colours of their clothes and the cushions on the sofa. During the day they sang colour songs and told rainbow stories, drew rainbows to add to the already crowded fridge door. Emma and Tom Carpenter, went to bed that night tired and happy, knowing that tomorrow would be Christmas.

On Christmas morning Emma skipped into the Kitchen. “What colour is today mummy?” She lifted her head, wearing a huge smile Mary looked at the five-year-old who was clutching pencils and pursing her lips. Mary’s pride shone from her face, as she wiped her forehead with the back of her flour encrusted hand and bent to her daughter’s height. “What colour do you think it is?” Emma screwed her brow and as if contemplating the world and left the room.

Mary wiggled and hummed to the music on the radio as she cut the last sausage roll and wiped her hands on the tea towel stuck in her waistband. Throughout the house, the air was thick with the scent of pastry and cinnamon and the sounds of happiness. The question forgot in the excitement of the day.

Tom crawled up the hall chasing his new train giggling as he went.
Dad burst through the front door stamped his feet and brushed a light dusting of snow from his hair. Joe’s nose was red and he rubbed his hands briskly to warm them.”Kisses” he called as he smacked his lips and waved mistletoe above his head.”Kisses I want kisses” he roared. Emma and Tom rushed to be lifted in a sloppy lip smacking embrace.
There were lanterns, twinkling lights and paper decorations dangling from every space in the little house. Carols rang out from the kitchen radio and sparks snapped against the guard on their open fire.
Dropping everything Mary ran to join Joe for a kiss; Singing as she went. Flour covered kisses ended in chuckling and tickles. With all four sat breathlessly on the floor. Emma looked up into her Mothers eyes and quietly said
” I think the colour is Christmas mummy”.

This is a story I wrote last year revamped, extended and wearing its very best party frock. I hope you like it and it gives you all you need to be put you firmly in the seasonal mood.

Do leave me a comment I love to chat.

Silence Please.

Charli at the carrot ranch has charged us with a challenge in 99 words no more or less write about something not allowed.  🔜 press here 🔙 to join in.

photos curtesy of pinterest.

She shushed me as the door slammed,

My arms full of books.

People peered above their specticles,

Gave me dirty looks..

She wagged a silent finger and 

pursed her lips tight.

When I slipped to the carpet

And toppled off the light.

My card was marked at the library door,

When a cough sent bubblegum

To skid across  the parquet floor.

Her sole was stuck fast 

As I staggered past.

just to round the debacle off

I snorted as I laughed.

Her teeth you couldn’t fail to miss

As the librarian delivered an Almighty hiss…

and pointed to the quote   

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*.


My Head Is In My Manuscript.

I am not going physically,

I haven’t a secret key to a special place,

but an agent wants a look at my hope for a book.

 For a while at least my work will be my feast.

 

 
 Keep your fingers crossed for me,

it’s a learning curve you see.

Giving it a go may teach me

something I don’t know.

So I thank you all for your patience, loyalty and friendship. I will give this my best shot and if, just if I am sucessfull I will celebrate with you all. If I am not we can commiserate and learn for the next time. 😇