I’m playing around a lot with micro fiction at the moment (a much longer piece is on its way) so I thought I would share some with you. I love the challenge of trying to write very short stories. Some of them are ripe for expansion; Protection has already been made into a much longer story for Strange Times.
A poem for New Year:
Bathed in the glow of fireworks,
Lighting up the darkness,
Sleepy infant clamped to breast,
A cocoon of quilts and closeness.
The sounds of the revelry of others,
Drifts through the window,
And the new year is welcomed
With a mother’s forehead kiss
And silent thanks
for moments like these.
I keep moving against the cold, never stopping my steady, ponderous progression. My body is warm – almost too warm actually, bundled as I am in heavy furs – but winter’s chill still bites at my nose, and my feet are tingly and numb.
It is rapidly becoming dark, and the snow is glittering with the reflected colours of Christmas lights that are just starting to come on. It might cheer the soul, if you were strolling along hand in hand with your lover, or heading home to your children. To me this day is always the saddest of the season.
They start to hang the lights earlier nowadays, though they have largely forgotten the reason. Some people have them up for the entire month of December, small points of cheer and defiance against the darkness. But today is December 27th, and soon they will all be gone. All the build up, all the belief, all the energy that built to wake me is slowly ebbing away. I feel myself weakening already. It is becoming harder and harder to maintain my stride, my breath wheezing now in asthmatic gasps. Continue reading “The Greatest Gift”
It is a small act
Just once a year
In the hubbub of life.
One hundred and twenty seconds
Of silent reflection
Such a small thing
For such a sacrifice
For the lives lost
And the loves lost
And the limbs lost
It seems a nothing
To simply do nothing
But in our busy world
And busy lives
One hundred and twenty seconds
Seems a lot
So we pat ourselves on the back
For our two minute silence
And we look on
While men who still
Give orders to
Send other people’s sons
To pointless wars
And mouth the now meaningless
With seemingly straight faces.
And we swear solemnly
We shall we remember them.
Then we return to our busyness
There’s Christmas coming, after all.
Our paper flowers crumple
And blow away,
Until next year.
I have a jar full of story prompts and sometimes I pick one out at random to write a story about. This is one of those stories. The prompt that came out of the jar was – a new door appears in your home. This is what I came up with…
It was a sleepy Sunday morning when I first noticed the new door. It could have appeared on the Saturday night – I had been out drinking with my boyfriend Robert that night and was pretty distracted at bedtime, I might not have noticed it. It definitely wasn’t there Saturday morning.
My house isn’t the biggest – just a living room with a small kitchen attached downstairs, a bedroom and small bathroom upstairs. It’s not like I have a huge old rambling house where a door might be overlooked. Continue reading “The Door”
I did exist. I was real, you can’t deny it. Though no one but you ever knew my name, I had people that loved me, cared for me, respected me. I had needs and hopes and desires. I had dreams. You never thought about that did you? When you abandoned me for better things, you thought I would just fade away. Of course I didn’t, I am a person. People don’t just disappear.
Oh I know it’s easier with him. You don’t have to think so much with him, he is simple, relatable, he makes it all so easy. You just “get” him, don’t you? No need to work at uncovering his layers, work out his motivations, what makes him tick. He is an open book to you, not like I was. He doesn’t confuse you or deceive you or challenge the way you see the world or your place in it. I understand all that. He was the easier option. I was making things too complicated, with him it just flows. Continue reading “Character Flaw”
You said you would be my sunshine
But I have always been more fond of rain.
Summer’s light is too harsh
It exposes you.
I much prefer
The soft grey dawn light
Of overcast skies
Refreshing, life giving water
Raining from above
The sun can only warm
Until it burns
Leaving red pain
An unpleasant reminder
That will not fade
Long after the warmth has gone.
Rain can be a refreshing mist
On a fevered brow
Cooling and calming
like a mother’s hand
Or it can be fierce
Lashing down on skin
Small sharp pains
Like a lover’s words
In a heated argument.
Rain cleanses the world
Makes everything new
Awakens soft scents of nature
That summertime has crushed
Rain revives, gives new life
Washing cares away.
It hammers, It roars,
Then calms, And quiets
Like a beast.
While thunder thuds it’s beat
And lightning takes centre stage
It is rain that gives melody to the storm.
The sun is easy to love
And everyone adores her
It’s much more of a task
To see the beauty
In the many shades of rain
To love all her quirks
The good, the bad,
The darkness she brings.
You keep your sticky summer sun
It’s few moments of scorching beauty
I have always been more fond of rain,
Of dancing in the storm,
Walking bare headed in the downpour.
You huddle under your umbrella,
I will raise my face to the skies
And be blessed with rainbows.
First published in my old notebook February 8, 2014
My daughter exists only here now, trapped in this yellowing photo, her features scarred with fold marks caused by her long imprisonment in my wallet.
The memory of her face hovers at the back of my mind; a vibrant sweetness that I can’t ever touch again. This likeness is but a pale reflection of all she was. I hate it for not capturing her essence, but it’s all I have now. I cling to it like a lover that I’ve lost interest in, but daren’t give up.
Will I still carry this imitation in my pocket and my heart when it stops conjuring her in my mind? Will I ever forget the perfection of her smile? Will the trust in her eyes fade to a shadow of a dream?
I can’t imagine ever casting it aside, even though it just taunts me with my ultimate failure. It will be my personal millstone forever.
I fold the photo back into its tiny, safe square again, hold it to my lips. My fingers grip it tight, pinching like I’m trying to stem blood from a wound. I wish I’d held on to her small hand this tight in that crowd all those years ago.
I wrote this story for the monthly writing competition in the Amazon Kindle Owners group on Goodreads. The theme was “old photos” and the word count limit was 200 words. I was surprised and delighted when it won.
out drinking me, and settling down for a serious session of liver murdering. I had a headache and was just finding it all a bit much. I had hoped the cool air would clear my head.
First scribbled in my last notebook on January 11 2014
Inside your Mind
I want to wear your mind for a day,
walk the world your different way.
I want to feel sounds with your skin,
to taste the colours and the noise ,
and the chaos all around,
feel it knotting and winding inside,
and overtaking all.
Feel my tongue tie to my mouth,
and my language dwindle,
and finally understand the answer,
that you cannot give or cannot know
or cannot birth with words.
I want to feel the rain as shards of glass,
when it falls upon your face,
know the utter pain of soft grass
on your bare, exposed feet.
Experience the utter security and rightness
of a silky label on an old vest.
I want to feel the unfettered joy,
when the world clicks and the cloud parts
and, for a forever moment, all is well
and calm and ordered
and simple and it works
and you fly.
I want to go to that place you go,
when it is all too much here
but your body has to stay,
when you sink into colour
and fade out of sound.
What it is like in that place
that only you can go,
only you will ever know?
Is it better than here
in your other world?
Is it safe and kind and all silky labels?
or is it just colour and nothingness?
I want to know if you want to see
what it is like to be me,
how all that is impossible to you
is at my feet with ease,
if you envy it or hope for it
or are indifferent to it,
or if it is just another thought
your soul shrinks from.
I wonder because I want to understand
to be you for a day
to get you
to know what the weather is like
inside your mind
so I can make that smile happen
again and again and again.
First scribbled in my last notebook on October 7, 2012
The Show Must Go On
Everyone loves a good show, the lights, the make-up, the pretty girls singing songs, the actors that can produce a smile or a laugh or a
tear with the mere twitch of an eyebrow, the carefully pitched tone of a line.
The show must go on. So few ask why.
Partly it is the sheer energy that goes into it, the months of rehearsals, the bitter arguments over the precise stance of an actor delivering his monologue, the momentum. The performers think the show must go
on because of the paying audience, people who have worked long hours, denied themselves luxuries for this one evening of entertainment. The audience thinks the show must go on because of the hours of hard work the performers have invested, the energy and the time. They see it as a mark of respect, thanking those people for their time with rapturous applause. The truth is the build-up of those things – the energy it all creates.
The show must go on, for They need to be fed. Continue reading “The Show Must Go On”
I am scattering content from my old notebook amongst the new so if you followed my last blog you may have read this story before.
This was written for a Goodreads writing contest (in the amazon kindle group), and it didn’t come last (always a positive). The theme was “memories inspired by colour” and the word count limit was 200 words, so I had to cut it a little more than I’d have liked to. Here is the slightly expanded version.
I order a glass of rosé while I wait and regret my choice immediately. The swirling soft pink in my glass takes me back 22 years in a moment. I swallow down the lump in my throat. This is supposed to be a happy day. Continue reading “The Reunion”
You mean I never told you how I found God? What, never? You won’t believe me anyway. I mean, I wouldn’t. Oh you still want to know? Ok, here’s what happened. It was a few years back and I was on on a road trip. Sheila had left me a couple months before and I was looking for something. Not God or religion, or anything like that. I suppose you could say I was looking for myself, although I didn’t know it at the time. I just had the urge to wander. I was just passing through the town, on my way somewhere more interesting. It was that kind of town, if you understand what I mean, just somewhere to pass through, a few houses, a bar, a dilapidated church. A two horse town, if they’d had another horse. Nothing to write home about.My car had broken down a couple of miles back and I had walked into town to see if there was a mechanic, or even a car rentals place anywhere nearby. It was easily ninety degrees in the shade though, my head was pounding and my legs were tired, so I ended up heading straight to the bar instead. I was blinded by the gloom when I first walked in, couldn’t see much of the dingy exterior to start. A bored barmaid gave me a tall glass of water and I chugged down half of it without stopping. Then I ordered a bud and looked around for somewhere to sit, blinking the sunspots out off my vision. The bar was empty except for me and some old guy at the end of the bar, nodding into his whiskey, so I wandered to the other end of the bar, sat heavily and laid my head on the table. Everything from the last few months seemed to catch up with me then – Sheila leaving, losing my job, gambling away all of my money, being stuck in this ghost town that was hotter than hell.“Oh God!” I groaned into the table.
“Well it’s hardly my fault is it?”Continue reading “Finding God”