Her First Time!

Time again for Friday Fictioneers, hosted by the creative talents of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Nearly 100 people each week try their hand at a 100 word photo prompt. Check out the link, have a go yourself, or just read the other funny, sad, weird and wonderful attempts.

koi

Stella felt nervous. A bead of sweat teased down her spine, her heartbeat quickened in her chest.

“You know it’s my first time”

“I know sweetheart, it will be good, I promise”

“What if I don’t like it?”

“You will, believe me” Steve said a little exasperated, reaching out a hand to brush a loose curl from her face.

“Just relax, it will make it easier”

Stella lowered her head,

“Ok”

Ten minutes later she ran screaming from the Sushi Bar. Steve looked at the puzzled waiter as he put the cover back over the fish tank.

“Sorry mate, one of them winked”.

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A Ghostly Memory

This was written for this weeks ‘Weekly Prompt’ on the brilliant ‘Community Storyboard‘. The brief was to write a story or poem using the word ‘Ghost’ and use one of three photo prompts supplied. Get yourselves over and have a read or submit your stuff.

ghost-photography

As she sat in the car, Susan tried to keep her breathing under control.  So many times she thought of coming back but something always came up, a meeting, a holiday or the kids had been sick. There was always an excuse, a reason to change plans or re-arrange the visit, but tomorrow never happened and the moment would go. This time it was like the planets had aligned just for today. The Morgan meeting was cancelled when one of the directors broke a leg skiing. Jeff had booked a surprise trip to Paris for her Birthday but the airline went bust and they couldn’t go.  Then Jenny, her strawberry curled six year old had woken this morning with a face full of measles. Turns out she’d been playing with a felt tip before she went to sleep, no measles!

So here she was, sat in the car, outside No 36 Pascal Avenue. She notched up the air conditioner as tiny beads of sweat started to settle on her brow. She rested her head back on the headrest and waited for the CD to switch over. Nina Simone gently broke through the silence and a blanket of calm laid a veil across her thoughts. She didn’t fight the heaviness weighing down her eyelids, she just let them fall. A tiny shard of light hit the back of her eyes, like static from the TV late at night. Black and white images flickered in and then out again, never really forming. Just an aura of something, a sense of an image that she couldn’t quite catch; and a smell, a hint of something old, of beeswax and honey of lilac and soapsuds. Then the pictures became clearer.

She saw Sister Bernadette in her long flowing habit. She didn’t know if that was actually her name, it was just what she’d called her when she was small. The beads on her chain and its brown wooden cross a stark splash of colour against an expanse of white linen. The others followed, heads lowered, fingers locked in silent worship. She had been about six, the same age as Jenny was now, when she’d first seen them. She’d been terrified at first, so terrified that she had wet her knickers.  She’d been about to scream when Sister Bernadette had looked back at her, over her shoulder, and lifted a long slender finger to her mouth. She’d immediately shushed.

Susan remembered the little procession passing by the window every morning that summer. It was the summer her mother had been found strangled in the park, her bloodied body hidden behind the pavilion. She remembered her Granny sat at the table, her head in her hands and her body shaking as she sobbed. And the police taking her father away in handcuffs. A crime of passion they called it. Susan had listened on the stairs, hidden in the darkness, where no one could see her. She hadn’t understood how her dad had loved her mum so much that he’d killed her, and she’d made a vow that  when she grew up, she would never love anybody THAT much.

When her father went to prison, Granny had moved into Pascal Avenue and over time Susan began to tell her about the ghosts that walked past her window. Granny had said there was no such thing as ghosts, they weren’t real. They were just memories and echoes of things that stayed close. Each nun that passed was a little part of mum. A memory of something she’d shared or something she said; a tiny little echo that would always be around. So Susan had learnt to accept the visits. She gave them all names and whispered her dreams to them each time they passed.  She couldn’t remember when they stopped exactly, perhaps when she was about ten or eleven. She’d forgotten all about them until today, she’d forgotten a lot of things until today, or buried them anyway.

Susan opened her eyes again and thought she caught a shadow of white disappear through the overgrown ivy. “Stop being daft” she chided herself. Then she started the car, rubbed a lone tear away from her eye and threw the newspaper over her shoulder onto the back seat.  As the car moved off down the road the paper fell open on the floor, ‘Wife murderer released from Prison today’. 

A Story Begins

This is the opening for the idea I posted yesterday, an historical fiction story told in verse alone.  This is the mothers tale. The daughter’s tale will be the main story, including ‘Below Stairs‘  and ‘A Truth Unheard‘. Not sure if this will work, it may just be a case of feeding my historical addiction and it will go no further….

Barefoot she walked in the shadow of slums,

The hunger, cold, and disease ridden lungs,

A life that existed through sorrow and gloom,

Knowing that death would be calling too soon.

*

A childhood that ended by a forceful decree,

Abused by a landlord who demanded his fee.

A force that ripped sunder the innocent child,

Bloodied and broken, a beast that just smiled.

*

Banished from shelter as her body did show,

For the fruit of his loins in her belly did grow,

Thrown on the mercy of the devil’s own spawn,

Who violated her body each night until dawn.

*

She gave birth alone, just a pallet on the floor,

Shielding the child from the blood and the gore,

The blood never ceasing,  she grew ever weak,

Whispering forgiveness against a small cheek.

*

Wrapped in a blanket she held close to heart,

She carried the warm bundle away from its start.

Her last breath was taken on steps of grey stone,

As she prayed that her daughter need never atone.

A Truth Unheard

I have a bit of a secret passion for historical fiction and am working on something longer at the moment, an idea for a story that’s made up entirely of poems. Including  ‘Below Stairs’ written earlier,

table

Come in, come in and close the door over,

Do not be afraid now, just step a bit closer,

I know I can help if you would open your soul,

If you only explain, if you would tell me it all.

*

So come a little nearer and sit by the fire,

Raise up your head now, a little bit higher,

I see in your eyes and I can see how you feel,

I know there is more that you need to reveal.

*

I must ask the question and I need you to speak,

I care not for falsehood, only the truth do I seek.

Did you lie with him willingly as an act of free will,

Or did he force a surrender and bid you be still?

*

You ask for forgiveness but don’t tell me why,

A voice that is whispered and then you do cry.

Your hands they do knit then unfurl in your lap,

Your starched linen uniform,  your lily white cap.

*

I care not for tears child,  for I see no remorse,

There is no redemption, there is no recourse,

I know that I speak for the good and the true,

Why would the Master come seeking out you?

*

Now you must leave, this place where you grew,

Knowing your sin is a stain that runs through,

A hoar is a hoar and your shame is your own,

And pray for your own sake his seed is not sown.

 

Beautiful Freedom

 

 

Trace through the lines and the crease of my face,

To follow the journey my life did embrace,

The leather worn flesh and the hue of old age,

A testament to freedom, not life in a cage.

*

Barefoot I walked in the shadow of slums,

The hunger, the cold, the disease ridden lungs.

The cries of the mothers, whose babes died in arms,

The fathers who drank and fought the wild storms.

*

My search for escape with the body God made,

My flesh was the currency I did barter and trade.

The sweat and the stench as their bodies perspired,

Lingered far longer than the time I was hired.

*

Money brought freedom from the chains of my past,

And a curtain that fell on the show I was cast.

It allowed me to travel until war came to call,

I lived through its death, its destruction, it’s all.

*

I loved and I lost more times than I should,

And I raised many children the best that I could.

I taught them to hunger for more than they were,

I taught them that they were their own saboteur.

*

Look back at my face and know where I’ve been,

Can you see the beauty and the freedom within?

And The Music Played On.

Wednesday again and time for the creative exploits of the Friday Fictioneers. Nearly a 100 people every week tackle the 100 word photo prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  Get yourself over and have a go.

dismantled-keyboardHe knew not the time or the days that had passed. For the day and the night were no longer defined. He searched for the source till his ears bled with fire, a molten elixir that burned beneath skin. Still the music played on.

Whispering chords that wove between thought. He was no longer able to separate reality from memory or quaver from cleft. He looked at the chaos that was strewn all around, the radio, the stereo, the piano all smashed. He lifted the hammer and beat at the keyboard. Still the tempo increased and the music played on.