Tag Archives: prose

summer

sky

It was a beautiful summer’s day. The deep azure sky was flecked with only the fluffiest of clouds and the birch trees shimmered and shuffled their leaves in a gentle breeze. Alice sat on the edge of the lawn with her bare legs stretched out in front of her. Before her, the grass was a deep green and the sweetly-scented geraniums that swept across the flowerbeds around her drenched the scene with vibrant pink.

The sun was warm on her back as she watched her younger brothers and sister running around the garden. They were spraying each other with water and the air was filled with laughter. Alice tilted her face to the sun and felt contentment wash over her.

But a sudden chill wind disturbed her reverie. It swept across her, carrying away the shouts of her siblings and washing colour from the trees, the grass and the sky. In moments, summer had dissolved.

Alice blinked. From her bed she could see the ward door swinging shut sending another draft of cold air over her. Her frail hands clutched at the blankets as she gently eased herself further under them. She didn’t want to be here. Not in this hospital. Not old and ill and alone.

And yet there was comfort for, even seventy years on, her memories remained as clear cut as the day they were formed. Nested under her covers once more, Alice closed her eyes and smiled. It was a beautiful summer’s day.

Written in response to #ThePrompt over at Mumturnedmom. This week it was “Memories of Summer.”

mumturnedmom

challenge

I enjoyed joining in with The Prompt for the first time last week so I thought I’d link up again this week. This week the prompt is a single word: “challenging“. It inspired me to write this little story:

***

Mark clung on to the cliff face in terror. His limbs were trembling and his throat so dry he could hardly swallow. He knew he couldn’t stay where he was, he had to keep moving, but panic had wound its fingers round his ankles and rooted him to the spot.

Slowly raising his head upwards – even the thought of looking down made him feel sick – he saw a vertical incline and then, worse, an overhang. It seemed insurmountable, yet he knew it was his only option when what waited below was so much worse.

Locating a hand-hold just above him to his right, he decided he had to go for it. By sheer force of will, he slowly uncurled his fingers from where they clung and stretched out his arm towards it. He had just reached it, his slippery palm making contact, when a roar from below startled him. He lost his grip. At the same time one of his feet slipped from its precarious perch. Frantically scrabbling at the rock-face his fingers couldn’t find any purchase and he fell backwards twisting blindly and grappling at thin air.

The roar below became a jeer as he tumbled the short distance to the floor below. Winded, he opened his eyes to a ring of sneering faces – his classmates – and in the middle of the pack, Jason Green, the hulking tank-of-a-boy who’d made his life hell these last few years. It had been his challenge that had persuaded Mark to the climbing wall that day despite his terror of heights. Jason’s promise to stop his relentless campaign of abuse, if he managed to scale the wall without a harness, had seemed worth the risk. But he had failed (Jason’s precisely-timed roar had seen to that) and in doing so had only given his bully something else to taunt him with.

And yet, Mark realised getting slowly to his feet, Jason had made a mistake. The challenge had forced Mark to face his worst fear and in doing so had given him strength. Because he now knew that fear didn’t have to control him. If he could reach out – even through his terror – for a hand-hold on that wall then he could reach out for a hand-hold in other areas of life too. He made a decision. He would no longer fear the bully’s threatened reprisals if he ever told anyone what was going on. He would report him. And somehow, finally, Jason would get his just desserts.

***

The story took me a bit by surprise – I had intended to write about a child scared on a climbing wall but being encouraged by his Dad, but when I started writing it ended up like this. I tried a few different endings – in one, poor old Mark ended up lying on the floor getting another beating from the nasty Jason but I couldn’t bear to leave him like that!

I’d love to hear what you think. Do your stories take their own turns when you write too? (bet they do – it’s one of the things I love about writing!)

Thanks Sara for the prompt!

mumturnedmom

Race round the shops #bill and bob

The team:

Mum: Tired mum of three. Tries her best to keep an eye on her kids and a smile on her face at all times. Doesn’t *always* succeed.

Son no. 1: Just turned seven. Usually quite sensible although his attempts to help aren’t always actually that helpful.

Son no. 2: Nearly five. Bit of a nutter.

Baby: 16 months. Very laid back which, frankly, is the only way he survives.

And now to our commentators Bill and Bob to guide us through a trip to the supermarket:

Bill: “You join us outside the supermarket as we wait for Mum and her kids to arrive. The weather is terrible: sheets of rain are coming co opdown – I’d be surprised if they make it here at all, Bob”

Bob: “I think they have to, Bill – Mum had to have her tea without milk this morning and she couldn’t make toast without scraping green bits off the bread first so I think this trip’s a necessity!”

Bill: “Turns out you’re right Bob: I can see mum and kids driving down the road towards us now!”

Bob: “Mum’s looking out for a parking space and I can see one right in front of the store which is useful – I think she’s spotted it too!”

Bill: “Yes it’s great the way they have these ‘parent and child’ spaces now – it means she won’t have to walk from the other side of the car park with a baby on her hip and two small boys running round her ankles! In this weather that’s a massive bonus.”

Bob: “Oh except…”

Bill: “Oh no! A sports car has driven into the space just before Mum got there… a young man has got out of it.”

Bob: “No sign of any kids with him Bill?”

Bill: “None at all Bob – perhaps he can’t read the clear signage ‘parent and child parking only’?”

Bob: “Honestly Bill, from the way he’s just barged his way past those other people to get into the shop I’d say it’s more that he’s a…”

Bill: “Colossal bell-end.”

Bob: “Well I wan’t going to put it quite that way Bill!”

Bill: “Neither was I Bob – that’s just what I saw Mum mouthing as she looked at him going in the supermarket by himself.”

Bob: “She’ll have to park further away now.”

Bill: “Hmmm, and crossing the car park with three kids looks like it’s a real struggle! The baby’s slipping off her hip constantly and Son no.2 is more interested in singing and dancing than actually walking in a straight line! Nothing dampens his spirits eh Bob?”

Bob: “Doesn’t seem to no, although from her expression Mum is feeling very differently and… oops, she’s just dropped her handbag! But it’s ok Son no.1 is picking it up for her and shovelling everything that fell out onto the ground back into it.”

Bill: “Was that empty crisp packet and cigarette butt in there originally Bob?”

Bob: “I’m not sure it was Bill, no – might be a bit of a surprise for her later…”

Bill: “Well that crisis seems to have been averted anyway and, thank God, they’ve got inside – oh?!”

Bob: “What’s that Bill?”

Bill: “Well I thought Mum would go for a trolley so she’d have somewhere to put the baby down but she’s just got a basket.”

Bob: “Ah, that’s because there’s no need for a trolley Bill: I’ve heard her telling the kids they’re ‘Just popping in for bread and milk.'”

Bill: “I see… although they do seem to be heading for the fruit and veg now and flinging a lot of bananas into the basket.”

Bob: “Yes I’ve heard the baby is obsessed with them – look he’s reaching out desperately now and shouting ‘BlaBla!'”

bananasBill: “She’s having to hide them behind a couple of pineapples in the basket– an impulse purchase for the purpose I suspect!”

Bob: “Yes, and dear me, Son no.2 has just raced off down to the other end of the aisle! He seems to be singing “Everything is awesome!” at the top of his voice and waving a cucumber!”

Bill: “She’ll have to buy that too now Bob.”

Bob: “Yes, she’s caught up with him and into the basket it goes. She’s giving him a job to do now to keep him occupied. He’s to get some cheese apparently.”

Bill: “That might just work, he’s gone off quite happily to the cheese section while Mum picks up a few more items in the fresh aisle.”

Bob: “And the baby’s doing his bit too – I saw him grab a bunch of grapes as they went past there… although should he be eating them?”

Bill: “Perhaps not Bob but – good news – Son no.2 is back with the cheese!”

Bob: “Hmm, only it’s cheese strings – from Mum’s face I think she was thinking more “caved-aged gruyere’ or at least a decent mature cheddar but never mind.”

Bill: “I’m a fan of wensleydale myself but… oh dear, Son no. 1 has now decided he ‘needs a wee’.”

Bob: “Mum’s telling him in no uncertain terms that he’ll have to hold on – there’s no customer toilet in here apparently!”

Bill: “Yikes, Bob – they’re going to have to up the pace then, to get home in time!”

Bob: “Indeed Bill, and they are, she’s almost running down the canned goods aisle…”

Bill: “Managing to hurl some baked beans and chopped tomatoes in as she races past – that basket’s looking heavy!”

Bob: “And they’ve finally reached the bread aisle and she’s flung in a loaf.”

Bill: “And also some doughnuts… the boys are looking pleased but she’s shot them a look that says ‘these are for me!'”

Bob: “The basket is looking really heavy now but, not to worry, Mum’s handed it to the boys and they’re carrying it between them”

Bill: “Hmmm ‘swinging’ it between them might be a more accurate way of putting it!”

Bob: “True, they have just scattered grapes across the floor with that last swing but, still they’re helping Mum aren’t they?”

Bill: “I’m saying nothing Bob…”

Bob: “Ah you’ve just spotted Son no.2 sneaking chocolate in to the basket I take it?”

Bill: “Indeed. Luckily Mum’s distracted trying to hoist the baby into a more comfortable position on her hip – he might just get away with that!”

Bob: “Right, Mum’s had enough; they’re headed for the tills”

Bill: “Oh no… there’s a huge queue behind to each of them!”

Bob: “It’s ok she’s headed to the new self service tills – no queue at all there!”till

Bill: “I suspect there’s a reason for that Bob, but lets see…”

Bob: “Right, she’s got the basket in the right area and is following the instructions on screen to swipe the items…”

Bill: “And then put them in the bag. Only she can’t get them in the bag because it’s stuck closed and she’s holding the baby.. but it’s fine she’s just put the baby down next to the till so she can deal with that.”

Bob: “Wait  – the the till’s bleeping and flashing at her: ‘Alert! Alert! Unidentified object in packing area!’”

Bill: “Yes Bob, that’ll be the baby. A little heaver than a punnet of strawberries I’ll warrant.”

Bob: “So she’s put the baby on the floor and managed to open the bag and started to load the shopping into it.”

Bill: “The baby’s crawling off though… should we…?”

Bob: “No need to tell her Bob, Son no. 1 is on it. He’s picked up the baby and jiggling him. The baby is shrieking ecstatically.”

Bill: “Not sure the man at the next check out is that keen on the shrieks Bob.”

Bob: “No, but Mum’s not got time to worry about that now. She’d just noticed the chocolate Son no.2 sneaked into the basket. Although, actually she’s looking quite pleased about it!”

Bill: “Something tells me Son no.2 wont be benefitting from that particular misdemeanour Bob.”

Bob: “No, especially as the self-serve till has just jammed again and is asking her to seek help from a member of staff.”

Bill: “She never should have tried to pass that ‘rustic loaf’ off as a ‘nordic loaf’ Bob – the till can see right through that sort of desperate action.”

Bob: “Mum’s looking wildly around for a member of staff while also taking the baby back off Son no.1”

Bill: “And taking a banana out of his hand… how did he get that anyway?!”

Bob: “Search me Bill! But look, we have real progress – someone has sorted out the glitch and all the items are through the till! Mum’s even managed to pay without a hitch”

Bill: “Although she does now have two small boys hanging off her demanding to go to the loo and telling her they’re hungry.”

Bob: “Not to mention the baby who she’s still trying to keep upright – a difficult task now he’s spotted the bananas in the bag – he can really stretch when he wants to can’t he?!”

Bill: “She needs to get out of here fast Bob!”

Bob: “She’s on it, she’s pretty much sprinting to the door with the kids in tow!”

Bill: “Back through the car park, through the rain, shopping bags knocking against her legs…”

Bob: “Baby crying at the rain slashing in this face.”

Bill: “Boys still shouting about being hungry and needing a wee!”

Bob: “But she’s made it! She’s got them all into the car and she’s setting off!”

Bill: “Hooray! But no, wait! Why’s she now slamming her hands onto the steering wheel like that?! She looks furious!”

Bob: “Ah Bob, that would be because she’s realised… ”

Bill: “Oh dear…”

Both: “She’s forgotten the milk!”

Prose for Thought

For more Bill and Bob check out what they had to say about The School Run and the weekly Kids Swimming Lessons.

Post Comment Love

puddles

We’ve had a lot of sunshine recently. It’s been wonderful – I’ve been making the most of it and sitting in the garden as much as I can. Sometimes, when I have documents to read on my laptop, it’s not really ideal but I’d rather squint at a screen with the sun on my back and grass between my toes than stay indoors. I love writing outside too – I feel surrounded by inspiration, like it could drift in on the breeze, burrow its way out of the ground or clamber in over a nearby fence to surprise me.rain

But then a few days ago we had a sudden torrential downpour. Dark clouds raced across the sky trampling out all the blue and, in moments, down came the rain. Huge hammering pellets, blistering their way across pavements and hurling themselves into thirsty soil. It reminded me how much I love it: Proper rain. Not that kind of endless drizzle that seems to settle itself here in autumn for weeks on end, but the real stuff. The type that comes along and forcefully washes the air clean before going on its way leaving only that gorgeous fresh, earthy sort of smell behind.

As well, of course, as puddles. And who doesn’t like jumping in them?!

All of which is is a roundabout way of saying: “I wrote a haiku about puddle-jumping”.

 

Pools of fallen sky

collect in holes and hollows

for our joyful feet


Prose for Thought

the test of time

sunset crane

photo credit: Sarah Miles

Last month I entered a flash fiction competition over at Paper Swans. The challenge was to write a 150 word piece of flash fiction using the photo to the right as a prompt.

My entry didn’t win but as it was the shortest ‘story’ I had ever written I was quite chuffed that I managed to do it at all – I really had to hack it back to what felt like the bare bones.

Anyway, I thought I would share it here. I’d love to know your thoughts (the winner was decided by votes so I didn’t get any feedback… that could be a good thing though!)

Oh, and do pop over to Paper Swans; it’s a new venture supporting poets and writers of flash fiction and is well worth a look.

The Test of Time

She had always been tall and skinny although, even in her early days, was never considered beautiful. Those she worked alongside had inevitably attracted more admiration than she could with her awkward, angular frame.

Yet, as the years had gone by, people around her had gained a certain appreciation for what she did have to offer. After all, a towering physique was exactly what was needed in her line of work and what she lacked in aesthetics she certainly made up for in strength. This recognition had allowed her to power through life, stacking up accomplishments. On reaching the glass ceiling she’d simply smashed it up and thrown it on the scrapheap.

But now her lengthy working life was drawing to a close and as the sun sank below the skyline she downed tools for the final time. Peace descended over the construction site. Tomorrow a newer, more modern crane would take her place: she was officially ‘out of service’.

Prose for Thought

a mother’s love

sleeping baby gold

She stood gazing down at this vision of complete contentment – her baby boy’s peaceful, sleeping form. He looked, to her fond eyes, almost edibly gorgeous with his rosebud mouth, little squidgy nose and blond, downy hair framing the gentle curve of his cheeks. Clutched to his chest was his favourite teddy; his arms – even in sleep – wrapping it in a tight embrace with one plump hand clutching at its fluffy foot. And those fingers! Each one with its dimpled knuckle, soft skin and miniature nail seemed a tiny testament to the human ability for perfection.

She was filled with a rush of love and the sudden wild need to scoop him up in her arms, to bury her face in the soft skin of his neck and breath in his baby scent. Her arms ached at the thought.

Behind her, a door slammed and she was jarred suddenly from her reverie. She heard the sound of shoes being kicked off and a moment later a lanky young man strode into the room.

“Alright Mum?” He said, brushing her arm not-unaffectionately as strode past her to the fridge “Just grabbing some lunch… is there any food?” Then, noticing her attention was still fixed on something in her hands, he came and peered over her shoulder: “What have you got there?”

She sighed lightly, shaking herself back into the present: “Yes of course there’s food, darling, unless you and your brother have eaten it all since I last looked… which actually wouldn’t surprise me…” She said with fond exasperation. Then, returning her attention again to what was in her hands, she responded to his other query: “I was just looking at one of your baby photos – I found it in a drawer when I was clearing some things out. It took me back.”

She looked once more at the tiny face in the picture and then up at the distinctly larger one now next to her. She searched his features. Was there a trace of the baby there still? Perhaps in the curve of his lip? The shape of his brow?

She sighed again. He was already turning to move across the room. He was his own person now; always going somewhere, meeting someone or off doing something-or-other. He was a lovely lad and she was proud of him, but sometimes she longed to be the centre of his universe again. These days she felt like merely an orbiting satellite.

She turned to place the photo on a shelf and was surprised to feel a hand on her shoulder.“You’re getting all sentimental again aren’t you?” he said, “Come on, make me a cup of tea and I’ll let you bore me with tales of how cute I used to be!”

He smiled at her and suddenly she saw before her not just the teenager he now was, but the proud ten-year-old who’d won the award at school, the excited six-year-old who’d just got his new bike, the four-year-old dancing wildly round the kitchen table, the toddler running into her arms and, yes, even the baby sleeping contentedly, arms wrapped tightly round his favourite teddy.

***

A bit of a soppy story from me today! I was looking at my youngest boy this morning (he’s 14 months old now) and thinking how gorgeous he is and how part of me can’t bear the idea of him – or his brothers – getting any older. I just want them to stay my adorable little guys forever! But, of course, they won’t and really I don’t want them to. I love watching them grow up and I hope one day to see them turn into lovely men.

And that’s what inspired me to write this story. I was trying to capture a sense of continuing nature of motherhood and that somehow  – even when they’re huge people with massive feet – they are still and always the tiny life we first created. (I hope – my oldest is only six – but time will tell!)

I wrote it with the baby at my feet (although he is now having a nap) so it’s a bit rushed… oh, and he’s now waking up so I’d better just publish this!

Prose for Thought

 

 

down at the pool

The Setting:

Friday after school at the local swimming baths. Unisex changing rooms with small cubicles, thronging with tetchy children and exhausted parents. Floor awash with puddles and cluttered with buggies. Damp air infused with the smell of chlorine and toilets. Building reverberates with shrieks of children and muffled expletives of parents.

The Team:

The Mum – harassed mum-of-three. Aims to sail seraphically through the weekly swimming experience. Never does.

Son 1 – at 6 years old, takes his responsibilities as oldest brother very seriously. In fact, is by far the most ‘together’ member of the whole team. Mostly seen sighing with exasperation and telling everyone to ‘hurry up!’

Son 2 – 4 years old. Easily distracted from the task in hand. Whatever the task.  Mostly to be seen leaving his swimming bag on the driveway where he stopped on the way to the car to examine a stone.

The baby – usually laid-back, but this weekly excursion pushes him to the limits of his endurance.

Now over to our commentators Bill and Bob as they talk us through the weekly Swimming Run

Bill: “You join us in the car park outside the pool. It’s 4.28 and the boys’ swimming lessons are due to start any minute. We had expected to have seen our team arrive before now but so far, there’s been no sign. What do you suppose has happened to them Bob?”

Bob: “Well, I’m not entirely sure but, between you and me, the Mum’s time keeping is not exactly great… ”

Bill: “And this week is no exception I see… but wait, here they are now! They’ve finally arrived in the car park, Mum has slammed the car to a halt in the nearest space and has leapt out!”

Bob: “An inauspicious start, Bill – she’s already looking rather frazzled!”

Bill: “Yes, although she’s unloading the buggy out of the car at lightning speed… Oooh, ouch that looks painful! Those buggies can be remarkably heavy when you drop them on your foot, Bob!”swimming things

Bob: “They can indeed, although Mum seems to have barely registered the pain, she’s too busy hauling the baby out of the car and into the buggy while also making sure the other two don’t race across the car park!”

Bill: “They do seem keen, don’t they! I can hear Son 1 shouting ‘Come on, Come on! The lesson’s starting!'”

Bob: “And they’re all off across the car park at a run now!”

Bill: “… and in through the doors of the pool…”

Bob: “… and out again to get Son 2 who stopped to swing round a bollard.”

Bill: “Phew! They’ve made it to the changing rooms. If they get changed quickly, there’s a chance they’ll only miss the first five minutes of the lesson!”

Bob: “Hmm, although it’s hard to see how they’ll achieve that in here Bill, the place is heaving! Are there any spare cubicles?”

Bill: “Mum’s searching frantically around for a free one… ”

Bob: “… a hard task when you’re pushing a buggy with a flat tyre through a crowd of flapping arms and slamming lockers!”

Bill: “She nearly got whacked in the face with a hair dryer there, Bob!”

Bob: “Ah! But she’s seen a cubicle, and is fighting her way towards it!”

Bill: “Oh no! Another mum just beat her to it!”

Bob: “But wait, don’t worry, she’s seen another – it’s right down next to the showers but she’s squeezed them all into it.”

Bill: “Well, apart from the baby… the buggy wont fit so she’s just wedged him in the open door.”

Bob: “He’s a fan of water is he, Bill? Because he seems to be getting quite sprayed there!”

Bill: “I don’t think mum’s even noticed… she’s trying to help Son 2 out of his trousers…”

Bob: “… which appear to have pockets stuffed with pebbles which are now scattering over the floor!”

Bill: “Meanwhile Son 1 is standing on one leg in a puddle behind the door ripping his clothes off frantically.”

Bob: “That’s it! Son 1 is ready! The strap on his goggles has come undone but Mum is too busy trying to get Son 2 out of his tangled t-shirt to help him.”

Bill: “I guess he’ll just have to get water in his eyes today Bob.”

Bob: “He’s looking resigned to that… he’s made it across to the pool to his lesson though… and Son 2 isn’t far behind!”

Bill: “Result! They’re both in pool!”

Bob: “Rather late Bill… ”

Bill: “True, but something in Mum’s expression tells me she considers anything before 4.45 to be a small victory.”

 ***

Bob: “Mum’s taking a moment now to sort out the chaos of the cubicle… ”

Bill: “And to wipe the baby down where he’s been sprayed by the shower. And, Oh dear, she’s realised that he’s been chewing Son 2’s goggles this whole time. That’s why he’s been so quiet.”

Bob: “Both boys will have to go goggle-less then; Mum’s shaking her head in exasperation!”goggles

Bill: “But good news! – everything’s away in lockers now so mum can go to the spectator area for a well-earned sit down.”

Bob: “If she can find any free seats… or space for the buggy.”

Bill: “Yes, it’s a bit cramped in there isn’t it? And by the looks of everyone in there, it’s boiling hot too!”

Bob: “But look – Mum has managed force her way into the corner and has even found a tiny bit of windowsill to perch on!”

Bill: “Behind a toddler who appears to be in hysterics over a banana.”

Bob: “Yes, it’s not exactly the best seat in the house from that respect… she’ll need to keep an eye out for chunks of flying fruit.”

Bill: “The baby’s getting restless siting in that cramped spot on her lap too… oh, but it’s ok, Mum’s realised that if she bounces him up and down while waving a toy in front of him, singing ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ and pulling funny faces then he doesn’t cry.”

Bob: “Mum looks like she might though – it’s already five ‘o clock and time to go back to the changing rooms to help get the boys dressed!”

 ***

Bill: “Mum’s fighting her way to the showers through hordes of wet swimmers and shampoo-wielding parents… I can see an advantage to having a buggy now Bob, it’s actually quite a useful tool isn’t it? – kind of like a snowplough!”

Bob: “You could say that! She’s made it to her sons and is now squirting shampoo on them… from a distance, mind, as she doesn’t want to get wet herself. Not the easiest task.”

Bill: “No, I can see that – Son 2 has started screaming; he’s got shampoo in his eyes.”

Bob: “And Son 1 has now finished his shower and is shivering violently while Mum tries to pull his towel out of the swimming bag.”

Bill: “While also trying to wipe Son 2’s eyes with… what’s that she’s holding Bob?”

Bob: “I believe it’s a pair or Mr Man pants… it was the first thing that came to hand when she opened her handbag!”

Bill: “Interesting. Well, it’s done the trick anyway and she’s also managed to pull out both the towels and even found a spare cubicle for them!”

Bob: “No space for the baby again though – he’s propping the door open again.”

Bill: “Except now he’s started crying and Mum is taking him out of the buggy… is that wise, would you say?”

Bob: “I wouldn’t say so, no – she’s now trying to help the other two get out of sticky, wet costumes and into clothes with him balanced on her hip.”

Bill: “Still screaming… “20140313_080157-1

Bob: “She doesn’t look best pleased by Son 1’s announcement that he’s lost one of his socks. I think it got kicked under the bottom of the cubicle at some point… oh there it is, he’s found it! It’s wringing wet so it looks like he’ll be going home sock-less.”

Bill: “Looks like we’re reaching the final stages though – both sons are now putting their shoes on!”

Bob: “And now they’re all managing to squeeze out of the tiny cubicle… ”

Bill: “And Mum’s strapping the baby into the buggy.”

Bob: “Still screaming… ”

Bill: “And now I suppose they’ll be heading for the hair dry… oh, no Mum’s just shaken her head.”

Bob: “No time for hair drying, clearly… she seems very keen to make it back to the car!”

Bill: “They’re outside!”

Bob: “And back inside to get Son 2 who stopped to look at a poster of a horse…”

Bill: “.. and back outside again… Son 1 has taken over pushing the buggy and Mum is carrying… well, everything else. Were they planning a three-week holiday with all those bags, Bob?”

Bob: “Not this time Bill, although I strongly suspect Mum is thinking about a holiday right now! They’ve nearly made it back to the car though!”

Bill: “And they have! She’s loading them all in, both the boys and the baby.”

Bob: “Still screaming… ”

Bill: “What’s that she’s muttering to herself?”

Bob: “It sounded like ‘Never again!'”

Bill: “Doesn’t she say that every week?”

Bob: “Oh yes Bill, she certainly does. Every. Single. Week.”

 

And then the fun began...
Prose for Thought

one day

beach

Kate watched him as he ran along the sun-drenched pier, his little arms waving exuberantly and his blond curls bouncing with every step. Every few metres he would look back over his shoulder and she would catch a glimpse of his dancing eyes and wind-rouged cheeks; his mouth opened wide in an ecstatic laugh.

His voice carried back to her, “Look at me, Mummy, look! Look!” Of course, Kate looked. He was so jubilant, filled with the thrill of this bright, spring morning with its sea air, sunshine and promise of adventure. It made her heart leap to watch him. She imagined the tableau they would make together on this sweep of weathered boards with the glittering ocean as its backdrop. It must be a beautiful one.

Then, as she watched, a young woman ran past her and towards the boy, sweeping him up into her arms and spinning him around. The boy shrieked with laughter and grabbed at her face with his chubby hands. Smiling, the woman kissed him and set him back down. As he ran off laughing, his cries of “Catch me, Mummy!” reached Kate as she watched the two of them racing away from her.

She turned away with a sigh, wiping away the tears that had sprung suddenly to her eyes. Trudging slowly back towards the shore she told herself – just as she had done everyday for the last five, arduous years of monthly disappointments – ‘There is always hope. Maybe, one day…’

 

Linking up my story with #Prose4T over at Verily Victoria Vocalises.

Prose for Thought
Post Comment Love

fit for a king

little king

 

It had been a magnificent banquet: a multitude of textures and tastes had delighted his palate and the drink, as always, had been plentiful. Now, stomach bulging, he sat back and surveyed his kingdom. It was comfortable and familiar and peopled with loyal subjects.

He was fortunate to be surrounded by those who ensured his every need was met and his every whim attended to. For as long as he could remember, his meals had been prepared for him, his clothing washed and his good temper ensured through a range of entertainments. Only that morning he had been delighted by a dazzling performance by the court jesters, which had had everyone laughing uproariously.

Yet, despite the power he seemed to have over them all (sometimes the merest smile would be enough to send them scurrying around him) he knew instinctively that these were not merely his servants. These were people he loved and who loved him back, fiercely and protectively.

A sudden hush descended on the room. He looked at the smiling faces surrounding him, wondering what was about to happen. Then a shimmering object topped by a single flame was placed before him and all around him people began singing.

His mother stepped forward and planted a huge kiss on his forehead. “Happy Birthday, my darling” she said fondly as she blew out the candle on his first birthday cake.

 

My baby turns one this weekend so I thought I’d try writing another short piece of prose to mark the occasion. I attempted a loving poem but it was unbelievably twee! Happy birthday to my gorgeous boy.

 

Prose for Thought

peaceful prose

I’ve been setting myself a few writing challenges recently and linking up with Writing Warriors over at Beautiful Misbehaviour to blog about them. This week, one challenge was to write a short piece of prose. It’s not something I normally do; creative writing for me usually means short stories of at least 1500 words. Flash fiction is outside my comfort zone but I figured, why not try something new?

This is what I came up with (and it’s under 200 words!):

 

She lay submerged, floating peacefully just below the surface. Now and then, fragments of the world beyond drifted down to her; sounds she was dimly aware of but could not respond to. It was so calm down here. She felt suspended in time, her mind free to roam and tumble between realms.

A thought, barely formed, drifted across her consciousness. Was there something she needed to do? She loitered, not wanting to leave this tranquil space. But a sound had begun insistently burrowing its way in to her brain, nearly rousing her to action, but not quite… not quite. Reality could not reach her yet, even as she felt it stretch out its fingers. Let me stay a while longer, she pleaded silently, let me stay.

Attempting oblivion, she dived deep. But it was not enough; a piercing cry twisted and gouged its way through her skull. She was dragged violently upwards and found herself exploding through the surface.

She was fully awake. The baby was screaming. Sighing, she heaved herself from her warm bed and dragged leaden limbs through the darkness, leaving sleep’s soft sunbeams scattering in her wake.

 

As you may have guessed, this is a scenario I am familiar with. I love my sleep and being dragged from it is not something I relish!

I’m linking up with Prose for Thought over at Verily Victoria Vocalises.

 

Prose for Thought