New Year’s Eve

Rose always made a New Year’s resolution every year as the clocks struck midnight and shouting voices filled the air. As the numbers came from her mouth, her mind rushed with everything she wanted to do that year. This time around it been a simple resolution; loss weight and write her novel. Though she was sure those had been on her list last year too.

She felt her boyfriend clutch her hand tightly, their palms already damp. They were gathered around the TV just like everyone else at the party was, welcoming the New Year in with rest of the country. The last number and chime faded together then everyone erupted into song, even though most didn’t know all the words.

At the end, as the fireworks in London went off on the TV screen, everyone was kissing, hugging and shaking hands. Voices rose in wishing each other all the best and Rose felt swamped by all the bodies. Grabbing, her boyfriend’s hand, she tugged him out of the room and into the bathroom across the way.

‘Hey,’ he laughed, ‘slow down.’

Rose locked the door and turned to him with a shake of her head, ‘Don’t get any ideas. I just needed some space.’

The corners of his mouth dipped and Rose rolled her eyes. She stepped over and kissed him. Letting her lips linger, teasingly him before she broke away. He wrapped his arms around her, swaying them gently, though she suspected that was because he was drunk all ready.

‘Did you make your New Year resolution?’ he asked in a husky voice.

‘Yep. Loss more weight and write my novel. What was your’s?’

‘Aww, don’t do that,’ he said and grabbed her bum, ‘I’ll miss this.’

She laughed and pressed her hands to his cheeks, ‘I’m sure that’ll be fine. I just want my stomach flatter. What was your’s?’ she repeated.

‘This,’ he replied and kissed her deeply.

Note

On the desk before him was a leather notebook, a small white dice and a handgun. Resting his head on his hands, he thought over again what he was going to write down. Then taking a pen, he flipped to a random empty page in the notebook and began writing. He let the words fill the page without pausing or double checking his spelling. He just needed them out of his head and to see them on the page.

We don’t always grasp what is important.

We loss so many moments and don’t realise.

We go through life on rolls of chance dices.

We think that’s the way it should be, but really,

It never has been, just like I shouldn’t have been.

 Once done, he set the pen down and picked up the dice, which he played around with. He re-read what he had put and decided it would do, because he knew he’d never be able to write all of his thoughts and feelings down. With his other hand, he grabbed the gun and put it to the side of his head. He pressed the trigger and the dice rolled out of his hand into a small mouse hole in the wall.

Ticket

Checking my watch I saw that my time was running out. Throwing some money at the taxi driver, I got out and dragged my suitcase behind me. Taking a few steps to the doors then through, I barreled people out of my way and hurried for the escalators. They felt too slow for me though, so I decided to haul my suitcase up and walk to the top. Pushing my through an arguing young couple, I bolted as fast as a man could go with a large suitcase in tow and a heavy rucksack on his back. Surprisingly, that can be quite fast, though I wouldn’t win any awards for it. There was a queue at the ticket machines which stopped me. Breathing deeply whilst the blind panic filled me, I urged the line to move along. I could see the problem right a way as it seemed that people who’d never used the machines before had decided to come out in force today. Checking my watch again, I growled then tried to look calm as another business man glared at me. A card pay only machine came free to my far left; I dashed out of the line and hit the ticket button as I put my case down. I heard a voice shouting behind me, but I ignored it as they could have been saying anything. The machine needed some urging on before it took my card and spit the tickets alongside it out. Grabbing them and my case, I turned to shoot a look at the noticeboard before hurrying to the platform. The train was sat there still as I half ran half slide over, with my heart pounding, my knee throbbing and my mind screaming that I couldn’t miss it or my life would be over. I all but throw myself through a shutting door and nearly tripped. Righting myself, I heard a whistle sound and the wheels lurched under me. Breathing was difficult and sweat clung to me. The train pulled out of the station and picked up speed, whilst I tried to make myself presentable once more. I had made it though and soon I’d be back home for the holidays.

Winter Sounds

Todd didn’t think he had seen winter weather so bad before. He stood by the window and watched the stormy winds whipping the snowflakes into a frenzy amongst the pine trees. The sound of this and the movement of the tree branches were both scary and interesting to him. On one hand he could imagine some massive, perhaps prehistoric monster, howling and shaking the trees as it threw the snow around. On the other, he knew the sound was just the gale force winds battering through the trees and causing all the frozen snow, which had fallen in the last few days, to disperse.

He glanced over his shoulder, though his vision was filled with the winter snow, he saw the humped shape of his wife in bed. He half wanted to wake her up and invite her to watch the snow storm with him, but he decided that was a bad move. She was all ready mad with him over the fact he had convinced her to come away for a Christmas holiday and they were now snowed in the fake log cabin, holiday home. Todd scratched at his growing beard and reflected on the conversation they had before he had booked the holiday and it had just been an idea brought on by his insomnia.

‘How do you fell about going away in December?’

‘For a weekend? It’ll have to be in the first week. I’ll be too busy after that. Where did you have in mind? London to see Jennie? I don’t really want to be traveling far.’

‘No, I was thinking  more of a week holiday. Maybe at the county club? Or at that nice hotel we went to last spring in the Lake District?’

‘Are you serious?’

‘Yes and actually I was thinking of going Christmas week. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was just the two of us?’

‘But what about my family? Christmas dinner, the presents?’

‘Well, we can give the presents before we leave, or afterwards. However you want, but I really think this will be a good idea. We can have a quiet time whilst everyone else gets stressed. Plus, we’ve not had a holiday alone this year.’

‘I don’t know Todd, I get what you are saying, but I’m always with my family for Christmas. It’s just the way things are. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why you don’t feel the same.’

‘Let me at least look into it, please? It won’t be that much trouble and it will help us decided. Please, Maggie?’

Reluctantly, she had agreed and from that moment on he had pressured her and twisted her arm about going. She had given in at the last minute and even though her displeasure had spoiled the preparation, the travel and the first two days, he had ignored her attitude and believed she would see things his way soon enough.

The wind drew his attention once more with a loud moan like sound. He opened the window letting it in. A handful of snow came into and the room felt a touch colder. Smiling, he embraced the cold wind and wet flakes on his face. He felt almost childlike and marvelled in that.

His wife moved in the bed, detangling herself from the sheets and duvet. She looked round and spotting him next to the open window, frowned and got out of the bed.

‘What are you doing?’

‘Experiencing winter sounds.’

‘Are you mad? It’s freezing. Go outside if you want to do that!’

Shrugging, Todd shut the window and went to put on his things. He heard his wife in the bathroom, then in the kitchen. She called his name just as his hand was reaching for the door handle.

‘Yes?’

‘Do you want a drink?’

‘No. I’m going out.’

Whatever her next words were got lost in the blizzard he let in as he opened the door. Stepping out quickly, he closed it again, but he already knew snow had gotten into the hallway and that icy wind would been rushing around his wife’s legs. Pulling up his hood, he turned away all the same and walked into the snow.

Around him, the wind howled like a wolf pack at his heels. Snow blew about, getting under his hood and into his boots. He forced his way against the wind and went to stand in between the nearby pine trees. There he watched how the wind shook the tree tops with such force as almost snapping the trunks. Oddly, though the wind hadn’t seemed to be able to clear the trees of snow has he had wondered about. It must have been frozen on there, but he couldn’t really inspect that because snowflakes were getting into his eyes.

Dropping his head, he felt the first tingles of chill in his legs and fingers, even though he was completely covered and he’d only been outside a few minutes. He listened, but heard nothing other than the wind with the snow and branches. He wished Maggie could experience this, even if she didn’t like the cold nor the fact they were now stuck here for New Year’s. At least he had tried, but he couldn’t be blamed for the weather.

Heaven Sent

Mercy didn’t just hear or smell the angel falling and becoming caught in the power lines; she saw it. Abandoning the wet clothes she had been taking out of the washing machine, she hurried outside and across to where she thought at first a person parachuting or using some other flying device had come down. She heard the crackle of electricity and could only watch as a bolt travelled along into the person.

Crying out, she saw the person struggling and more electric bolts striking them. Even as she came to stand close by, she knew there was nothing to be done and really, she should have phoned the police straight away. Too many times she had seen birds and other animals go the same way. Wrapping her hands in her dress and apron, she heard one of the lines twang and Mercy looked up to see it snapping. The now still body was weighing the lines down and they couldn’t take the weight. She moved back, torn between seeing if the person was still alive and going back to the house to phone for help.

The lines snapped, dropping down and wrapping around the person as if they had been caught in a spider’s web. Mercy stepped forward before stopping again, the lines could still be alive and she couldn’t afford to put herself in danger. A limb hand reached out towards her and for the first time she saw the white feathers. Frowning she wonder if a bird had become tangled up too, but as more white feathers drifted down, she came to the conclusion that the person must have been using some kind of winged flight contraption.

Slowly, she approached and nudged the bundle of wires and body with her booted foot. She wondered if the electricity had run into the earth now and if it was safe to touch the body. They must be dead, she thought, nobody could have survived that. A groaning called her out of her thoughts and Mercy knelt as best she could and tried to figure out where the person’s head was.

‘Hello? Are you alive? Moan or something if you can hear me,’ she spoke.

A moan sounded and she took that for an answer.

‘I don’t know what to do. Should I call someone?’

Another groan and then the person moved and slowly began to untangle themselves.

‘I don’t think you should do that,’ Mercy said as she moved backwards, ‘the wires could still be alive.’

A tumble of words reached her ears and puzzled she watched as a man emerged from the power lines and climbed to his feet before her. Her bewilderment grew as she saw the man was wearing what appeared to be a white robe- now slightly burnt and very dirty-and brown sandals. His hair was very blonde and just long enough to cover his face and neck. He also had large white wings strapped to his back and smoke was drifting up from them. Mercy pointed and tried to tell him this, but words failed her.

He stared at her with the bluest eyes she had ever seen before looking at his wings.

‘On no!’ he cried and began twisting and turning about whilst trying to stop the smouldering feathers.

That’s highly ineffective, Mercy thought and almost left to get a bucket of water, but the risk of causing more danger stopped her. ‘There’s a water pump over,’ she called out instead.

With an anguished cry, the man rushed over and pumped the handle like crazy. Water gushed out and he dived under. Mercy followed behind him, watching his hand trying to pump the water whilst his other grabbed at the wings. Mercy took over for him and instructed him to sit down. She was relieved to find that worked and the man became calm as the water rushed over his wings.

‘Can’t you just take them off?’ she asked, ‘it might be easier and you wouldn’t have to get wet too.’

He stared at her, water dripping off his hair and face. She gasped at his handsomeness and her hand slipped off the handle. He stood up and the two wings spread themselves out behind him. They were almost as tall as he was, but a lot broader, each made an arch shaped behind him and Mercy wondered how they actually worked.

‘They’re attached,’ he answered.

She pulled a face, not convinced she had heard him right. Before she could ask what he meant, he turned around and she saw that they were attached to his shoulder blades. Large holes had been cut in the robe for them to fit through and Mercy could see patches of skin.

‘An angel? But…I…how?’ Mercy stuttered.

He turned with a flourish, holding his arms wide in front of his wings, ‘that’s what I am. Well done. How? Because I was good in life. I’m Septimus, nice to meet you.’

Mercy swayed backwards, her mind and mouth trying to form words but making no sounds.

‘I’m sorry. I didn’t mean too…’ Septimus looked over his shoulder at the broken power lines, ‘I can fix that…erm…you are Mercy Bentley, right?’

She nodded and had to steady herself on the water pump. Breathing deeply, she rested her other hand on her hip and looked down at the puddle of water which was slowly disappearing into the dry earth.

‘Are you okay? Do you want some water? A chair?’

Mercy waved her hand and kept her eyes fixed on the ground. So many thoughts and questions were rushing through her head. She wasn’t sure what to ask first or if she wanted anything to do with this angel as he claimed to be. Taking a deep breath, she brought her hands to her stomach and looked at him.

‘Maybe we should go in and sit down?’ he suggested.

‘Why are you here?’ Mercy asked instead.

‘God sent me. Well, really, my commander did. He got his orders from one of the angels above him and they might have got the orders from one of the angels up top and they were probably got there orders from Him. Though, I can’t be sure. I don’t understand the system, it can get confusing, you see?’

Mercy shook her head.

‘I’m here to help you,’ Septimus concluded.

‘I’m fine. Honest,’ Mercy replied and turned to leave.

‘No you’re not,’ the angel called and came to her side. They walked together for a moment then the angel added, ‘you’re just in shock. It’ll pass soon. Would you like to go and lay down? I can wait.’

‘I’m good, thanks, please leave me alone. I’m sorry you had a wasted trip. Goodbye now.’

Mercy reached her porch and walked up the steps. As her fingers reached out for the door handle, the angel’s voice spoke close to her ear, ‘I’ve been assigned to stay with you. I’ve come to help you and the baby.’

Mercy spun, her hands dropping to her lower belly. She saw that the angel was behind her, waiting at the bottom step and looking up at her with a sad expression on his face. Septimus shrugged his shoulders and wings as if in reply.

‘How do you know?’ she asked.

He looked up at the sky, ‘we see everything.’

Mercy glanced up then opened her front door and stormed in.

‘It’s’ the truth,’ he called after her.

She heard his sandaled feet slapping on the floor and the door opening. He followed her into the living room and joined her on the sofa. Miraculously, he was dry and clean as he sat down. Fascinated, she watched his wings folding around him and fading in definition until they had almost disappeared. She wanted to reach out and touch them to see if they were still there, but she resisted.

‘You asked God for help,’ Septimus begin softly, ‘He can’t come Himself, so He sent us- His angels- in His place. We try to do the best we can, but people can be so…resistant, I guess?’ he shook his head, ‘humans don’t believe like they used to. It can take a while for them to accept us, but we only want to help.’

‘And how do you plan to help me?’ Mercy cut in.

‘In whatever way I can.’

‘Useful. Really useful,’ she puffed, ‘aren’t you suppose to try and convince me to keep the baby or something? You do know I’m still thinking about getting rid of it or adopted, right?’

Septimus nodded, ‘of course, I know that, but that’s not my job. It’s up to you what you do. It’s your body, your fault, free will and all that.’

‘My fault, huh?’

‘Well…’

Mercy picked up a paper fan and began to fan herself, though she was half tempted to hit the angel with it. He was shrugging his shoulders again and looking for a better way to explain his words. He shook his head and turned back to Mercy’s piercing eyes.

‘I’m here to guide you and help you to reach a decision, if you like. But, I’m perfectly happy with what you decide to do. Your baby isn’t one that’s important to the world, so that should make it easier. I mean…he, they, don’t really change anything. Ouch!’

Mercy hit him with the fan and stood up, ‘don’t talk about my baby like that! Get out!’

‘I’m sorry!’ Septimus shouted and curled up in a ball whilst his hands stayed held up to ward away the fan, ‘this is my first job in a while. Really, I wanted one of the female angels to do it, but she wouldn’t swap. I’m trying to get it right. I’m sorry.’

‘How can you be so unprepared to do your job?’

‘I’m not. I had this speech and anything. Just nervous or something, I guess. I want to help. Honest I do! Please!’

‘Well, I don’t want it. Leave! Go back to Heaven or wherever. You’ve caused enough damage. I don’t need any more around here.’

‘I’ll go and fix the power line right now. I said I would, didn’t I? Septimus bawled as he jumped up and fled to the door.

Mercy watched him go then dropping the fan, went into the kitchen. Her washing was still on the floor. Tutting, she picked it up and began hanging it up. From the corner of her eye, she saw a flicker of light and turned to the window. Frowning, she stepped closer and watched as the angel fried himself again on the live power lines. Shaking her head and putting her hands on her hips, she decided she had no choice but to go and help him again, least he get into more trouble.

Putting on her coat, she went outside and saw Septimus curled up on the floor shaking, his wings and robe with smouldering again and he looked miserable. Mercy tapped him with her boot and his eyes rolled to her face.

‘Come on,’ she said, ‘before you actually kill yourself.’

Slowly, they went to the water pump and she dumped cold water over him once more.

‘Seems, like I’m going to have to teach you a few things,’ she added.

The angel nodded, ‘I have a lot to learn.’

Last Christmas

Kelly sighed and looked around her living room, hours before it had been spotless and everything in place, now wrapping paper, cardboard and toys were scattered around. In front of the Christmas tree her two toddler boys were sat filling their faces with chocolate. Normally, she wouldn’t have let them near the stuff, but this year everything had been different.

She glanced at the TV, which was only on for background noise really, a music channel was counting down the top a hundred Christmas songs and tunes that had been playing in the shops for the last month drifted around the room. In addition, were the sounds of her boys eating, laughing and talking in their still baby like voices. Kelly turned away from it all and to the wall.

The cream coloured wall paper was lined with framed photos, though dark patches stated that some were now missing. She felt tears prick her eyes and she quickly wiped a hand over her face and hair. Still, she felt a bubble in her throat and before she could stop her train of thoughts, her mind had cast back to last year. How different that day had been!

Last Christmas they had been a family and everything had been perfect. The boys had been angels and grateful for their presents as a two year old and four year old could be. Kelly had been heavily pregnant, due at the end of January with a girl, and sat on the sofa watching all the joy. Her boyfriend, Adam, of ten years and the most wonderful father, had been sat on the floor with the boys setting up the wooden train track. This is my perfect moment, Kelly had thought and then it had all gone to Hell as her waters broke and they had rushed into hospital.

Her perfect moment had become her year of disaster and even now she was still picking up the pieces.

‘Look, mummy!’

She turned and saw her youngest standing before her, chocolate covering his hands and face. He was holding a book and trying to show her a picture inside the pages. Rolling her eyes, she picked him up, placing him into her lap and helping him with the book.

‘What is it?’ she asked.

‘Look,’ he said, turning the pages and pointing at the first image of The Grinch.

‘Shall we read it?’

He nodded and held the book open for her with sticky hands. His brother came to join them and as they cuddled on the sofa, reading the book aloud, Kelly decided she would make a fresh start for herself and the kids in the New Year.

Rocky Robin

She glanced up at the window as a strange tapping and flapping of wings rattled against the glass. There was a flurry of brown feathers and a flash of red reflected beneath the curtain. She got up from her bed and went to see what had happened. Drawing the curtains, she saw the branches of the birch tree that grew in her back garden and nestled on the closest branch was a small bird.

Puzzled, she stared hard at the robin, who appeared to be staring back at her. Then she went to her bedside table. As her finger reached out to switch the radio on, the tapping and flapping started up again. She turned quickly and caught the robin struggling against the window. It seemed the small bird was in desperation to break through the glass and enter her bedroom. After a few seconds the robin gave up once more and jumped back on to the branch.

‘What’s up with you? Silly thing.’ she tutted.

She turned on the radio then went over to her wardrobe. She began pulling out clothes and tossing them on her bed. The song on the radio finished and there was a quick news report.

‘What to wear…?’ she placed her hands on her hips and stared at the clothes before her.

The tapping cut through her thoughts and looking at the window she saw the robin was back again. Sighing, she went over to the window and opened it. The robin darted away, moving to the other side of the tree.

‘What’s wrong with you?’ She called, ‘there’s nothing for you here.’

She left the window open, but drew the curtains. She began to get dressed as the song on the radio changed. She hummed the first few notes then stopped as the voice broke through the music and began singing.

‘How strange.’ she muttered as her room filled with the dancing music.

As the chores came in, she picked up the words as she finished putting on her blouse and skirt. She went over to the window and as she drew back the curtain, she saw the robin sitting on the window sill, his head on one side as if he was listening to her.

‘Oh, wow, you’re a pretty thing, aren’t you?’

The robin took flight and moved back to his branch.

‘This song is about you,’ she began then a memory hit her…

The last notes of Rockin’ Robin drifted out of the window and her mind wondered with it…..

‘….But Jane, you must come!’

She paused in eating her fruit salad, ‘it’s not my scene.’

‘Nothing ever is your scene, Jane. You’re such a workaholic!’

‘It’s just silly, Becky,’ she answered and put an apple slice in her mouth.

Becky sighed and began to fidget with her short blonde hair. The kettle clicked and Becky poured the hot water into six mugs on a tray.

‘I’m busy that night anyway,’ Jane picked up.

‘Of course you are,’ Becky replied coldly.

‘I’ve nothing to wear either. The whole thing is pointless!’

‘It’s the Christmas do….’

Jane snorted and turned her head away. Becky muttered something under her breath then left the kitchen with the tray. Jane went back to her desk and was busy typing up account information, when there was a knock at her door.

‘Come in,’ she called.

The door opened and the noise of the office flood in. She glanced up as a young man shuffled towards her desk. He looked out of place with his torn jeans and long t-shirt. In his hand he clutched a parcel and some letters. She stared at him, wondering if he was lost or if she should call security.

‘Hi, I’ve some things for Mr. Quagmire.’

She didn’t reply.

‘Erm….I’m new here. Downstairs, I mean. In the post room.’

‘Oh?’ she said and took her finger off the security button, ‘I’ll take them then.’

He placed the parcel and letters on her desk, ‘I’m Robin Sands.’

‘Miss Coy,’ she replied coldly. She stood up from her desk and gathered the letters and parcel.

‘Miss….?’

She tutted, ‘Excuse me.’

She walked out and towards the other door. She knocked then entered her boss’s room.

‘Well…it was nice to meet you too,’ Robin said cheerily and left.

*

‘This is going to be so much fun! You’ll see,’ Becky chatted away as Jane put on her makeup.

‘Remind me again, why am I doing this?’

‘Because we need to let our hair down and you look so great! All colourful and Christmassy.’

Jane studied herself in the mirror, ‘I have to agree with you….but still, I look awful in anything but black, white and grey.’

Becky sighed and pulled Jane to her feet, ‘This red really suits you though.’

Jane cast her eye down the short red dress.

‘Can I put the tinsel in your hair now?’

‘No.’

‘Come on, Jane, lighten up.’

‘But tinsel is trashy and my hair’s fine like this.’

Becky giggled, ‘You’ll stand out a mile, if I don’t…’

‘Oh, all right then, but don’t make me look silly.’

Jane sat down once more at her dresser and Becky quickly set to work with the tinsel.

At the party, Jane stood in the corner, sipping from her plastic cup of fruit punch and watching the office staff dancing around the desks. Christmas music flowed out of the CD player and voices rose in song to the familiar music. Jane looked out of the window. The city lights sparkled against the night sky and flashing Christmas decorations stood out on the sides of buildings.

‘Hi. Miss Coy, right?’

She turned and frowned at him.

‘We meet a few days ago. Robin? Remember?’

‘Not really….’ she turned back to the window.

‘I was delivering things to your boss? I just started working here.’

‘Yes, I think I remember now.’

‘Good. So do you want a drink?’

‘I’m fine thanks,’ she faked smiled.

Robin had his hands in his pockets, he glanced over his shoulder then back at her.

‘Want to dance?’

‘No.’

The song changed and drunken voices rose out of tune to the music.

‘Well, I’m going to then,’ Robin answered and walked away.

‘Jane! Jane! Come join in!” Becky shouted across the room, fighting her away over.

‘I’m good here, thanks,’ she said quickly.

Becky grabbed her hand, ‘come on, they’re going to make a conga line now.’

‘Really, I’m fine.’

‘Who were you talking to?’

‘No one,’ Jane replied and finished off her drink.

‘He looked cute.’

‘I’ve no idea what you’re going on about. You’re drunk, Becky.’

‘So is everyone else. Now come and dance!’

‘What? To Santa Claus is coming to town? I don’t think so….’

‘They’ll change it to rockin’ around the Christmas tree in a minute, come on, sour puss.’

‘You’re not going to let me get out of this are you, B?’

‘No,’ Becky laughed loudly.

Jane set her empty cup down on a computer and let Becky led her into an empty space.

‘Hey, I thought you didn’t dance?’

She turned at the sound of voice and found Robin standing behind her.

‘She doesn’t,’ Becky cut in, ‘I’m forcing her too.’

They both laughed.

‘Do you know each other?’ Jane shouted over the music.

‘Yes,’ Becky replied, ‘he’s the new message boy.’

Someone cut the song off and put another on, much to the compliant of a number of voices.

‘Oh no,’ Robin sudden cried out and grabbed Jane’s hands.

‘What’s wrong, Rob?’ Becky said quickly.

‘This song…..I can’t stand it.’

‘Why not?’ Jane sniffed, snatching her hands back.

‘It’s Rockin’ Robin.’

‘Of course,’ Becky burst into laughter, ‘And you’re Robin!’

‘Quick, we must leave!’ Robin grabbed Jane’s hand and pulled her away.

‘Hold on a minute!’

‘No, they’ll start on me any second! Look at her.’

Jane glanced at Becky, who was now doubled over with laughter.

‘She’s just drunk.’

‘They all are!’ Robin yelled in her ear, ‘Come on.’ He dragged her out of the room.

‘But where are we going?’

‘Anywhere, but here!’

They were running through the street, laughing loudly, like children set loose in a park. Jane stopped and took her high heels off.

‘What are you doing?’ Robin called from the street corner.

‘What’s it look like?’

‘You’ll get holes in your stockings.’

‘So?’ Jane called as she skipped to his side, ‘I’ll just buy new ones.’

He laughed and bent his head to kiss her.

She ducked out of his way and stepped across the road, ‘Do you drink wine?’

‘Sometimes,’ he said following her.

Jane walked backwards across the road; swing her shoes in her hand.

‘Come back to mine then. I have a few bottles.’

‘Don’t you think you’ve drunk enough?’

‘I had two cups of that punch and I can handle my drink.’

‘I bet you can,’ he laughed.

‘To mine then,’ she smiled and linked arms with him, ‘Tell me about the post room.’

*

Jane rolled over and began to try and detangle herself from the bed sheets. She groaned loudly then climbed out of the bed. She ran a hand through her hair and yawned. Suddenly the mist of sleep vanished from her eyes and she looked down.

Crying out, she dived for her wardrobe and quickly pulled her dressing gown on. She fastened the belt and looked at the bed. A still form was curled up on the other side.

‘Oh no….’ she breathed and looked down at the floor.

Her clothes and his were mixed together and scattered around the bed. She began to pick up her crumbled things.

‘Can I have a coffee?’ a muffled voice asked.

She glanced through the wooden end board of the bed at him.

‘No,’ she snapped.

‘I’ll make it myself then….’

As Robin began to get out of the bed Jane threw his shirt at him. ‘Get out!’

Robin froze, ‘What?’

‘Get out! This is my house and I want you to leave right now!’

Robin frowned and pulled on his shirt, ‘But why? What about last night?’

‘That was last night! Now leave before I phone the police!’

‘All right, All right.’

Jane stormed out of the room, leaving him to get dressed.

‘I’ll just go shall I?’ Robin called from the front door.

‘Yes,’ Jane yelled back.

Robin left, slamming the door closed behind him.

*

‘You did what?’

Becky’s voice echoed in her ears as Jane cried over the phone to her.

‘I don’t know,’ she gushed, ‘I can’t remember anything.’

‘Well, where is he now?’

‘Gone….I kicked him out.’

‘Oh, Jane, I’m sorry. Do you want me to come over?’

‘No, no, I’ll be fine.’

‘I still can’t believe you. He’s only eighteen, you know.’

‘What?’ Jane stopped sniffing into her hanky.

‘Robin, he’s only eighteen. He’s working part time, earning money to put himself through college. He wants to build planes.’

A fresh wave of tears suddenly burst forth, ‘I’m nearly forty. Oh my God, I’m old enough to be his mother!’

‘Now, Jane! Don’t talk like that! Jane?’

She dropped the phone and rushed off to the bathroom…….

……Jane switched off the radio and casting a last look at the robin on the branch she walked out of the room and off to her new job.

Peace

beach december uk snow - Google Search

O’Malley shivered in his winter coat and hurried over to the almost buried car. Behind him, he could hear his radio in the tractor broadcasting another weather report. He didn’t really trust all the forecasts, but last night’s had been on the money. He wiped the frozen snow off a door window and peered inside. All he saw was darkness, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t anyone inside.

He wiped a drift of snow of the front window and looked more closely. The car was empty. Letting out a relieved breath, he made his way to the next car. His boots sank into the snow, making a loud crunching sound. He removed the snow faster off this one and discovered it empty as well.

Smiling, O’Malley went back to his tractor and climbed inside. Starting up the engine, he set off again at almost a turtle’s pace. He glanced back in his mirror at the cars and noted that they were the fourth and fifth cars he had come across. Over the next hill he saw a church and knowing the vicar there, decided to call upon him.

Pulling the tractor up and cutting the engine, O’Malley jumped out and walked through the snow covered graveyard and to the door. Opening it, a blast of warm air hit his face and he could smell candle wax. Walking in, he found a group of people sat in the front pews, with the vicar and his wife tending to them. He nodded, knowing these were the people from the cars and that because the church had given then sanctuary in the night, they all had survived.

these were the people from the cars and that because the church had given then sanctuary in the night, they all had survived.

Bauble

I don’t know what it is, nor why the humans seemed so fascinated by it, maybe it’s because it smells so awesome? Humans aren’t really known for their sense of smell though, not unless you did something stinky in the corner or brought something already decayed inside. Those things just can’t be helped though and don’t humans have an indoors room where they go about their business anyway?

Perhaps, if my kitten-hood had been different I would have known about this event called ‘Christmas.’ I was born wild and rescued- reluctantly, I might add- from the abandoned farm shed, my mother had decided to call home. My memories of that place are dim, but I remember the animal shelter well enough. Thankfully, I got rescued –very willingly, of course-from that place and now I have a good home with two big and one little humans.

When they first brought the tree in, I hide and shyly watched them from behind the table leg. They put the tree in a bucket placed in the corner of the big chairs room and seemed very excited about it. Next, there came the boxes filled with wonderful objects. I was eager to investigate, but stayed away because of all the noise. I’ve only just gotten use to the kitchen machines. It’s the rolling, sucky monster that scares me the most though. Why must humans have everything so clean all the time?

They put the objects on to the tree, chatting loudly, though the only words I understood were; tree and lights. The human vocabulary is still beyond me. After a very long time, in which I took a nap and ate the rest of my breakfast, they were finished and had come away. Ignoring me, they went about their day and I stalked the tree. Some objects were low enough for me to smell and touch. Light bounced off shinning balls and other things I don’t know the names of.

I pressed my nose to one of the balls, it moved gently. I touched it with my paw and it moved more. Ah! A game! Just like the humans tease me with toys. Batting the ball about, I spun to the floor, laying on my back and play biting the ball as I pressed all my paws to it. Rolling to the side, the ball came with me and I jumped in surprise. The ball trundled away and stopped. I stared, then took up my pounce stand and went after it. Grabbing the rope at the top, I threw it and the ball landed in the tree branches.

Glancing about, to make sure the area was still clear, I dived after it and straight into the tree. The leaves stung me, though not painfully and I forced my way through and climbed to the top. Balancing there, I could see the whole room and actually, if I moved down a few branches, I could nestle inside the tree and still perfectly see. Maybe, the humans brought this in here for me? Though it’s not as comfy as my bed basket and the ‘toys’ are not as good as my mice or feather stick, but still, I could get use to this.