The crash of wave and snap of sail sung to Desi as the sun set on another day. She had only a few minutes of watching the ships arriving or leaving the harbour before mother called her back into the inn. She had a good view sat on a little hill above the harbour and now the lamps were being lit too.
Stopping the wind from making noise with her skirts, Desi listened as sails were taken in or let loose. The whipping sounds of ropes and flapping of cloth mixed in with the creaking and slapping sounds of the sea against the ships’ sides made her long to be down there.
Desi shut her eyes and let the rumble voices of the men wash over her. She couldn’t hear what they were saying but she could imagine them repeating instructions, talking about their travels or suggesting which inns to visit this evening.
How she longed to be amongst them, traveling to other lands and escaping her dull life. But it wasn’t to be. Women couldn’t be sailors and many believed it was bad luck for them to even step aboard. Still though, Desi clung to her dream and maybe one day she’d be sailing away from here never to return.
The small river weaved it’s way around the banks and trees just as it always did. The soft, tinkling sounds the water made as it traveled over rocks and fallen branches was the constant background music to the woods.
The wind made itself know; shaking the newly flourishing branches, roughing up the young flowers and grass. The noises echoing, falling and raising again in an almost pattern like way. The wind blew across the surface of the river but it knew better then to mess with the water, for water is more powerful.
Shy animals scampered or fluttered about; birds in bushes, squirrels in trees, butterflies on flowers and rabbits nibbling grass outside their burrows. All could just be glimpsed if in the right place at the right time. They were heard far more then they were seen though.
I, the ancient but still mighty oak which all this around me, adding it to my fountain of knowledge. I towered over all the other trees; giving shelter to the saplings, home to many animals and a king to this patch of woodland. We were protected because man said I was over two hundred years old and must not be cut down.
With man doing their job, I was left alone to do mine.
It was a guilty pleasure of summer; ice cream on the beach. After months of being on a diet to fit perfectly into my bikini. The cold, sweet ice cream hit my tongue and I moaned quietly in pleasure. For a few seconds, I wondered if it was too sweet but then I swallowed and could only think about eating more.
I heard my boyfriend chuckling next to me and I glanced over at him as I went for another mouthful.
‘Diet broken?’ he asked, grinning at me.
All I could do was nod, my tongue sticky with ice cream.
‘I don’t mind you being a bit chubby,’ he added.
Shooting him a disgruntled look, I got back to enjoying my ice cream. There was nothing that could bet this cooling, sugar rush in my mouth. I shut my eyes and enjoyed the feeling in my mouth.
What was it about ice cream that made you feel so happy? And ice cream by the summer sea just made it more special. Maybe it was the sweet memories of childhood holidays? That small treat on a hot day?
Well whatever it was, it was worth breaking any diet for!
Irusu; pretending to be out when someone knocks at your door.
The door bell cut through Trudy’s chopping of carrots. She paused, wondering who that could be. Placing the knife down, she shuffled in her slippers towards the front door. It couldn’t the postman, he’d already been and she hadn’t order anything. Perhaps it was a neighbor?
As best her old body would allow, Trudy crept to the door and looked through the peephole. There were two women standing on the doorstep, they looked just a little younger then Trudy did. They were dressed smartly and held paper booklets in there hands.
Religious people, Trudy thought.
She debated a moment then decided she wasn’t interested and turned away. A rapping knock on the door followed and caused Trudy to glance back.
Did they see me? No, the new door is solid.
Trudy stood still in the hallway. The only window now was the small rectangle one above the door. It was far too tall for anyone to see in or out of.
I’m not in.
Shuffling off again, she pretended not to have heard anything and went back to the carrots.
Dysania; the state of finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning.
My phone alarm clock rang, breaking the pleasant dream I’d been having. I tried to ignore it but the noise was too loud. Reaching out, I felt for the bedside table and my phone. My fingers met only air.
Grumbling, I rolled over and tried the other side. My fingers hit my phone and without looking, I tapped the screen until the alarm stopped. Abandoning the phone, I snuggled back down. The heaviness of sleep wrapped around me. I drifted away, feeling only warm and safe.
I was shaken awake by the alarm again. Fighting the tangle of blankets, I searched blindly for my phone and heard a thudding noise. My phone lay on the floor, the alarm still going. I picked it up and hit the off button. It was half seven. Flopping back on the bed, I wondered why I’d set such an early alarm? Mornings had never agree with me, so I worked nights.
Still half sleep, I looked at my phone’s diary and saw I had a job interview at 9am. Things clicked together and I scrambled to get ready.
I was too old for chocolate Easter eggs. It was so hard resisting though when the shops were full of them. There was too much choice and that’s what put me off; do you go for plain and cheap? Fancy and expensive? Or something totally different like not chocolate but a egg made out of cheese!
I had to buy some for the grandchildren, there were six of them now. It wouldn’t be right them coming over and granny not having had a visit from the Bunny. It was always better to go for the Easter eggs that were cheapest choice or on a good deal. I got them last minute as I always did so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat them myself! This year, I went with a deal; three eggs for five pounds. They were good large ones too!
And I might have brought one for me….Well, you need to treat yourself more often when you are almost ninety!
I stopped before the rock and slightly tilted my head to one side as I pondered what to name this shape as. Around me other staff and volunteers were doing the same; standing before rocks and naming them. It was all in aid of our big push to encourage more visitors to the visit this section of moorland which was famous for it’s strangely shaped rock formations.
I ran a few different names through my head; the up turned wheel, the melting pot, the hole, the bowl…The Giant’s Bowl? That sounded kid friendly and the rock did kinda look like a mis-shaped bowl. All the names had to be approved anyway, so why not?
I jotted down on the map I had which showed little drawings of all the rock formations. I moved on to the next one which kinda looked like a tea cup on a plate if you saw it from a certain angle. With a shrugged, I named it The Giant’s Tea Cup. Sticking with that theme, I named a few other rocks close by then moved further out.
Two months later, everything had been approved and I was putting up name signs for The Giant’s Breakfast Table section of rock formations.
Perhaps, granddad had gone crazy in his old age. The Alzheimer’s hadn’t helped and he’d really lost it at the end. What he’d left me in his will had caused a chuckle but it had only given me a headache.
Hiking out to the middle of nowhere woods with dad, a marked up map and land deeds, hadn’t been my idea of fun. But here we where! I stepped down onto an old railway track. The metal rails all rusted and the rotten wood warped.
‘Well,’ my dad said, ‘he always had a passion for this place.’
‘What was he going to do with it?’ I asked.
‘What am I going to do with it now?’ I snapped back.
‘Maybe, you could build a house?’ my dad said over his shoulder at me.
I grumbled, ‘perhaps, thirty. Have my own real life mini train village. Shame he left me no money.’
I kicked a few stones and thought, Granddad’s passion for trains had really had the last laugh.
The road felt sharp under my bare feet. Ahead, all I could see was rolling mist and the outline of trees. I didn’t know where I was and there were no signs to guide me. There was only one thought in my head; keep running. Though, I had long ago stopped moving quickly as tiredness had set heavily in.
I should have tried to look for clues early on to figure out where they had taken me. My head though had been in a blind panic and there was only blurs of colour and patchy memories for me to reflect upon now. They had held me captive for so long, I wasn’t sure what the day or year was.
My mind shifted gears as the light around me changed. The mist seemed to lift and I stopped in wonder. Morning had arrived and was chasing the night away. I turned my face to the rising sun, embracing it with everything I had left.
I shouldn’t have been so shocked to find Egyptian mummies in my great-grandparents’ house but it was disturbing as they were the bodies of two toddlers and a possible still born baby. The two cats and bird I had found earlier, I didn’t mind so much, especially as I remembered them from childhood. Human reminds were just different.
All three mummies were wrapped safely in a wooden packing box that had faded foreign travel information on. I knew my great-grandparents had lived in Egypt for a few years, that was were they had met and began sharing their love of ancient history together. Over the years, they had amassed a huge collection of historical items.
Despite my gut instinct, I had to open the sarcophagi to know what was inside of them. All three had still wrapped bodies in them. The badges had yellowed, cracked with age and a musty dry smell like that of an old book wafted out. I closed the lids quickly and put them all back into the wooden crate. Then labeled what they were and that they should be donated to a museum.