Postcard Short Story

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Dearest friend,

We are having a great time here. Yesterday we hired bicycles and rode around the town and countryside. We stopped at a pub in the evening and someone stole my bicycle! Well, we didn’t know what do to and I decided to walk back to the hotel and let the others go ahead.

Then a local man pulled up on a bicycle, he was drunk but happy and apologised in broken English that he had taken my bicycle instead of his own! I was so happy, I forgave him on the spot. We shook hands, collected our correct bicycles and went on our separate ways.

This would never have happen back home and just shows how wonderful this country is!

Perhaps, one day I will move here fully.

Your’s truly.

Snails

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The snails had been eating Burt’s plants again. He signed and plucked away the nibbled leaves that reminded. Hopefully, some of the plants would survive if he give them some extra care.

As for the snails, Burt got some plastic sheeting out of his shed and some metal rods he had made for this job. He constructed a mini greenhouse cover over the plants and put wooden planks on the floor to weigh the sheet down and stop the snails getting underneath.

Burt would never put out poison. He didn’t believe that was the correct way to deal with nature. The snails were just hungry and they didn’t mean to eat his plants, it was just their way. So, he wouldn’t kill them but he would stop them from getting access and encourage the snails to move on.

Being in harmony was the best way to live.

Needy

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Why did I always go after the boys that needed saving? It was strange how I was drawn to that type of person, sometimes without even knowing about it.

Deleting the photos of my ex and I from my phone, I told myself I didn’t need him. He had been too clingy, too emotional and demanding. He was toxic and things would have only got worse between us.

I should have ended things months ago but I kept talking myself out of it. His words of, ‘I’ll kill myself if we break up’ and ‘you are the only thing that’s keeping me going’, repeatedly came back to me. Sadness and guilt overrode my wanting to say those last words to him.

Things had finished now. I had said what was needed, ‘I love you, Bennet but things aren’t working for us anymore. I don’t want to be your comfort blanket anymore. I’m sorry.’

Of course, he had broken down and tried anything he could to make me take back those words. The normally, I can change, I can do better, don’t want to lose you, why are you doing this to me? 

Maybe, if I hadn’t been through this so many times I would have given in like I had done before. I’d have cried, hugged him and said I was sorry and we would work something out. Then everything went back to how it was and the loop carried on. With Bennet I had learnt the cut of those other break ups too deeply and I stood my ground.

He spend days wearing me down, becoming desperate for us to be together again. Finally he phoned me and told me he was going to do it. It was going to kill himself. I told him I didn’t care and to go ahead. It was just an empty threat. Then I blocked his number.

So, I’m moving on. No more needy men for me. I’m staying single until I find someone who’s not going to abuse my caring nature like a numbing pill for their problems.

Someone who is more balanced and wanting to care more about me then themselves. Like a normal man. Maybe then, I won’t have to go through all this heartbreak again.

Post It Note Short

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Shopping list; baby yarn, knitting magazine, tea, fruit and hamster food. Orange juice, wine and chocolate. Can I also have some happy pills and a time skip into next year?

Dear Diary

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Dear Diary,

Today it rained all day which was great for the gardens but not for me because I wanted to sit outside. Instead, I sit in the window box on the landing and with a book, a teapot of tea and the cat.

The servants were all hurrying about because the housekeeper this morning received a letter saying father, step-mother and the twelve year old twins were returning home.

We hadn’t heard from them for the last few weeks and the last letter I got from father was dated Egypt, Cairo 1921, which said both the twins were sick with scarlet fever or something similar. They were staying at a hospital and would write with more news soon. 

My lady’s maid had received word from her sister who was my step-mother’s lady’s maid that one of the twins, Henry, had past away from the fever and George, just alive, was weak and unable to do anything. Plans were being made for the trip home.

We had no idea when my family would arrive but the hard nosed housekeeper had whipped everyone into action. The servants were cleaning everything within an inch of it’s life and there was so much noise and bustle it was like one of father’s factories.

That’s why I wanted to be in the garden. I would have been away from this madness! Instead, I had tried to keep out of the way and not demand so much.

I was home from boarding school and hadn’t wanted to go travelling from country to country. Normally, the exotic sights, smells and sounds would have made me desperate to go but I was heartbroken and only in the mood to mop around.

I told my father I would go and spend my time visiting family and friends, attending my studies and perhaps teaching others. It hadn’t really been a lie. I have been visiting people and I have been studying but I’ve been at home all the time and not embracing my freedom from school confinement.

The only person I have confided in as my maid. She is sworn to secrets but I know she’ll tell her sister. It’s just I think that happens, I remember telling my sister Mini everything. We’d crawl into each other’s beds and pull the sheets up and lay there whispering to each other. I wish I could tell Mini everything now. She’d understand and know what to do.

Perhaps, tomorrow I shall go and visit her grave. Take fresh flowers and talk to her. Then I could sit in the church and do some drawing or reading. The little church is lovely and quiet.

No doubt it’s where Henry will be buried. There was nothing in any letters about then bring his body back but I know they will do. Father would want him in the family crypt with Mini and mother, all the other babies and children that have been lost and relatives.

I wonder what the funnel will be like. Mini’s was bright and busy, so many people loved her. Her’s wasn’t the last through, it had been my step-mother’s and father’s third baby; she had lived a few days and then was just gone.

It makes me wonder how many losses I might have……

There’s enough time for that. Night is pressing on the windows, it’s even darker out there because of the rain. Perhaps, tomorrow will be sunny and I can walk in the gardens and forget all about this.

 

 

 

 

Steps #Writephoto

My granny use to say, ‘if these steps could talk what stories they’d tell!’

I’d laugh and say ‘tell me a story then.’

She would whilst we sat on those steps outside her house with the summer sun on our faces and people waving as they went by.

Granny would spin truth and fiction together, making her simple life exciting for my childhood self. There’d be stories of her dancing the night away with my granddad, long days working in the cotton factory down the road and her adventures as a nanny in London.

My favourite stories were the ones set in the war. Granny was a teenager and whilst her brothers, baby sister and mother moved away to the Devon to live with cousins, granny stayed in Manchester and worked in a factory making uniforms and other clothes for the soldiers.

There was something that fascinated me about that time. It seemed a different world with secrets still unknown.

Years and years later, the sad time arrived and granny’s house was for sale. My parents lived in Devon and though I had stayed in the Manchester for work, I had my own place. I did debate having my granny’s house but too much work needed to be done and I couldn’t offered that. It was easier to sell the place and try to move on.

‘Is there anything else you want to take?’ one of the moving men I had hired asked.

I looked back at the house and saw the front steps. I nodded and said, ‘I want those steps.’

The man was confused and I realised it did sound little silly.

‘I think that’s slightly above me,’ the man replied slowly.

Argument bubbled on my tongue but I swallowed and told him to go get the others and I’d help.

After, with the worn stone steps heaved into the moving van, the man told me that was properly one of the oddest things he’d had to shift.

My granny’s steps are outside my front door now. I sit on them with my own children and tell them all kinds of stories.

Some true and some not quite.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2020/07/30/thursday-photo-prompt-worn-writephoto/ with thanks.)

Late Night

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Just one more chapter, I tell myself as I lay in bed. Rain is patting against the window and I’m wrapped up cosy.

Just one more chapter, I say, turning the page and carrying on. The rain continues and the window mists over. I’m too comfy to move.

Just one more chapter, I declare, determined this time to make it so. Night peers in at me, her soft voice whispering me to sleep and the rain is my lullaby.

Just one more chapter, the book calls to me, how can you stop right now? I turn the pages read more and more until dawn’s light sends night to her rest.

Yellow

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I followed the girl in yellow through the woods. Sometimes, she would look over her shoulder as if she sensed me. I would pause and duck low, hoping the underbrush would hide me.

Through the trees we went, last autumn’s leaves decaying and silent under foot whilst spring flower pushed upwards. The wind stirred the young leaves and I moved away to keep my scent low.

A deer took fright and we both stopped to watch it leap between the trees and away.

The girl tugged her yellow hood up and bent her head to watch her footing.

I padded behind her, licking my lips. She was going to be tasty. Just like the girl in red.

Three To Dance

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The conjoined triplets waited for the signal to come onto the stage. They had longed for this moment since the dance teacher had told them she had made a part for them.

As the lead ballerina finished and the audience broke into clapping, the conjoined triplets stepped into the light.

Spy In the Garden

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I had to know what he was doing, it was like a addiction. I thought about him all the time since he’d left me. How was he doing? Was he eating okay? Did he have a new girlfriend yet?

I always tried to squish that thought down. Of course, he hadn’t moved on yet. He promised to always love me. How could there be anyone else?

From the bushes outside his parents’ house, I watched him sitting a table eating whilst his mother talk to him just out of view. I couldn’t hear what they were saying.

The bruises on his face were fading. He looked happier, he was smiling and nodding.

When was the last time he had smiled at me like that?

I balled my hands into fists, dried blood still in the lines and soil buried under my nails Anger filled me, burning in my chest like an immortal fire. I wanted him back. I needed him back! How could I live without him, my one true love?

I got out of the garden and went to the front door. I rang the bell.

Putting my hands behind my back, I fixed a smile on my lips and waited.

He answered the door.

His face turned white, his eyes growing large and his mouth trying to form words.

‘I’ve missed you, honey,’ I spoke in a breathy voice.

He shook his head and stumbled backwards.

‘Are you going to invite me in?’

‘You’re dead,’ he gasped out, ‘I killed you!’