Apple Tree

I looked up at my neighbour’s apple tree and my mouth started to water. The thought of the first bite of sweet crispiness called to me and it was a temptation I answered.

I pressed against the wooden fence and cast through the leaves. There were a lot of apples on the branches that over hung my garden. A few apples were in easy reach too but I wanted one that was ready.

The lowest apples were the ones that had seen less sun and they were not ready. The highest ones were but they were out of my arms reach and it would be too suspicious if I stood on a ladder.

I choice an apple that was at the height of my reach. It’s red and green colours were splashed together and it felt heavy in my palm. A quick twist and it was mine!

The barking started before I could officially claim my prize. I looked across my neighbour’s garden and saw their dog. It was a terrier mix and making one hell of a racket.

I swiftly lowered my arm and put the apple into my pocket. The dog bounced over, knowing he’s territory had been entered and he slammed into the fence.

Shooing the dog away was useless and I know my neighbour would appear to see what the noise was about because their back door was open. Hopefully, they would think it was a bird the dog was chasing after.

I rushed back to the lawn mower I had abandoned and turned it on. The engine drowned out the dog’s barking and I hurried about my task once more.

A few minutes later, I had finished and packed away the lawn mower in the shed. The dog had stopped barking. Sitting on the shed’s step, I took out the stolen apple and had my first bite.

It was just as good as I had imagined.

Over D.I.U-ing It#CCC

The hammering woke Mrs. Long before her alarm clock could. She rolled over, reaching for her husband but he wasn’t in bed next her.

Getting up, she crossed the room to draw back the curtains and swung the window opened. Looking down into the garden, she saw her husband. He was removing the rotting back fence.

‘What are you doing now, Tom?’ Mrs Long called.

He turned, peered up at her and shout back, ‘what does it look like I’m doing woman?’

Mrs Long shut her mouth before the angry reply could escape. She closed the window and walked away, thinking that she couldn’t wait for her husband to return to work so she could have some peace.

 

(Inspired by; https://crispinakemp.com/2020/08/26/crimsons-creative-challenge-94/ with thanks).

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.

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!’

Strawberries

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Nothing sums up summer like a bowl of strawberries fresh from your own garden, sat on a table with a jug of cream beside them.

Drinks At Sunset

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The birds were singing the last songs of the day but it was still hot and hazy outside. I lent back in the garden lounger and looked at the wax crayon blue sky. It had been a beautifully day, one of this days ‘miracle’ like days that seem only to be in films.

Shutting my eyes, I relaxed into the heat, wishing and not for the first time that day, that I had a swimming pool to be dipping my feet into. We had had one in the last holiday villa we had stayed at. Oh, how it had been glorious to sit on the edge of the pool, legs in the cool water and sipping some sweet drink whilst the sun set behind the palm trees.

England didn’t really allow that setting. We didn’t have constant sun and heat that other European countries did. Still, on the rare days like this….

The clicking of ice against a glass made my eyes flicker open. My husband was stepping out of the house, two glasses of some pink fizz in his hands. He came over and hand me a glass, I smelt the hint of fruits and took a sip.

‘Something light and sweet for this hot evening,’ my husband explained.

‘What is it?’ I asked twisting the glass in my hand to inspected the drink.

Bubbles coated the sides of the glass and others raced to the surface fizzing and popping. Mint leaves floated along side the chunky ice cubes and the colour was a light pink hinting at the taste summer berries.

‘My own invention,’ my husband replied.

I took another few sips, nodded and spoke, ‘ I love it.’

D.I.Y

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Crossing another task of my long list of them, I looked through the pages; some computer typed and others handwritten which were stabled together, at the other jobs there. They were all D.I.Y tasks like; paint the fence, fix the bottom draw in the kitchen, put the wheel back on the shelf unit, replace the doorbell.

It was was strange to think that once I hardly had the time or else I would say I’d do it tomorrow and now I needed to fill the daytime up because my job was on hold. What better way to pass the time then getting through my lists?

Everyone else was in the same place and constantly I would hear the whirl of drills, the teeth-on- edge scrapping of a spade against rocks and the blasting chugging of a chainsaw. Voices would drift from other back gardens; children playing, neighbours talking loudly over their fences and the wind slapping shut doors.

I frowned over a scrawling of words at the bottom of the list but couldn’t make them out. The one below it appealed to me more then anything else; build wood plants for herbs and butterfly/bee liking flowers.    

That sounded like a nice thing to get making.

Light

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The garden was alive. Birds were singing merrily, bees were buzzing around the blooming flowers but I wasn’t interesting. I could see the beauty of it from my back door and the way the sunlight caused a cast of shadows against the walls and flagstones.

The air was heavy with flowers, grass, damp earth and somewhere a faint hint of burnt toast. No doubt from one of my neighbours who was rushing through breakfast. I hadn’t eaten, couldn’t face the idea of food yet. I had a few sips of water and that was enough for the moment. Later, I would have a cup of tea and a biscuit.

There was nothing  wanted to do today. TV was a boring old friend, going on about the same problems. The radio was a drone of sounds that washed each other out. The birds would start to annoy me soon, they seemed too happy, too caught up in spring joy.

Why couldn’t I be as happy as them? What did they do that made then feel so good?

I stepped outside, feeling the sun like hot bath water around me. The sky was a crystal blue, too pure to be real. The flowers were too brightly coloured. They swayed in the breeze as if nodding to each other. Bees visited the blooms and carried pollen away, they large fuzzy bodies cute like children’s TV characters.

I breathed deeply and sat down in a somewhat abandoned plastic garden chair.

I didn’t want to live in the shadows anymore, the light was so much better.

Post It Note Short

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The garden centre is closing, discount sales on all plants, how useful is that for your new garden! Go now!

The Butterfly Princess – A Children’s Story

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Once upon a time, a young Princess lived in a vast kingdom and her home was the mighty castle that stood at the heart of the country.

She lived with her parents; the King and Queen, nine siblings, many uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, other relatives and an army servants. The family were extreme close and enjoy being together.

One early autumn day, the young Princess and some of the other children were playing outside in the castle’s huge maze of gardens. The girls were catching butterflies and dragonflies whilst the boys hunted for beetles, worms and bugs.

The young Princess caught a very pretty butterfly that had many different reds, oranges and yellows on the wings.

‘I wish I could be like you, butterfly and know what it’s like the fly,’ the Princess whispered.

When the Princess went to bed that evening, her back hurt and she couldn’t settle to sleep. Her skin felt itchy and burning. She called for her Nanny – who was one of many in the castle- by ringing the bell by her bed.

Nanny came at once and looked at the Princess’ back.

‘Nettle rash? Or ivy? Perhaps something else?’ Nanny pondered, ‘well, whatever it is, here is some of Nanny’s magic lotion. It will cool and soothe and make that rash gone!’

The Princess nodded and let Nanny cover her upper back in a sweet smelling lotion.

That night the Princess hardly slept. She tossed and turned, not able to get comfy because her back hurt too much. She felt like her skin was on fire and began crying. The Princess rang the bell for Nanny and a maid then sat wailing till they arrived.

Nanny came and looked again at the Princess back. The skin was bright red and looked like it was bubbling.

‘Not a rash then. Sunburn?’ Nanny wondered, ‘don’t worry, Princess! Nanny has something for everything.’

Turning to the maid, Nanny asked for, ‘cold water, clean cloths and some warm milk.’

They washed the Princess back, put on a different lotion then wrapped her up. The princess sipped the warm milk then lay on her stomach and finally fell to sleep.

In the morning, the young Princess was running a fever and her back was worse. The King and Queen came to see her then sent for a doctor- the best in the kingdom. When he arrived, he was puzzled and declared that the Princess must have sat too close to a fire and had burnt her back.

Nanny disagreed with him but what else could it be?

The doctor give some medicines, instructions and left to see the King’s father who had come down with a bad cold.

By that night the Princess felt little better but her back was still bad and she couldn’t lay down on it. As she tried to get some rest, she felt something moving over her shoulder blades.

Ringing for Nanny, the Princess crawled out of bed and made it across her bedroom to a big mirror. She looked at her back but it was wrapped up and she couldn’t see it.

When Nanny arrived, the Princess told her but Nanny thought she was still feverish.

However, when the Princess awoke in the morning, her back felt like someone was cutting into it and she took the bandages off to see.

There on her back, growing out of her shoulder blades were a tiny pair of black wings!

The Princess gasped and called for Nanny and maid.

‘Look at my back!’ the Princess cried to them, ‘I have wings!’

‘Go and get the King and Queen at once!’ Nanny snapped at the maid, who hurried off to do so.

‘They are real!’ the Princess cried and she tried to move them.

‘How did this happened?’ Nanny muttered.

The King and Queen came and when they saw the wings they wondered if their daughter had been cursed by an evil witch. They decided they would have to seek magical help and the Princess would have to stay in her bedroom and no one would be allowed near her.

The Princess wasn’t happy but no one would listen to her.

Over the next few days and nights the wings carried on growing until they were almost as tall as the Princess was. They were very pretty and brightly coloured in reds, oranges and yellows.

Lonely and bored, the Princess learned how to control the wings and when Nanny and maid were not around, the Princess would try to fly!

This took a lot of time but she began to get the hang of the wings.

Then one beautiful, full moon lit night, the princess decided she wanted to go and fly outside. She crept through the castle using many secret passages and servant corridors. Finally, she made it out into the kitchen gardens and without looked back, she hurried to one of the other gardens furthest from the castle.

There she felt the breeze tug on her wings and she knew what to do.

The Princess stepped up onto a stone bench, she fluttered her wings, closed her eyes,  concentrated and jumped into the air.

She opened her eyes and looked down, her feet were off the ground!

She flapped the wings and rose higher and higher! Soon she was flying over the gardens then over the castle, over the city and towards the moon.

The Princess felt thrilled, she had gotten her wish to fly!

She yawed and decided it was time to return to bed. The Princess flew back to the castle, landed in a garden and sneaked back to her bedroom. No one could ever know what she had just done!

For the first night in a month the Princess slept well.

When she woke in the morning, her back felt different, lighter. The Princess looked down and saw on either side her butterfly wings! They had fallen off in the night. She was a normal girl again.

The End.