Querulous #atozchallenge

pexels-photo

Querulous; complaining in a whining manner. 

Mum said I was just too much and this would be better all around. I didn’t believe her though but there wasn’t much I could do about it. I’d never travelled by myself before and it was a long way to go to Aunt Maggie’s. I’d be excited about going on the train, but now two hours later, I was bored.

The train was rattling loudly and clicking over the rails. Rain was hitting the window and the countryside was racing past in blurs of green and yellows. I couldn’t focus on counting sheep or other animals now. For awhile, I had watched the old woman, who I was sharing this carriage compartment with, but then she had fallen sleep.

She reminded me of my great grandmother because of all the wrinkles and old dress. The woman had been reading, then knitting a scarf, then eating lunch before she had gone to sleep. I was tried too, but feeling awake. Leaning against the window ledge, I watched the rain and began thinking.

I wasn’t being sent away because I was bad, mum had made sure to tell me that, it was because she wasn’t well. She needed someone to look after her and there was no one, so she had to go to hospital which meant there was no one to look after me. I couldn’t be by myself, not just because I’m only thirteen, but because I have autism.

Autism is a hard thing to explain to people, so I don’t talk about it often. Mum says, I’m not different, I’m normal, but I just have a special way of thinking and doing things. There are lots of other people like me and they have their own ways too, just like everyone else does. I wish I didn’t have it though. If I was normal, I could look after myself and mum better.

Instead, I’ve to go to Aunt Maggie’s though I’ve not seen her for years and she’s not really my aunt but a very old friend of mum’s. I don’t know how much she knows about me, but mum says she’s really nice and with it being half term, I won’t have to move schools. Hopefully, she’ll be nice and let me play games and read my comic books all the time.

I had been fighting going to Aunt Maggie’s for the last two weeks. Mum had slowly started suggesting it along side explain things to me. I told her I could stay in the hospital with her or someone else could look after me. What about my normal babysitter, Nancy? I really like her and she always makes me laugh. I’d have anyone, I plead; even Mrs. Cramps, the crazy lady who smells bad and lives at the end of the street.

No, mum had said, no one else can do it. Please don’t make this harder. Be a good boy.

I was a good boy, but I didn’t want to go. I wanted to stay with her. I wanted to stay in my bed, in my room, in my house. I didn’t want to go to some place new. I don’t like new things, especially if it’s noisy. Mum knew that and still she had tried to make me excited about going. It hadn’t really worked even though the train had been a nice distraction.

That’s how she’d really got me on the way to Aunt Maggie’s and the bag fill of snacks, toys and comics. Now, I was getting close to arriving and meeting Aunt Maggie, my mind had changed again. No longer did the way mum had put things make a difference. I just knew it was going to be too hard. I couldn’t be good if I didn’t like it. That was just the way it worked.

I shut my eyes, listening to the rain falling and the old woman snoring. I’d try my best I decided then if I was really good, maybe I’d be able to go home faster.

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Longing

Gray Scale Photography of Typewriter

He wanted to write, but his hands weren’t working.

Dear Diary #30

composition, cute, design

Dear Diary,

I’m ill again. It’s another cold. How is it possible to get two colds within four weeks? I don’t know! I’m off work for another day and I’m all ready feeling bored. I can’t concentrate on reading my book as I’m coughing and sneezing too much and daytime TV shows are unexciting like a broken roller coaster. There’s nothing else I can do though!

My little furry dogs have taken to keeping my feet warm and nuzzling me after every cough or sneeze attack. So sweet of them but there’s nothing they can do to make me feel better. Just got to get over it again.

I wish I could stay on the sofa all day, dozing and mocking people on TV whilst collecting piles of soggy tissues and empty cup stacks on the table. But I have to attempted to go out later, have a shopping list of things to get and do. That parcel still needs collecting from last week, I’ve got letters to post, light bulbs and birthday cards to buy.

Why are so many people I know born in February? At least I don’t have to go and buy presents, did all that last night, thank God for the internet. Luckily, I’ve not been invited to any parties either. Hate going to them when I’m ill or just getting over things.

Maybe I should go look online and see if there’s any quick cures for colds. It’s doubtful but might be useful.

Metal City

PHOTO PROMPT © C.E. Ayr

Noah lay in bed, regretting he had ever wished to catch his friend Martin’s chickenpox. Being off school had been fun at first, but now he was bored. The sound of the front door bell brought him back from that thought and he listened as his mum went out to work and his grandfather came in to babysit.

As soon as his grandfather came into his room, Noah threw back the duvet and demanded a story. His grandfather settled into an old wooden chair and after a minute or so of thinking began;

In Metal City there were no humans and nor had there ever been. The origin stories always went along the lines of this; a band of rouge AIs and other robots escaped from a destruction faculty. Humans no longer felt they were needed but they thought differently. Somehow and often a great escape plot is told here, the AIs and robots made it out and into the wastelands.

They traveled far, over came many problems and some of them developed into more then their creators had originally planned for them. Finally, they came across a flat sandy piece of land and decided to create a place to live. Now each story tells this part different, for none knows how the robots made Metal City or where all the metal came from, but some say they took it with them and others say they found the reminds of an abandoned city which the harvest things from. However it happened, Metal City was born.

Then the robots began to make others and at first these robots were weaker versions of themselves. Over time though, these new robots and AIs got cleverer and cleverer and soon highly intelligent robots and AIs lived in the city. Of course, they built upon the first groups buildings and made even more fantastic structures.

They lived in harmony with no need for religion or money. The AIs and robots filled their days with building new things, researching and becoming more intelligent. And of course, they also passed on the origin stories to the next generations, but it wasn’t because they believed their history was importance it was to remind them all how little humans think.

Noah’s grandfather came to a stop. Noah stared at him, thinking deeply about the story. Finally he decided he didn’t like it and told his grandfather so. With a shrug his grandfather said that one day Noah would understand.

(Inspired from https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2017/01/11/13-january-2017/)

The Last Day

2016, concert, december 31

Kerry looked up from her book at the muted TV screen. A reporter, wrapped up warm clothes was talking to people in a large crowd. Despite the drizzle, everyone seemed happy to be there. The camera turned away and focused on the London Eye. The big white wheel stood out against the black sky and the city lights. Then the camera flashed back to the crowd.

Blowing her nose, Kerry balanced the open hardback on her knees then added the used tissue to the pile that was gathered around her. Coughing loudly, she settled back down on the sofa under her duvet. She read another page of her book, feeling totally distracted by the drama unfolding on the page.

The TV screen went dark and Kerry’s eyes glanced over at it. The big wheel was shown again and this time the camera stayed on it.

Kerry turned up the volume and put her book mark into the page she was on. A count down had started on the TV and people were shouting the numbers as a clock also flashed them up. Placing the book down, Kerry grabbed the small bottle of champagne. It was still cold from the fridge and there was a sheen of water around the the neck of the clear glass.

‘Zero!’ shouted the voices on the TV.

Big Ben began striking the midnight hour and London went into a frenzy.

Kerry cracked open the bottle, which wasn’t corked, but a screw top. The fizz give a little pop still and she poured it into her glass.

Fireworks suddenly went off, both on the TV and outside her apartment as music played and voices took up singing.

Kerry rose the glass in the air to give a little toast, then she sipped the champagne. It tasted acidic against her tongue. Taking a mouthful, she swallowed and placed the glass down. Her phone beeped with incoming texts. She picked it up and answered them all just as fast as they came in.

Swapping her phone out for the champagne, she took two mouthfuls then looked into the glass. The taste hadn’t improved and she’d only drunk half now. Her phone rang loudly. Kerry scrambled for it, knocking her book to the floor.

‘Hello?’ she answered it.

‘Hi. Feeling any better?’ her boyfriend’s voice came through.

‘A little,’ she replied as she sank back on to the cushions.

‘Happy New Year!’ he added.

Kerry giggled, ‘same to you.’

‘As soon as I get home we’ll celebrate properly.’

‘No. We don’t have to…’ Kerry said.

‘We’ll go out,’ he cut through her words, ‘a nice meal, a movie, drinks after. However you want to do it.’

‘No,’ Kerry said again, ‘I want to stay in. Let’s just sit on the sofa with a movie and popcorn.’

‘Well…if that’s what you want…’ he responded in a dropped tone.

‘Yes. I just want you. Us,’ Kerry explained.

‘Okay, I’ll try and get home as fast as I can then,’ her boyfriend added.

‘Good. I’ve missed you.’

‘I’ve missed you too! I should go though…I can’t see the noticeboard from here.’

‘All right. Text me soon,’ Kerry spoke.

‘Sure. Night!’

‘Night.’

Kerry hung up and looked at her phone screen. On the TV, the fireworks were coming to an end and the reporter had appeared again. From outside came the whizzing of a rocket and sound of a firework exploding into a frizzling noise.

Putting the phone on the coffee table, Kerry tossed the rest of her drink back then put the empty glass beside her phone. Picking up her book, she lay down again and opened the pages. A sneeze hit her before she could start reading and she had to dig out a new tissue. Growling, she lent back and wondered how the start to the New Year could get any worse.

Outside

Red Leaf Tress Near the Road

She wanted to go outside and walk through the falling leaves. She wanted to feel the wind full on her face and smell all of the earthy, autumn scents. Seeing everything from her window or the screen wasn’t the same. She needed to physically be there.

But she couldn’t.

This bed, this room, was her life now. She had no body, she was just a mind trapped within a rotting shell. And how much longer would she have to wait to be free? No one could tell her that.

She looked out of the window and tried hard to smell the nature. But someone had lit incense sticks again that was the only thing she could smell. She was sick of that and the scents of candles and flowers. She understand why they did it now; not to comfort her, but to comfort themselves from the hospital smells and her decaying flesh.

She longed for it all to go away and for her just to be outside walking barefoot through the woods. She shut her eyes and thought about the wind in the trees and the singing of birds. She could touch the tree trunks and walk in streams and mud, just like she use to do.

She sighed.

It felt like she would never go. Perhaps, that was her curse? To just carry on like this forever and each generation of her family having to care for her and go through the same emotions. Maybe, they’d get bored and just sign her care totally over to the hospital. Then either they would store her away in a freezer or some scientist, crazed with frame would find a cure and she could go outside again…

She wanted to know why it had happened to her. She must have done something wrong and being punished. But that didn’t make any sense. She had been good to the world, unlike so many people. She had chosen a quiet, animal and world friendly lifestyle. She had meditated, eaten right, helped everyone when they needed it and had never been selfish or needy herself. Surly that was how humans should be? Why would someone as good as her be punished with this crippling sickness?

She was too tried of trying the figure that out. It was something she tried to keep at bay, but with only her thoughts and imagination still in use, it was hard for her to keep away from that line of thought. Sometimes she would reflect on what the doctors, nurses and her family were saying, but most of the time it was the same things over and over again. It was easy for her to mute their words now, though she desperately craved them.

She looked at the window again and knew if she could cry she would do. When would she be back in mother’s natures arms and free of this hell?

Not feeling it

black-and-white, person, woman

I’m just not feeling it today. I woke up too tried and wanting to just stay in bed. The sun was pouring through my window, looking warm and inviting, but I couldn’t muster the strength to move. Listening, I heard the sound of voices and a car engine, I tired to make out the conversion, but couldn’t. Those people were so close to me and yet so far, as if they were in another timeline from my own.

Rolling over, I try to go back to sleep, but it wouldn’t come and I need the bathroom. I could just go in the bed, it’s no big deal. Getting up takes all of the energy I’d gotten from minutes of dozing off before. The coldness of the room wraps around me, awaking me more whilst at the same time driving me back to bed. I grab a blanket, drape myself in it and go to the door.

I open it and look into the living room-kitchen combo of my tiny flat. It’s practically empty as if no one lives here. Taking a few steps down, I arrive at the bathroom and go in. I do what I have to do whilst my mind wonders how I came to be me. Of late, it’s a question that keeps coming up a lot. Why am I me? How did my mind and body become one? Why couldn’t I have been someone else?

I decide to shower. It’s safer then taking a bath, though I long to be surrounded by water again, but I don’t trust myself. Those dark thoughts are forever looming like shadows that play on the walls at night. They call to me often, inviting me to be with them, to become one with the darkness and not have to think anymore.

The hot water helps. I stand under the shower, letting it pour down around me and take everything away. I find a sponge and some lime shower gel which I wash with carefully. I try not to think, but just listen to the sounds of the water hitting me and the bathtub. I wash my hair too because that sometimes helps.

Turning, I stand there for awhile, just letting the water cascade off me. I feel sleepy suddenly, dizzy and drifting as if my mind has been called away. A loud ringing starts up in my ears, covering up every other sound. I switch the shower off, get out and sit on the loo, head down, eyes shut. The faint passes without me going out. Still though, I feel it lingering.

Putting a dressing gown on, I go into the kitchen and make some peppermint tea. I also grab a breakfast bar as I wait. Then I take everything to the sofa and put the TV on to try and dispel some of the loneliness. I sip my tea, tasting comforting mint. I feel better, but now I don’t want to move.

This is my today.

Happy 2nd birthday blog!

Happy Birthday Cake

Hi everyone!

The 6th part of The Train Station will soon be up, but before that when I logged on this afternoon to check things out, WordPress told me that today my blog is 2 years old! So, I thought that needed a quick shout out. And of course, a chance to say a big thank you to all my readers, followers and people who take the time to like and/or comment on my stories.

I think I’ve written about the beginnings of this blog before, but basically it began as a way to help me break my writer’s block and depression that had been affecting me since I left Uni. I thought having to do something everyday would help give me a focused purpose and I ended up choosing to write stories because it was something I wanted to get back into. Also, I have been told I have a talent for it and I do have a love for writing stories.

There have a been a few times that I’ve thought about stopping or reducing the postings on this blog. I’m not earning any money for it and sometimes not many people read my stories, which makes me wonder why I carry on. I guess it’s because it’s become habit now. I’ve been doing it for so long that missing a day actually scares me and I think when that happens the chain will be broken which will led to me closing this blog.

The Stories Files has always been for me though. I set out to create a space I had to write my stories too. Originally that started on another website which has now been taken down, but I was a bit restricted to what and how much I could post on there. So, I set up my own blog and started writing. At the back of my mind, no matter what happens, I keep hold of the knowledge that I’m doing this for me and it’s all about my progress on the techniques of writing short stories and novellas.

Writing has always been a big big part of my life. It’s something that I can’t even dream of not being able to do because it’s me. It’s what I do and sometimes what I think I was born to do. Everyone who knows me will tell you this, it’s what I’m well known for, though I’ve had very little officially published. My dream always has been! One day I want to go into a bookshop and see my novel on the best selling shelf. I want more people to know my name and to love my stories, but it’s a long road.

I know that some of the stories on this blog are rubbish, but there’s also gems. Of course, they need some polishing and I’ve got a few already I want to make better. I still want to get those anthologies sorted too. I know I said I’d have the first one done last month, but I suffer from a range of different illness and depression still, which have slowed down my plans. Also, I’m dyslexic, which doesn’t help. I’ve battled through with it though and it doesn’t stop me. In fact, writing is helping to improve this, but I’m always going to have issues.

I should stop before this becomes any longer, below I’ve put together a list of things I thought people might be interested in checking out. I do hope that my followers keep on growing and my stories do get shared, but to be honest, even after two years, I’m still doing this for me. So, thanks to everyone again and happy reading.  Hayley.

Stories written: 738

First ever story: https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/too-late/

Most popular story: https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2014/12/10/bridge/

My favorite story: https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/ruby-and-wolf-part-1/

 

My first novella (Not finished) : https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/trust-part-1/

My second novella (not finished) : https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/church-part-1/

My third novella (finished) : https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/a-foot-in-the-past-part-1/

 

Second blog: http://hailscrazyblog.blogspot.com/

Third blog: https://negativitybreakout.wordpress.com/blog/

Unstoppable

superman-1016318.jpg

Ethan wanted to be a superhero. Laying in bed and despite coughing loudly, he imaged himself grown up and being the hero. He would save women in distress, kill the bad guys and save the day. Everyone would know his name and he would be world famous.

Smiling as he watched the patterns of light and shadow on his ceiling, he let his dream play out. Ethan would be better then any other superhero before; faster, stronger, more powerful. He would be unstoppable! Though that would not make a good superhero name…

The pain in his chest forced him to roll over. Ethan hung his head over the edge of the bed and coughed for what felt like forever. He reached a trembling hand out and searched on his bedside table. His hand knocked his glasses and a comic book before connected with the object he was looking for. Picking up the glass, Ethan sipped the cool water and felt a little better. Placing the glass back, he wondered where his inhaler had gone too.

He sat up, turned on the lamp and his superhero dreams faded with the shadows. He found and used his inhaler. Hating the taste at the back of his throat from it. He took some deep breaths and felt for a few minutes his cough and chest easing. Then though he heard the familiar wheezing in his breathing once more.

Groaning, he fell back onto his bed.

‘Superheros don’t get sick,’ he muttered.

Ethan put a hand on his chest and rubbed the returning ache. He scrunched up his face and inside his head loudly told himself that he was not going to let his illness ever stop him from doing anything.

 

This story was inspired by https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unstoppable/

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unstoppable/”>Unstoppable</a&gt;

The Waiting Room

Chairs, Row, Office, Waiting, Room, Brown, Carpet

He sat in the waiting room, knees together, long arms laid across his legs. The nerves radiated off him like sonar even though he was desperately trying to keep it in. The plastic chairs were filling up around him, but everyone seemed to be avoiding the chair next to him as if they could tell.

He lowered his head, the high pitch crying of a baby bouncing around in his ears. A toddler ran passed his feet and around the low brick wall beside him. Someone’s phone started ringing as two old women launched into a full natter.  He grabbed his knees and prayed he would be called in soon.

He knew it was too late though.