Autumn Warmth

I didn’t find autumn cold like most people did. I found it warm and cosy. I loved pulling on a soft jumper, curling up on the sofa with a hot coffee or chocolate then burying myself in a thick novel.

Outside, the wind might be howling and the rain might be pouring but that just made perfect background noise to my reading. As the early darkness covered the sky and lingered by the windows, I pulled a blanket over my knees and wonder how the hero was going to escape this time.

The bubbling of stew and dumplings called to me before I could get there. It was a hearty meal with bread for soaking up the gravy at the bottom of the bowl. I felt hugged from the inside!

Sleepiness drifted like the night upon me and I took the book to a fleece lined bed and goose feather pillows. Safe from the world, I disappeared in between the words till I was dreaming I was adventuring alongside the hero.

Needy

broken-heart-1207380_1920

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.

Spy In the Garden

de-an-sun-gAu2FLQKv0s-unsplash

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!’

In Memory

view-point-5392036_1920

I could have had something simple inscribed on placate placed on the bench I’d made for my parents. The normal thing of their names, birth and death dates and perhaps stating this was their favourite spot.

I knew they had walked the cliffs often. They had meet on the beach below as teenagers so this area did hold special memories for them. Why my dad had chosen to bring my mum here to end everything, I could only guess.

Perhaps, it had been the easiest place for him to tell the old people’s home to take them on a day trip. It had been their special day after all. The career had said, my dad had asked her to go and get them ice creams whilst he and mum rested on a grassy spot.

Mum had been in a wheelchair, gone to dementia and dad with numerous other illness had recently been told he had that disease too.

I guess he couldn’t bear it anymore and that’s why he’d done it.

The placate reads;

In memory of Harry and Betty who committed suicide here on the 2 .8. 2019, their 55th wedding anniversary.

Their love began and ended on the beach below. They were always together. 

Missing you, mum and dad.  

The Scent of Roses

rose-729509_1920

The Lady hadn’t left her home when she had passed on. It wasn’t that she was trapped there, she could come and go as much as she wanted. The Lady had loved the house so much that she couldn’t help but walk the corridors and through rooms still.

The Lady was glad people still came and stayed in her house. She loved hearing them praise the decor and paintings, the gardens and the water fountains. Also, it was so nice to hear the laughter of children once more as they dashed from room to room.

She knew her presence was felt because people talk about smelling her perfume. It was one she had made herself using roses from the garden and water from the spring. The Lady felt pleased by this, she liked them to know she was still here watching over her house.

Taking The Boat

nature-5334262_1920

Light touched the rippling surface of the lake. Small boats, bobbed on the water their ropes creaking. Birds called up the sunrise and other animals stirred awake in the stillness of dawn.

She was running. Running from her home and following the path downwards. Her dress floated out behind her, caught in the air rush from her movements. A bed sheet, turned bundle bumped at her side and weighted her down with supplies.

Her feet were bare, easier and silent to aid her running. The dew grass wet her feet and the last of the warmth from her bed left her.

She reached the boats, placed the bundled into the closest one, then gathering all the skirts up into both her hands, she quickly stepped into the boat and had to catch herself before she almost fell into the lake.

Crawling to the front, she untied the boat, sat down and began rowing. The light of the dawn lay across the water as if it was guiding her. She wasn’t a strong rower, but the rush from her escape and the knowledge she would soon be with her lover spurred her on.

 

From the castle window, her matron sat at the window. The old woman couldn’t see her young charge running then rowing the boat away, but she could see the yellow light touching the lake and the tree tops which sang just as her heart did that she had done the right thing in aiding the girl’s escape.

Waterlily #FridayFictioneers

Dazing lights shone through the night as water played it’s tinkling tune within the fountain. Rising up from the centre was a large pink and white waterlily, posed on the edge of fully opening.

My mum sat on her balcony each clear evening, sometimes with a glass of wine and my dad, looking at the fountain. She didn’t know she was having me until four or five months in. She couldn’t get pregnant and thought it was another phantom.

My parents struggled to name me for weeks but finally one evening on the balcony with me wrapped in a blanket in mum’s arms, she looked across at the waterlily and knew what my name was.

 

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2020/05/27/29-may-2020 with thanks)

Postcard Short Story

acropolis-1348511_1920

Dear Mabel,

Do you remember our honeymoon in Greece? I found some photos of us whilst clear out the attic. It made me want to get back in touch with you. This postcard I found at the bottom of that box and I thought it would be a good reminder for you.

I’m sorry for all the mistakes I made and for all the times I wasn’t there for you. I wish I could go back and change everything. Give you the married life you deserved. I know you had no choice when you left, I know you can never forgive me but I will never stop loving you.

Bennett.

Cancelled #FridayFictioneers

In the wedding room white table cloths hung like ghosts and the napkins sat like sugar cones. The champagne was still in the fridge but most of the other food had been thrown out.

Everything was set up, the preparations done; the dried flowers on the tables with the candles. Fairy lights along the windows for a magical twinkle effect. Along the wall, the DJ stand waited to spin the records whilst on the dance floor only the dust motes twirled.

Silence roamed the room broke only by bird song and the wind blowing outside. There should have been music, talking and laughter but it was an empty celebration now.

 

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2020/04/29/1-may-2020/ with thanks).

Rubiginour #AtoZChallenge

auto-3368094_1920

Rubiginour – rust coloured

I didn’t think it was going to be still there because it had been so many years but the car was right where I reminded it being from childhood.

The woods had grown thicker, the trees ageing just as I had aged. Children and animals still kept most of the undergrowth down though I could tell no one had been near the car for awhile.

The woods ran along the back of the school and also the park. Children came here to build dens and teenagers came to hide out. The car had been for years and no one knew why it had been abandoned but it sure made a great thing to play in.

I remembered all those long hot summers when we would come here. His red rusty coloured hair would flash in the sunlight that dappled down through the trees. He would laugh like the bubbling brook that ran though the trees. He would sit in the driving seat, dirty hands running around the leather steering wheel.

‘Where do you want to go today?’ he’d asked me as I got into the back seat.

‘To the beach,’ I’d say or name some other place as I pulled my summer dress down.

He’d make car brumming sounds and we’d pretend to be driving.

Look around now almost forty years later, I could still sense childhood magic flooding the air. Somewhere children were playing, their voices raising and falling as the wind played in the new leaves on the trees.

Walking over to the car, I could see that rust was doing a good job on the blue paint work. The bumpers had fallen off, the tires were flat, One headlight was missing and the other cover in moss. Autumn leaves lay like a blanket over the front, windows and roof. Surprisingly none of the windows were smashed but they were brown and grey with grime.

I peered inside and saw that time and animals had been rotting down the leather seats. Springs were poking through and there was a lay of dirt across everything. The dials and everything in the dashboard looked intact but couldn’t be read because of all the spider webs.

I petted the car’s roof like an old dog and followed the path I had taken back. I had a team of people waiting for me to give the instructions on the edge of the woods.

‘Did you find it, mum?’ my oldest son asked as I arrived back. He looked so much like his father with his bright red hair flashing gold highlights in the sun.

I nodded, ‘just as I remember she was. Right through there,’ I added and pointed behind me.

‘And you are sure about this?’

I signed and touched his arm, ‘it was your dad’s dream but I feel it’s the right thing to do in his memory now.’

‘I might not be able to restore it,’ my nephew joined in, he’d been to have a quick look.

‘Then I’ll have her in my garage,’ I spoke, ‘she was always there for me and your father when we were children and now it’s time someone looked after her.’

(Inspired by; http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com)