The snow fell on the town. Flakes danced in the lights from windows and out on the street. There was no noise as the snow stuck to cold patches or melted on warm roofs. Everyone was asleep, staying warm as winter froze everything but a small face appeared at a window and looked down into the street.
It was not the first snowfall of that year that the child had seen but for her each was magical. She thought some of the icy flakes could be fairies fluttering by. They helped to spread the frost and ice that lay thin.
The child rubbed her eyes and felt sleep calling her back to bed. She hoped the snow carried on falling. There would be games to play outside tomorrow, snowman to build and hot bowls of stew to wolf down in the evening.
She could wear her new suede and fur coat, the knitted gloves and hat from granny. Father might take them sledging on the hills and to feed the deer herd. Maybe, they would go to auntie’s for tea and cake on the way home.
Head full of things, she snuggled down back in bed and had dreams full of snow and fairies.
The first snowfall came silently like icing sugar over a cake, the snow stuck to the frozen ground, making it slippy under foot.
Jack walked to the abandoned pub, he had tried to get a bed next to the soup kitchen but it was all ready full. He didn’t like the pub but it was out of the cold and wet.
He got inside via a broken window, there were other people which he ignored and got into a corner seat, safe there, he slept whilst the snow continued, knowing in the morning he would have to face the streets again.
The toddler was screaming the house down again. Marley had had enough. She went upstairs and from her bedroom drawers pulled out the little cloth bags of fragrance she kept in there with her clothes. It was an old habit from being brought up by her grandmother.
Marley entered the nursery and picked her daughter up. The toddler thrashed around but then Marley held the lavender scented backs to the child’s nose.
A few minutes later, her daughter stopped cry and screaming.
Marley let her hold one of the bags then placed the toddler back into the cot. Marley dropped the other bags around the now calming child and thought; peace at last!
It was crazy, Petra knew but the flu was gripping her hard and the only thing she want was a nice bowl of stew….In the middle of August!
Though, today looked more like autumn, Petra thought as she looked out of the steaming up kitchen window. Gale force winds and heavy rain were blowing the full leave trees and bushes about as if a God was constantly sneezing on them.
Stirring the pot, she peered in, decided that was fine and put the lid on. Petra set the timer for a few hours, not a thing she’d normally do but she couldn’t smell so she couldn’t relay on that to tell her when it was done.
Back in bed, she snuggled down and tried to get an afternoon nap in. She dozed and thought of the tasty, warm, comforting stew bubbling in the pot. Soon, she told her stomach, we can eat and everything will feel better again. Lovely, stew….
Trust me to become sick when I have a day full of meetings and important happenings! I felt rubbish last night but I thought it was just tiredness and stress, maybe it was but then this morning, rising with the sun just before six, I felt so nauseous and I was violent sick.
My first thought was am I pregnant? As it felt just as bad as when I was carrying Lola and I had been so ill then it felt like I was dying all the time. I really hope I’m not, don’t think I can go through all of that again!
So, I had to phone in sick and go through all the ‘can’t you really make it? We really need you to pitch the nine o’clock meeting.’
Well, maybe if I’d thrown up just the once but I’ve not stopped all morning. I’m so exhausted too and I had to have a nap before just because I could rise my head off the pillow. My stomach feels like it got hit by a whale and become crushed. Add to that a blinding migraine.
Sleep and pills help, but I couldn’t keep anything down, only a few sips of water. When I wasn’t in the bathroom and I was curled in bed, wishing whatever it was would go away.
Some of it has now but I still feel ill. Hopefully, it will all pass in the next few days, if not I’ll be off to the doctors, hoping it is a virus and not something more.
Mary-Leigh couldn’t sleep. She lay tousled in bed, staring up at the ceiling watching the shadows play. This was the fourth night now that she was awake whilst everyone else slept.
She turned her head to the side and saw that the time was almost half past two in the morning. Mary-Leigh rolled over fully and snuggled deeper down in the duvet. In her head she ran through a list of things; she wasn’t too hot or too cold, she didn’t need the bathroom, she was hungry. Until she concluded there was nothing stopping her from sleeping.
Something though, clearly was.
Throwing the bedding back, she got out of bed, turned and knelt down. Mary-Leigh rested her elbows on the bed, pressed her hands together in front of her and did something she hadn’t done in ten years.
‘Dear God, please let me sleep,’ she prayed.
A wave of foolishness rocked into her and she dropped her arms.
What am I doing? I don’t believe in all that anymore, do I? She thought.
Mary-Leigh pressed her head into the mattress and fought back tears.
I’m lost and I just want this madness to end. Even if I don’t believe and if really there is no God, if I find comfort in praying what is wrong with that?
Mary-Leigh wiped away the tears that had escaped. She composed herself again. Controlling her breathing, clearing her mind, she put her hands together and prayed again. Afterwards and not thinking about it, she got into bed and tried to sleep.
Everything was blurred and Holly couldn’t focus on anything. The party had spilled on to the street, the music drifting away into the night. She felt dizzy and sick, so sat on the curb and shut her eyes. She wanted to go home but she wasn’t sure how to.
Someone pulled Holly up and bundled her into a taxi before she could fight. She slummed into the seat, feeling like she was at sea. Then she was falling into bed and overcome by the deepest of sleeps.
In the morning, she had no idea what had happened.
Were they digging to the center of the earth? I didn’t know but I just wanted to sleep. The sounds of the drilling vibrated everything, so there was no way to block the noise out. I looked up hotels and moved out for the weekend. Peace at last!