Working Air #TwitteringTales

It was a crazy idea, an office set up outside wouldn’t work! Mr.Cooper believed his team would be more productive without the ‘shackled desk’ atmosphere. It did improve things for awhile but then it rained and nobody wanted to work outside anymore.

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2018/10/09/twittering-tales-105-9-october-2018/ with thanks).

 

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No Green Grass #FridayFictioneers

The grass is always greener on the other side they say. Well, I looked over yesterday and the grass looked worse; brown with dead patches. The perfect reflection of my current situation.

At my desk, I read through all the job rejection emails and wondered why. Once I’d had no problem finding employment but since being left in a wheelchair due to the car accident, I was experiencing the world differently.

Well, I guess the world will have to experience me differently! I’m still the same brain and being trapped in a less mobile body isn’t going to stop me.

 

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/08/08/10-august-2018/ with thanks).

 

Retirement #FridayFictioneers

He hadn’t wanted to retire, he didn’t like having nothing to do and his wife was happier without him getting in her away at home. Luckily, he had taken that walk down by the docks that day and seen the sign for volunteers at a boat repair shop.

He’d always liked boats and working with his hands. He decided to go it ago and see what happened.

Now, he spends days outside, enduring rain and sun, fixing up boats and painting them. He couldn’t think of anything else he’d rather be spending time doing and he felt useful once again.

(Inspired by; https://rochellewisoff.com/2018/06/20/22-june-2018/ with thanks).

Keeping Going #WeeklyWritingPrompt

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Rory rolled over in bed and looked through the half opened curtains. The sky was trying to turn into twilight outside the windows but it was hard to noticed because the grey clouds blocked everything out. He sighed and wondered what was become of summer.

Listening, Rory could hear a few birds twittering in the distance but that faded as the rain started to drip down. He carried on watching as at first it drizzled then poured. The urge not to get up took him. His phone was only a roll to the other side of the bed away and he had his manager on speed dial.

He needed the money so badly though and he could’t offered to get fired from another job. Getting up, he went to turn on the bedroom light but as his fingers touched the switched, he remember the fuse had blown last night. He turned on the lamp instead and got ready.

Rory dressed in old jeans, his work uniform’s dark blue polar top, the matching fleece jacket and black trainers. He went into the bathroom, ran the cold water tap, which squealed in protested at being turned and scrubbed his face. He brushed his teeth then tried to flatten down his dark brown longish hair. He caught his reflection in the mirror and wished he hadn’t. He looked weeks starved with a growing brown beard and dead grey eyes.

He turned away, the tap dripping behind him and the plumbing rattling. He grabbed his bag from the bedroom and went he went down the creaking old stairs, wondering if any of his six housemates were around. The living room, dinning room and kitchen were empty. He reasoned they were still out at work or sleeping or just not being in this dumpy ex-student house.

He scrapped together some kind of meal to eat later;  three crackers, a bag of plain crisps, four digestive biscuits and an energy drink. He peered into the rusty bread bin, knowing nothing was going to be there but still hoping. There was a fresh loaf of bread, open and with two slices missing!

Rory grabbed it out, grateful someone had brought it then made a cheese sandwich and two slices of toast. Before anyone could appear to tell him off, Rory left the house via the back door.

He hurried to the bus stop, wolfing down the toast. When he got there, he tried to find a dry spot which was hard because the teenagers had broken the shelter again and there was glass everywhere. The bus was early and half empty which meant Rory could huddle in the back seat away from everyone else.

He watched the rain washing down the emergency door window and tried not to think about the next numbing twelve hours. This job he had gotten through a friend of a friend’s girlfriend was only part-time; Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in a warehouse.

Rory’s role was a picker which meant he went around with huge lists of orders and he had to take the items off the shelves to return them to the packers, who put everything in boxes with labels and shipped them off to the waiting vans for delivery the next morning.

He rang the bus’s bell to get off a few stops out of town then walked into the industrial estate. Warehouse, business buildings and car parks of all size grew around him. Large security fences around each one give the impress of a cluster of different islands each with their own secrets. Rory walked to one on the far edge, down a single road and pavement that didn’t want to end.

Entering the employees door, he clocked in then went to the bathrooms. The place was always clean and smelling of lemon. The hot water stayed hot, the hand dryer and fresh paper towels a blessing. Rory dried off and fixed himself up as best he could. He didn’t like to look scruffy even though it couldn’t be helped in his current circumstances and this job sort of give the impression that it was okay to look a little rough.

Rory got to work. He took some order forms from the stack, grabbed a huge cart and headed off down the aisle of shelving units. He liked at first to imagine that he was buying stuff for himself; a new pair of football shoes, a game console controller, a funny picture book. Some items he would wondered what he’d actually do with; a make up bag, a unicorn stuff toy, fake designer perfume. Other items, he dreamed about owning but then he started to be become numb to it.

He’d look at the list, see what item was next and collect it with no thought. When the cart was full, Rory would deliver it and the completed order forms to the packers. He would leave them to sort the items into the correct boxes and send them down the conveyor belts where more packers would place them into vans.

There was little else to his job but there was nothing he could do. Rory felt trapped, like a mouse in a cage who wanted out real bad. He was nothing more then a zombie here even though he had the brains for a better job, perhaps in an office? Nobody wanted a school drop out with a criminal record for stealing and vandalism though. Like his parents hadn’t wanted him when he had been born.

He got on with his working night then caught the first bus home in the early hours of the morning. It had stopped raining and the sky was a watery blue with a touch of yellow. Rory went up the front steps, down the side of the four floored house which once had been a pleasant family home but was now a demolition waiting to happen and to the back door.

He let himself in and rummaged around the kitchen. Someone had been to the food bank because there was a blue plastic crate on the floor filled with carry bags stuffed full. Rory had a look and found some tinned stuff; soup, beans, fish, veg and meat. There was packets of noodles, biscuits, crackers, sweets, rice and fruit. Also, washing up liquid, toilet rolls, soap bars and a surface cleaner.

Rory grabbed a tin of soup, a banana and a packet of sweets. He found a bowl and heated the soup up. Whilst he waited, he looked at the bags and though he knew he shouldn’t, for the food was meant for everyone to share, he took out a packet of noddles, a packet of rice and another tin of soup. He hide them in his bag to take upstairs with him later.

He felt better once he had eaten something warm and had some sweets. Almost, like normal again. He talked with the housemates that were in for awhile, watched some TV with them then Rory went to bed.

He undressed to his boxers, put t-shirt on then quietly took the food he had taken out of his bag. He slide a small plastic box out from underneath his bed and put the things in there. Hopefully, the mice wouldn’t get them.

Rory got into bed, feeling waves of tiredness pulling him into sleep. He felt torn about what to do tomorrow. Could he really stand another shift at the warehouse? He argued in his head about choices and ideas but he was too sleepy to really care.

Finally, Rory told himself that if he wanted to have a roof over his head and food in his belly then he would go to work tomorrow. And even though the little hope he had left was dimming everyday, he still clung to it in the hope that one day his life would change for the better.

(Inspired by; https://secretkeeper.net/2018/06/18/weekly-writing-prompt-146/ with thanks).

Zenosyne #atozchallenge

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Zenosyne; the sense that time keeps going faster. 

I opened the envelope without even realising it was an early birthday card, due to being distracted by the phone call I was dealing with. I stared at the brightly coloured drawing of two half-full champagne glasses with bubbles raising around them then at the fancy pink writing above; Happy 30th Birthday! 

The phone slipped slightly away from my ear, I ignored the still speaking voice from the other end. I glanced around the office, expecting everyone to suddenly burst into singing happy birthday, shoving cards and presents at me. However, there was just the usual chatter and background noises of the office room. No one was looking at me.

I opened the card and a bunch of people had wrote short messages and signed it. I recognised a few of the names from other floors and colleagues from my old role before I’d moved into this one.

‘I’m sorry,’ I said into the phone, talking over the caller’s voice, ‘something’s just come up and I need to go. Can you email that information and I’ll get right back to you. I’m so sorry,’ I added and hung up.

I looked down at the birthday card again in wonder then I picked up the discarded envelope. There were my initials and surname at the top followed by my office floor and address on a printed label. There was no stamp, so it had been sent inside the company. Looking at the card again, I opened it and read a few names inside, just to be sure but there was no doubt that someone had found out and sent this card around.

Putting the card back into the envelope, I locked the draw in the bottom of my desk and opened it. Inside my handbag was safely tugged away. I took the birthday card and shoved into my bag then locked the draw again.

How had they found out? I had be keeping my up and coming ‘big’ birthday a secret from everyone. I pressed my lips together and looked around again, as if the answer was out there. I looked in my in-tray where I had picked the card up with the rest of the post. There were just a few opened letters and papers in there now, waiting to be dealt with.

My phone rang, starling me out of my thoughts. I grabbed for the phone and pressed it to my ear but it was just someone else from another office asking for information on a client. I sighed and went back to work.

I had forgotten about the birthday card, until I got home and was getting stuff out of my handbag. Opening the envelope again, I looked at the card closely, but there were no further clues, expect that only ten people had signed it and I thought more people would have done. I put the card on my bookcase.

‘It’s just a number,’ I muttered to myself, ‘it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t change you.’

I went to bed but couldn’t sleep. It was four days away now and I wanted time just to stop. Could I not be twenty-nine forever?

My hopes weren’t answered and four days seemed to rush by. Before I knew it, I was awaking up and it was my birthday. It was a Saturday, so thankfully no work. Throughout the day, a few people sent me happy birthday messages online and text. I opened all the cards I’d gotten and decorated my bookcase with them.

In the evening, I meet with my family and friends for a nice restaurant meal as planned. Then I went home and to bed. Laying there, I tried not to reflected on how old I was now and what I’d not yet achieved with my life. I blamed my ninety-odd year grandma for asking again when I was going to get married and have children.

‘She broke up with her boyfriend a few months back,’ my mum had hissed at her, ‘remember? I told you. She’s single again now.’

I growled into my pillows and tossed and turned. Typical grandma and mum! It wasn’t that I didn’t want that fairy tale ending, it was just…it was a lot harder to get then the movies made it out to be! I had a flash were I missed my Ex but then I told myself he was more toad then prince and pushed him out of my mind again.

When I got to work on Monday, there were some birthday card envelopes in my in-tray. I opened them and saw that they were from a few different people; my manager, team leader, colleagues and a few other people I knew.

‘It’s you birthday today?’ a voice came behind me and making me jump.

I spun and saw one of my colleagues looking at the birthday card in my hand.

‘It was on Saturday,’ I answered.

‘Why didn’t you say?’ she asked.

I shrugged and swept all the cards into my top draw.

‘Not into celebrating, hey?’

‘Something like that….I’m sorry, I’ve got some clients to phone now,’ I said as an excuse.

The next month flew by and I was grateful for that as most people suddenly knew it had been my big three-oh birthday and had been sending my birthday cards and small presents. I wasn’t ungrateful but I’d rather it was done with now.

The rest of the year just seemed to pass so quickly. Work was busy and I got prompted for my hard work with a difficult client. In autumn, I started dating again and I met this really nice man, who definitely was more prince then toad! Then it was Halloween and soon after Christmas, I couldn’t believe how fast things were going. Time had felt slow before in the led up to my birthday but now I’d put that all behind me things were better.

Vobba #atozchallenge

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Vobba; trying to work from home whilst taking care of a sick child. 

I was too busy to take the day off, so I fixed it to work from home whilst looking after Kia. She had been ill all weekend, some bug going around the school, it would seem. I got her settled on the sofa; apple juice, snuggle blanket, teddy bear and the TV on the children’s channel. Then I went into the dinning room and set myself up. I had lots of reports to look over and some to write.

‘Mummy! Mummy!’ Kia called.

I looked up from my loading laptop, wondering what could have happened in less then five minutes.

‘What is it?’ I answered back.

‘I dropped Bobo!’

I heard her struggling to reach the bear. Getting up, I walked into the living room and saw my five year old reaching over the back of the sofa. Tutting, I went around, picked up the bear and handed it to her. Kia hugged her teddy and settled down again.

Leaving her again, I sat back down to work. I opened the first report and read through a few pages, making notes along the sides and bottom. I turned a page and heard Kia calling me again.

‘Mummy! More apple juice!’

I rolled my eyes and got up again.

‘You drank that fast,’ I said, coming into the living room.

Kia waved her cup in the air. I took it from her and went to refill it. I heard her coughing and sneezing.

‘That was a big sneeze!’ I told her coming back in.

Kia nodded and took her cup from me. I tugged the blanket around her and left again.

A few minutes later, I heard shuffling footsteps and felt warm little arms trying to hug me. I pulled Kia on to my lap and kissed her hot head. I worked little that for awhile, reading and making notes whilst she dozed against me. Then my legs went numb and I started to get pins and needles.

Gently, I carried Kia back to the sofa and left her napping there. No sooner had I sat down again though, her little voice called out to me. I pressed my lips together and ignored her. I had too much work to do!

‘Mummy!’ Kia called.

‘Working, working,’ I mutter under my breath.

‘Mummy!’

Sighing, I got up and went to her, ‘what is it? I have to work,’ I said.

‘I’m hungry!’ Kia moaned.

She hadn’t wanted anything before, perhaps it was a sign she was getting better? I agreed some toast and made it for her. Back to work again, I started writing my report then from behind my laptop I saw something move. I paused, thinking it was only a trick of the light, but there was now a small long necked green dinosaur seemingly peering around my laptop at me.

Convincing myself it had been there all along, I got back to typing. The next time I looked up though, the dinosaur had moved closer and behind it was a pale red T-Rex.

‘Kia!’ I snapped.

I heard giggling from under the table and bent down. She was hiding under there, a few other colourful dinosaurs scattered around her knees.

‘You are meant to be ill,’ I said.

‘I am!’ Kia cried back, ‘I want you.’

‘What for?’

‘Hugs!’

She reached out her arms then crawled out from the table. We hugged.

‘Now, take your dinos back into the living room and play with them there, okay? Mummy has a big report to write.’

Nodding, Kia collected the plastic models and went out of the room. I heard her clattering around and after a few minutes there was just the background noise of the TV. I tapped away on my laptop, getting some more work done finally. Though, I shouldn’t have started thinking this was how it was going to continue.

‘Mummy! Mummy!’ Kia called.

‘What?’ I replied back as I carried on typing madly.

‘Come watch this!’

‘I’m busy Kia!’

‘But I want you!’ she wailed.

‘I’ll be in a few minutes,’ I replied.

‘No!’ Kia cried and she stumbled into the dinning room.

I turned to her and she burst into tears.

‘What’s wrong?’

She waved her arms around and I had no choice but to get up and comfort her. Carrying Kia back to the sofa, I waited till she had cried herself to sleep then crept off again. No sooner had I sat back down again, Kia started crying again.

I looked at my report and just knew this wasn’t going to work. Closing my laptop, I went into the living room and spent the rest of the day looking after Kia.

Lisztomaina #atozchallenge

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Lisztomania; the need to listen to music all the time. 

She couldn’t bear not to listen to music, it was the only thing that kept the tinnitus away. At night she always fell asleep listening to smoothing music; rain falling, bells chiming, the calling of whales. During the day, she had the radio on or the TV set to a music channel.

She had to work from home as she couldn’t cope being anywhere else. The office wasn’t happy though, so she left and set up her own handmade craft business. She sold scarfs, baby clothes, toys and everything else it took her fancy to make. She was a lot happier.

Groke #atozchallenge (Part 2)

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Groke; to stare at somebody while they’re eating in the hope they’ll share. 

Monday morning found Sutcliff back at his office desk working hard. He had a meeting before lunch which over ran, so he arrived at Park Square later then normal. The area was less busy as most people had all ready gone back to work. Sutcliff was grateful for the extra quiet, that meeting had been intense.

Getting out his lunch box, he opened it and picked up half of a beef and horseradish sandwich. He heard a whining at his feet and looked down. The little brown and white dog was back!

‘Get lost,’ Sutcliff grumbled.

The dog cried as Sutcliff took a bite of the sandwich.

‘Where’s your owner?’ Sutcliff asked.

The dog yowled and pressed a paw to Sutcliff’s shoe.

‘If I give you a bit will you leave me in peace?’

Sutcliff took another bite of the sandwich then give the rest to the dog. The dog ducked under the bench and Sutcliff heard chewing sounds from underneath him. He ate the rest of his lunch in peace then went back to work.

The next day it was raining. Sutcliff sat on the bench under his umbrella and had his lunch. Just as he was wondering where the little dog was, he saw the dog entering the park and trotting over to him. The dog stopped at his feet and looked up pleadingly with sad eyes.

Sutcliff signed, ‘it’s just cheese today,’ he said.

The dog cried and shivered, the rain was dripping off it’s soaked fur.

Sutcliff opened the second half of the sandwich and give the chunk of cheese to the dog. The cheese was gone in seconds then the dog went under the bench. Sutcliff looked down and saw the little dog curled up there, behind his legs, sheltered from the rain. Sutcliff finished his lunch and went back to work.

The rest of the week, the same thing happened at lunchtimes. Sutcliff wasn’t sure how the dog knew what time he’d be at Park Square for but the dog was always waiting to share his sandwiches.

‘It’s meant to snow tomorrow,’ Sutcliff told the dog on Friday.

The dog put it’s head to one side then begged for more food.

Sutcliff had now taken to bring extra ham with him. He give the dog another slice.

‘Where do you live?’ Sutcliff asked then laughed at himself.

He had started holding conversations with the dog as if they had become friends. Sutcliff had also started patting the dog and scratching him – for the dog was male- behind the ears.

‘Anyway, back to work time now,’ Sutcliff spoke.

He gathered his things, said goodbye to the little dog and walked off.

It snowed over night and when Sutcliff woke up, it was still snowing. Standing in front of his apartment window, Sutcliff wondered about the dog. Where was he? Was he warm and safe?

‘It’s a only a dog!’ Sutcliff snapped.

He spent the morning doing chores but the thought of the dog didn’t leave him. It was still snowing in the afternoon and the sky was dark grey. Sutcliff put on his boots, scarf coat, hat and gloves then set out into the city centre. He walked as he would to work then took a short cut to Park Square.

The snow was thick on the ground and covering the tree branches. Sutcliff walked over to the bench, leaving deep footprints behind. He felt like a fool. What was he doing out here looking for a stupid dog? It probably wasn’t a stray after all and belonged to a homeless person or someone who just let the dog roam around.

He looked at the snow covered bench then turned around to go back. From far to the side, in an alleyway of two tall office blocks, Sutcliff thought he heard a bark. He turned his head and saw the little dog scampering through the snow towards him.

‘Dog!’ Sutcliff called and quickly walked over.

The dog rushed at his feet, jumped up and pawed at his lower legs, crying loudly. Sutcliff picked him up and hugged him. The dog felt freezing cold and wet. Without thinking, Sutcliff unzipped his coat and placed the dog inside. The dog snuggled against him and Sutcliff hurried out of Park Square and back home.

Letting himself back into the warmth of his apartment, Sutcliff took the little dog from his coat and placed him on the floor before taking his things off.

‘No messing, no biting or scratching or howling,’ Sutcliff told the dog firmly.

The dog sneezed a few times then began to sniff around.

Sutcliff went to the fridge and took out some slices of ham. The dog bounced over, tail wagging, tongue licking. Sutcliff give the ham over and the dog wolfed it down. From the cupboard, Sutcliff took out a bowl, filled it with water and set it down. The dog drink eagerly.

After showing the dog around his home, Sutcliff made a bed for the dog next to the heater out of some old bedding. The dog settled down and went to sleep, looking happier. Sutcliff sat on the sofa and watched the dog sleeping.

‘We’ll see how it goes,’ he muttered.

Pets were allowed in his apartment, so Sutcliff had no problems keeping the little dog who he decided to call Alfie. Sutcliff also talked to his boss and she let him bring Alfie to work each day which meant they could still enjoy lunch in the park together.

Groke #atozchallenge (Part 1)

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Groke; to stare at somebody while they’re eating in the hope they’ll share. 

Every week day lunchtime, Sutcliff left his desk at his city center office and walked the few minutes to Park Square. No matter the season or the weather, he always had his lunch on a little rickety bench under the only tree in the Square. Whilst he ate a sandwich and apple, he watched life going by.

The first Friday of April was a surprisingly warm and sunny day. Sutcliff left his desk and office feeling cheerful. All his morning tasks had been done and there was hardly anything for him to do this afternoon. He walk his normal route over to Park Square; half way down King’s Way street, across the road and a right turn on to Elmhurst Street. Then another right on to Park Square road, around the corner and down to the iron fenced plot of green land.

Towering office buildings and smaller shops lined either side of the streets. People dressed for work and casual wandered by. Their footsteps and voices mingling with the rumbling traffic on the one way roads. Everyone seemed to be in a hurry to get somewhere except for Sutcliff who walk slowly, enjoying the brushed warm air and freedom from his desk.

He reached Park Square and opened the first of three gates on to the tiny park. He stepping onto the compacted sand and yellow gravel path that was shaped like an upside down letter ‘T’. Short, yellow-green grass lay on either side of the path and the small elm tree stood at the back in the middle. Sutcliff walked over and sat down on the bench under the tree.

There was no one else in the tiny park, though a few people walked passed. Sutcliff looked up at the office blocks around him, he could see empty desks through the windows and people moving about. Sutcliff smiled to himself, loving this quiet corner. He slipped off his leather messenger bag and took his lunch box and water bottle.

He opened the box, took out half of a ham salad sandwich and was about to bite into it when a small whine noise made him pause. Frowning, Sutcliff looked down and saw close at his feet a little white and brown patched dog. One of the dog’s ears was up and the other was down, beady black eyes were staring into Sutcliff’s own and white whiskers were twitching as the dog’s wet, black nose sniffed.

Sutcliff closed his mouth, not taking his bite and glanced around. He had seen dogs being walked around here before but there seemed to be no owner in sight. He noticed the dog wasn’t wearing a collar and looked a bit on the thin side. Maybe, it was a stray? Shrugging, Sutcliff ignored the dog and began to eat the sandwich.

The dog started crying. Sutcliff glanced down then about again. There was still no one around. The dog whined louder and moved closer to Sutcliff’s feet, it was clear what the dog wanted.

‘No. Go away,’ Sutcliff said loudly.

The dog backed off little then sit down and kept watch as Sutcliff ate the rest of his lunch. Sometimes, the dog would make little noises and move its head around. Nothing seemed to distracted the dog’s eyes away.

Sutcliff packed his things away, relaxed for a few minutes then got up. He kept his distance from the little dog as he left the park. Closing the gate behind him, Sutcliff looked back and saw the dog sniffing around the bench, looking for scraps.

Sutcliff went back to work and give the dog no more thought.

To Be Continued…

 

Dark #writephoto

The first snowflake fell onto my book’s open page before I could turn it. I paused, tutted and watched the flake melt into a water dot over a word. Turning my head up, I saw the sky had grown dark with heavy unfriendly grey clouds. It was time to go home.

Gathering my things, I knew everyone thought I was strange. Why would a young woman go out to the lake to sit and read in the snow? I liked the peace and the distance from people. I didn’t feel the cold at all, in fact, I didn’t feel anything and hadn’t since the incident.

With everything neatly placed in my army hiking bag, I began walking back. The snow was deep but my footprints from hours ago were still clearer. I traced over them but the opposite way this time. The wind picked up as more snowflakes began to fall. I powered on, enjoying the feeling and sight of raw nature.

I almost slipped into the lane but was able to hold on. There were a few four by four car tire tracks marking their way through the snow. A few meters up, off to the side lay an abandoned blue car, half buried in the snow. I had checked as I’d arrived and no one was inside, thankfully. They’d have frozen out here.

A few minutes later and I’d arrived at the edge of the village. The tops of houses stuck out of the snow like early spring flowers. Nobody was walking the streets or driving down the roads. They were all inside, sat by fires, keeping warm and safe. I should have been so too, but there was only so much of being inside I could handle.

I needed to be out, feeling all kinds of weather against my skin. Doing something physical and being my past self. I wasn’t very good at being a ‘normal person,’ it had been sort of trained out of me. I had liked that life, it give me my place in the world but now on almost permanent leave due to injury and mental health problems, everything had been turned around.

Reaching the front door of my parents’ cottage, I didn’t want to go in. The urge to stay outside lingered. However, the wind was really howling and blowing now heavy snowflakes into me. So unless I wanted to get lost in a blizzard and or possibly die, it was time to go in and find another way to spend my time.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/03/01/thursday-photo-prompt-dark-writephoto/ with thanks).