Tuesday, 13 December 2022

THE FIRST TIME I SAW YOUR FACE - WEP DEC 2022

 


This is our last challenge for 2022 - what a year it's been!  

Here is my entry:


THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE

 

‘Come on, let’s go down to the fence!’

I didn’t want to get in to trouble, never had and hopefully never would but somehow, I was pulled to the fence separating my girls’ only school with the boys’ only school whose grounds were far down the edge of the school perimeter kept apart by the chain link fence.

I tagged along with the other three girls, Mary, Susan and Beth as we quickened our steps, trying to act ‘cool’ at 15 years old and not look too eager to chat to some boys.  A gaggle of spotty, long-haired boys, acne appearing on some, whiskers sprouting on others, the beginning of a moustache on others were already hanging around in the dip of the slight hill.

We were hidden from view of the school, we hoped, the teachers rest room was on the other side of the building so we felt relatively safe from their prying eyes.

There he was.  My stomach flipped, my throat was dry and I wished I had slicked a smear of Vaseline over my lips – it was supposed to look sexy according to Mary.  Mary who came to school with subtle eyeshadow, darkened eye lids, flawless skin, no breakout of spots for her at certain times of the month.  She also wore dangling earrings, not the standard, allowable, gold studs that all the other girls wore, a bit of a rebel was our Mary.

Blonde curls, green eyes, not very tall perhaps but it was difficult to tell with us standing in a dip and the boys posing on the other side on slightly higher ground. 

Then he spoke.  All these years later I can’t remember what words were spoken but his image burned in to my brain from behind my retinas.  Oh, my! A deep voice, a sexy voice, a noticeable Adam’s Apple, not prominent but manly. 

My mind said, stop fidgeting, stand still, uncross your arms from your breasts, take a deep breath and stick them out a bit more whilst holding in a non-existent tummy.  My skirt was already turned up at the waist band, only once but it was enough to bring the hem up and over my knees by a good inch or so. 

Then we heard the pips go summoning us back to class.  We dashed by to our respective rooms, tummies rumbling as we hadn’t had chance to eat our lunches.  How on earth was I supposed to concentrate on maths (not my best subject anyway) when all I could think about was his face.

I dreamt of him that night.  Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday night without seeing him.  Monday came as I waited for lunch break, thoughts of our clandestine meetings were interrupting my concentration on French grammar, us girls and those boys.  I was only interested in the one boy.  The other faces paled in to insignificance.

The week flew by, I lost more weight by using up lunch time space to visit.  Gradually over the weeks my friends lost interest in the boys and played netball in the lunch time.  Not me.  I had to keep seeing his face. 

Six weeks of summer holidays, home with my mother and brother, Dad was away on board ship for 18 months, some already passed, letters received once a month from this strange man on flimsy airmail letter papers.  I got a job working as a Saturday girl in the local village shop, that filled in a good 12 hours once a week.

Somehow the weeks and days flew by, then I was back travelling to school every day.  I sat on the coach trying to calm myself.  Would he be there at lunch time?  Would he remember me? Would he look the same?  My hair was freshly washed, I pinched some of mum’s perfume and had dabbed a small amount at the base of my neck and on both wrists.  Every now and then I would take a surreptitious sniff, feeling slightly guilty that I’d stolen from my mother but hopefully it would be worth it.

Lunch time came.  I asked my friends if they were going to wander down to the edge of the field at lunchtime.  They laughed at me.  What on earth for, was the surprised response.  It seems they’d all forgotten our trysts with the boys but then one of them said, they built a brick wall down there, you won’t be able to see anything or anybody.

Disappointment coursed through my body.  It was all I could do to smile and say, never mind, shall we play netball instead.  I jumped around half-heartedly and still managed to defend my position and stop several attempted scores from the opposing team.

I arrived home in the evening, ate my meal and disappeared in to the dining room to start my homework.  I found it very hard to concentrate and to keep up a pretence that everything was OK although, in my family it seemed as though nobody took any notice of me anyway. 

All these years later I still remember the feeling, the image of a face, not the details apart from the hair and the eyes – I’ve always had a thing for eyes, the gateway to the soul or the locked door hiding a myriad of secrets.

That feeling, that first crush, innocent as it was then, has stayed with me on and off throughout my life, sometimes I wonder what happened to that young man.  Did he make something of himself?  Did he find true love with somebody?  Was he a good father?  Maybe he went against the law and ended up in prison – that wouldn’t have surprised me either. 

I will never know but to this day the first time I saw his face will remain with me, imprinted in my brain, subject to an abstract scrapbook of nostalgic images, filed away as a private memory, never to be sullied or dirtied in any way as I don’t know anything about him.  I can’t even remember his name!


Friday, 21 October 2022

WEP OCTOBER 2022 - WAITING

 


Here is my entry for the WEP October 2022 challenge. 


WAITING

She waits wistfully at the window

Wondering if he will be a no-show

Ready and willing for his caress

In her lacy, gossamer thin dress

A draught plucks at her alluring beauty

Drawing her heart strings tightly

She reads a text message just received

‘Five minutes, darling,’ her breast heaves

As she waits to see the glare of headlights

Through the country lane like two penlights

She waits with bated breath, her pulses throbbing

Every fibre of her being aching

His key turned in the door

He would satisfy her amour

Cherishing their love affair

Tonight, they would conceive an heir.

 

Lucinda waited one month, then two months until she was sure, the conception was true.  It was so hard being the hidden mistress but she knew his wife was barren.  The spell she had placed upon his bride at their wedding feast had worked!  Her training held true, through the maternal line , secret all these years until the daughter reached adolescent and proved herself to be fertile.  These days of planning ahead and taking all sorts of precautions made life much easier in choosing their intended sire. 

Lucinda sent a coded text message, ‘your goods are ready to pick up.’  Ha! If his wife saw that he could spin a yarn and she would believe him, the gullible hussy that she was.

The crystal ball that Lucinda scried in to when the moon was full had shown her that the ‘belle of the ball,’ the most ‘beautiful bride in the kingdom,’ was not as innocent as her looks would make people believe.  Hidden beneath the exterior skin was a heart made of stone.  One that wanted to be the wealthiest woman in the realm.  Oh, she really must get back to the real world and get some sense of normality back in her life.

Lucinda was sure, absolutely sure, that the foetus she carried was female.  She could feel her strength seeping through her womb.  She sang songs to her; she murmured incantations from long ago but then –

There was a blockage, a barrier, pushing against her mind, pushing against her thoughts, trying to stop her love.  She would fight for this girl.

As the weeks progressed the stronger the feeling became of something trying to stop her, trying to vie for her attention.

At first, she thought her spell was weakening and her lover’s wife was beginning to believe in her own powers too much.  Humbug! She didn’t have any powers.  She just pretended to get her own way, not just satisfied with her own paramours she attempted to keep her legal spouse under her thumb with her seductive powers. 

Through the ‘power’ of social media Lucinda learnt that Phoebe had secret assignations, more than one, in the vain hope she would be carrying a child and therefore could tether Aaron to her forever.

Lucinda sighed as she checked her reflection in the mirror.  The beauty she beheld came from within as well as her outside demeanour.

She arrived at the hospital ready for the scan, smiling benignly at the other mothers-to-be.  The technician began the ritual of passing the wand over her stomach which showed the first swellings of new life – her daughter – Lucinda was sure the female line was strong enough to continue the special lineage of her maternal line. 

Lucinda glanced at the monitor.  No, no, no.  That wasn’t right.  It couldn’t be right.  There was no way. 

The sonographer smiled, you have twins, my dear.

Lucinda managed a forced smile, thanked her politely as she left the table, seething inside.  This was not supposed to happen. Not to her.  There should only be one. 

Her mind raced with thoughts, discarding one plan after another.  She drove home on automatic pilot.  Took her tea to her room, sat in the nook of the window and gazed out at the courtyard.  Absent-minded she dunked her digestive biscuit in to the hot beverage, her mind racing until the biscuit crumbled in to the base of the teacup. 

Just as she was about to swipe the offending cup onto the floor in her rage she glimpsed Aaron’s sports car pulling up to the door. She rushed to greet him, putting on a cheerful face, pretending all was well.

He was happy, so happy with her.  She couldn’t let him down.  The words would not come out of her mouth.  She would pretend and then, well she would read and read and find a solution in the books of old, the books her mother, grandmother and those before them swore by that could cure all manner of things.

The time came.  Lucinda howled, screamed, pushed hard and was rewarded with the lusty cries of her first-born son.  She pushed him off the bed and concentrated on her daughter, so much easier this time.  The bright blue eyes, knowing, wise and so clear looked adoringly at her mother.

Lucinda chanted the spell, the incantation falling from her lips while the full moon rose and shared its silver light in her bed chamber. 

She swaddled the male dead form, grabbed the ready-made box and called her loyal servant.  She watched him trudged up the mountain side and return empty handed.  She heard the wolves baying, the silence as they gorged themselves on the unexpected feast.  The leader of the pack stood on the peak howling at the moon and she swore he could see in to her soul even from that distance.

As Lucinda aged, her attraction waned, Aaron stayed loyal to Phoebe and surprisingly they also had a son and a daughter.  Only time would tell who would win this battle of inheritance, Aaron would acknowledge her daughter.  If Lucinda had anything to do with it. 

 

 

TAGLINE:  keeping the power

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Saturday, 30 April 2022

COFFEE VERSUS TEA




Joining in with Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Friday Fictioneers

The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.

Photo credit:  Ted Strutz



Coffee, coffee, coffee

I want tea, tea, tea

Can’t stand the bitter taste

Of beans roasted

And the smell, just awful

The noise of the machines

Whining and groaning like sirens

Screeching their alarm with steam

 

Please go back to the genteel art

Of drinking tea that calms my heart

A pot or two a day

Keeps the doctor away

Or so I believe

I certainly feel relief

 

Coffee addicts queue down the streets

Before they meet and greet

Friends or business colleagues

To kick start their day

While on their way

Commuting or studying

Give your step a spring

 

 

 




Thursday, 21 April 2022

GLASTONBURY CND FESTIVAL - WEP




WRITE EDIT PUBLISH

The music theme continues this month April 2022 giving us 

A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall 
Bob Dylan 




Glastonbury CND Festival

 It wasn’t the summer of love per se.  It was summer and I was in love. 

Glastonbury!

A music festival. 

A four-day weekend – travel on Friday, return on Monday. Work on Tuesday. 

Such a long journey straight across England, it seemed to take all day although the men said it would be four hours, they didn’t count on breaks, traffic jams and kids needing breaks.


                              Image taken from Google images

I didn’t really follow protests, demonstrations, politics etc but in my limited knowledge CND, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, was a pretty frightening aspect of life in the early 1980’s. 

We didn’t have much money but with another couple (and their two young kids, one a babe-in-arms) we hired a camper van and drove to Glastonbury in Somerset.  The two men took turns in driving and us girls and the kids were in the back on hard bench seats, no seat belts, thrown from side to side, especially when the friend took over the driving.  I’d never realised before that some people weren’t very good drivers – my chap was an excellent driver but Paul, well that was another story. 

As we approached the farm, stopped by police checks, my heart was in my throat as I knew there were illegal substances aboard – not for me – honest, well maybe I would indulge being away from home but I didn’t really like it.  Luckily, I think having the kids with us helped us get through that bit and we followed the directions.

We parked on the slope of a hill.  A good vantage point we thought, we could see the stage with its CND banner and logo over it and congratulated ourselves we had parked in a pretty good spot. 

So na├»ve. 

As the campground filled up, colourful tents were pitched, painted vans of all sorts and sizes parked haphazardly in front of us, to the side of us and behind us.  It was just a sea of chaos and cacophony.  Places were marked around your site with flags and banners and anything else you didn’t mind if it was ‘borrowed’ while you were out of the van/tent or just asleep. 

 

                                Image taken from Google images

It was certainly an experience and quite eye-opening for an innocent 26-year-old, sheltered girl originally from a small village who moved to a small town.

Facilities were basic (toilets – we won’t go there and I only went when desperate, very desperate).  Water was available from various standpipes; you could buy firewood and make your camp fire.  Luckily the van had cooking facilities but we often found we ate at the vendors selling all sorts of foods.  You could get burgers, hot dogs or more lifestyle foods, vegetarian foods, lentils, vegetable curries etc. - vegans hadn’t quite found the market they have these days.

We were very lucky and the weather was hot in the day, a tad chillier in the evening and night time.

The music was LOUD. 

The bands were good and CND were out in full force. 

It seemed to me that a lot of people, although probably agreeing with the cause, were mainly there to enjoy the music and to get drunk or stoned and have a thoroughly good time.

The smells were different, ranging from weed, hashish, alcohol and certainly some stuff I wasn’t sure about.  Having a wander around, people were enjoying bongs, hookahs and various other substances. 

Wood smoke from people’s fires wreathed through the still air, the stars were out and everybody was calm and mellow.

Wandering down towards the pyramid stage, the musky smell of incense and unwashed bodies, as you tried to shoulder past to get nearer the music, luckily my chap was tall and grabbing my hand powered through until we got prime position – well he did but little ol’ me, a foot shorter, struggled to see.  He offered to put me on his shoulders but I didn’t think that would be very comfortable for either of us. 

Returning to the van as the sun began to set, seeing the Tor in the distance, wondering about days of yore, watching my footsteps careful not to tread on prone bodies, flowing skirts or various other items littering the ground, my inaudible sigh of relief as we found our temporary home gave me some comfort.

To be totally honest, I couldn’t wait to be home again and in my own bed!  Such a lack of adventure, a creature who loved her home comforts and although I enjoyed my time away there are certain basic amenities, I found I really didn’t want to do without! 

Looking back on those days life was free and easy even though there were protests and demonstrations and people with the courage of their convictions trying to ban attacks.

Now I go to bed at night, sorry for the plight of war-torn people, displaced people, brave people fighting back against an oppressor. 

I wonder if my grandsons and granddaughters actually think about it at all.

Several of them of are of an age that - should the worst happen - they would be asked or forced to make sure we keep our freedom by freeing others whose freedom is being taken away. 

It is frightening times we live in.

Pandemic over – possibly…….

War – who knows ………..

Nuclear attack – who knows ….

Forty odd years later, people are still protesting, people are still fighting for their lives, people are still scared of the thought of war or even a nuclear attack.

Tag line:

Throwback but nothing changes – hard rain is still falling 40+ years later.

 

 

 

 

Word count: 909

 









 

Thursday, 14 April 2022

THE CHAIR

 FRIDAY FICTIONEERS

https://rochellewisoff.com/author/rochellewisoff/



The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.

Photo credit - Dale Rogerson - thank you Dale

Joining in with Friday Fictioneers - here is my 100 word contribution from the above photo prompt.


THE CHAIR

Grandad would sit in this old wooden chair come rain or shine, snow or wind, his hands resting on his legs, his pipe in his mouth.

I can’t get rid of his chair.  I look out of my window and still see his essence; I imagine him sitting there. I would bring him a cup of tea, ‘thank you, Duck,’ he would say.

He would come in to the warm kitchen on a winter’s day, blow on his hands and stomp his feet. On a hot day summer’s day, he’d mop his brow and say, ‘it’s grand out there, lass.’ 


Friday, 18 February 2022

WEP FEB 2022 - ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE

 

This year's theme for Write Edit Publish is the Year of Music.  To start us off in February - All You Need is Love


Here is my contribution with apologies for being over the word count.


ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE – WALTER AND SARAH

 

My darling Walter,

I dreamt of you last night.  Your arms were wrapped around me as we snuggled up in bed, I felt your whiskers gently scrap against my cheek.  I heard your snores as you slept peacefully. My tears dried on my face as I fell asleep.

I reached out for you - but I was alone. 

I reached out in my mind. 

I reached out my love. 

I felt my fingertips tingle. 

I felt a whisper of breath

It was the lightest of touches, a feather brushing against my lips

I know you felt me. 

I count the days until you are home, crossing off the dates on the calendar.

Your loving wife,

Sarah. xxx

 

 

My darling Sarah,

My love, my heart.

I only have a few moments.  I wish I had longer. 

I will not have you crying tears for me. 

I hold you tightly in my heart every moment of the day and night.

W.

 

My dearest Walter,

Every night I hold back my tears.  Every night I open a tiny corner of the blackout curtains peek out, one tiny corner, for one tiny, precious moment and send my love soaring across the sky to wherever you are.  Keep safe my darling.

Your ever-loving wife,

Sarah xxx

 

 

My Darling Sarah,

This evening we had time for a hot cooked meal. I feel a bit more human now.  The rumour is we have tonight to recuperate before we start marching again.

Today was a tough day.

My Lieutenant asked me to go through Charlie’s things ready for him to send on.  I steeled myself as I did this last thing for him.   We thought he was going to make it but God obviously had other plans for this young boy.  I remember he told me his dad was so proud when he joined up but his mum was very cross.  Now she has to accept he is gone forever. 

Sarah, you must move to the country.  The coast is not safe anymore.  Stay safe so I can come home to you.

Love you forever and ever.

Walter.

Xxx

 

 

My darling husband,

We are to be evacuated to a farm at Wells in Somerset.  It seems even further away from you, although I know you are thousands of miles away but if I think it is only a piece of sea separating us then I can cope a bit more.

We are only allowed one suitcase. We don't know how long we will be gone for I will work on the farm, probably in the fields.  I am not afraid of hard work.  I am only afraid of the evil in the world. 

I am so proud of you my darling husband and all the men who risk their lives so that we can live freely but sometimes I do wonder if the price is too high.

Do you think I could write to Charlie’s mum?  Are you allowed to give me her address?

Waiting forever for you to return.

Love you more and more each day.

Sarah xxx

 

Dear Mrs. Jones,

My deepest sympathies go out to you and your husband at this time.  My husband, Walter, served with your Charlie.  I do hope you don’t mind me writing to you.  I met your lovely lad last summer. He didn’t have enough time to get to Wales to see you and his dad so he came home with Walter on a 24-hour leave.

We chatted and drank some tea.  He talked about you, he showed me a photograph of you, his dad and his two little brothers.  He kept the picture in a pocket next to his heart.   He gave me a lovely cuddle as he left, in his farewell embrace I felt all the love he had for his family which I now pass on to you.

I am working on a farm in Somerset so I think of you working on your farm, doing the same chores as I am, waking up early and retiring early, physically worn out. 

Let’s hope this horrible war is over soon, they say it will be over by Christmas.

My best wishes to you and your family.

Mrs. Sarah Kelly.

 

Dear Sarah,

Thank you for your kind words.

I cry every night for my boy.

Best wishes

Mrs. Nora Jones.

 

 

We regret to inform you

Sergeant Walter Kelly severely wounded.

Receiving treatment at the Royal Free Hospital.

 

Dear Walter,

I will catch the train tomorrow. 

I will be at the hospital Wednesday. 

I will look after you always.

Love

Sarah.

 

Dear Sarah,

Do not come.

W.

 

Dear Walter,

I came all this way to see you.  Why won't you see me? 

I love you with all my heart. 

I have found some lodgings two streets away. 

I will come to the hospital every day until you see me.

Always yours,

Sarah.

 

Oh, my darling Sarah,

I am not the man I was when you saw me last. 

I can't be the man you married. 

I won't make you look after an invalid for the rest of our life.

I do love you. 

With all my heart.

Walter.

 

Darling, darling Walter,

I leave this letter by your bedside. 

I know you can't see it.

I know you can’t pick it up.

I leave it with all my love.

I leave it with you for all eternity.

As a soldier you did your duty.

As a man you honoured your country

As my husband you had to go.

As your wife I understand.

As your wife I wanted you to stay.

My husband

My lover

My friend

My heart breaks

My soul weeps

My mind shrieks

I scream in the night

I scream in the daylight

Why do humans fight?

Who was right?

Yours for always and forever.

 

A month later

Sara sat at the kitchen table drinking tea, the letter box clanged as an envelope dropped on to the doormat.  Wearily she rose and picked up the missive.  She didn’t recognise the writing, reading her name on the folded piece of paper her emotions engulfed her.

My darling Sarah,

Nurse Jones has kindly offered to write my words to you as the infection has taken hold of my whole body and my hands do not obey my commands.

I have to say goodbye to you, my darling girl, not that I want to but things have taken a turn for the worse.  I am sorry for my harsh words.  I still believe I was right.  You are young and can continue your life.  I want you to be happy.  I want you to find love again. I know you will never forget me and I will always be there watching over you from afar. 

You are the love of my life and now you must find a way forward, give that big heart of yours a chance to love again.  

Goodbye, my love.

Walter.

P.S.

Dear Mrs. Kelly, this letter may take some time to get to you but the last words Walter said were, ‘Tell Sarah – all you need is love.’

Yours sincerely,

Nurse Jones

Word count: 1186

Tag line:  an abiding love in times of trouble.

 

 

  

Friday, 10 September 2021

CBWC: Weather

 


CBWC: Weather

This week our topic is Weather.

The cat ventured out in the snow (not for long)

December mist


Storm clouds brewing


Rain - but of course it's England.