Child – flash fiction

It felt incongruous sitting there on the bandstand steps in the sunny park, half a dozen of their friends messing about around them, oblivious.   Drew was holding her hand the big faux gold chain on his wrist digging into her arm, replicating the pain.  He was sucking on a roll-up and the smoke blew towards her making her cough.

‘For god’s sake Mel, stop makin’ a fuss. I ain’t gonna stop spliffin’ just fer you, so yer can give that up right now.’

He liked to think of himself as an alpha male, but she’d still been surprised by his eruption of anger when she first told him.  She thought he’d be as delighted as she was.  But no, he just told her to ‘get rid’ and that was that.  Here she was two days later feeling bruised and distraught and all he could do was complain about her coughing.

He stood up and stretched his lanky 17 year old body to full height, his jeans slipping down revealing the top of his grubby pants as he did so

‘I’m gonna ride for a bit.’ He said, and he joined the other lads doing wheelies on their bikes and frightening the old ladies.

She leaned against the upright of the bandstand, watching him whooping and laughing, the stub still hanging from the corner of his mouth. 

‘Big kid’ she thought. He was just a boy. Though she was only a year younger she felt almost motherly towards him.  His stupid, filthy falling down jeans, his ridiculous oversized trainers, the ripped t-shirt, all just armour against the world, that she had once or twice managed to pierce. 

She tried to hold back the sobs, but once again, they forced their way to the surface, in big noisy gulps.  One of the girls yelled at him to go to her and he threw his bike down onto the grass.

‘wha’s up now?’ He asked brutely as he approached. ‘Honestly Mel, yer no fun these days, yer need to get over yerself.’   

He put his foot on the step next to where she sat and puffed on the last of the roll-up. Leaning down and whispering

‘yer embarrassing me Mel. Get yerself sorted.’ 

She could feel the warmth of his big face almost touching hers.  She could inhale his breath he was so close.  He moved in to kiss her.  He liked to kiss her long and passionately in public, showing off to his friends his unfailing technique.  But this time she pulled away.  He was surprised and nearly fell forward onto her, though not as surprised as when he felt the flat of her hand stinging his cheek with all the force of three months pent up anger behind it.

He raised his hand to hit her back, but the others were there now and one of them grabbed his arm before it landed.

‘Leave it mate. She ‘ain’t worth it.’  Wall all she heard as she ran off towards home.

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Colour bombing

Still no writing to share (bloomin’ Masters course) instead, to keep you amused, I thought I’d share another of my painting exploits with you.  As you may already know I have a love/hate relationship with my arty efforts. Lets just say it doesn’t come all that naturally to me. But hey ho, keep on trying eh?

A couple of weeks ago we had a splendid workshop session at our art group (Click here to find out more about the group) which introduced me to the wonders of ‘Brusho’. Of course, I’ve seen it advertised, but never really understood what the product was. Well, it turns out it is powdered pigment which you can sprinkle on to wet paper to produce some fireworky effects. Sprinkling it onto dry paper then spraying with water also produces some lovely rainbow colours. This is because colours such as leaf green, or grey, are made up of different pigments which are separate in the pots but merge on the paper. It was great fun and I was pleased with the result too (for a change!) What do you think of ‘Lunch in the Jungle’? The background is brusho and the birds and details pen and coloured pencil. Oh, and for any pedants out there… these are my Kingfishers and they do live in the jungle, ok!! 😉

IMG_1232 (Edited)

Master of None

Well, hello!  You may (or more likely, may not) have noticed that things have been a bit quiet around this blog for a while, since November in fact.  My apologies.  Life seems to have got in the way quite a bit lately.

‘Why, what have you been up to?’ you may ask.

Really there is a variety of reasons, however probably the main factor is that I have rather rashly, begun a Masters degree in Creative Writing with the Open University.  Not only does this, unexpectedly, take up a disproportionate amount of my time, but also, I’m not allowed to use for the course anything I write once it’s been published, even if that ‘publishing’ is only on this wee little blog.

Now, my writing being a bit hit and miss, I can’t afford to use any of my poems or short stories just in case they turn out to be the best I can manage and I want to submit them for assessment at some point.  This leaves potential content for this site a somewhat dry area.

Nonetheless, I’m quite enjoying the course and learning a lot, even though I’m finding it pretty challenging.  The content is all on-line and you are expected to contribute to the forums regularly, thus meeting some like-minded, like-baffled peers, which has been fun.

Whilst the course is keeping me busy, I’m still trotting off to the art group every Friday.  I’m not sure there is a lot of improvement in my artworks, but painting alongside such jolly and talented friends is always relaxing.  This week we were all doing our own thing, and producing this little flight of fancy in watercolour and pen work kept me quiet all morning! :

IMG_1070 (Edited)

 

 

 

 

The Craftswoman – for Peggy

I wrote this poem after the death of my mother-in-law on 16th October 2018.  I was really pleased that the family liked it enough for my brother-in-law to read it out at her funeral this week.

In her youth she learned to make things,
Oh yes, her boys were testament to that.
Her needles clicked to keep us warm,
and her machine trundled stitches,
turning tailored suits for working life
and childhood clothes for grandchildren.

With painted nails and silk threads she wove
bright flowers, embroidering colour
into all the corners of her home,
where friends and family shared the yarns,
those times that knit a life
worth wearing.

And all the while her garden grew.
Every plant, she knew, by name,
their differing hues and habits,
like children sown with confidence and skill
the clematis, fuchsias and scented stock
all flourished in her daily care.

Her nimble fingers now lie still,
the crafts she loved abandoned,
and in that belovéd garden
the last roses sadly droop their heads.
Yet her flowers will still bloom in spring
and fond memories will forever warm us.