#WALKFORSICKKIDS. Breakfast was provided at Main Camp, then we set off walking.
This morning, I met my son’s toddler gymnastics teacher. She smiled and said, with honest enthusiasm, “You look exceptionally beautiful today.” I am desperately tired, wrestling a cold myself and two children who have also got it and have entirely forgotten how to sleep at night, at least in their own beds. It will pass, we will get through it, but hearing “You look ex…” my brain completed it with “…hausted.”
I could barely keep my eyes open. The short walk to class felt like a mountain climb. I looked exhausted. But apparently the top I had chosen at random from the drawer this morning – one which I love and which is in a colour that I’ve always thought suits me – meant I looked something else too.
I’m not writing this out of pride or self-pity. I’m grateful not just for the compliment, but for the reminder – we can be many things all at once. It’s better to focus on the good ones!
Pin-pricks of light scattered across the ceiling. Annalise thought about the star-cloth backdrop they’d had at their wedding. It was a silly thing to focus on, especially today. Light was just light, after all. Thomas was lying in a box in the next room, and people were filing past shaking her hand or putting arms around her and saying things in hushed tones that she couldn’t hear.
The stairs swept up around her and she briefly wondered where they led. What happens on the second floor of a crematorium?
But more, she focused on the light. It was exceptionally beautiful.
A week or so ago, I revisited an old FF story from September 2015. It was one I felt had more mileage at the time, but never had chance to expand. This week, I couldn’t tell exactly what the prompt picture (copyright Shaktiki Sharma) showed, but a couple of elements caught my eye and the story and character which emerged reminded me of Lauren. So here she is again, probably a little before Gerry put in an appearance, getting to grips with a change of circumstances.
From The Ground Up
What she’d stand on had always mattered to Lauren.
“Flooring matters” she’d say, poking at seventies carpet or yellow lino as her Grandmother might a stained tablecloth.
“It’s not like we have to eat off it.” Ian, ever pragmatic, had insisted only that there was a floor, never mind the style or state of it.
She picked a stale chip off the cardboard carpet now and gnawed on it. Freedom had its advantages, but home comforts weren’t among them. He’d kept it all when she left – stone inlay and subfloor-heating were as wasted on him as she had been.
Sandra Crook provided this week’s photograph. I’ve wondered some way from it, and not in the direction I originally started, with my story below. Your comments are welcome.
Cleanliness Above All
Initially, Simeon hoped Elenora might be an ally. “I don’t approve of slavery,” she said. “I have an honest, local girl myself.”
But it transpired “local” meant English and as for “honest”, the maid was apt to pilfer coins to buy ribbon, and would be dismissed once a replacement could be imported.
“I like to know her hands are clean.” Elenora flicked a suspicious glance at the pristine plate set before her. “And she speaks the language.”
Later, his wife admired Elenora’s white dress.
“Presumably the cotton was picked by the only English plantation worker on the island,” Simeon thought.
All good things must come to an end! Our summer of respite is over, and Rochelle has launched us back into new stories with this picture from Vijaya Sundaram. It took me to an idea you’ll see in my story, but the story itself comes from an article I read recently. I have linked the article at the end.
Meantime, real life is about to take a big change. Sebastian starts school next week, full time into Junior Kindergarten. On a day like today, when Dominic had me up through the night, the cat has thrown up twice and Sebastian decided he needed to make a wading pool on the kitchen floor, I can’t wait! But I’ll miss him too, of course.
A quick reminder, if anyone would like to sponsor us for our walk in aid of the wonderful Sick Kids Hospital, we would be grateful for whatever you can spare.
You think you know me, doncha? Small-town Southern upbringing; little league baseball and climbing the water tower with a bottle of hooch on the fourth of July. I’ve seen those movies too. There’s nothing new under the sun.
That there’s no headline either, is it? Alabama man quotes Bible verse.
Here’s what you don’t know. Alabama man didn’t play little league, he was in beauty pageants. Alabama man didn’t climb the water tower, because he knew if he did, he’d jump. If he wasn’t pushed.
Alabama man grew up Alabama girl. But that’s not new either; that predates the Bible.
(Sorry, I put the wrong link on the InLinkz. I’ve fixed it now!)
This week’s rerun is a double billing for me; I wrote two stories for this prompt back in the day. Both are below, although if you’re short for time, feel free to just choose one! Original posts are here and here.
Washed up. That’s what he’d called them. Washed up.
Not shiny and clean. But like a body on a beach: the flotsam of life. That’s what her husband, Tom, had meant when she told him her plans. It’s too late to travel the world, Janine. We’re washed up.
Janine squeezed sand between her toes and watched the sun setting far out to sea. She took a sip on her pina colada and smiled.
If she was washed up, she was a pebble. Yes, buffeted by the waves, and the sand, and the journey, but only to make her more beautiful.
“Glad to see you, son. Couldn’t stand another minute of that clap-trap. Stinks being the only one really alive around here. Sharp as sausages, that lot.”
Andy had a soft spot for the Colonel’s grumbling; it made a change from the cheerful repetitions of many of the residents.
“Takes a certain sort of chap to engage with a mind like mine. They haven’t a clue. Might as well be addressing a wall as some of them.”
Andy pushed a cushion further down the old man’s crumbling spine as he walked past. The Colonel carried on his monologue to the rosebush.