Monthly Archives: April 2014

Inspiration Monday – Through the Windshield

This week’s InMon prompt, Difficulty Swallowing, came just too close to the mark. I’ve had a viciously sore throat for over a week now and I’m quite sick of it! So I’ve chosen another one for my story: through the windshield. I welcome your thoughts and comments.

 

Night Drive

It’s dark and raining. It’s been dark and raining for hours, and I don’t know when it will ever stop. The road is louder now, and I wonder if that means we are in a different state, or on a bridge, or something else, but it is too dark outside to make out anything except the headlights of the cars coming towards us, and the taillights of the ones leading us on.

Does each one of those cars hold a girl? Behind the headlights, should I be able to see frightened eyes – tired but sleepless – staring back at me, hoping for answers in the beams shining on them?

I feel like a little girl, and a big girl all at once. I’ve never been allowed up so late before, but now we are awake and driving and there is no sign of a hotel or a house or anywhere to stop.

We filled up a while ago, at a gas station next to a stop light. There was nothing else around and Daddy didn’t want me to get out, but I had to pee, so he let me go into the store. Above the counter it said “Queenston Gas”, but I never heard of Queenston, so I still don’t know where we are.

I close my eyes and for a second I can see Mummy’s face, thick and red. Her eyes are open and staring straight at me, but they are not smiling like normally; they are frightening, maybe frightened.

“Lydia?”

I open my eyes and Mummy is gone.

“Don’t fall asleep.” Daddy sounds strange. His voice is quiet but it feels like he’s shouting. “I need you to be brave.”

I wonder if it would be easier to be brave if I was asleep, but I know I would see Mummy like that again, and I am glad to keep my eyes open.

“Do you want to talk about it?” he asks after another million miles of darkness.

I shake my head, even though I know he can’t see me.

“You’re safe now,” he says into the night. It sounds like he’s talking to me, but he’s using the voice he uses when he’s all on his own in the bathroom and I think perhaps he’s talking to himself. “It’s all going to be OK.”

The headlights shine on his face for a moment and I can see he’s crying. I want to hold his hand, then, but I daren’t touch him. I wind my fingers into my skirt and stare out at the rain.

 

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Friday Fiction – Behind the Scenes

Some of you will know, I used to spend most of my time in scenes like the one from Kent’s picture this week. I was a theatre technician at the ADC in Cambridge, (one of) the best university theatre(s) in the UK. I had an amazing time, learned a lot and made friendships I know will last a lifetime – not to mention meeting my husband there. Now I’m behind the scenes in a different way, and I thought about writing a story based on one or other of those themes.

In the end, though, my submission to the Friday Fictioneers is something else entirely. After you’ve read it, you might want to click here to see the other half of the inspiration. I look forward to hearing what you think.

studio-lights-from-kent

Behind The Scenes

“Tell the boys downstairs to pedal faster. We’re losing speed against this current.”

“They can’t give any more, Captain. We’re on double capacity and Pede just fainted from exertion.”

“Then get him up, or we’re going to start going backwards. And pull men in from higher up – we can manage this stretch without digestion.”

There was a flurry of activity in the lower part of the vessel. The Captain sighed as the bank once more flowed away behind them. A small girl came into view, pointing in their direction.

“Look at the swan, Daddy. She’s all graceful, like a ballerina.”

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