You all said it was good to cry last week and nobody wells me up like my favourite recurring character, Melanie, so here she is again. If you enjoy her story, click here for many more snippets from her world.
Get Well Soon
You’re allowed to lie when you’re sick. Mummy always says “I’m fine” even when she hasn’t got out of bed all day. She used to tell me we had to say “Thank you, it was delicious” when we gave back casserole dishes, even when it really wasn’t. Mummy said it was delicious and I had to learn to be less picky, but that was another lie.
When she first got sick, people sent casseroles all the time. Casseroles and flowers. Once we got a balloon, like it was her birthday, but it said Get Well Soon. The balloon lied too.
A little late this week; the small matters of a house purchase completed on Tuesday and the current house listing yesterday have taken just a little of my attention recently. Here’s Melanie – a recurring character for me. Search her name if you want to learn more of her story.
This snippet was originally 190 words and cutting it nearly made me give up. I hope it’s kept enough to make sense.
Mrs Mwanna was talking to Daddy because he’s worried about Mummy. They were whispering, but they aren’t very good at it, so I heard him say “She’s too young”. Then, “My only worry at her age was saving for a GI Joe.”
Daddy’s younger than Mummy, so he wasn’t her age yet, but I prayed God to get Daddy a GI Joe for his birthday anyway.
Mrs Mwanna said “Try not to worry. When you pile shit on shit, it just stinks more, but when you pile it on flowers, they get stronger and more beautiful.”
My 2 favourite boys writing their vacation journals about Disney, so a few moments to write up my favourite fictional girl’s view of a tale as old as time.
If Eve was tempted by an apple, how crap must Eden have been? Like, she ditched mangos and pizza for a granny smith? Maybe it was a honeycrisp. Much nicer.
She got bored of mangos, I guess. Sarah’s Mum leaves a bowl of Celebrations out all the time. Her Mum told Dad it makes Sarah not want chocolate because she can get it all the time. At school, Sarah trades her chocolates with Luke because his Grandpa gives him bubble gum on Sundays.
Maybe Eve did a trade with the devil – mango for apple. He must’ve thought it was Christmas.
This week’s photo could have been taken for my story a couple of weeks ago. So much so, that I decided to add a part 2 from a different perspective. If you know Melanie’s story at all, you might wonder who this is. I had Mrs Mwanna in mind to begin with, but now I’m wondering if it could be her Dad. Up to you.
Thank you to Brenda Cox for this week’s photo. Not sure why WordPress isn’t letting me caption it direct.
The merry go round’s gone to rack and ruin.
That’s what I think when Melanie tells me her theory about God. The man in the middle is too busy spoiling everyone’s fun to notice the paint is faded and the horses have lost their smiles.
I know the emperor’s naked, but pointing it out would be counterproductive. For me, the beauty could never be the horses anyway. For me, it’s the little girl in the bright flowery dress who still sees gleaming gold and prancing ponies. The girl clutching my hand, squealing her delight and enjoying everything about the ride.
Father Michael was glaring, hellfire shooting at me out of his eyes. I stopped dancing and bowed my head, but it still felt like he was watching.
“We’re supposed to listen to the music. It makes us feel closer to God,” he said after. I knew he meant me.
I asked Ms Mwanna later. “How can God make Father Michael angry when He’s the one who made me dance?”
“Your God makes a lot of people angry,” she said. “Keep dancing, my girl. I reckon you’re closer to Him than they are anyway. One day, you’ll light up their darkness.”
Melanie is a recurring character in my blog, and one of my favourite characters to write. You can find more of her stories using the Melanie tag.
As for this story and photograph, snow in July throws me for a loop. A friend recently posted a skiing photo on Facebook. It took too many seconds for me to realise she hadn’t shared a memory… she lives in New Zealand!!
We used to go for walks across the bridge. In the middle there’s this bit that sticks out, so you can stop and look through the fence and watch the trains and swans underneath. The trains chatter and race. Mummy used to say they were racing to the next delay.
I liked the swans better. They glided down the river however fast the river flowed. Last time we went, there was a mummy swan with a little baby. Mummy said she was teaching it to swim, but the little swan was going first. I think it was teaching her too.
“Miss Rudy says I should audition. She says I might enjoy it. She says being in a play is like becoming somebody else. But I don’t know. What if I forget all my lines? Or fall over? And one of the girls you have to kiss a boy at the end.”
Mrs Mwanna is doing that thing where she wanders around muttering and you don’t know if she’s listening or not. Sometimes she is, but this time I know she wasn’t because she looks right at me and says “You’ll never enjoy swimming if you’re busy looking out for jellyfish.”
Lyla woke with a start. The room was dark and quiet. Gentle breathing from her left the only thing to hang onto. The world wasn’t ending.
She wrapped herself in a blanket and padded into the next room. The baby was sleeping soundly, her mouth slightly open, her face calm. Lyla’s mind spiked again with the vision of that same face contorted in terror, dropping away into the abyss and her own arms reaching desperately through the air.
Lyla’s face touched the baby’s hair as she climbed into the crib. “You caught me,” she whispered, finally able to relax again.
Everyone’s eyes were red. Someone she didn’t know touched Daddy’s arm, then pulled away like he was fire. Melanie stared at a water bottle someone left on a pew.
Daddy was in the pulpit, talking. Melanie couldn’t hear him, her ears were stuffed with rabbit fur.
Mrs Mwanna was staring at Jesus and muttering, which was funny, because Mrs Mwanna didn’t believe. What was she saying to Him? Was she telling him off? Melanie wanted to tell him off too, but she didn’t want to be smited. She needed Jesus to be on her side right now. More than ever.
Extroduction: For those who haven’t followed this blog since the dawn of time, Melanie is a recurring character. Melanie is around 8 years old. Her family attend a Christian church with a fire and brimstone priest. Mrs Mwanna is her wonderful, non-Christian neighbour. Her Mother has terminal cancer. Melanie’s story is one of her trying to reconcile her faith and the teachings of her church with the realities of her experiences. Where this particular clip fits in, is for your imagination to decide.