This week has been miserable. I have had a migraine since Friday last week. Which means I haven’t written since Thursday. I am twitchy! But I was barely able to get out of bed over the weekend and at times, I genuinely thought I might pop an eyeball out, my head was under that much pressure. Every movement I made I could feel my heartbeat in my brain, only instead of a nice pump, pump, pump. It was the smash and squeeze of an anvil followed by a car crusher. Suffice to say I am glad I schedule posts or I’d be fresh out this week.
Finally, I can see straight enough to write this. So, this week, the challenge is to write about your happy place (or a character’s happy place).
I needed my happy place this week. I had to drift off in order to ignore the pain. I have a couple of happy places, one in my head, and several actual locations. New York for one, a cafe by myself, coffee in hand laptop open is another. The summit of Kala Phattar a mountain in the Himalayas with the best views of Everest.
In your challenge, make sure we know what sent you to your happy place, was it a fight? a traumatic experience? Or maybe love drove you there. So, that’s it. Happy places in less than 200 words.
For the love of a good cat by Geoff Le Pard
Even at the start Sheila knew Martin was going to be a problem. Indifferent to her affection he spent most days outdoors. He moaned for food and then disappeared. It was different with visitors – mother especially. He was on her lap and purring before she’d taken off her initial disappointment.
His death was quick – a moment’s inattention and the paper boy’s bicycle. Sheila had no plans for a replacement until Marjory begged her to take one from a large litter.
At first Sheila was delighted. Affectionate, Mabel was all Martin was not. But gradually delight turned to despair. Mabel had a conscience. Every crippled mouse, battered vole and screwed up shrew was dragged, mostly reluctantly, through the cat flap and nurtured by the fire. The patients mostly died of fright, what with two green eyes staring at them constantly but Mabel kept trying.
When the house began to smell of rot Sheila understood her problem. Mabel buried her dead indoors with the same care as she sought to save them. While Sheila hunted, Mabel nurtured, each aware that their own struggle was futile and doomed to fail but no less compelling for that.
Next in Judy, with this hilarious poem full of naughty words and girl power.
When it’s time to’ man up’
We are told to ‘grow to a pair’
Balls will make us stronger
But that’s not very fair!
Why are they so special?
To make us act so tough
In those awful moments
When life gets really rough.
Gonads are quite tender
And one kick in the jewels
Can render someone helpless
Plus make them look such fools!
Women are much stronger
There are no ifs and buts.
We have to push a child out
Despite the rips and cuts
You don’t find women fretting
On having to wear a box
Scared that being sporty
Will break their precious cocks!
If you want to show some strength
Balls are pretty minor
I suggest you ‘woman up’
Grow yourself a vagina!
Ginger was dead. Betty wasn’t allowed to touch the broken body. She wanted to wipe away the blood smears but she was afraid of hurting the cat even more. Her father had scraped him onto an old towel and they were going to bury him in the garden. Betty watched as her father dug the hole, but more than her father, she watched the towel and the paw sticking out with the delicate pink pads. They looked so perfect and alive. She crouched down and reached out a finger to touch them, one after the other. Still soft and a bit spongy. But cold.
Mr Ritchie across the road had run over Ginger while he was backing out of his garage. He’d said sorry. He’d gone now, off to the supermarket as if nothing had happened. But he’d said sorry. Betty ought to have forgiven him because that’s what you did when people said they were sorry. But if he was sorry, why didn’t he cry like she had done? Why had he gone off to Tesco thinking about cornflakes and soap powder?
She must have been glowering because her father stopped digging and came over to give her a hug.
“It wasn’t his fault, you know. He just didn’t see Ginger in the driveway. He was very sorry about it.”
Betty said nothing. Mr Ritchie was sorry, but not sorry enough. People who are sorry enough don’t do the things that would make them sorry. She looked at the towel and the very slight hump that the squashed cat made inside it. She looked at the beautiful pink pads and she sobbed. Mr Ritchie was sorry. But Ginger was still dead.
Jane Entered another piece this week, a struggle reunited from her upcoming book. Check out the cover, its WELL COOL
Footsteps rang out on the walkway, echoing in the caverns of the empty boutiques. Carla stiffened and grabbed Kat’s arm.
“Ratmen?” she whispered.
Kat listened. The footsteps continued, lots of feet, stealthy almost, nervous.
They moved away from the yawning gap of the hall below, where pieces of safety rail swung free, into the squealing scuffling shadows… Carla shuddered at the memory, the long twitching nose, sloping forehead, the big ears and bristle-covered face. She shuddered at the terror in those mad eyes. Kat had killed it and it had screamed like a child.
The footsteps stopped. Ahead in the shadows, deeper shadows waited. Carla held her breath. A single shadow moved forward.
She forced herself not to run to him.
She could see him now, his face, his eyes.
No! You don’t care!
She clenched her fists, clenched her eyes tight closed. But she still saw him, the gentle eyes full of…sorrow.
“Carla,” he whispered and she could feel his breath on her skin. “I’m so sorry.”
Tears squeezed from behind her lids. She sobbed as her clenched fists beat his chest then opened, pulling him towards her, his face, as damp as hers.
Next up, Ali, with this beautiful achievement thats a true story. Love a happy ending
The phone is ringing. The new girl sits at her desk looking at it, face scarlet. I pause, half hidden behind a tall shelf unit, and watch; her third day, and she still hasn’t answered the phone.
Suzie, her mentor, turns to me questioningly, but I shake my head. She says something to the girl and smiles, but her eyes are glued to the phone in terror, and she doesn’t see.
It’s only a phone, I murmur, willing her to pick up. The phone rings and rings. Its persistent tone is starting to irritate; more than a few annoyed faces glance her way across the office.
Was I wrong about her, I wonder.
Slowly, her hand reaches out and hovers above the receiver, as if she half expects it will leap up and bite. Then she lunges forward and answers. She speaks self-consciously into the mouthpiece, frowning in concentration, presses a button, and her voice floats loud and clear over the tannoy.
“Ph-ph-ph-phonecall on line one for Miss Isaac.”
Her colleagues erupt in applause, and I go forward to congratulate her. She is beaming with pride. Such a small achievement, you might think, but for someone with a stutter, it is Everest.