A Dark Pool (inspired by Laura Knight)

The wind spins around her. The hairs on her arms bristle – the heat of the summer has been lost. Her feet cling to the rocks, hardened and worn after a summer spent scrabbling over rocks, searching for shells and crabs.

This is the first time that she has been alone in a while and she relishes it.

The sea swirls around her and she stares into the dark pool where the water spins, crashing against the rocks, spraying her feet and making her shiver. She watches the water swirl, mesmerized, and then from beneath her dress she takes the letters and tears them into shreds, scattering them onto the waves, watching the ocean swallow them and the pieces disappear, like ash floating on the wind.

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A Still Summer’s Morning

The air is as still as the water. There’s that feel, that anticipation – the air is warm.

The grass is soft beneath her feet – still damp with summer’s dew, but that’s already disappearing, as quickly as the day begins. She’s content though – for the time being. The day is still asleep, it hasn’t woken up yet, and she’s glad.

This was the best part of the day. The calm before the storm. She curled her toes up, scrunching the grass between them, and took a deep breath.

There was nothing like this fresh air – this calm. This was what she lived for.

But in an instance, she was back there – in the dark, in the cold, in the wind, watching the dead boat washing up on the shore – its hull exposed for all to see. The ship had creaked and groaned. There had been screaming – plenty of screaming, and she hadn’t known where it was coming from. Some it had come from her, she was sure of that.

The sun on her face disappeared, a shadow passing over and she shuddered. She closed her eyes and it was there.

There even when she opened them again and could see the cool, blue of the still warm water in front of her. It was nothing like the wild, crashing sea of that horrendous night.

But it haunted her dreams.

She wrapped her arms around her body, trying to warm herself up again.

It didn’t work.

Somewhere in the distance, a bird twittered from the tops of the trees. A car rumbled along a distant road.

Soon, the world would be waking and her idyllic bubble would be burst.

Since that fateful, horrific night, she had barely slept a wink. These beautiful still early mornings were what she lived for these days.

She took another deep breath and tried to bring herself back to the present moment.

Here, there were no wrecks – no ships on the beach. There was no fear that here the sea would rise up above her and swallow her.

The sun, rising up over the distant hills twinkled on the water making it sparkle.

Behind her, in the house, a window opened, a door creaked open.

The day had begun – and nightmares were banished once again, until the darkness came.

 

The Forgotten House [Flash Fiction]

She discovered the house by accident. It appeared, brick by brick, through the bare branches of a hedge. Mud squelched underfoot and the winter wind whipped across her face. She was transfixed by the house and it’s sudden, unexpected appearance.

She pushed her way through the hedge, the branches prickling at her.

Gravel crunched underfoot. She searched the windows, wondering if there were eyes watching her, but there was only darkness.

The front door loomed in front of her. She pushed it hopefully, but the door was stiff and locked, a huge padlock hanging from the handle. There was no way she would get in. It was clear that no one had been there in years.

And then she heard a scratching sound behind the door.

She shivered.

Scratch, scratch.

The door handle rattled.

She stood back as it swung open.

 

 

The Pickle Jars [Flash Fiction]

The pickles and chutneys were lined up on the window sill, a curtain pulled over them. Occasionally, a light shone from the inside of the house. Sometime, she noticed that one of the jars had disappeared, leaving a gap, only to be replaced again by another, fresh jar. No matter what, they were always there.

She passed the house, which was tired with peeling paint every day. And the jars on the windowsill were a regular feature, although she was never quite sure about why they were there.

The others gathered dust as the days passed. The layers of grime grew thicker. The pickles remained on the window sill and no lights shone from within the house.

Dancer [Flash Fiction]

Her hair is coiled into a bun. The strands of hair are pulled tightly – so tightly that they hurt. The girl scratches the top of her neck, desperate to dislodge some of them.

‘Don’t do that,’ her mother says and she drops her hand so that she’s staring out the train window again, watching the approaching city. She’s silent – her hair still feels too tight, but there’s no point complaining now.

As they pull into the city, her mother taps her on the shoulder, helps her into her coat, and checks her hair again, just to be sure.

She sits in front of a mirror – her hair coiled into a bun, secured by pins, a hairnet, and plenty of hair spray, like it always was before. She’s well practiced now.

Her mother’s instructions echo in her mind.

Someone rushes into the dressing room, knocking over a can of hairspray. It clatters to the floor and she watches it roll away, under a table. An announcement is made on the loudspeaker.

The memory fades into the distant past.

It’s just her, alone at her mirror.

She puts her hand up to her bun, to be sure that it’s secure. It took a while, but she got used to the tightness, the hairs pulling at her scalp.

But now she has to do her own hair.

blossom on tree, spring,

Sunday

Lazy Sunday. Cafetiere of coffee. Croissants. Jam. Sunday paper. Breakfast outside. More coffee. Blogging. Writing. Relaxing. Dreaming. Imagining. Roast lunch. Sunday afternoon films. High tea. Back to school feeling. Sunday night blues.