#fp Transformation

This is something I tweeted today as part of the Friday Phrases genre.  This expansion is for @bobbibowwoman

https://twitter.com/whithernow/status/581359812480499712

The itch was unbearable.  She scrabbled at her body, pulling off skin as it puckered and swelled.

More scales patterned her skin?

Scales?  What the heck….

Her legs started to blister, her feet ballooning like they were filled with water.  She couldn’t look as they popped loudly, leaving only the bones behind.  Only scream again.

Now the pain in her back was driving her crazy.  Right in the place she couldn’t reach with the scaly hands that were elongating as she looked.  She was pushed to the floor by a sudden weight. Unable to move or breath for a moment, it was a chance to rest.

The weak sunlight warmed her as she lay there.  A slight breeze tickled her nose.  Opening her eyes, her vision was dazzled by a new focus.  Everything was clearer, brighter, more colourful.  Things smelt so much better – tantalising her, teasing her to come and find out why.

Raising her head, she tried to get up only to find she rose into the air.  The transformation was complete.

In the garden a butterfly flew for the first time.

#writing dare – 99 words ending … well you’ll see how it pans out

Mary wasn’t very good at anything he decided.

The house was a tip. Dust everywhere, even under things like drawers! The hoover never seemed to be used and papers piled up on every surface. Nigel, of course, pointed out her failings to her every day, mentioning his numerous allergies in glorious monotony. Mary smiled and carried on doing what she always did.

After 45 years of this, Nigel decided he’d had enough and told her he was divorcing her. Enough was enough.

She nodded agreement, then handed him a cake containing nuts.

And smiled as he choked to death.

Who left the flowers?

headstone

It was some days after the funeral, when all the flowers had been gathered up and put on the compost heap that I noticed a new wreath had appeared with a card next to the simple grave marker. It said “with all my love”. I didn’t recognise the writing, but then it might have some florist’s careless scrawl, hastily done with the phone in one hand, scribbling a quick message to fulfil an order.

Still, I was intrigued. I had been to the graveyard every day and had seen nobody. Then again, I was too busy feeling sorry for myself, focusing only on my own grief. The truth was that I… the truth was that I was devastated by my own loss. I didn’t care about anyone else and how they might be feeling.

The flowers withered and died so I carefully tidied up the grave. The next day another fresh wreath appeared with the same cryptic message. Again, I had seen nobody approach. The funny thing was the flowers were some of my favourites, in the colours I love. Someone had impeccable taste.

I started appearing earlier and earlier to see if I could catch the mystery donor. I sat on the bench from dawn till dusk, in rain and shine but still didn’t find out who it was. The flowers were regularly replaced and the message never varied: a veritable lesson in constancy. I would have liked to meet the person who cared so much and yet, our paths never seemed to cross.

It was only after a year that I finally found out the truth. The gravestone was replaced on a cold, damp morning. I had forgotten that you have to leave the earth to settle before doing this. On this day a yearning had come over me, a yearning to be close so I hung around, hoping against hope that I would finally find out who was leaving the flowers.

Yes! Someone was coming along the path. A man who looked very familiar, very familiar indeed. He was carrying a wreath which he placed carefully on the grave, touching the headstone gently. He looked unbearably sad, then he spoke.

“Well darling, it’s a year to the day that I buried you. I brought the flowers like I said I would. You know, I miss you so much. Even though we spoke about this when you were in the hospice, I still can’t get over how hard each day has been. If only you were here, so I could hold you once more.”

I wanted to comfort this man and reached for him. Stretching my hands out, they passed right through him. I turned and looked at the headstone in a state of shock. There, in solid black letters was my name and the date of my death.

He shivered, wiping his eyes, turned and walked away. Now it was my turn to cry.

Lies #short story

“You’ll always be beautiful” Momma said when we talked on the phone. How she knew that, I don’t know, for she hadn’t seen me for a while. She didn’t see the bruises that distorted my face where he’d hit me.

“You’re so clever” she said. How could I be clever when I stayed with him after he broke another promise not to hit me again? I wish I had her belief in me, so I can break free. I wish I had the courage to stop this once and for all.

“I love you” she said.

“I know, Momma, I know. I love you too. It’s all good.” I whisper back.

That’s the hardest thing to bear when I end the call and drag myself back into the house where it starts all over again.

That I have to pretend that all is well with me, when really it’s not.

Missing you day

Today is one of those days when I have become unmanned by the very fact of his absence. It gets easier after a while, and then along comes something that trips you up and makes you realise that there is a hole in your life that someone pretty damn important used to occupy. The grief you think you’ve worked through suddenly throws you a curved ball.

So I sit here, with memories trickling down my cheeks as I find myself missing the wisdom, love and caring that my father brought to my life. And it hurts that I can’t have that chat about work and how to approach things, that the years of experience have gone and I can’t get access to that one thing that might make sense of complicated issues. That I used to resent (mightily) having to go and help him out with things that had just become too much in the later stages of his life now shames me and I wish it didn’t. I know he felt he was a burden and hated how his frailty stopped him from maintaining independence, yet he never once complained. Maybe he did, in the quiet hours, but never to me.

It’s a different country now when you’ve lost that person forever. Treasure those hours where you are on call. Once they are gone, you’ll never have that problem again. One day, you’ll be sitting as I am now, just wanting one more hug, feeling very sorry for yourself.

Missing you days are the hardest.

#writing dare – 99 words starting “The baby was screaming again”

The baby was screaming again.

Every day. Pretty much all day, the baby screamed.

Truth was if she’d known about all this, then she might had changed her mind about it all. But no-one asked her. Even if they had, they wouldn’t have understood her. She spoke a language that had few interpreters in this place. Someone, somewhere needed to get the message before it was too late.

Carefully opening her eyes, she glanced around to see if she could attract some attention. Nobody around.

Her baby sister was hungry again. She knew that even if her mom didn’t.