The Quirky Mother’s Tale – A sequel

Word Prompt: Anticipation

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/06/20/anticipation/

 

Yesterday I wrote a light-hearted story called ‘An Unconventional Upbringing’. It was the story of a young child brought up in a strange atmosphere of camaraderie but without convention.

See here to read it:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/multiple-word-prompt-story-an-unconventional-upbringing/

Well the Britchy One wanted some more. You know you can’t say no to the Britchy one, right?

http://bitchininthekitchendotorg.wordpress.com/

So, I thought I would write the story of the quirky mum. Where there’s light, there’s dark, so prepare yourself for the dark. Without further anticipation, here is the tale.

FOWC with Fandango — Almost

Almost

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/06/20/a-new-daily-post-word-prompt-june-20th-2018-word-wrangle/

Wrangle

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/06/20/three-things-challenge-20-june-2018/

Sandal, Sea Horse, Polar Ice Caps.

https://aaamazingphoenix.wordpress.com/2018/06/20/summer-and-other-daily-prompts-for-20-jun-2018/

Summer

The Quirky Mother’s Tale 

I’ve been called many things in my time. A slut, a harlot, a drunk and the most painful of all, an unfit mother. Well let me tell you how it feels to be me, shall I?

I was born into a strict household. My mother gave birth to me but never really loved me. She was just having me because she was carrying out her wifely duties and her husband, my father, took his rights very seriously. Every night. I don’t remember my Father very clearly but he never laughed or smiled. Neither did my Mother. It was a cold, uncaring atmosphere to grow up in. When my Father died, my Mother had very little money but she married a cousin just to keep a roof over our heads. Now I remember my Stepfather all too clearly. I only wish I could forget. My favourite drink of bourbon can only blot him out briefly. I was only fourteen when it started. My Mother was no longer so keen to perform her wifely duties and she was looking rather haggard after all the years of physical abuse my Father had put her through. So, my Stepfather started to sneak into my room at night. At first, he was gentle and he just touched me. He would make me touch him too. No, please excuse me, I won’t go into any of the gruesome details. It isn’t fit for decent ears.

Continue reading The Quirky Mother’s Tale – A sequel

Multiple word prompt story – An Unconventional Upbringing

June 19 Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge

Child of Summer

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/a-new-daily-post-word-prompt-june-19th-2018-word-situation/#like-160

Situation

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/three-things-challenge-19-june-2018/

mouse, sheet music, comedy

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/camaraderie/

Camaraderie

FICTION ALERT: THIS STORY IS IN NO WAY A REFLECTION OF MY LIFE AND THE STORY IS A COMPLETE WORK OF FICTION. 

I was born into a rather unconventional household. My mother was a particularly quirky lady. Growing up she used to call me her ‘Child of Summer’ which was always a puzzle to me because we lived in the northern hemisphere and I was born in April. April is very much spring, not summer. 

Continue reading Multiple word prompt story – An Unconventional Upbringing

The Wind Sheds No Tears – Part Five

This is a part of a longer story that I have been writing over the last few weeks. 

See here for the last part of the story, which also contains links to all the others, if you want to read more:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/the-wind-sheds-no-tears-part-four/

Part Five

The next day Pablo woke early. The sun was just coming up over the horizon, its light slowly ebbing into the dark night sky, hiding all its stars and turning it blue and getting brighter and brighter towards the east.

He put a small pack together, a change of clothes and a few simple belongings, he didn’t own much. He also put on the silver St Christopher charm necklace that his mother had given him. He didn’t usually wear it as the memories of his mother filled him with that longing for her touch that would never come. It was a charm to protect travellers and he was going with his Uncle Carlos to the City of Valencia. Likely, he would need its protection now.

Continue reading The Wind Sheds No Tears – Part Five

The Wind Sheds No Tears – Part Four

This is part of a longer story I am currently writing and have been posting in sections of around 800 words (this part is a bit longer).

For those of you who have been following the story, I hope you like this latest addition.

If you would like to read it from the beginning I have posted links to the other sections below:

Part One:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/03/29/the-wind-sheds-no-tears-part-one/

Part Two:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/the-wind-sheds-no-tears-part-two/

Part Three:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/04/12/the-wind-sheds-no-tears-part-three/

Part Four

He could hear his Aunt Anna-Maria, his Father and his Uncle Carlos talking downstairs.

His Uncle Carlos was saying.

“Look he isn’t a boy any longer, he’s fifteen and he needs to learn a trade. I could take him back to Valencia with me. I need someone I can trust to help me, someone who knows the ways of the sea.”

“Go with you, what do you actually do in the big city eh Carlos? You’ve never really told us have you? I bet it isn’t an honest living.” His Father shouted.

Uncle Carlos returned fire.

“Oh and where has an honest living got you then? Still living in this shack, in the same town? Why do you stay here? It won’t bring her back you know?”

He then heard the door bang as his Father stormed out. He saw him through the window walking up the hill towards his fish shop. He doubted his father’s customers would be getting a friendly service this afternoon.

He heard his Aunt speaking below.

“You should not have said that to him Carlos. You know he has never gotten over losing Christina. Now he has lost his father too, the two people he really loved. You shouldn’t throw it in his face. He is a good man”.

“Is he, Anna-Maria? He has never shown much goodness to me, or his son?”

“Keep your voice down Carlos. You and he always fought like cat and dog growing up. What have you ever done to earn his affection? As for that poor little lad, he has done nothing wrong, but in his Fathers eyes…” His Aunt stopped speaking. She was crying softly.

“I’m sorry Anna, forgive me. I didn’t mean to make you cry. Not you, the last one in the family that talks to me.”

“No, it is about Pablo that I cry. He was only little when he got a fever. It was before Dr. Lopez moved here. You had to pay for the Doctor then and we had no money. Christina nursed Pablo through his illness, only then she got it herself and died. That is why Roberto is like this. He blames the boy and now he sees the boy as taking away his Father too.”

“But Pablo didn’t take the boat out, Father did, you know how reckless he could be sometimes.”

“Yes but Pablo was on board. Roberto now thinks he is bad luck. I hope I can change his mind, because Little Pablo has suffered enough, they both need each other.”

The shock of what he had heard was like a punch in the face. He gathered all his strength. A lump formed in his throat, composed of all the hurt he had kept inside all this time and he swallowed it, like swallowing a melon whole. Now he knew why his father had always been so distant.

He thought to himself “So he was bad luck was he? I have had enough of this. It is time I did something and made something of myself.”

Slowly he went downstairs.

Aunt Anna-Maria was sitting at the kitchen table. Her dark brown eyes still had tears in them. Uncle Carlos stood behind her with his hand on her shoulder. They looked up when they realised he was standing there. His Uncle Carlos looked much like his father and Uncle Miguel but he wore his dark hair slicked back with some kind of oil and also had a thin moustache. His eyes held things back. Most people he knew, you could see their thoughts clearly in their eyes but Uncle Carlos had learned to hide his thoughts. He supposed that was necessary in the big city. He knew the city had more sharks in it that the whole of the ocean. Not the kind that swam, but sharks none the less.

“I want to go with you, Uncle. I don’t want to stay here anymore. You are right; I am fifteen and need to learn a trade. When you leave, I will go with you.”

“Fine, my boy, I am leaving in the morning, come and meet me at the tavern after breakfast.”

Aunt Anna-Maria spoke, her voice cracking from the emotions she was trying to deal with. After all, it was her Father too who had died in the storm.

“Pablo, no wait! I can change your Father’s mind, he doesn’t really want you to go; he needs you. I need you. We need each other.”

“I love you dearly, you have been like a mother to me but I can’t stay here any longer with a Father who doesn’t care for me. I need to be my own man now. I will go with Uncle Carlos in the morning.”

Pablo went back to his room and found some paper, pen and ink to write a letter. He wrote:

“Dearest Margarita,

I am writing this to tell you I am leaving to go to Valencia with my Uncle. I am going to learn his trade and become rich.

My heart is heavy to leave here, not because I will miss my father, I know he will shed no tears for me, but because I am leaving you.

If you feel the same for me, do not be sad. Know that one day I will return for you.

Yours Ever

Pablo.”

He took the long walk up to the big white casa and delivered the letter to the large housekeeper. He didn’t want to see Margarita; it would have made leaving too hard.

The housekeeper took the letter and put it in the pocket of her apron. She then folded her strong arms under her large bosom and watched him walk away with a strange look in her eyes.

End of Part Four.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 19/April/2018

 

The Wind Sheds No Tears – Part Three

I have been writing a story and posting it in sections of around 800 words. Please see here 

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/03/29/the-wind-sheds-no-tears-part-one/

for part one

and here for part two

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/the-wind-sheds-no-tears-part-two/

This is part three. I hope you enjoy it. 

 

Chapter three – Departing

Later that morning they all walked down to the church. The sun shone down on the town bathing it is its glorious rays and lighting up the white washed buildings with their blue and yellow painted doors and window frames. He thought, ‘strange how often life juxtaposes such beauty with so much sorrow’.

The Church of Santa Maria looked particularly lovely, the stone glistening, practically glowing in the late morning sunshine. The bell in the tower was ringing out and he could see quite a procession of people heading into the church. It seemed almost everyone was going to Belo’s funeral.

They crossed the little bridge over the river into the main town and joined the end of the procession. As they entered the church he could see his family seated at the front, next to the body of his grandfather in his woven basket coffin, like baby Moses in his basket of rushes. Dr. Lopez and Margarita sat at the back of the church and he sat with them, he didn’t want to push through the crowd to reach his family. He felt more comfortable at the back somehow. He watched his father stand up and read a eulogy about fishermen and the sea. His Uncle Miguel was there standing behind him, and next to him was Uncle Carlos. Uncle Carlos was the black sheep of the family and had left home after grandmother died, because he hadn’t seen eye to eye with grandfather. He had only seen him twice before. It was quite a surprise to see him here. He lived a long way away in the big city.

The priest stood up to speak. He felt the tears come again. The pain of his loss was still so raw but he hated crying with so many people around him. A little hand gripped his and he looked down at margarita’s hand holding his, giving him comfort.

After the ceremony people began milling about. He could hear Old Diego saying over and over again to anyone who would listen “Well I told him, you know? I told him not to take his boat out. I told him the storm was coming.” He knew Diego meant no harm, but the braying ass’s words were like a knife to the chest. The tears were choking in his throat.

His family came to gather him in, like the lost sheep. His Father, and his Aunt Anna-Maria, who kept house and had looked after him after his mother had died of a fever. So long ago that he could barely remember her. Uncle Miguel looked less than his usual hearty self, expected under the circumstances.

He felt a firm hand grip his shoulder in a gesture of friendly support. It was Doctor Lopez.

“Well, Senor Ortiz, I deliver your son to you safe and secure. Farewell Pablo and good luck.”

His father spoke, in sombre tones. “Thank you, Doctor, for looking after my son and bringing him back to us. I don’t know how we can repay your kindness.”

“Well, he’s a fine boy; I was pleased to have been of service.”

Dr. Lopez and Margarita left the Church. She flashed him a look with those dark eyes that said it was only goodbye for now.

His father looked down at him with sad brown eyes. His eyes were always sad and brown, for as long as he remembered, but somehow they had become even more so. Sombrely he said.

“Well come along Pablo. We’ve got to bury my Father and then I think it’s time for us to have a little talk.”

Having paid their respects in the church the townsfolk all departed back to their normal lives to leave the family in their grief.

The family proceeded to the graveyard to inter their dearly departed father and grandfather.

The grave was next to his grandmothers. In passing he noticed the name on it. Conchita Maria Alvarez Ortiz. So Belo had named his boat for her. Of course it made sense but he never knew his Grandmothers name, she was always Abuelita to him. He had never visited the grave. He was like most young people, only concerned with the living. He had been quite young still when she had died, seven years ago.

The priest continued his ritual as they slowly lowered the cheap coffin into the ground. They all threw a handful of red earth, still damp from the storm, into the hole and then they slowly went home.

When he got back to their small house he went up the wooden ladder into his small room at the back. He just wanted to be alone for a while with his tears.

End of part three….

Copyright Kristian Fogarty 12/April/2018

 

The Wind Sheds No Tears – Part Two

Last week I posted part one of my story, ‘The Wind Sheds No Tears’. I said I would post up sections of around 800 words on a regular basis.  Here is part two. 

I hope you like it. Comments welcome.

 

Chapter Two – A Gentle Hand

Slowly he opened his eyes. He was lying in a soft bed. A candle just gave enough light to show the young girl leaning over to touch his forehead. He smelt her perfume, spicy and intoxicating.

Bewildered, he asked “Where am I? What happened?”

Softly she replied “Just lie there, don’t move. You’re safe now.”

He felt so tired. He rested his head back against a soft feather pillow.
Her gentle voice spoke again.

“Hush now, just rest”.

He drifted off to sleep only dimly aware of a delicate hand clasping his.

 

He awoke to the sensation of a different hand, a firm and determined hand gripping his wrist.

Dr. Lopez was standing over him taking his pulse.

He sat up and asked the doctor.

“What is happening? Where am I?”

“So you’re awake at last are you boy? We were afraid at first we were going to lose you; you had swallowed so much sea water. You were too weak to take too far. You are in my house. You washed up on my beach, it seemed my Christian duty to help, and it seemed like a test of my faith, somehow. Providence.”

He realised that he was in a very grand room with white tiles on the floor and he was in the most comfortable bed he had ever been in. The brightly woven mat on the floor spoke of far more wealth than most people in the area possessed. He was in the white Casa. Then he remembered the storm, the boat, his grandfather, uncle and cousin.
“I remember the storm, where is my grandfather?”

“Your Uncle and Cousin managed to swim ashore and the townsfolk began searching for you and your grandfather. As I say, we found you virtually on my doorstep. You are lucky indeed. Your grandfather, I’m sorry to say, wasn’t so lucky. He was found further down the coast. I’m afraid I was too late, he’s dead.”

He knew that at fifteen, he was considered a grown man, and grown men weren’t supposed to cry but he couldn’t control himself. He sobbed and cried with such abandon that any shame he felt was made nothing next to the overwhelming grief. His grandfather had been so much a part of his life, more so than his own father who spent most of his time selling fish at the market. He cried until the exhaustion overcame him and he fell into sleep, only to dream of his grandfather standing in his favourite place in the cantina, telling tales and making everyone laugh.

This time when he awoke, he felt stronger and the sunlight was streaming through the shuttered windows. Standing up from her chair in the corner, it was her. It was Margarita. Her dark hair was just the same as before, held with ribbons, this time mauve to match her dress.

“So Pablo, are you feeling any better? Yes, I can see you are. You have colour back in your cheeks. I will call Papa. Papa, he’s awake now.”

Dr. Lopez came into the room followed by a large, plump lady wearing a white apron and black hair piled on top of her head like a burnt loaf of bread. She was carrying a tray and the unmistakable smell of freshly baked bread wafted from under the cloth covering it. His stomach began rumbling noisily.

Dr. Lopez spoke. “Here you go boy, you’ll need some nourishment inside you after all the sleeping you’ve been doing. This is the third day since we brought you here. Your clothes are here.” He said pointing to a neat and clean but worn pile of clothes on the floor by the bed. “I will have some wash water brought in to you once you have eaten.”

“Thank you Doctor for looking after me, you have been so kind Sir.”

“It is nothing more than my Christian duty my boy, as providence saw fit to bring you to me. Besides, Margarita was desperate to practice her nursing skills on someone. Who was I to stand in the way of fate?”

Margarita blushed delicately and flashed a smile at him. Her dark eyes told him that his years of hopeless longing were not as hopeless as he had thought.

“We’ll leave you now to eat and get dressed. Today is the day of your Grandfather’s funeral; many from the town are going. He was a lovable rascal and held in high regards. We said we would escort you to the church, and then you can return home with your family. We have been keeping them informed of your progress.”

Dr. Lopez and Margarita left the room.

“Now be sure you eat every bite” The housekeeper told him in a deep, authoritative voice then left too.

Thoughts of his grandfather came to him and threatened to unman him once again, but he was too hungry to cry. He ate quickly and eagerly savouring every last mouthful of the bread. There was some sardine paste too, delicious.

 

End of Part Two…….

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 05/April/2018

The Four Furies – Fictional tale.

There were four of them. 

Mrs Agnes Pruitt, vicars wife. Mrs Dorothy Blatchett, the wife of the local undertaker. Mrs Elsie Dinsmore, the head cook at the local college and Miss Thelma Barrow, spinster of the parish.

An unholy quartet of venom and spite. 

They sat there with an air of menace. There wasn’t a cauldron for them to foment their poisoned brew. Only the magazines on the coffee table of the hair salon.

They sat with their hair under the driers and talked mercilessly about their friends.

With a surgeons precision they dissected their victims reputations and gorged on the juices. 

Fake news is no new phenomenon because as long as there have been human beings, there has also been these putrifacted undead who live off gossip and the ashes of other people’s living fires. 

‘No smoke without fire’ They sagely spout knowing full well that any truth their gossip manages to unearth is merely coincidental to the juiciness of the tale itself. A more truthful epitaph would be ‘Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.’

“I saw her who works at the off license going into number 11 yesterday, just before lunchtime. She emerged an hour later and her hair was in a completely different style, and her hubby away working on the oil rigs too. A shame. He’ll come home to a shock.” Said Dorothy Blatchett, with glee.

Elsie Dinsmore responded, like taking a serve in tennis. “Well I saw the new teacher at the school, you know the young heart-throb who all the young ladies are keen on? Well I saw him in his living room with another man. This fashion for doing away with net curtains is a boon for those of us with a more observing nature. I could see the whole thing! A bitter disappointment for all the lasses when this gets out. A shame really, such a waste.”

Agnes Pruitt replied “It seems very common nowadays that sort of thing. My husband took our car to the garage to be serviced and he saw one of the mechanics slap another one on the backside when he bent over to check the engine!” 

Slightly indignantly Dorothy Blatchett quickly uttered “Maybe it was a bit of horseplay. My grandson works at that garage and he’s been walking out with the Sunday school teacher.”

“Well maybe it was and maybe it wasn’t but there’s certainly more of it about.” Lamented Agnes.

“Shhhh, here comes Debbie to check on us, I’ve got something to tell you about her, when she’s gone.” Thelma Barrow quickly interjected.

“How are you ladies getting on? Almost dry? I can see you’re almost ready Mrs Blatchett, I’ll be back in ten minutes to finish you off.” 

When she’d gone they started up again.

“Well Thelma what have you got on Debbie then? Always seems a nice girl, never heard nothing about her.”

“Well I was walking past the pub the other night and out stumbled Keith Stanmore with his arm around Debbie’s waist. I don’t think they saw me. Keith’s wife has just had twins too. You never would have thought it, would you?”

“Was that last Thursday Thelma?” Replied Elsie, “I think you’ve gone awry there dear. Keith is Debbie’s Cousin and there was a bit of a do last Thursday in the pub to celebrate Keith and Sally having twins. My Gerald was in there, apparently they all put in to buy Keith several rounds.” 

The others sighed in disappointment, something would have to go and spoil it. 

Then Debbie returned to see to Mrs Blatchett and their gossip came to an end, at least until the next time.

“Bye dears see you in Church on Sunday.” Said Thelma to her friends as she left.

 

Then she went home to her little bungalow. 

She sat on her sofa and caught her reflection in the tarnished mirror on the mantelpiece. Her made-up lined face stared back at her. The bags under her eyes. When did she get so Old? Her hair was nicely blued, curled and set. She thought about her life. In the blink of an eye she had gone from a young thing getting ready for a night out, dancing with her fella. Then he was dead and gone. With so many others who had gone to war. The years passed like lightning and here she was alone and miserable. The misery was so deep within her bones. It was just habit that kept her going, and will keep her going until she died alone in bed.

Nowadays it was other people’s lives that were the only thing left to interest her. She envied them. These youngsters. 

Wiping away a little tear, she reached for the remote control and turned the television on. It was one of those reality programmes where they go in undercover to see how people really lived. She smiled and took a bit of pleasure from seeing someone get embarrassed by the cameras. 

While she watched and lived vicariously through others, the victims of her spite were out enjoying themselves in the local pub. They were happy.  It is so much better to be living life and be the subject of other’s gossip, than to be the gossiper, alone and at home.

Nothing can be more pathetic and pitiable than a life unlived. 

The End

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 28/March/2018

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/quartet/

 

via Daily Prompt: Quartet