Happy Families – Part two

Yesterday I reposted a short story that I wrote a couple of years ago about the discovery of a secret from the past. This was the story:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/07/15/a-multi-prompt-short-story-happy-families/

This is part two.

My poor mother was clearly in no fit state to deal with the issues that had suddenly been dumped upon her. The storm knocking over Grandfather’s tree and exposing a body. The locket containing a key to a box kept locked for who knows how many years. Then finally the revelation of Great Aunt Sally’s diary. It had all been too much for Mother and she descended into tears.

I did the best thing I could do. I helped her into her bedroom, made her drink a glass of water containing her sleeping powders and put her to bed. I sat with her until her chest rose and fell in that steady rhythm of deep sleep. Her body looked so gaunt and frail. She had never been a big eater and living on her own, she clearly hadn’t been eating enough to keep her strength up. Any strength she’d had noticeably ebbed away with the shock of recent events. Her pale hair hung in wispy tendrils around her softly lined face. Her eyes were sunken. She looked more like an eighty-year-old rather than a woman in her sixties. In fact, she reminded me of Great Aunt Sally herself, who’d been eight-eight when she passed. The memory of her, reminded me of that leather-bound book I’d left in her old bedroom.

I walked slowly back down the landing to Great Aunt Sally’s bedroom and sat down upon the bed. A musty smell surrounded me as I sank into that old feather mattress. I picked up the diary. Dare I read this, knowing that it will bring me face to face with some dreadful reality? I knew I had to read on, no matter how dark the journey will be. This was a part of my family history. I prepared myself to amble through the past.

The book fell open at the front page, scrawled with those terrible words my Great Aunt had written ‘Why I killed my Sister today.’

It was clear that these words had been written in some time after the first entry below. Although it was the same hand, the fateful words had been written in a shakier less steady hand but was in clearer ink. The entries below appeared to have been written many years early. The ink was faded and it looked like it had been written in one of those scratchy old-fashioned pens.

The first date was December 25th, 1910.

I received this diary for Christmas and this is my first entry. Emma and I were so excited when we discovered Santa Claus had been. Both our stockings that we’d hung at the bottom of our bed were bulging, but Emma’s seemed to be more so than mine. I was pleased with my Christmas Orange and the walnuts. I had four but I think Emma had six walnuts but she hid two and said she’d only had four like me. We both had gifts wrapped in brightly colour paper and string. Emma’s was bigger than mine, as usual.

Well no surprise that my present was this diary, and I am quite pleased with it, but Emma’s present was much nicer. It was a wooden box carved with animals and the wood smelled so nice. I wish I had that box instead. Emma always gets the best. Just because she’s the elder by ten minutes and she has dimples and I don’t. I hate being a twin. Mother said it’s special being a twin because you always have a friend to play with, but I hate it, hate it, HATE IT.

January 30th, 1910

I am recovering in the infirmary because I fell out of our tree house. They were worried I may have been killed. I remember we were playing, Emma and I, but then as so often happened, she said something spiteful so I slapped her and we ended up fighting again. People may have thought it was an accident, but I know better. Emma pushed me. I heard the doctor talking to Mother, I have broken my legs but they will heal but the doctor said I had internal bleeding of the uterus and as such I may have issues in the future. I can’t say I understand much of the words he used but It sounds impressive. Mother came and sat with me and made a lot of fuss over me. It makes a change from Emma getting all the attention.

I flicked over some of the pages. The childish outbursts and pettiness irritated me. I hadn’t known Great Aunt Sally and my Grandmother had been twins, but I had never known my Grandmother at all. It was clear that not every day had an entry, or every week. Sometimes weeks would pass before something was recorded. As I skimmed over a couple of pages, this resulted in travelling through time by a few years, then another entry caught my eye.

August 21st, 1915.

Our first ball. When Mother had said it was time for us to attend our first summer party I was thrilled and so was Emma. We seem to have been getting on better lately and I must admit it is nice to have someone to talk to and share secrets with. Emma always seems to know just what I’m thinking. We have had new dresses made, in a light frothy lacy material. Mine has green trim around the neck, waist and hem whereas Emma’s dress has red ribbons. As we entered the room people stopped and stared at us. I must admit we looked lovely with our long hair neatly curled into ringlets. I couldn’t help but overhear Mrs Paxton say “Don’t they look adorable” as we walked past. Then spiteful Cathy Anderson said “Emma does, I don’t think green suits Sally at all.”

I would have said something back to her, Cathy with her terrible complexion! The Gall of it, but then I saw them. Theodore and Edgar Taylor. They are twins too! They are visiting from Carolina and we spent most of the evening talking together. What gentlemen and what lovely dancers.

August, 25th 1915

I have lost my heart completely. Theodore Taylor is the most handsome man I have ever met. Of course, his brother Edgar is nice too, but Theodore’s eyes are bluer and he is just a bit taller, I think.

September, 3rd 1915

The most horrible thing has happened. Theodore has asked Emma to marry him. Doesn’t he know I adore him? It was all Emma’s doing. She knew I loved him. Why did I tell her? Why? She set out to deliberately steal him from me. I will never forgive her, never, never, never.

June 2nd 1916

So today was Emma’s wedding to Theodore. I didn’t want to go, but Emma begged me to be her bridesmaid. She even shed tears. She could always turn on those tears when she wanted something. I relented in the end. I felt cold inside watching Emma walking down the aisle and Theodore standing there waiting for her. It should have been ME.

Something, at least, has come out of today. Edgar proposed to me. I was sitting outside the church and I couldn’t help shedding a little tear as Emma and my Theodore rode off in that carriage. Edgar thought I was sad to see Emma go, bless him. He actually got down on bended knee and proposed. I said I would have to think about it.

I don’t love him, but I think I will accept. He and Theodore are very close. Much closer that Emma and I will ever be.

I thought it odd that there was no mention of her own wedding day, I skimmed over the pages but I could see no mention of it whatsoever.

To be Continued……..

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 16/July/2018

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/rdp-46-open/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/amble/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/07/16/your-daily-word-prompt-noticeably-july-16th-2018/

FOWC with Fandango — Memory

PRUNING on a Sunday

Yesterday my Mum came to tea, and looking out at my garden she announced “What an overgrown mess!”

My ears could not believe this terrible calumny! This attack on my green and lush sanctuary, my little recreation of Eden. Then the scales fell from my eyes and I realised that my mother had spoken the truth and I had deceived myself.

I decided to redeem myself and so today I spent some hours doing some major pruning of the garden that has really grown due to all the heavy rain intermixed with short periods of sunshine. A major chopping back was something that the garden really did require and it has left me feeling totally exhausted (but just a bit pleased with my efforts).

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2021/07/11/rdp-sunday-calumny/

https://fivedotoh.com/2021/07/11/fowc-with-fandango-redeem/

Song Lyric Sunday – Brutality and Cruelty, History isn’t always resigned to the past.

The Song Lyric Sunday Challenge this week is to post a song with the theme of Brutal, Cruel, Frenzy, Savage, Violent.

Click on the link below to see Jim Adam’s post and to take part in the challenge.

https://jimadamsauthordotcom.wordpress.com/2021/06/19/mercilessly-barbaric/

For those of you who know my taste in music or who have read some of my posts will glean that I like music that could be considered old-fashioned. In choosing something that meets the challenge, I decided to choose music that tackle the theme of brutal injustice.

Firstly this song, that uses a vocal technique to evoke the struggling of people working in a forced labour gang. Sam Cooke’s song – Chain Gang.

This song was released in July 1960 and was written by Sam Cooke and Charles Cook Jr.

[Intro]
Hoh ah, hoh, I hear something saying
Hoh ah, hoh ah
Hoh ah, hoh ah

[Chorus]
Well don’t you know
That’s the sound of the men
Working on the chain, gang
That’s the sound of the men
Working on the chain, gang

[Bridge]
All day long they’re saying, hoh ah
Hoh ah, hoh ah, hoh ah

[Chorus]
Well don’t you know
That’s the sound of the men
Working on the chain, gang
That’s the sound of the men
Working on the chain, gang

[Verse 1]
All day long they work so hard till the sun is going down
Working on the highways and byways and wearing, wearing a frown
You hear they moaning their lives away

Then you hear somebody say;
https://410999cfaedc235fdf42d84964bebd41.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
[Chorus]
Well don’t you know
That’s the sound of the men
Working on the chain, gang
That’s the sound of the men
Working on the chain, gang

[Verse 2]
Can’t you hear them singing, mmm hoh ah
I’m going home one of these days
I’m going home, see my woman
Whom I love so dear
But meanwhile, I gotta work right here

[Chorus]
Well don’t you know
That’s the sound of the men
Working on the chain, gang
That’s the sound of the men
Working on the chain, gang

[Outro]
All day long they’re singing, mm hoh ah
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my work is so hard
Give me water, I’m thirsty, my, my work is so hard
Woah oh
My, my, my, my, my, my, my, my work is so hard

Secondly I thought of another powerful song about brutal injustice – Strange Fruit performed by Billie Holliday

This song was written by Abel Meeropol and recorded by Billie Holliday in 1939.

While these songs are from the past, its a shame that what they were written about has not been consigned to history.

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2021/06/20/rdp-sunday-glean/

https://fivedotoh.com/2021/06/20/fowc-with-fandango-tackle/

Song Lyric Sunday – How do and Hey there.

For various reasons, (a break away to Edinburgh and then a lot of work), I did not partake in this challenge the last couple of weeks but this week I have decided to have a go. It’ a great challenge.

The Song Lyric Sunday Challenge this week we the theme of Greet, Hey, Howdy.

Click on the link below to see Jim Adam’s post and to take part in the challenge.

https://jimadamsauthordotcom.wordpress.com/2021/06/12/hay-is-for-horses/

My Colleague, Fandango chose a song “Hey Girl” and this made me think of another song.

I also remembered that the most polite way to introduce yourself, according to outdated etiquette books, was to say “How do you do?” and that made me think of this song by Gerry and the Pacemakers: How do you it?

Gerry and the Pacemakers – How do you do it?

Strictly, they aren’t saying How do you do? but it’s close enough and I wanted to share this great song. It was written by Mitch Murray and was a UK Hit for Gerry and the Pacemakers in April 1963.

How do you do what you do to me?
I wish I knew
If I knew how you do it to me
I'd do it to you

How do you do what you do to me?
I'm feeling blue
Wish I knew how you do it to me
But I haven't a clue

You give me a feeling in my heart
Like an arrow passin' through it
Suppose that you think you're very smart
But won't you tell me how do you do it?

How do you do what you do to me?
If I only knew
Then perhaps you'd fall for me
Like I fell for you

You give me a feeling in my heart
Like an arrow passin' through it
Suppose that you think you're very smart
But won't you tell me how do you do it?

How do you do what you do to me?
If I only knew
Then perhaps you'd fall for me
Like I fell for you
When I do it to you

And going back to Fandango’s Hey Girl. This made me think of another song by Eddie Holman, “Hey there, Lonely Girl”. This was released in 1969.

And in doing my research I discovered that this was originally released as “Hey there lonely boy” by Ruby and the Romantics in 1963!

The Lyrics were written by Earl Shuman and Leon Carr.

Hey there, lonely boy, lonely boy
Let me make your broken heart like new
Oh, my lonely boy, lonely boy
Don't you know this lonely girl loves you?

Every since she broke your heart
You seem so lost each time you pass my way
Oh, how I long to take your hand
And say "Don't cry, I'll kiss your tears away"

Hey there, lonely boy (lonely boy), lonely boy (lonely boy)
Let me make your broken heart like new
Oh, my lonely boy (lonely boy), lonely boy (lonely boy)
Don't you know this lonely girl loves you?

You think that only her two lips
Can kiss your lips and make your heart stand still
But once you're in my arms you'll see
No one can kiss your lips the way I will

Hey there, lonely boy (lonely boy), lonely boy (lonely boy)
Let me make your broken heart like new
Oh, my lonely boy (lonely boy), lonely boy (lonely boy)
Don't you know this lonely girl loves you?

 Hey there, lonely boy (lonely boy), 
lonely boy (lonely boy) 
>Ruby> Let me make your broken heart like new
 Hey there, lonely boy (lonely boy), 
lonely boy (lonely boy)
 Don't you know this lonely girl loves you?

Oh, my lonely boy (lonely boy), lonely boy (lonely boy)
Let me make your broken heart like new

FADE
My lonely boy (lonely boy), lonely boy

I hope you enjoyed this selection.

I have also used the following word prompts:

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2021/06/13/rdp-sunday-colleague/

Before Armageddon – A Multiple Word Prompt Poem

landscape photography of desert
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

I wrote this poem back in 2019 long before the current pandemic, it’s interesting how, having experienced what we have, it seems to have changed how I feel about this poem…..

The Word of the Day is Statue and so I thought it would be worth sharing it again, but hadn’t appreciated how the circumstances had changed how it reads. 

 

The statue stood stolid

A symbol of penance

In a world rather squalid,

It had a great presence,

Two outreaching hands

A sign of kind nurture

Stretched out from the sands

To welcome each searcher,

A public display

To dispel all dissent

the pain blown away

eased one hundred percent.

This great lost relic

Of a past long forgotten

A remnant, angelic

Of a time less rotten,

When the world was better

When hearts weren’t leaden

And the oceans were wetter,

Before Armageddon.

 

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 07/June/2019

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/06/06/penance/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/06/06/rdp-thursday-nurture/

FOWC with Fandango — Percent

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/06/07/your-daily-word-prompt-stolid-june-7-2019/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/06/07/public/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2021/03/21/statue/

Song Lyric Sunday: A glimpse of heaven.

The Challenge set by Jim Adams in his post linked below, is to find a song lyric that has something to do with a prompt. This week we have bouncing related prompts of Hop/Jump/Leap/Pounce/Spring

https://jimadamsauthordotcom.wordpress.com/2021/03/20/stretch-my-legs/

I thought of this song, that was written in 1971.

Strawbs – A glimpse of heaven

The hillside was a patchwork quilt
Neatly stitched with tidy hedge
And crumbling grey stone wall
The trees were bare, but Spring was near
To conjure up its endless strings
Of green magic handkerchieves

Could you only see what I’ve seen
You would surely know what I mean
I think I must have caught a glimpse of heaven.

A string of diamonds formed a stream
That tumbled down the daunting cliff
To sparkle bright on the beach.

New born lambs that sweetly played
Speckled eggs all newly laid
But for you I would have stayed
I think I must have caught a glimpse of heaven.

The Ragtag daily prompt it Lamb, so it also is included in this song.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2021/03/21/rdp-sunday-lamb/

Spring is my favourite season and So I also wanted to share this song.

I'm as restless as a willow in a windstorm
I'm as jumpy as a puppet on a string
I'd say that I had Spring fever
But I know it isn't Spring

I am starry-eyed and vaguely discontented
Like a nightingale without a song to sing
Oh, why should I have Spring fever
When it isn't even Spring?

I keep wishing I were somewhere else
Walking down a strange new street
Hearing words that I have never heard
From a girl I've yet to meet

I'm as busy as a spider spinning daydreams
I'm as giddy as a baby on a swing
I haven't seen a crocus or a rosebud or a robin on the wing
But I feel so gay in a melancholy way
That it might as well be Spring

It might as well be Spring

Love Bite – A poem written for Kira’s Sunday Scribbles

20190209_202935.jpg

The Word of the Day today is FREE and I remembered this poem I wrote a couple of years ago, inspired by this beautiful picture by Kira.

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2021/03/08/free/

I was betrayed;

You never stayed

On an altar of false dreams

I sacrificed myself, it seems.

Our connection died

Our love cast aside.

Your intimate touch

That I loved so much,

Was a passing passion

A fleeting fashion,

Smitten

Now bitten,

Yearning,

Burning,

In a heap.

Love may be free,

but it’s never cheap.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 14/February/2019

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/02/10/kiras-sunday-scribbles-29/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/smitten/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/rdp-thursday-intimate/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/02/14/your-daily-word-prompt-passion-february-14-2019/

Technophobia

Those Idle days of blissful calm content

Are trampled mercilessly beneath the march of time

We rush to beat the deadlines that won’t relent

Yet long for those sips of sweet summer wine.

The Pressures and pain of increasing demands

The whip crack urgency of the daily grind

Our lives spent chasing those goals of monetary gain

But yearning for those halcyon days left behind.

Cast off those chains and symbols of modern strife

Decry those instruments of mental strain

The self-imposed purgatory of the material life

The shallow need for technology is to blame.

Return those devilish devices of demonic confusion

Those pagers and palmtops and mobile phones

Refuse to be a victim of this Hi-tech revolution

And reclaim the quiet privacy of your homes.

Those dreams of moments spent in rapturous Eden

The yearning for natures longing embrace

These are the goals of our deepest desires

The forsaken destiny of the human race.

Copyright: Kristian Fogarty

Written by Kristian Fogarty 31/03/2011

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2018/12/17/rdp-monday-halcyon/

50 Word Thursday #111 – A World without the Word.

IMG_2548
And the words: “Vengeance and retribution require a long time; it is the rule.”
― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

He glanced out of the narrow window at the ships anchored in the harbour. This was the scene that had greeted his eyes every day of his life and it had inspired him to write several novels. Many of his books had Piracy as the main theme. He’d written many of the men who had come off those ships into his novels, embellished to represent a pirate king or a kidnapped victim.

The book he was currently working on was particularly challenging. It was a story or revenge and books about vengeance and retribution require a long time; it is the rule. However, he also knew that brevity was key. People’s attention spans nowadays were shorter and novels were often half the size they used to be. He decided to use a mechanism that was the retreat of many authors faced with this problem. He would use flashback to condense a long time into a handful of pages.

He began writing furiously and with a smile he placed his pen down at the end. He knew he’d penned another great novel. If only there were enough people around who could actually read. The Covid pandemic had killed all the teachers.

[200 Words]

This story was written for the 50 Word Thursday Challenge.

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2021/02/18/50-word-thursday-111/

I have also included the following word prompts:

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2021/02/24/rdp-wednesday-brevity/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2021/02/24/theme-2/

Multiple Word Prompt Story – A Body In Victorian London.

His body lay in the gutter. He could feel the hard cobblestones, but the discomfort they caused was nothing next to the pain of the wound in his side. Stabbed by a Knife. It was Ironic he should end this way, bleeding to death in the street. The rain washed the blood away and with it, his life ebbed.

He took one last look at the London street, lit by gaslight that guttered in its glass lamp.

It was the last thing he saw. His London.

Continue reading Multiple Word Prompt Story – A Body In Victorian London.