Wednesday Write-in #57

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Welcome to the Wednesday Write-in!

Welcome to the Wednesday Write-in. Look around, read some stories, give some feedback and be inspired!

Prompts

end of an era  ::  peanuts  ::  claustrophobia  ::  spore  ::  fizzy

Guidelines

There are no hard and fast rules, but here are some brief guidelines:

  • You can use the prompts as inspiration or try to work them into your story somehow. Use as many as you want.
  • When your story is done, post it online (your blog/twitter/in a comment here), tag with #wednesdaywritein if you like, and comment with a link so we can read it.
  • Please take the time to read and comment on as many other stories as you have time for (but we won’t shout at you if you don’t).
  • If you want to write a poem, a script, or something completely different, feel free.

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Any questions? Otherwise, have fun writing!

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15 thoughts on “Wednesday Write-in #57

  1. He said, she said

    – l thought I’d feel claustrophobic, cooped up 24/7, but it was fine. No more messing about at airports for us, thank you very much!

    – l loved watching the sun set with a bottle of fizz and a bowl of peanuts, so relaxing.

    – I have to say, the entertainment on offer was excellent.

    – Pity you only wanted to play Bridge. and read the newspapers.

    – It was just like the adverts, only we didn’t dance on deck.

    – I would have if you`d asked me.

    – You were too busy hoovering up peanuts and thinking about the next gargantuan meal.

    – And you were ogling that skinny woman with the purple perm.

    It`s the end of an era for our happy couple – they`ve joined the Saga cruising set.

  2. Pingback: Wednesday Weekly Write-In | Tessa Sheppard

  3. Hi everyone,
    A bit late this week. Ended up going off on a tangent yesterday and writing a chapter for my abandoned novel! Didn’t feel right not participating so I’ve edited it down to fit! It’s a bit all over the place I hope it makes sense!

    The end of an era.
    Body tilted at an angle, leaning into wind, poised for flight, a salty gust cast him into the blank canvas of sky.
    “Allow gravity pull you down, down through the layers of the past.”
    A plummeting sensation woke Sam with a jolt.
    The voice was back. Its incantation delved through the surface of things, stirring up an old darkness. It filled his head with fizzy thoughts and their effervescence kept him awake. Doubt accumulated, bubbled up then burst and spilt over everything undermining all of his values and motivations.
    He wanted to write it down in the notebook bedside his bed but he couldn’t find to find the right words. His brain struggled to form sentences. Sam searched for syllables significant enough to reach back and extricate the truth and bring it to the surface.
    The bed was too warm. Sheets clung, as he tried to turn they twisted with him. Agitated, he felt the ridge of creases beneath him. It reminded him of restless long hours when he was sick. He remembered calling out for Mam at the top of his lungs and the sound of a baby crying.
    Now I want my real mother here. The one in whose womb I grew from seed. I want to have a memory of her to draw upon to fill up this darkness. I want to lie into her body. I wonder if she ever got a chance to hold me.
    Elizabeth was such a perfect mother. He always felt guilty for thinking like this. He couldn’t help it; his mind was perpetually trying to unscramble things. A distance had grown between them, probably just part of growing up. There was no big fight, no unfortunate misunderstanding, the connection was just not there. Sam’s bond with Elizabeth was different to that of her own daughters. Yes he called her Mam too but biologically she was his aunt not his mother. Both approached their relationship guardedly, it was a pet that might bite if rubbed the wrong way.
    Sam had to escape the claustrophobia. He hauled himself out of bed and crept down the silence of the hall, so as not to disturb the rest of the house. Sam’s dry eyes squinted in the darkness of the kitchen as he shuffled sleepily to the fridge. He opened the door. Illuminated by the slice of cold light, goose-bumps tingled and hairs rose on the back of his neck. A chill traced its way up his spine. He felt a presence behind him. He swallowed against his parched throat.
    Unable to move, he told himself to snap out of it but he was frozen to the spot by age-old primitive responses that alert us to an unseen presence, a potential danger. Automatic body responses were triggered, Sam felt an unpleasant tightening in the gut and a buzzing noise in the ears.
    He took out the milk and turned to see a silhouette sitting at the table. He gasped in a scream that made no noise. The force of his breath prevented speech.
    “Are you ok Sam?” Elizabeth asked with an interrogative tilt of the head
    “What? Why are you just sitting there in the dark? Why didn’t you say anything?”
    “I thought you were sleepwalking. I didn’t want to startle you.”
    Sam stood with his mouth open. He had dropped the milk; it spilled and exploded as it hit the floor. He stood in a puddle of it. The milk squelched between his toes.
    “Oh well. No point crying over spilled milk.” Elizabeth tried a light hearted chuckle but her voice was nasally. Sam wondered why she was up in the middle of the night.
    Once Sam turned on the light he noticed that Elizabeth’s eyes were swollen and red.
    “Congratulations.” Eyebrows pressing fiercely on her eyes, Elizabeth pointed to the letter from SPORE (The Science Prize for Online Resources in Education) informing him that his article “Making genetics easy to understand” had won. Previously such success was something he would have loved to show off. His academic success an affirmation of Elizabeth’s success, yes you did a great job of raising me. It didn’t seem important anymore.
    It seemed like now was the only time he could ask her about Caroline, like it was meant to be. He looked at the mother who sat at the table, hands folded neatly. I can’t find a reflection of myself in her. I am lost in shadows. I don’t know who I am.
    Occasional snippets of information filtered down to him about his birth mother Caroline, Elizabeth’s sister, but nobody had ever explained to him why the woman who gave birth to him died. Sometimes it felt to Sam that Caroline was someone he had always known, but had never met. It was one of those things never talked about.
    The time was here to ask.
    Watery eyes would not meet Sam’s eye as he sat down. She seemed nervous and fiddled with the buttons of her dressing gown.
    “I wanted to ask you about…”
    She cups her hand up to her mouth. Tears slid down her cheeks and she swiped at them.
    “I have cancer.”
    “What?”
    “Found a lump. Well two actually, side by side, the size of two peanuts.”
    Sam sat with his mouth open. He tasted the metal onset of tears and blinked them back. He felt incapable of speech. When he attempted to his uneven voice struggled to emit itself.
    “Oh God. I’m sorry.”
    All boundaries dispensed with, they cried in each other’s arms, their bodies wracked with sobs in unison. They cried together over the years wasted hiding from each other.
    When they went to bed unanswered questions lingered in the air. In the darkness of his bedroom Sam couldn’t help but imagine the peanut sized lumps that would prevent him from asking Elizabeth about his birth mother.

    • Family relationships are layered with secrets and complicated emotions, and now a missed opportunity. I love ‘I am lost in shadows’. You’ve made a clever use of the prompts, especially ‘spore’, and all written in your inimitable style.

    • A great piece of writing about real life and death issues, and complex family relationships. The ‘not talking about things’ sharply resonated with me; the parents of my generation were very much into not talking about things!
      All human life wonderfully observed.

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