Saturday, July 29

"Austerity"...Sunday's Short Story.

I read today that the ruling party is abandoning the thought of austerity. Hmm. Not their style I'm thinking. But I'm sure many will take a deep breath and sigh...Thanks!
Margaret H. gave us the prompt a few weeks ago. This could be read with a Belfast accent...


“What have you done with my pills?  I need them. I know you’ve moved them mother. You’re a blooming nuisance with your tidying up all the blessed time. Let the dust lie, it’ll be like that when you’re dead and gone. And I’ll be dead and gone if I can’t find my pills. I can feel myself coming over all faint already. I’m gonna sit down a wee while and collect my thoughts, pull myself together.
And what the hec  has happened to that cushion? You know I have to have thon there cushion at my back otherwise, I will end up crippled with pain. I’ll be laid up in bed for a while and then you’ll know all about it. You’ll be traipsin’ up and down yon stairs. I can’t be sitting in that chair with that cushion there, even if it does match the chair better than mine. I know how your mind works. I really do.
Has the paper arrived? I haven’t seen it anywhere. Don’t tell me that paper boy has given up again. Waste of space. I can’t stand lazy people like him, no get up and go, no loyalty to his customers. Well mum you’ll just have to pop across to the newsagent and get it. And while you’re at it, tear a strip of of that woman over there for not making sure her best  customer gets his daily on time. What’s the point of getting the paper at ten in the morning? Sure it’s old news by then. I’d go myself but I’m feeling a bit woosey, I need to get those wee red pills. What have you done with them you old fool?
While you’re over at the shop, get me some ciggies. I’d give you the money but sure me wallet’s up the stairs in the other jacket pocket and I couldn’t make it up there at the moment.  Sure I’ll pay you later when I get over this wee bout of dizziness. Oh and a cuppa tea would see me through ‘til you’re back. Oh and make sure you put three sugars in the way I like. Last time I’ll swear there was none. The tea was flipping bitter. I’ll just have a bit of shut eye then ‘til you’re back.
Have you gone yet mother? Mother do you hear me? You’re deaf you auld biddy. Deaf as a doorpost. I could be dying here and you’d not give two hoots. Do you hear me? I’m not going to shout, sure I don’t have the energy. I would have the energy if I could get hold of those bloody pills. Are they down the side of the couch where you sit? Why would you move them, I said why would you move them? I may as well talk to the wall for all you care. Is that cup of tea coming? Three sugars mind. And the paper would be grand before lunch for crying out loud. If that’s you by the front door, I’ll do without the tea if you’re on your way across. Ciggies, remember ciggies! Mind like a sieve mother , mind like a sieve. God I feel lousy, where the hec are those wee red devils? If I were a fit man I’d be up looking for them. I would. I know I would. That’s the kind of man I am. Aye, That’s the kind of fellow…fellow…fell…
[Slams door and gets into a taxi with suitcase]

Monday, July 24

Eileen is Missing....Sunday's Short Stories

I love the Bold Street Writers group that I go to here in Warrington. We are a mixed lot of women writing out of life experiences, writing out of imagination….just writing because we have to!
Eileen is one of the oldest who write each week. But never let it be said that she writes anything boring…ah no. Her wonderful stories could have your toes curling one moment and your sides splitting with laughter another!
So when it was Eileen’s prompt on Thursday and she wasn’t there…we worried.
 So we took as our new prompt…”Eileen is missing”!

Eileen is missing. People are worried. Eileen is always there prompt at ten, ordering her coffee, chatting about her week,
No, Eileen is always here.
As sure as eggs are eggs we could set our watches on her appearance. Always know if we had the right day, the right place, prepared the right prompt. For if Eileen said she would be there, she was…and Eileen is missing.
Every week we look forward to hearing some gritty news that no one else has heard, because Eileen doesn’t waste a minute of her life moping around. No, she is out and about with a cheery hello to her neighbours. Out and about at her coffee and tea gatherings with old friends from her professional life. Meeting up at bus stations and train stations and catching transport to theatres and concert halls and taking in the history of some local grand house. And then passing on her nuggets of golden information to us all. And making us think that we needed to be there, go there, hear that, see that. Instead of moping around and moaning about. Well you know how it is!!!
So that’s how it is now. Eileen is missing and unless I’m very much mistaken or missing the point…someone is keeping something back from us all. And I at least intend to find out what, winkle the information from them, ply them with flattery and even seccumb to a bribe or a spot of alcohol as it’s so important to find out why Eileen is missing.
There’s a space in this that only Eileen can fill. That’s not to say she’s a big woman, no, not big in size.  But yes big.  Big in heart, big in enthusiasm, big in ideas. Yes now I come to think of it, Eileen is a big woman. Someone like Eileen can fill a room, let alone a chair. So when Eileen is missing the empty space is vast. The room may be full yet it seems strangely empty.
My, my!… I’m getting rather metaphysical here!
 But no, it’s a fact and anyone who knows her knows it’s a fact. No getting away from it. I’m putting it down here on the page and it gets plainer with every mark.
 Eileen is missing and so we are missing out.
But hang on, wait a minute, there must be someone who knows why Eileen is missing. Someone always knows. In my experience of life, though I acknowledge that’s not vast, not international, not particularly academic, yes in my experience there is always someone who knows. And very often the knowing person and their knowingness is right under your nose. Not like a bad smell under your nose. No ? I wouldn’t say that. More like a feather tickling or a bit of fluff that won’t go away until you sneeze and your eyes water and you reach for a tissue.
But I digress.
 Yes someone always knows something. Well just think of all the media stories appearing at the moment.  Someone knew.  Knew about the pay packets of those nice men on the radio, on the TV news, on the BBC. And what about those coloured roads that are due to appear locally, all over the banks of the Mersey…someone knew. Yes but did someone else have to winkle out the information and post it up for us to see….even if it was all a bit too late for us to do anything?
As for Eileen, she is still missing. Though I’ve heard that the electrician knows where she is….

But he’s not telling.