Monday, 27 October 2014

Short story - Spring

Monday evening and I hope you had a lovely weekend. I'm a little late posting today as we are away for half term. So for this week something a little different. My first piece of fiction on the blog. I'd love your thoughts - good, bad, indifferent. It is something I've always wanted to try, and so do you know what - I blooming did it. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. x

SPRING.

There was a watercolour haze to the early morning sky. At the horizon she noticed a pinkish glow, like the colour of a newborn’s cheeks. The sea was stained with the same hue, but as it drew nearer to the shore darkened to a flintish grey. Martha had sat years before in the same wooden café. He had been with her then. Just 8 years old. Kneeling. His feet tucked underneath him as he sucked on a straw making a drain-like sound with his milky hot chocolate. She remembered reaching over to wipe the remains of the muddy cocoa from around his mouth. She laughed audibly to herself at the thought, then grew self conscious in the quiet corner booth. How powerful were those memories? How tangible the visions of times gone past, as if she could switch on a channel in her mind’s eye and flick through them sequentially. Of course now his shoulders were sturdy and broad, he towered over her. A man, no longer a boy, and it was a different woman that wiped his lips when crumbs clung stubbornly to them. The blossoming romance had been a recent development. She was beautiful, youthful, effervescent in his company. Each new-found realm of independence extending the invisible cord that connected her to her son. Like a taut piece of elastic she feared any day the connection would snap, break irreparably.

Her awareness shifted back to the corner booth. It was here that they had eaten many breakfasts; nursed steaming coffees and hot chocolates, satisfying punctuations in the chapters of her life. These moments of love, connection, of family now formed the sturdy fabric that he sewed the rich tapestry of his life upon.

The expansive windows framed the majestic ocean view. To the south she could just make out the outline of the castle. She loved how that vista changed with the seasons. Age hadn’t dampened her wonder. In wintertime they had watched the driving rain beat against the glass and huddled inside enjoying the shelter the café offered; the pot bellied stove generating heat in the corner that comforted and lulled them into a sleepy stupor. They felt safe. Separate from the force of the stormy winds, or perhaps what waited for them miles away at home. Here there had been no deadlines, no pressures to wake in time for school or work. By the sea they had felt free to create their own plan, unencumbered by the relentless societal merry-go-round they had somehow found themselves on. She still had a twinge of regret. Perhaps they should have taken more risks. Not towed the line quite so easily. The currents of their life had carried them along a safe shore. Naturally there had been the occasional storm, what life didn’t after all? But they had sailed it all together at least. Now it was Martha and her husband again. Along the way she had resolved to keep the wonder, to never stop learning. So on that bright April morning she was venturing into the unknown of a new emboldening experience.

Staring towards the dark water her stomach turned as she ran through the dialogue in her mind that had led her to the waterfront that morning. To feel truly alive was to keep growing, changing, evolving; never tiring of discovering the excitement that was around the next corner. All those years as they had sat as a family in the café watching the men and women carry their cumbersome surf boards down to the water’s edge. Like giant knives they had sliced through the swell, lifting their chests, arching their backs, and paddling with all their strength out to the spot where the waves broke and rushed, frothing, convulsing towards the sand. What drove them to sit out there in the freezing North Sea water? She was going to find out.

CONTINUED ON WEDNESDAY.

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