Saturday, 30 May 2009

Story Time Again

And A New Day Was Begun

Louise opened her eyes and lay still for a moment, while consciousness gradually took possession of her sleep-lulled brain. Dappled patterns of sunshine filtered through waving leaves of the aspen tree outside her window and made a living kaleidoscope of light and shade across her bedroom walls.

A smile hovered round her lips. She raised her head a little, clasped her hands behind it, then allowed herself to plump back luxuriously onto the soft pillows. No need to rush this morning! After twelve long years of school régime, she could now indulge in a celebratory lie-in. No longer a child: a young lady. Even as she thought these last words, her smile broadened. Could she ever claim them as being true? Certainly, 'Tomboy' would be a truer title, if she were laying claim to any title at all. And today was not the one on which to be especially ladylike. Heaven forbid!

Before she could indulge in any daydreams sparked off by this last train of thought, there was a great commotion outside her bedroom door. It banged noisily open, to admit a whirling dervish of dog and small boy, as her younger brother, Simon, bounded in and executed a flying rugby tackle aimed at her feet, which were still under the bedclothes.

'Come on, sleepy head!! It's holidays! Don't let's waste a minute of them!' Scruff joined in the general mêlée, with excited barks and a good deal of tail wagging. Eventually order was restored and Louise moved her feet to give Simon enough room to perch himself on the end of her bed, followed closely by Scruff, so that she had to re-arrange herself again.
'Sorry, Si. You'll have to count me out today', replied Louise, as she sat with legs drawn up, hugging the hump of her knees. 'I'm going to the beach with Emma.'
'Good, then I'll come too,' was the instant rejoinder.
'Not this time, I'm afraid. There are four of us going by car. If we'd planned cycling, it'd be different, but we'll have so much gear to take for a whole day, you'd never fit in.'
'What on earth will you need on a beach besides bathers and a towel? Simon could not begin to imagine.
'Well, we'll have two picnic hampers for a start. Emma and I said we'd take one each to share with the boys as a thank you for giving us a lift.'
'Huh! Stupid boyfriends. Thought there had to be a catch. No wonder you don't want me as a gooseberry!' interrupted Simon, scathingly.
'Don't be silly, it's only Emma's cousin Peter and his friend,' but even as she spoke, Louise couldn't prevent a little flush of expectation tinging her cheeks. She'd never had a steady boyfriend, as had some of her classmates. Boys seemed so immature, and the few she had gone out with to discos, or the local cinema, had never made her heart beat faster with their persistently wandering hands and wet, ill judged good night kisses that she'd usually tried to avoid.
Who could tell? Perhaps this unknown 'friend' would be someone special. Louise wondered what he would be like.
' Anyhow,' she carried on,'we want to take a picnic table and chairs and a camping stove, so we can do the whole thing in style. We intend having a pic-nic to end all pic-nics! But don't be cross with me. Tomorrow you can choose what we do. How about asking James if he'd like to come over?'
'Smashing idea!' Simon was already imagining a blissful, rambling day looming on the horizon. Two boys and a dog, plus a sister who was quite useful when it came to giving a chap a bunk up a tree, no to mention treating him to the odd ice cream if the weather turned hot, was a recipe for a good time.
'Right then, young man. I've got lot's to do.'

Left to herself, Louise quickly showered and, dressed in pale pink shorts and a halter top, worked a small miracle in setting her room to rights in five minutes exactly, before padding barefoot downstairs. In the kitchen, her mother already had coffee made.

'Hello, love! Toast or cereal today?'
'Toast and peanut butter, please, but it's alright. I'll see to it.'
'Thanks,' said her mother, continuing to sort clothes into various coloured heaps by the washing machine. 'I'd like to be finished quickly this morning, because of the W.I. fête. I'm organising the cake stall, so the more help I get today, the better.'
'Can I pack up a basket of food for us to take to the beach today, Mum, if I give you a hand with the housework first? How about if I vacuum everywhere?'
'That will be lovely. Simon can wield a duster and we'll be finished in record time.' Simon groaned as he overheard this last suggestion in passing the kitchen door, but only for effect, not as a serious protest. His mother loaded the washing machine, deftly shook powder into the pull out dispenser and started the wash cycle, before going to sit opposite her daughter at the table.

Louise had watched her, grinning. Every time she shook powder that way, there was as much on the floor when she'd finished, as ever went into the machine.
'What are you smirking at, my girl?' asked her mother, helping herself to coffee.
'Nothing special, Mum. Just wondering if I'll ever be as competent as you one day.'
'What a funny thing to say.' Her mother was pleased, nevertheless, at the round about compliment. 'I dare say you'll do fine, in your own way. Now, tell me about this pic-nic.'

To be continued...


  1. aaah, to get to the place where we appreciate our mothers. this is lovely.

  2. I await the next instalment with bated breath!

  3. First, this is a new twist from a poet's perspective, but I like where it could go.

    SEcond, I failed to comment yesterday on your son's poem, so aptly responsive to your prompt. Good job; he takes the talent from you, of course.

    Third, the piece of wood that becomes a treasure for someone else is an exciting concept to keep us fresh and creative.

    Thanks for all the above.

  4. Intriguing. But what is a W.I. fete (pardon my lack of an accent circumflex)?

  5. Reminds me of the Famous 5's books of my childhood/E.B
    Look forward to the continuation ...
    Aren't children polite in these sort of books! I have just encountered at Tesco, some foul mouthed youngsters of about 10.... I despair sometimes that the world will go on, in the hands of such as them. I feel useless to deal with them.
    Lovely weather day down here in the South isn't it?

    Love Granny

  6. I'll be waiting for part two of your story. Love it so far.

  7. Thanks, jinksy, for your e-mail reply. The fete part I understood; it's the W.I. part I was wondering about....

  8. Now I will have to come back just to find out whay happens next. You have developed an interest character and there are so many possibilities.

  9. Jinksy...don't ever say you are not a wonderful short story writer!!!!! Poet, yes!!!! Short Stories, yes!!! Is there anything you don't write well??!? Love this! ~Janine XO

  10. You know how to set a stage, Jinksy. Love them already and wondering where this is headed.

  11. Are you like Dickens....starting stories without knowing where they're going to end? I haven't written a story in ages. I must try again. I must look for a story-meme page. I like being given homework.

  12. Have you heard about the new washers where you can load the soap for one year and it automatically dispenses? And to think, last week you and I were talking about wringers. I will await the next installment. I am thinking this about young love but knowing you as I do will wait and find out.

  13. Have you modelled these children upon your own? They are exemplary. Although, perhaps in part two of the story they turn out to be the little monsters Dutch children usually are? Probably not. So far the sun is shining and I like it ;-)


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