Thursday, 8 October 2009

Now For The Adults

Having been revelling in the childish side of life, I decided this morning to do a sharp about turn, and stick to an adult theme. I shall regale you with the beginning of a story I wrote as homework, for a creative writing class I once attended. It was the first I'd ever produced, and I found it hard going, to tell you the truth. What on earth could I write about? Eventually, I decided I might embroider on a few true-to-life facts, then see where they took me. So this is mere fantasy, dotted with occasional reality. I called it
Food For Thought

The smell of toasted cheese filled the kitchen, gradually overspilt through the hatchway to the lounge-diner. As her hands worked at the mundane Saturday task of preparing tea, Mary’s brain worked overtime, trying to organise unsaid words into coherent, logical sentences.
She tried to visualise them typed. That way, when she began speaking to Dan in a moment, she hoped to remain calm and unemotional, in outward appearance at least. Where was emotion in a page of typescript? Certainly not as near the surface as when flying words could trip the tongue and dissolve into a torrent of tears. If she had learned little else, she knew crying would only make Dan walk away and leave her with words and tears falling in the silence of an empty room.
For years, Mary had resigned herself to operating as a virtual one-parent family. Dan had been there, certainly, but as a remote figure, not part of the small ups and downs of family life. She had tried desperately to involve him with the children, but without success. He remained aloof, behind an armour plated, emotional barrier. She had never been able to decide whether he had erected it himself, or whether it had grown unasked, an insidious creeper invading its host plant.
Today he'd have to take notice of what she was going to say.
She placed crockery and cutlery enough for their snack meal onto a tray, and, glad to leave the harsh reality of the kitchen's strip lighting, she carried everything through to the lounge, where wall lights glowed softly, designed to soothe shattered nerves at each hectic day's end.
Dan, as usual, was sprawling in front of the television, leisurely glancing through last Sunday’s paper. There were so many sections and supplements, it was like having a whole week’s supply of papers pushed through the letter box at once.
The plateful of hot cheese on toast Mary had placed on the hatchway, gave off an appetising aroma. Dan’s nose twitched appreciatively, not as a conscious action, but with a dreamlike quality inherent in the twitching whiskers of a sleeping cat. His mind was fully occupied with the mixture of half-watched television images flickering alternately with pages of newsprint.
“Do move your feet, Dan. I can’t get past to put this tray on the table.” Mary’s words brought him, for a moment, into the real world.
“Oh, is it that time already? Where are the children? Have they had their tea?”
Mary tried to stifle her annoyance, but failed.
“I told you this morning, they were both going to Karen’s for the weekend. Don’t you ever listen to a word I say?”
This was how so many of their arguments started. Alarm bells rang in Mary’s brain. Where were her resolutions? Hastily she pulled herself back onto the path of calmness by taking several long, deep, breaths, at the same time letting her hands perform the automatic actions of arranging the tray's contents on the dining table and pouring the tea.
She watched Dan gather his long length together, levering himself out of the armchair still clutching the newspaper. Sitting at the table, he twisted sideways, managing to sprawl even on the straight primness of a dining chair. She could see the paper still held his attention whilst, one handed, he helped himself to food and drink.
“Dan, do put the paper down and concentrate on what I’m saying.” Mary resisted the urge to mutter ”for once” under her breath.
“Hmm, what did you say?” came the infuriating rejoinder as her husband eventually looked up from the article he was reading.
Mary pulled her chair from where it nestled by the table, but then stood behind it, grasping its curved back as if for moral as well as physical support.
“I said, please will you concentrate on what I’m saying?” She paused momentarily, as if waiting for courage to continue. “ I think I’m losing my mind.”

to be continued...


  1. Oh....and you leave me hanging like this...sigh.
    Great story, jinksy. More....please.
    Smiles from Jackie

  2. i'm hanging on by the tips of my fingers....

  3. Oh I shall never sleep tonight wondering...

    Love Granny

  4. Your prose is as great as your poetry. Yep, we'l all be back for the "to be continued" !!!!

    Domestic frustration must be a topic for the month. I just came form a real life regaling of simmering frustration, to this .

  5. Hello Jinksy,

    Well, you certainly know how to leave 'em wanting more! And I've got the smell of toasted cheese to contend with as well!

  6. Very good jinksy, I enjoyed your story very much and am looking forward to more....
    Have a great day my friend....:-) Hugs

  7. Well, good stuff, but I want the ending. ASAP, please!

  8. Jinksy,

    You've drawn me in, hook, line and sinker...this is fantastic! Keep going, my friend!!! I wait rather impatiently to read the outcome of this weighty dialogue... waiting....waiting...waiting...~Janine XO

  9. Bit of a cliff-hanger that ending Jinksy.

  10. I guess I will have to wait along with the others...At least I have company!

  11. You know how to tell them don't you? You leave us hanging there...

  12. More! I think many wives may relate to this one.

  13. Now, you cannot leave me like this. That is just pure cruelty :-). Cracking story.

    Greetings from London.

  14. Wow! That was gooooooooooooood!


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