Writing 101: Size Matters – The House on the Corner

In response to Writing 101: Size Matters.

At twelve I lived in a pointy-roofed home on the corner of Bearsdown Road and Coltsfield Close in Plymouth, England. It had a gigantic swath of grass bordered by a concrete wall that ran at least fifty feet, and was favored by local hoodlums who’d hide their cigarettes under the loose bricks.

During this particular year, my Dad was away at sea with the Navy. My Mum continued making wine in the fermenters under the stairs, and at dinner times we’d turn the telly around to watch American sitcoms Bewitched or Alice.

It was the year that I got my ears pierced. Four years before the age my parents had originally agreed upon but with the authoritarian figure absent, it was easy to wear away at my Mum’s resolve.

That was a turbulent year. Mistakes were made by both of us. The best parts of it belonged with our cat, Jenny Muffin, who would snuggle with me under the blankets at bedtime. She’d curl up against my stomach and we’d both fall asleep warm and cozy.


Friday Fictioneers – The Innocent

Photo courtesy - Marie Gail Stratford

Photo courtesy – Marie Gail Stratford

The Innocent

Word count:  100

He invited me down to the cellar. I felt like the luckiest girl; no-one I knew had a cellar, let alone tennis courts, a bowling room and two pools.  Bradley was an all-star and I adored him. The other girls at school were jealous that he chose me to go out with.

He led me toward the racks of wine bottles. Once we were concealed, Bradley punched me hard in the head, and I bounced off the concrete floor. He raped me as my brain bled.

The light over his shoulder guided me away. No more pain. The luckiest girl.


Friday Fictioneers – The Pleasure Portal


Photo courtesy – Janet Webb

The Pleasure Portal

Word count:  100


It’s mediocre she thought, trailing a varnished red-tipped finger around the edge of ingress. She took a disinterested peek into the rest of the room; saw a shallow tub, a plain wash basin and other things typical of the dimension.

But the walls are bare, and who could surrender under such bright light? Where are the candles; the sumptuous colors? So restrained, so…human.

She turned to survey her own world. She was naked. Steam undulated around her as she walked. Others like her engaged in deeply sexual acts within enormous claw-foot baths.

She smiled; yes, this side was much better.


All That’s Left is the Apple Pie

What a shake-down it’s been lately; sorrow swept in, and with it much chaos. It thoroughly blew up the inside of my house. Shit that I’d been hanging onto with the barest of fingertips snatched from my grip. Things that I had tried to keep in existence, thrashed from the fireplace. It’s a shame that it took such depth of grief to clean up. The loss of a person so important, and who left in such a way that I’m not sure how long it will take to understand.

Her chapter in my life sits in a red book on a bookshelf *over there*. From time to time I am sure I will revisit as I sit in my comfy rocking chair with the bay window behind and the safest and prettiest of views behind that.

I feel a settling. Am liking the change; embracing the deeper knowing; a new level of self-understanding.

Aware, too, of the layer of hurt that remains as if not all the junk was swept away. Some resemblance of certain things remain. And I am a terrible cleaner or picker-upper; they will likely stay.

I feel the cool, clean, new interior. It feels workable, I can do something here without the old restraint.

Sometimes you go down in order to go up. Or is it the other way around? You blow up to dive down, maybe? Either way, what’s left is most welcome. For me, I see apple pie on a farmhouse kitchen table.

I will chow down every bite and savor every sweet morsel.

And all around I will hear classical music.