Waiting.

 

The third and final story in the ‘Obsession’ trilogy

I can hear a steady, monotonous drip just outside the window. Its rained heavily all night, and now I can hear the steady drip…drip…drip into the gutter. The sound is strangely soothing, helping me to relax. It’s been a long night, and I won’t be able to sleep while my mind is so consumed with thoughts of you, so the rain helps. I try counting drips, adding them together as I lie with my eyes closed. I try to work out how many drips in a minute, then how many there will be in an hour. The effort keeps me occupied for maybe ten minutes until I next open my eyes and look at the clock.

3:12am. Hours before dawn, hours before you’ll be out. For a moment I start to panic as I imagine you lying in there, and then force myself to calm down. You’ve always come out before, so you will again. The moment I see your face, everything will be alright. I close my eyes and this time, instead of counting the drips I summon up an image of you. I imagine you running towards me and flinging your arms around me, a beaming smile on your face. The image goes further and transforms into a fantasy, and soon I’m smiling too. But it can’t last, and the steady drip drags me back to reality once again.

3:36am. Twenty four minutes have passed. Anything could have happened, but I tell myself that you’re fine, it won’t be long before I see you again. Some part of me knows I’m being irrational to worry so much, but tired as I am, I’m afraid to sleep, in case some malicious god decides I don’t love you enough and decides to snatch you away from me. My eyelids are heavy, and the rain has started again. The sound is suddenly soothing, and I let my mind drift without meaning to.

I jerk awake, heart pounding. My eyes immediately focus on the door, and then the clock. 7:46am. The rain has stopped, though the scent of the storm is still hanging in the air. What if I’ve missed you? My stomach rumbles, but I don’t feel hungry. I rarely do these days.

From the corner of my vision, I see the door open. Instantly I’m alert, and my heart soars as you step outside, looking perfect as always, even though you’re dressed for work in a grey jacket and matching skirt. You glance up the road, almost catching my eye, and then walk to your car. I watch you get in, and start my own engine. For the first time, I can no longer hear the raindrops. I feel free, the way I always do when I see you.

You drive away, and as always, I follow.

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Angel

 

This is the second in the ‘Obsession’ trilogy.

The day I met an angel, I didn’t realise at first. You seemed ordinary, just like everyone else, though I trusted you immediately. I was so happy to be with you, to talk to you. I told you everything and never questioned that it might seem strange to anyone who didn’t understand. It was weeks later that I first noticed your wings. They weren’t like I expected. They were damaged, and instead of perfect shining edges, they were ripped and torn, with the stardust spilling onto the floor like fine glitter. I don’t know what was stranger, seeing your broken wings, or the fact that nobody else could see them. I don’t know what made me different or why you decided to trust me, but once I could see, I was ashamed.

You see, I’d leaned on you. I’d seen you as the strong one who could support me, and I felt that I deserved it. I’d allowed myself to be weak for so long that I forgot what it was like to be with someone who was struggling as much as I was. I should have been the one who held you up, who tried to find a way to mend your wings so you could fly again. I know you didn’t expect it from me, but by the time I truly understood, it was too late. There were no boundaries, so you’d let your barriers down, and I’d seen who you truly were.

You made me strong without realising, and knowing that I was going to see you again kept me going, though every now and then you’d say something so heartbreaking it made me want to reach out and hold you. I never did, of course. You can’t touch an angel. You asked me to promise never to hurt myself again, and I refused. If I couldn’t even make that promise to myself, how could I make it to you? I tried to explain, but I don’t think I did a very good job. By then, I knew you were even more vulnerable than I was. It was then that I finally decided I had to be strong for you, that no matter how hard it was, I was going to keep trying.

But then you disappeared. Did I know then that I would never see you again? I pretended I didn’t, but deep down, I knew. The last time I saw you, you were so sad. So vulnerable. I wanted to reach out and comfort you, but just in time I remembered; you can’t touch an angel. So I turned and walked away, telling myself it was just for now, that there would be other times.

I missed you desperately. Unless somebody’s met an angel they can never understand the gaping void that was left when you were no longer there. I missed talking to you, I missed my friend, and most of all I hated the fact that I couldn’t help you. I still think of you every day. I wonder how you are, and I hope that you’re coming to terms with life on the ground. And more than that, I hope one day you’ll fly again, even if I won’t be there to see it.

I forgive you everything, even though there was never anything to forgive. I know you didn’t believe that, but it’s true. You didn’t tear your wings deliberately. You didn’t choose to be grounded and unable to fly. We didn’t choose for any of that to happen. I just know that if I could have taken all your sadness and doubt and pain away and experienced it myself, I would have done. And finally, I can make the promise you asked. If I could see you again, I would look you in the eye and promise never to hurt myself again. I’m doing it for myself, but at the same time some part of me still wants to be strong for you. It makes me proud and sad all at the same time, because now I realise what it took me the longest time to understand, the reason I was so devastated when you disappeared. I even wonder if you suspected it yourself, but I hope not. Some things are better left unsaid.

I’m glad I never told you that I loved you.

 

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Turn back the clock

 

I wrote this almost a year ago and have been putting off sharing it because…I was afraid of offending people. Then I decided to make it part of a trilogy, of which I have only written two stories so far, so I procrastinated again. So why am I posting it now? Because if I don’t…how many more excuses will I come up with? So here is the first part of the ‘Obsession’ trilogy.

 

I can’t be close to you any more. I can watch, but nothing else, no matter how much I wish it was otherwise. No matter now much I wish I could turn back the clock, I can never go back. It’s taken me long enough to realise. Months of watching you, knowing that you’re alone. Knowing that you miss me.

At first it wasn’t so bad. I hadn’t realised what had happened, and as I began to understand, I went into denial. The way you stared through me, as if you weren’t really seeing me any more. When I reached for you, our fingers didn’t touch. I pulled back at the last second, logically knowing it was pointless even though my heart hadn’t come to terms with yet.

You ignored me, even though I knew you didn’t want to. Even while I was still in the house, before – I can’t think about it, even now. We can’t turn the clock back. Never had I felt so rejected as the day I could no longer walk in the front door, kiss you goodnight, even just see you turn your head when I called your name.

I screamed until I was hoarse.

I watched at the window, then. What else could I do? There was nothing else for me and I couldn’t imagine being without you. I would stand and whisper your name, just out of sight, willing you to look up and see me one more time. You never did.

I could only imagine what you were doing while I wasn’t there. Going through the motions without me, sleeping alone. I knew you would reach out for me and start hurting all over again because I wasn’t there.

That was the time they started to interfere. It was time for me to move on, they said. What I was doing wasn’t just bad for me, it was stopping you from getting on with your life. I screamed and raged all over again, this time at them. How could you ever get on with your life if I wasn’t there? I was furious that anyone could even suggest it.

I turned my back on them, carried on watching.

When I got into the car that night I hadn’t meant to leave you. Not really. I was angry. I didn’t know the last thing I said to you would have hurt you so much. I can’t even remember what the argument was about, it was so stupid. If I’d known, I would have told you I loved you. Maybe things would have been different then. I wouldn’t be on the outside. Watching.

They’re telling me I have to leave again. That I can’t wait at the window to catch a glimpse of your face. That I mustn’t follow you when you go to work, can’t even think of trying to watch you in your sleep. Not that I can get into the house anymore, but I’m not convinced, no matter what they say.

Then one day I see you smile. Just for a second. It’s the first time I’ve seen you smile since…since I left you. There, I said it. I fell in love with you all over again in that moment, but this time I realise that you’re going to move on. Not now, but one day. You still have a life to live.

Which I don’t. Not since I drove away that night. I was so angry, I wasn’t paying attention. One moment of inattention and I lost everything. I ruined your life and mine, and now I have to leave.

I’m sorry.

I didn’t mean to die.

 

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For Vannah…

Imagine having lived your whole life in the kind of climate where snow is only a dream. You’ve seen it in books and on the television, but it somehow doesn’t seem real. It’s like something out of a fairytale. When friends across the world complain about not being able to get to work because of cancelled trains or blocked roads you feel not pity, but envy because it’s something you can’t share, not unless you move thousands of miles, and why would you want to do that when your life is here? Your life is good, it just lacks…snow.

 Then one day you wake up and look out of your window, and instead of the red desert sands and low buildings you see ImageSnow? Your heart leaps, and you realise that you’re cold. Quickly you switch off the aircon, grabbing the warmest clothes you can find, pulling on layer after layer and wondering why you only own two sweaters. It’s far colder than you’re used to, and yet you’re excited too, and you can’t wait to get out there. You run to the front door and find coat and boots that you’ve never seen before, yet they’re exactly your size. Outside the air is biting, the roads have come to a standstill and there’s almost no-one about. ImageYou’re excited. You start to run down the road before you experience something else new – ice. You’ve experienced ice before, of course, but in drinks or to keep food cool, not underneath your feet when you’re wearing regular shoes that cause you to slip across the path. You reach out and grab the closest thing – a lamppost – and steady yourself, giggling. Then your giggles stop abruptly when you let go of the lamppost and find you hand has stuck to it. Not badly – you only have to pull away with a little more force than expected, but it feels strange. Almost like a burn. You look at your hand. It seems fine, but it feels odd, and not entirely confortable. You suck the sore place, and are surprised how cold it is, then remember the time you got your tongue stuck to a piece of ice after your friend dared you to lick it.

You’re somewhat relieved when you reach into your pocket and find a pair of lined leather gloves. You pull them on gratefully and proceed more cautiously, though you keep stopping to look at everything. Once you reach the main road, it’s a bit clearer Imagethough you still can’t imagine how anyone dares to drive in these conditions. For a moment, you wish you had a car so you could try, then you start noticing other things. The trees. ImageThe fields.ImageEven your own feet and how they look in the snow. ImageAnd then you discover something amazing. Where the snow is thicker, you don’t have to worry about falling over. Sure, you sink into it up to your ankles and your socks are getting wet, and it’s harder to walk, but you don’t care. You’re in another world now, feeling like you’ve just walked through the wardrobe into Narnia. ImageYou just hope you don’t meet any wicked queens.

 As you walk along, stopping to look at the snow-laden plants, Image

Image you notice something else strange. You can’t actually feel your nose anymore. It’s as if you’ve run straight into a wall and it’s gone entirely numb, except when you put your hand up to it, it doesn’t hurt at all. It’s wet, though. Eew! Your nose is running and you didn’t even realise! You’re quite glad you’re alone so nobody can see you, though you’re starting to worry about your fingertips. They’re getting quite painful, and it’s not a pain you recognise, though when you pull one of your gloves off and check, you realise what the problem is. Despite your gloves, they’re freezing! You start wiggling your fingers as you walk, and it helps. The pain vanishes as if it had never been there. Weird!

 You’ve got the hang of the snow now though, and you’re noticing everything, from the brightness of the berries on the bushes Imageto the pattern of fallen snow on the icy lake ImageYou suddenly wish you had ice skates so you could skate your way across… but as you get near the edge you realise it isn’t quite frozen ImageThere’s still water right at the edges, and ice that’s safe enough for seagulls to walk on probably isn’t thick enough for a human! You shiver.

 What you want more than anything now is a mug of hot chocolate. It’s definitely time to go home, so you retrace your steps past the snow grass Imageand along the deserted path, Imagewhich isn’t quite as thick with snow as it was earlier. You realise the snow will have vanished tomorrow, a one-day event that defies explanation. Just before you go inside, you take one last look at the snowy sunset.Image

 You smile.

Copyright © 2013 Carys

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Otherworld

The night everything changed I was looking up at the sky. That was nothing unusual in itself; it was something I liked to do. I found the tiny pinpricks of light comforting, a sign that we surely couldn’t be alone in the universe. If even one in a hundred of those stars had planets encircling it… if just one thousandth of those planets were able to support life… The maths dazzled me, made me feel as if I were teetering on the verge of something beyond comprehension, but the conclusion was always the same. Surely somewhere there was another being on another planet doing just as I was now, staring up at their own sky.

I found that thought strangely comforting, though in my imagination she always looked a lot like me, thought like me, shared my views on life and the universe. Only occasionally did she have wings or horns or anything unnatural that made me feel uneasy. Nobody likes to be unsettled by their own dreams.

That night, of course, I was outside. I’d gone for a walk on my own after dinner, away from the constant clamour of the city. I could think better outside, and I felt more relaxed away from the brightly lit streets where the skies weren’t totally obscured by the glare of urban lights. Just on the outskirts of my suburb there was a hill that nobody had ever bothered to build on. It was fairly overgrown and steep, without any obviously cut pathways, so hardly anyone went up there apart from me. I could be alone without needing to explain myself to anyone. My family knew about my need for solitude, but it wasn’t something I was comfortable sharing with anyone else. They’d probably think I was crazy for going out alone after dark, even on a warm night like this.

My legs ached from the effort as I reached the crest of the hill and slowed to a halt, breathless from the climb. I remembered a similar climb when I’d been much younger. We’d been on holiday – I couldn’t remember where we’d gone or any other details apart from being on a steep hill that felt like it was higher than the top of the world. My mother had asked if we were high enough for the atmosphere to stop being breathable. I hadn’t realised it was a joke, the sort of thing adults say when they’re trying to be funny, and I’d been scared that day. I wasn’t tonight; I just felt peaceful and calm, glad to be away from everyone.

The top of the hill was a plateau, not a very big one, but enough that I could walk from one side to the other and get the sensation of transcending from one world into another. I looked down at the city, at the myriad multicoloured lights that from here seemed to be nothing more than an unblinking laser show. I stared for the space of a breath, then crossed to the opposite side. Here, the view was of an industrial waste ground if seen by daylight, but at night none of that could be seen. It was like looking into a peaceful black hole, one that made the stars above seem brighter just by existing.

I sat on the lush ground and turned my face to the heavens, immediately forgetting everything we’d made, cast away and abandoned in favour of the natural spectacle. Natural in the sense that nothing was any more than a vast collection of atoms anyway. It was an argument I’d always fought hard at school, always on the side of nature. Where did the natural world end and invention begin, was the question. Back then, I’d always believed that everything made in factories or industrial plants was bad, contributing to the endless pollution we lived with now. If only we could step back to the days when there was no technology and everything was simpler.

It’s funny how I was thinking that as I stared up at the sky, looking at the distant stars and playing my usual game of wondering which of them nurtured life, imagining I could see each one as a different colour according to the element that burned at its core. Just tiny, infinite sparks of light.

And then it changed.

The sky peeled back.

Literally.

One moment I was looking at the stars and the next, it was as if a giant eraser had passed across the sky, removing one layer of an ancient painting to reveal what lay beneath. It was slow enough that I saw everything revealed, and the horror of that moment swept through me.

Gods, we were not alone.

How did I end up cowering on the ground, feeling naked and exposed beneath what was revealed above me? I felt I must run before I suffocated, before it swallowed me up, but at the same time I was totally unable to move, and completely unable to look up at that stunning, impossible, unbearable sight. I could never look at the sky again.

Because my friend, my familiar map of stars was gone, rolled back as if it had never been. In it’s place…I didn’t need to look. Planets, far too close to be possible, closer it seemed than even any moon had a right to be, had taken their place. They were so close I could have reached out and touched one, surely – and yet, to do that would mean I would fall off the world and go on falling forever, tumbling backwards through blackness for the rest of eternity, body tingling in anticipation of the final shattering crash that would never come.

My terror was made worse by the knowledge that I, surely unique in the world, had seen this before. Since I was tiny, barely able to walk, I had been haunted by this feeling, this vision. The fear had gripped me every time I had dreamed it and I had awoken screaming, never able to eloquently put what I was feeling into words. Now the whole world was going to know, and still I would never be able to tell them – because who was going to believe me now? My eyes were fixed on the ground, staring at individual blades of grass that I could see far too clearly now that the night sky was brighter than it had ever been before. I stared at those tiny, simply plants as if they were my one remaining connection to the world I had known.

“Lahis?” I flinched as I heard my name, instinctively moving upright and then freezing, head bowed. I couldn’t look up without shuddering, not now, perhaps never again. I felt relief flooding through me, and a huge sense of gratitude to my brother who had come up here to find me, the only one of my family who came close to understanding as well as tolerating my odd ways. I forced myself to meet his gaze, trying to ignore what was looming just above the skyline. I reached out to him. We touched.

“You came.”

“I knew you’d be here. You’re always here.”

“Zitah…” What? What could I possibly ask? Whether he was scared? Did he know what was going on?

“Come home. You’ve been out here for hours.”

We stared at each other. I hadn’t realised how long I must have been cowering on the ground. I suddenly understood how much it must have cost Zitah to come up here to find me. My brother, the one who loved the city most of all, who loathed solitude and darkness as much as I embraced it. Ironically I was less frightened now. I felt better, in fact, as if something I had always been on the verge of expecting had finally come to pass. Maybe – just maybe I wasn’t the strange one after all. Maybe I’d always somehow sensed that things weren’t all they seemed and now reality was just catching up with my mind.

I got to my feet, antennae drooping in discomfort as the feeling returned to my back legs. I stretched each one in turn, keeping my face turned away so Zitah wouldn’t know how much I was hurting. Finally, I dared to glance up at the sky.

“Do you think they’re like us?”

“No..!”

I felt his mind enfold mine this time, with a warmth that had been lacking before, through the fear. He was laughing, but there was nothing cruel in the feeling. We started back down the hill, as if we could leave the new knowledge that we were just one race of many in the universe behind amongst the azure grasses. Already I could feel other thoughts. Some frightened, some excited, some disbelieving. Everything was going to change.

Copyright © 2012 Carys

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Co-incidence

This is the Yule card beloved husband gave me… without having read the story I posted last week or even knowing I’d written it. I love co-incidences!Yule card

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Maya

It seemed as if she had always been alone. Maria was successful in almost every area of her life, save the one that really mattered; or so she felt in those endless moments at night before sleep claimed her.

Most of the time her lack of a permanent partner mattered little. Certainly when she was painting, aloneness seemed a blessing rather than a curse. Nobody to make her leave a semi-completed canvas for such mediocre reasons as mealtimes or sleep, nobody to question the flow of creativity when a work turned out particularly abstract.

Yet when another card dropped through her letterbox celebrating the news that another old friend had successfully produced a child, the underlying frustration she tried so hard to ignore would resurface. It was November 2012, she was thirty six, and the fear that she was going to spend the rest of her life alone with her paintings seemed to grip more tightly with each passing day.

To the rest of the world everything seemed normal. She made a good job of going through the motions of Christmas preparations, sending self-designed cards to every friend and client she had in her address book, attending seasonal dinners and agreeing that it had been a wonderful year. On the whole, it had. Four large commissions together with the sale of myriad regular prints and originals was good for any artist, let alone one who had been teaching at a primary school just five years earlier. When she thought how everyone had been proved wrong when she’d started to sell her paintings, she permitted herself a satisfied smile.

Yet she couldn’t help feeling it was all for nothing if there was nobody to share it with. With both parents passed away, she had nobody to answer to, but also nobody to truly feel the joy when an exhibition opened. Worse, there was the growing sense of time running out, something she blamed on the silly book she’d been reading in bed of an evening, an early Christmas present from a new age friend.

Apparently, the world was going to end. She had laughed when she’d started reading, but the trouble with reading last thing at night was that even the flimsiest theory seemed more believable, even if it was based on the simple fact that an ancient calendar ended on the twenty first of December 2012. Conspiracy theorists took this as a sign, not that a three thousand year old race couldn’t be bothered to write out dates so far into the future, but that the Mayans had some supernatural knowledge and knew there was no point in creating a calendar past that date when nobody would be around to see it.

How this would all happen was all rather vague. Certain groups of Christians seemed convinced that a great deal of smiting would take place – from which they alone would be exempt – while those of a less spiritual nature apparently favoured earthquakes or nuclear war. Maria herself doubted any of that would happen, but nonetheless she felt a vague sense of strangeness as she went to bed that night. That day, perhaps prompted by descriptions of the Mayan empire, she had painted a lush, exotic canvas dominated by jungle plants, with small birds and insects that flitted amongst the leaves, and a sandstone temple visible in the distance, drawing the eye into the scene.

There was one she would never sell, she thought as she glanced at the book on her nightstand. The last chapter remained unread, and she decided to leave it that way until the morning. It was a ridiculous thought, but she somehow felt that was long as the book went unfinished, the world as she knew it wouldn’t end. All the same, it took her a long time to fall asleep.

Her first thought when she opened her eyes was that something had changed. From a warm Scottish bedroom simply decorated in pine and white linen, she had somehow been transported to a lush tropical forest, resplendent in a thousand shades of green; the lively buzz of insects punctuated by parrot squawks. She began to walk, sensing that she was on the edge of something wonderful, heading in no particular direction other than the one she was already facing.

She ended up in a large clearing that was already filled with people. Maybe two hundred were already there, with more wandering in from other corners of the jungle. She started to ask what was happening, then quietened as she saw them. Priests and priestesses, approaching each man and woman in turn, taking them by the shoulders and bestowing a blessing of some kind. It was then that Maria remembered the painting, and the vague sense that she was dreaming crystallised within her mind.

The priests moved through the gathered crowd. The one who reached her was young, much younger than she’d imagined, with flowing black hair and blue eyes. Barely out of his teens he grasped her shoulders, leaned forward and murmured “Your heart’s desire.” Stepping back with a smile, he was gone, moving on to the next person.

Maria felt vaguely annoyed, as if she were missing something. Surely the three simple words weren’t all she was here for? A child’s giggle caused her to turn, a frown marring her face as she stared at the little girl in confusion. Surely children weren’t allowed here? But this little one with her long brown hair and dark eyes was undaunted, coming forward and tugging on one of Maria’s hands.

“Come ON! There’s so much to see!” she exclaimed. Bemused, she allowed herself to be led away from the crowd, though she glanced back over her shoulder to be certain she wasn’t missing anything important. But the young priest was nowhere to be seen.

Back through the jungle she was led, this time seeing more of the beauty around her, the impossible variations in the shades of green she would never manage to replicate with her paints; the iridescence of the insects that darted amongst the leaves and even once or twice landed on her. Somehow she knew they wouldn’t bite. The little girl was pointing things out; small birds and animals that would otherwise be missed.

They still held hands, though now it felt less like she was being led and more as if they were exploring this quasi-dreamscape together. A small hut stood off to one side of a clearing; a shared glance led them towards it. Expecting to find a crude fire, pallets for sleeping and a few pots and pans, Maria was amazed to find herself stepping into a library.

“Read to me!” the child exclaimed, dropping her hand as they entered and running to choose a book from the shelves. A thick brown leatherbound volume wouldn’t have been Maria’s first choice, but as she opened the book the tale and pictures within seemed to transcend age, and for the first time she had an understanding of why she was here. It seemed to take no time to finish the book, and her suggesting of choosing another was well-received. As she stood though, a figure who they had not noticed before, yet who seemed to have been there from the start, kindly blocked their way. Clad in golden-accented robes, he had the air of someone who had no need to shout or bully in order to be obeyed.

So they left, smiling and content, stepping back into the clearing that seemed even more full than it had before. People stood or sat, or just milled around, but the sense of peace from earlier was absent. One man had such a vast heap of gold bars he would surely have been the richest man in the world; yet he was agitated, constantly rushing around the pile and yelling accusations of theft at anyone who looked his way. A woman stood on a stage, desperately trying to gain attention, her appearance and clothing becoming steadily more outlandish and her expression sadder and more desperate as she was consistently ignored. Still others stared into space, seemingly grasping at something that wasn’t there.

The child yawned, thankfully distracting her from these unfortunates, each engaged with their own private hell. “I’m tired” she mumbled in a tone that automatically had Maria lifting her, carrying her past a woman adorning herself with endless diamonds until they came to another hut. Within, this one was just as it seemed, comfortable sleeping pallets with pillows and sheets that nonetheless didn’t quite fit the ancient surroundings.

Putting the little girl to bed as if it were something she’d done for years, she invented another story; a poor, thin thing that thankfully sent the child to sleep before the end, thumb firmly in her mouth. Suddenly tired herself, she laid down next to her, closing her eyes and thinking how peaceful everything was, aside from the poor people she’d so recently seen…

Light streamed through the white linen curtains as she opened her eyes. It had been a dream of course, and yet she felt utterly bereft, as if something precious had been snatched away. Things that had made no sense last night now shone with crystalline clarity. Of course a person desperate for wealth would obsessively cling to the money itself, ignoring that such a commodity is utterly worthless if not put to some use. Someone desperate for fame would never be satisfied, always striving for more publicity, more recognition…

But what of her? To spend one night as a mother, seeing how things might have been? It made no sense, and right now she didn’t even want some unknown generic child, she wanted THAT child, the one who had pointed out butterflies and chosen stories and fallen asleep sucking her thumb. The empty feeling continued as Maria dressed and wandered downstairs, though the memories of the dream were so strong she already knew how she would be spending the day. The child would at least exist in portrait form.

She glanced at the calendar. December twenty-second. She smiled vaguely to herself as she poured coffee, thinking that all the new-age believers had been wrong, that aside from a particularly vivid dream, nothing had happened. She had survived.

“Mummy?”

She spun round in shock at the unexpected voice, seeing an impossible vision at the door – impossible, yet real, she realised as she crossed the pine-accented kitchen and lifted the child. It was impossible for a dream figure to become real, and yet somehow it had happened. Instinctively she knew that there would be no problems proving this. Papers and documents would be in the file where she kept everything else important. Were others waking up today to vast riches or reunited families or as-yet undiscovered talents, she wondered?

For now, it didn’t matter. She had Maya – for the child’s name had slipped into her mind as easily as the little one had appeared in her home – and everything was going to be fine. Perfect, in fact.

Her little face solemn, Maya was playing with Maria’s hair, tying it in knots that would be no annoyance to untangle. “What are we going to do today?” she asked, just as if the same question had been posed every morning for years. Putting the child down, Maria went on with preparing breakfast, this time putting out two of everything. She smiled as she gave her answer.

“First of all…I’m going to paint your picture.”

Copyright © 2011 Carys

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Insert interesting title here?

What would I like to post, indeed. Something amazing and inspiring, but what it will turn out to be is more likely to be vague and slightly confusing. Though if it was anything else, would people know it was me? Just in case there’s anyone reading this who doesn’t actually know me I should probably introduce myself. Is that what normal people would do? And would it be more interesting if I didn’t, so the reader can imagine I’m whomever they want me to be?

Whomever or whoever? I should know things like that. Oh, dear…

Anyway, I started this thingy (I’m not sure I like the word blog, though it’s a bit late to make everyone in the entire world change it now I suppose) because I wrote a story about 21st December 2012. I wrote it around 18 months ago, failed to get it published, and promised myself I would make it public somehow BEFORE the actual date. Which, I can categorically state will NOT be the end of the world. (I am confident in saying this because, should the world end on Friday none of us will be here to see it anyway and tell me I was wrong…)

The page is telling me to insert a photo. I wonder if I should or would that be too much excitement for one evening? Right. Clicking “publish post” now. No going back…

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