This is where I’ll share some of my short stories and maybe some poems aswell.
Another unmade bed.
First published by Tropical Writers – Raining on the sun- 2008.
Oh God! Would you look at this mess! These beds are all in a terrible state. I don’t know where to start. There’s something so lovely about slipping into a freshly made bed. That smell – washing powder and sunshine – all wrapped up into a beautiful clean sensation. It feels sort of safe I suppose, knowing that someone cares enough about you to want to do that for you. The bottom sheet’s smooth, flat and taut….no wrinkles and nothing uncomfortable. I think I always have my best dreams in a freshly made bed.
These beds would give anyone nightmares.
Oh Dear Lord, where do I start? I need some order in my life: I need to make the beds. I’d feel like I was doing something of some use at least. All the other people here say there are more important things to do, but I know, for myself, I’d feel better if the beds were made.
Maybe I’ll start on this little one here. This is the baby’s cot. I should be able to do it if I just go one at a time. I wonder where everyone else has gone. It’s so desperately quiet. I can’t hear any voices. Would you look at this cot! How did the baby sleep in it with this great lump of plaster board, a broken window frame and all these shards of glass? I hope the baby isn’t still in there. I can’t hear her. I can’t even lift this stuff it’s too heavy for me. What a mess. The other bed’s not so bad perhaps I can make a start there and come back to the cot later. Oh look at this – such pretty sheets – I think they’re roses and rose petals and daisies. I like the colours: lots of pinks and white with little splashes of bright yellow. This takes me back to when I was a little girl, helping Dad in his rose garden. I remember he used to let me pick the rose petals; I liked the deep red ones best and I’d make rosewater perfume and put it in Mum’s old perfume bottles. I’d splash it on and feel like a princess.
Funny there are shards of glass in this bed as well and it’s soaked: dripping wet. The sheets, pillows and mattress are all soaked through. How peculiar.
I wonder where everyone is. It’s so quiet. It’s a funny sort of quiet almost too quiet. Still if I can get the beds made it’s a start. I know I’ll feel better if I can at least do that. How odd, now I can feel drops of water like falling rain. But it can’t be I’m in the house.
Maybe the roof is leaking. What’s that blue thing up there? Oh! There is a hole; no hang on that’s not a hole – half the roof has gone. Well no wonder the bed’s soaked through if the roof’s gone. I wonder if the others know about this. Where is everyone? It’s all so desperately quiet. I think I’ll leave these beds for now. Bit pointless making them if they’re soaked through and the roofs gone. I’d just feel like I had achieved something if I could get the beds made.
I’ll try the other room instead…. Why is the door so stiff? It’s jammed shut. What’s going on here? Who’s that shouting? Oh dear, I haven’t the strength to open it. I don’t remember it ever being locked before. What’s become so secret all of a sudden? Who is that calling out? I’ll just give it one more really big push…no don’t touch me!
Mum! Oh my God Mum you scared me. Mum it’s locked because the cyclone took away the whole front of the house. What are you doing here? It’s dangerous. Mum, look at me. There’s been a cyclone; bloody Larry took half the house. Oh you poor thing, come down stairs with me and I’ll make you a nice cup of tea.
I don’t know who this nice kind lady is. She says she’ll make me a cup of tea, but can’t she see I’d feel much better if I could just make a start on the beds.
A point of difference.
First published by Short and Twisted anthology -2010
Celeste moved slowly and gracefully, a lighted taper held wand-like, bringing the magic of flame to the scented candles around the room. Tonight was her indulgence; children spirited away – husband on a business trip – she was completely alone.
The warm, flickering glow of the flames cast dancing shadows. The room itself salsa’d as the candles released their heady perfumes of rose, vanilla, orange and lavender.
Celeste took her wand into the bathroom lighting more candles as a stream of steaming water filled her bath. She sprinkled pink rose petals – a few drifting onto the cool, white marble floor. Sighing she sank into the water. A thrill of satisfaction ran from the tips of her perfectly manicured, pink lacquered finger nails to the tips of her pink lacquered, perfectly pedicured toe nails. She’d reached a pinnacle. All on her own she’d set up her business, sourced the best raw materials, endured the trials and tribulations of marketing, looking for that special point of difference which would set her product apart. It was funny how that point of difference had eluded her and yet the solution had been so obvious.
Her candles now had a smooth, rich, creamy texture which lent a mellow translucence as they burned. Her candles burned longer, releasing a more intense fragrance. Soon it was simply word of mouth and business boomed. She moved from a cottage industry to a factory with employees – the national and international orders began to flow.
She richly deserved tonight’s indulgence. ‘The Business Woman of The Year’ award displayed proudly on the mantle above the fire was testament to her achievements.
Celeste stretched, deftly flicking the tap with her foot, topping up her bath, silently thanking her husband for his contribution.
Making the beautiful people more beautiful was big business. Liposuction was a thriving industry and something had to be done with all that fat.
When the colours come.
First published by Tropical Writers – Cracks in the canopy – 2010
Cam stepped back to admire her handiwork. Yeah, this’s good: the colours’ve come better than me others … deeper … more intense like. Yeah – that’s what them art critics say – intense. I like me colours. Like how they come different every time. I want each of me creations to be bigger an’ better every time. Them teachers … always sayin’ I’ve got no ambition. I’ll show ‘em.
Orange and yellow always worked well for Cam, but she liked it when she got those cool, blue-purple licks and how green added depth and dimension. One or two quick sweeps of her hand and another was underway.
Fuck! I remember me first. Shit scared I woz … pulled it off tho’. Them neighbours came out for that! Only me first exhibition really. Don’t think any of ‘em ‘preciated me efforts for that. Standin’ there criticisin’. Well I’ll show ‘em. This one ‘ere’ll be fuckin’ fantastic.
Cam had already staged a few smaller exhibitions. It took planning, searching for the best location then achieving the right mood and ambience. She needed to soak up the atmosphere before the first spark of inspiration. Sometimes it took hours of being alone. Prowling – pumping herself up – waiting for that perfect moment. Her whole creation, the gloriousness of it, emanated from a single bold stroke.
‘ad to get away from there – come up ‘ere to where the real action is. Let ‘em buggers know Cam has arrived. Victoria’s good coz they ‘aven’t seen me work ‘ere. this’ll show ‘em wot real art is!
Sweat beaded on her forehead as she worked on her piece. She’d let go this time. Borders, boundaries and definitions disappeared. The creation took on its own lifeforce. It drew her. Absorbing her as the tantalizing, incandescent colours danced. Wrapped in the moment she became an eagle soaring on thermals; viewing her creation from the air.
Them gits ‘aven’t got a fuckin’ clue wot this is all about. Man! It’s like I’m bein’ God! Worth the time an’ the plannin’ an’ gettin’ the right stuff fer the job. Jeez this is power. Them poor suckers don’t understand the power of creatin’. Like it gets right inside yer guts.
The fog of loneliness and isolation lifted once she got into a creation. Replaced by the adrenaline rush, exhilaration and the excitement she craved.
Never one of the in crowd, they woz all too toffee nosed to let Cam Pritchard join their little clicks. School woz shit anyway … reckon I never missed much. Them teachers never had anything good t’ say about me work. Said I had learnin’ difficulties. Wouldn’t ‘ve had ‘em if they’d taught me proper. Better t’ bludge, coz then I didn’t get teased an’ bullied. Even the bloody teachers picked on me. Well ‘cept fer me art teacher. Liked her. Coz it’s all me own work an’ yer ‘ave t’ take pride. Like if yer gunna do it yer gotta do it proper. It’s me wots in control ‘ere. It’s got me mark on it an’ no one can say they did it. I reckon there’ll be stuff in the papers ‘bout this un!
The newspaper reviews of her last creation were less than complimentary and she hadn’t rated more than a by-line in the big papers; no photographs either. The local evening news had given her a passing mention, but still no pictures. Cam was disappointed. It was time to show them.
Country Victoria now; close enough t’ Melbourne fer me recognition. Planned it real well this time. Got t’ make a statement. Cam Pritchard has arrived! Okay, okay, okay, no goin’ back now. This un’s gunna be the big un. Wot did me art teacher say?
“Let your work define you.”
Proper posh she woz … let me experiment tho’. Wonder wot she’ll think of this un? Coz I can feel it in me guts – it’s gunna be good.
Cam focussed on the creation of her masterpiece.
Goin’ global this time, Cam Pritchard!
She continued to work.
Oh shit man, me colours’ve never been this good before. It’s like lookin’ in one of ‘em kids whirly things, wotchamecallums … kaleidoscope. Yeah! The colours they’re dancin’ just like me they’re dancin’. Christ! This uns the best, See ’em critics’ faces when they see this un. Won’t know wots hit ‘em. Gunna stay in it this time … yer gotta do everthin’ once. Like the teacher lady said …
“Be at one with your creation.”
Cam finally got the recognition she craved – front page news.
Bush Fires Rage On.