fiction Writing

Missing (Part 2)

My breathing is drastically increasing in pace, but I won’t stop until I find her. Each time the wind blows I jump as if someone is behind me or in case I miss a vital clue. The sounds of the birds and other creatures in nature makes me also second guess whether I am missing something that will lead me to her.

‘Why did she leave? Why did she ever go out on her own? Why?’ I shout this out loudly in case somebody can hear me and might be able to help. Even if they can’t I long for a companion, someone to be a physical comfort through my search. Simply to be there.

I find a large stick the size that our Cocker Spaniel, Buster, usually chooses whenever we are on a longer dog walk. His size is always disproportionate to the stick he decides to carry with him and no matter how many people he nearly knocks over with it, there is no way he will let us take it off him. He growls as if in danger when Sarah or I attempt to remove the wooden trunk from his mouth, so we always give up and let him have his own way, as with most other things.

I use the stick to move the trees and bushes away so that I can clearly view what lays underneath. I don’t know why I am choosing to do this, but I feel it is more productive than doing nothing at all. I realise I am jumping to conclusions or pre-empting an awful discovery by choosing to search this way, but I am hopeless in despair, so I feel that I have no other choice.

After a while of being away from the house I notice that I have forgotten my phone or any form of time telling device, so I have no way of knowing how long I have been gone. The children must be wondering where I have got to and Mum must be worrying silly about my whereabouts or where my anger and frustration has led me. She knows from experience how bad I can get sometimes. She must have so many questions running through her head about the real story of what happened to Sarah. She always second guesses me but this time I have told her the whole truth. All I know of it anyway.

Suddenly, I get a sense within me like a dog would in a police search unit and run back to Mum’s to get into my car. Adrenaline kicks in giving me the energy to take on the distance from the forest to the house. I run off-pieced to get to the fields quicker, cutting my leg on thorn bushes and obtaining numerous nettle stings in the process. I run through the fields, ignoring the clearly marked public footpaths and instead trample through the carefully planted crop, my nose starting to run as soon as I reach the bright yellow field full of rapeseed. Usually I wouldn’t be able to cope with the allergies but the panic increases with my desperation to get to the car, so knowing that this field is the next from home allows me to continue. I stop at the edge of Mum’s garden to catch my breath and decide how to enter so that nobody will notice me taking the car or notice me at all in fact. I don’t wish to be seen, I just want to get to her and fast.

Adulthood Non-fiction Observations

I read because…

I read because I’m inspired

I read because I learn from it

I read because it gives me ideas

I read to relax

I read because it takes me to good places

I read because I love it

I read because it helps me sleep

I read because I slow down

I read because it shuts my head off

I read because I usually have a dog on my lap

I read because of imagination

I read because of invented worlds

I read because I want to know things

I read because it’s good for me

I read because I am lucky to be able to

I read for enjoyment

fiction Writing

Missing (Part 1)

My face is numb, but I can still feel it. It is a weird sensation as if my cheekbones have turned to jelly and the feeling is slowly evaporating never to return, but in the present moment the physical awareness remains. The expression that I have been holding for the past fortnight won’t leave and it is paining me knowing this but there is nothing I can do about it. The exhaustion throughout my body remains too and no matter how much I try to relax, my mind doesn’t allow for any form of recuperation.

‘Why don’t you get some rest,’ Mum says affectionately while she tries to remain normal and feed the children their favourite – spaghetti hoops on toast.

Though I know she means well, it is the last thing I wish to hear because I cannot rest until we find her.

‘I just can’t.’ I snap at her not meaning to and leave, heading into the unknown.

I walk out of Mum’s patio doors which lead into her huge garden. Her garden has been an ongoing project for as much of my life as I can remember. It has been so carefully designed at an extortionate price by a professional to look as wild and uncared for as it does, and my feet speed up into an almost run as I traipse through. Her garden backs on to an expanse of fields. Wide open space with nothing else around until the forest, but that is over a mile in the distance so I don’t know whether I will get that far.

Running through this landscape gives me a total sense of freedom and new energy that I haven’t experienced for almost a month and it is something that cannot be explained in words. I feel as if I can fly and the sweet smell of Mum’s garden resonates in my nostrils as I proceed to make the distance to the forest. This is also a new thing that I am noticing because smells are certainly something that have vanished during this dark time. Noticing the scent of the Hydroniums and Honeysuckle lingering in my memory bank pleases me but doesn’t remove my hurt.

On reaching the forest a wave of panic that I am so familiar with now comes over me again. It swarms my body as if a snake wrapping itself tightly around my frame with intention to kill. All the new energy that I had whilst I was pacing through the fields has instantly disappeared. My sense of freedom too has washed away into the air and I am left feeling that all too intimate sensation of horror that has been a permanent fixture inside me lately.

I begin searching frantically in the bushes, even looking high up into the trees.

‘Sarah!’ I scream in pure desperation hoping, naively, that she will pop out from behind a large tree trunk and shout ‘Hello!’ as if all of this has been some sort of sick joke.

fiction Stories Writing

Descriptive fiction

Thankfully the sun was shining, already brightening my mood for the day and I had just started a new book on recommendation by Eileen who I can always rely on when it comes to good reads. It was one that she had found in a charity shop which is where she finds a lot of her suggestions if they don’t come from the book club that she irregularly attends and it was by an author that she loves which is usually how she picks out the good ones. She is a very loyal reader and once she finds an author that she likes she reads every book written by them until the list has been completely exhausted.

This one was complex from the start and had me gripped instantly. I love books that have that effect and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to put it down until my eyes began to droop with tiredness later that evening. The protagonist had experienced a death of someone close to her, a relative I felt, though it wasn’t clear who had died. She was sorting through the will while trying to sort out the house with a useless brother and intrusive friends to make matters worse. Three chapters in, she had discovered so much about her life that she never knew, and each chapter ended on a cliff-hanger forcing my addiction to the story line to continue.

I was so engrossed in the novel that I hadn’t noticed Jack set up his chair beside me with his iPad and headphones in. He must be playing a game, I thought to myself, but didn’t start to ask him because we were both content in our own worlds but sharing a happy space in our garden, together.

The sky looked like one in a perfect world, clear blue with just a few fluffy white clouds dotted about, perfectly shaped. The breeze came at intervals that provided just enough cool air but never too much that we had to get jackets on, and the warmth continued to make our skin smile. The birds seemed to be enjoying themselves with subtle sounds coming from the trees but apart from that everything was still.

The first smells of freshly mowed lawn came over the fence as our neighbours started to perform their initial garden tidy up of the year and the sounds of the lawnmower and laughter from their children hinted strongly that summer was well on its way. As I started to think that the length of the last warm period on my skin was considerably longer than the last, I looked up to see that most of the clouds had vanished and the sun shone down on its own.

‘Here, you two. Put some cream on,’ Eileen shouted from the kitchen, a tea towel in her hand and clearly emptying the dishwasher while listening to Randy Travis on the stereo.

I had attempted to introduce her into the world of Spotify, claiming that it would save her a lot of money, time and space on her shelves, but she disregarded my efforts and instead wanted to keep her old habits alive.

I lay in silence beside my brother reading my book and my attention only became slightly interrupted when passers by walking their dogs and their children were in loud conversation that interested my brain. The topics were never that interesting at all and they were talking about people I didn’t know but I felt it was natural for a girls brain to focus on any form of gossip, whether it involved me or not.

Adulthood fiction Stories Writing

The Disagreement

Jane and Oliver knew that they were late for lunch at the new pub that opened in the village last night, but they couldn’t leave during the debate. Both of them were very excited to try the new menu and see how the place had been transformed from its old ragged self into a shiny new upmarket venue. Yet they also didn’t want the onlooking villagers to gossip over their table mannerisms showing quite opaquely the row that they had prior to arriving.

He’s certainly having an affair with the accountant, the rumours would begin, Jane knew the village too well. They had to settle it before leaving the house.

‘Look, all I’m saying is that he would be much better off in a care home. It’s for the best,’ Oliver said with the same irritatingly calming tone that he always used during arguments.

‘What if it was your father? Would you be happy just to lock him away?’

‘Jane, it’s not a case of locking him away. We will visit him all the time and some of the homes are luxury these days. To be honest I’d prefer to stay in them rather than a posh hotel.’

The playful shift in Oliver’s manner wasn’t reciprocated by Jane who merely stared at him disapprovingly.

‘I’d personally want to live my last years in my own space, my own home, without old folk making me feel twenty years older than I am. He’s not even ill!’

‘Jane, we’ve been through this.’


Holding back the tears, Jane soon realised that lunch was going to have to wait until another day.

Adulthood Non-fiction Observations

The Write Diet

Today is a good day because today I was told that I look slimmer! This is possibly the BEST compliment you could give to me EVER. Well, for today anyway.

I’m not vain, I’m just a typical girl; always wanting to be prettier, thinner, funnier etc. Since January I have been on a very half arsed version of what most would call a “diet”. In other words, I try not to eat the entire packet of Haribo followed by a two course meal and pudding. Here are some pointers from a very amateur dietitian.

  1. My desk is usually filled with unhealthy delights. Munchies are often found there, crisps, biscuits, fizzy drinks, tins of baked beans with sausages in (the best!!!!) – you name it, my desk contained it. Of course, to a certain extent this is OK and everything is fine in moderation (to quote the old adage) but this was also something I knew I could easily cut out.

    Working at a shop that sells all of these things, I found it hard clocking off from a six hour shift and heading to do some more (writing) work not to carry a selection of goodies with me. One word – WILLPOWER! That’s all it takes. By skipping the extra chocolate bar, the bag of crisps or the fizzy drink, I have not only lost a few pounds but also felt much better for it. Take a piece of fruit, drink water, there are always plenty of answers.
  2. Another huge helping factor in my (poor) efforts to maintain a lesser weight and become generally healthier has been AFD. Alcohol Free Days. Monday and Tuesday nights are, for me, (mostly) free. Occasionally I convince myself that a Gin & Tonic contains hardly any calories so what does it matter, but mostly I avoid the good stuff and feel slightly better, enjoying a huge glass when Wednesday evening comes around.
  3. Yoga is another part of my newly improved health and fitness regime and it is something that I have been fairly consistent at. Whether it’s the notion of the first alcoholic beverage of the week after class, or the sheer relaxation that I get from every session, I’m unsure. All I know is that I love it!
  4. I also try to walk everywhere that I can. My motto is if the distance can be reached on foot, then on foot I shall go. I ensure that I go on a half hour dog walk daily but I also make a conscious effort to walk wherever else I can. I am lucky in that my work is walking distance away as are many of my social events, but by walking that bit more and faster I am noticing healthier lungs as well as a healthier waistline.

Editing this post some time on I can safely say that I am by NO MEANS an expert in all of this. Today is Tuesday. I drank half a bottle of white last night, I plan to drink this evening and so far in October I have attended zero yoga classes because instead of the healthy option of Stoptober (quitting booze for a month) I have decided to STOP yoga.

Nobody’s perfect, right?