Grandma

‘I just can not believe he would do such a thing! I’m so angry…’ her voice trailed off. I had been eavesdropping for three minutes and I still did not know what made mum so mad. I knew it had something to do with Dad, it always did. She was talking with Grandma but I could only hear her voice. Grandma was soft spoken, even in regular conversations you had to read her lips to understand what she was saying. From where I was standing, on the landing I could only see Mum, the living room door was barely open. 

The phone rang suddenly.

‘Hello. Yes. Speaking. I would be right there’ Mum hung up. ‘That was the Police’ she said frantically. I could see mum pacing around the room likely looking for her hand bag. ‘Take care of Elsa for me.’ She said hurriedly, the front door shut loudly behind her.

I tip-toed back upstairs, but Grandma was already at the living room door trying to make sense of why I was walking funny. ‘What are you doing up at this time?’ She whispered.

‘I-I just wanted some water, good night Grandma.’ I started for the stairs again, running through them in twos.

‘Elsa darling, since you are up you might as well have some tea with your favourite Granny’ She said looking up at me.

I knew what ’tea’ meant and I did not want to be a part of this.

‘Err I don’t want tea.. you were right I should be asleep’

‘Nonsense my child, come come back down Elsa’ she motioned with her hands  ‘ I’m going to put the kettle on’.

Grandma seemed so small looking down at her from the top of the stairs. Something in her eyes made me scared of disobeying her quiet order.

I began the descent one step at a time. Grandma watched me patiently with a weird smile. She held her left hand toward me. When I reached the final step, I took her out stretched hand and looked into her eyes and that was the last thing I remembered.

 

I could hear the toads croaking and see the birds flying indistinctly from tree to tree. I could barely see, I was lying on dirt in my pyjamas under a tree. The sun was not out yet but the forest was awake. I searched around for Grandma, she was not with me. ‘Grandma’ I got on my feet, my head was spinning, it was difficult to focus. ‘Grandma’ I shouted this time. I looked up at the tree I was under and realised that I knew it, it was not far from the house. Getting my skewed bearing in check, I began walking in the general direction of the house. I could not understand what was I doing here, how did I get here? I soon noticed that the ground became really wet, and uncomfortable, I looked down and realised I was walking in mud. I panicked and I tried to run back to the tree but I could not see it. So I stopped. I considered the possibility that I was dreaming. I slapped myself and pinched my nose and closed my eyes, nothing seemed to wake me up. Suddenly, I saw the torch light. ‘Grand Ma?’ I whispered walking toward the light.  

‘Elsa, Elsa’ I could hear her old raspy voice. She pointed her torch at me. It felt like she was holding two torchlights. I used my elbows to block out the light. ‘Oh my goodness Elsa I thought I had lost you’ Grandma picked me up and gave me the tightest hug. Just then, I realised Mum was standing next to her, ‘Elsa you cannot just run away like that’ Mum yelled, she seemed upset and not as pleased to see me, something was wrong. ‘I did not run away Mum, Grandma… she brought me here, and, and…’ the more I explained the more I felt stupid, I could feel Mum’s burning stare on me. ‘What Elsa is trying to say is that she is sorry and would not behave like that again, would you Elsa?’ Grandma cut in. I looked back at Grandma. I could not understand what was happening, why was she lying like she was not the one who brought me to the forest, how did she get back to the house so quickly, how many minutes had I been knocked out?

‘Grandma why did you bring me here?’ I raised my voice at her and she just stared at me like I was crazy. ‘Let’s get you home Elsa, we would talk about this in the morning’ Mum said holding my arm tightly and pulling me away from Grandma.

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I decided to try my hands on thriller. I have come to appreciate that it is hard to gauge fear. There are just too many questions a Writer has to ask, the most important I think is, ‘how lost do you want your reader to be?’ I usually enjoy leaving the end of my stories as open as possible- incase I want a sequel, or to elicit various interpretations from the reader. With ‘Grandma’ I am still undecided, I’ll leave it to you, would you want a sequel, were you confused? I’ll really appreciate your comments.

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I failed to tell

He doesn’t hold my hand as tightly as he did before.
I know why, I just cannot believe that he would be so affected by it.
He found out that I had lied to him. I had failed to share with him a vital part about my past, I kept him in the dark all those years to protect him. At least that is how I wanted to rationalise it.
10 years ago I found out that I had fibroids. I was shocked, ashamed and confused. I was not married then. The doctors ran me through my options. The option I picked then is what separates me from him.

We are waiting at the bus stop on a cold Monday morning about to board the 61 to town.
We chose to get rid of our cars a few months ago because of Kola’s new found green love. He wanted to save the planet so badly that our life style changed with each new conservation idea. I loved seeing him passionate about something and I welcomed each innovation by complying.
We have two cats and a small house. We were living the life for three years. No external family, no comments. We were a perfect fit in this society.

Sitting in my dressing room taking off my make makeup after work, I wonder what sort of woman I had become. I lied to my husband, and now he does not look at me like he did before.
Was it really a lie, or had I just failed to tell him. Was an omission a lie?
I remember when we met we had dreams of travelling and living in a foreign country. He never once mentioned children. He was not a big fan. But I couldn’t tell whether he was just selfish being an only child, or he was kidding. At least now I know he wasn’t kidding. I mean what man knows what he wants at 23?

I resented what I had done. I was afraid, I did not know what telling him would do to us. I was sure he would still love me, but I was not certain. Especially because Anika was in the picture, it was too risky. So I kept my secret to my self and looked at him everyday wondering if he would love me the same way if I told him what I had done.

He walked into the room and ignored my existence. It was already a month since I told him, he was not over it. I deserved it, I did not blame him. I was selfish, and anything that would result from this I decided to accept.

‘You cannot keep ignoring me like this, I’m sorry, I don’t know how many times I need to tell you this’ I said almost in a whisper.
‘I’ll stop ignoring you when I am ready June. I mean how could you, how could you do this to me, to us?’
‘I had no choice, it was spreading, I was going to die. I decided to have a hysterectomy to save my life!’
‘Why didn’t you tell me? We dated for three years, yet you kept it from me. What am I going to tell my mum, that you are barren?’ That word rang in to the air louder than the bells of a cathedral.
‘You don’t have to tell her anything, we can adopt, there are other ways out of this…’ I tried to save the situation.

He had one hand up with his eyes shut as if trying to block my words. ‘I can’t do this’ he mumbled storming out of the room. I stood up and held his arm. There was so much anger tied up in his muscles that I let go immediately.

‘Are u ending us?’ I said.
He paused, sighed heavily and shut the door angrily.
I knew it was over.

I had ended us not him by failing to share my secret with him. There are few things in this world that hurt a man, and I know now that concealing secrets is one of them.

We Had nothing

No stars in sight,

We knew the dawn was near,

The wet grass, the thick fog, the noisy toads,

We also knew fear,

Howls, barks, rods.

The race toward the light,

Still eyes pinned to the beam,

Silence masked breathing,

The wait.

The struggle and fight,

The want for one thing.

Our light is deem,

Farther than ever now.

It is leaving without us.

It disappears .

We had nothing.

Writing Challenge: The Devil is in the details

Sitting on the marble cold step, I try to balance my laptop on one lap while reaching for my phone on the top step which contained the details of the writing challenge. I enjoy sitting on the middle of the three steps that lead into the living room. It is one of the only locations I find myself writing my best. One reason perhaps is because I can admire the living room area just in front of me. It is a rectangular room having paintings and sculptures hanging on each side of the wall graced with a huge red Persian rug in the middle and four leather couches on either sides of it. There is a huge brown clock hanging on the wall facing me, it is slightly higher than rest of the paintings. On the same side of the wall is an air condition and opposite it- where I sat is a white standing fan. The living room area was never warm provided one of those two was switched on.

I’m staring at my laptop screen and trying to type every detail from my visual focus, when I hear a mosquito. The buzzing gets louder with every second, and I get upset. “SWAT”. I missed. The buzzing continued. This insect was determined to derail my train of thoughts. I turned on the standing fan to ward it off. It worked! I sat back down to write some more, but I didn’t know what next to write.The clock kept ticking loudly.

The lights from the chandelier just above the rug suddenly seemed deem, I couldn’t tell whether it was the electricity or my eyes. Sleep was setting in and the fan wasn’t helping. I took my slipper off, and felt the cool floor with the sole of my feet; it woke me up a little. My right feet absently stepped on an object; it was small and hard. I picked it up with my toes. Holding it in my hands now, i could see It was the missing letter ‘d’ the kids had been looking for earlier in the day to complete a puzzle. I tucked it into my bag, hoping to give it to them tomorrow. I looked at the wall clock and decided my writing time was over. Then, I hit the ‘publish’ button .

Searching for motivation

                                                                                     motivation book

One of the worst feelings in the world in my opinion, has to be searching for something (perhaps your phone) which was just on you a few minutes ago. I mean what can be more frustrating? You know that the item you are searching for is right in front of you, but you just can’t see it.

Searching for a physical object cannot be as annoying as searching for a feeling, a non-concrete ‘object’  like Motivation.

Motivation is that fuel that every human has to have to perform  at their very best.

It is that kick that will make an athlete run that extra mile when out of breath.

It is that attitude that will keep you smiling when you are taunted.

Having motivation can prevent negative feelings or attitudes like inertia and even procrastination.

What breaks my heart the most is that this fuel- motivation is not the kind of natural resource that has a price tag on it. We are the sole producers of that feeling. It begs the question; Why can’t I have motivation all the time? Why must I search for it like I will my phone?

Every writer needs motivation, without that feeling it would be difficult to get the right inspiration to write.  One way I have struggled with mine is by subscribing to daily prompts and trying to post as often as I can. Well it is quite hard to do that if you don’t have the right inspiration. On Tuesday I ran into the daily post challenge and I told myself I should accept this challenge and post something for five days.

For five days I searched for motivation and I could not find him. He evaded me. The truth is the only reason I did not ‘just do it’ was because I spent too long thinking about what to write. The only way to be good at writing is to just write as often as possible.

At the end of the  fifth day, which is today I discovered that the problem with my approach of finding motivation was the amount of time I spent looking for it in the first place. The truth is, when searching for something you don’t have to be the one who will find it, someone else might discover the missing item.

My point is, motivation is not waiting out there; getting on with the task at hand might be a step closer toward that burst of energy and feeling you need to write.

How have you searched for motivation? Please share your comments with me right here one this page.