Fiction: The Stilted Fairy

February 2016 Blog Challenge: Blog 29 of 29

Hurrah! It’s the last day of February – a day longer than average Valentine month at that, and I am now posting my final February post.  I have completed my blog challenge – which was to compose and post every single day of this month.

I’ve written ‘Peachey Letters’ considering life and I’ve written fiction blogs too, something new to my adult experience – although as a child I was happy to create stories and loved the escapism that they offered, to fly away with the fairies… 

As an adult, I have now returned to the fiction form and have embarked on writing my first novel (of a trilogy). It’s a blend of semi auto-biographical and fantastical elements, which feels somewhat like making a giant patch work quilt of my life: There are some favourite scraps of my own old clothes, which I am adding to, embellishing and turning into a brand new pattern…

Part of my blog challenge this month was to create content for this first fiction book.  Each excerpt, which stands alone on this blog – will eventually be woven into the larger fabric of my completed book.

And that is me done for February.  Thank you for being on this page with me!  I trust you have enjoyed my daily outpourings and I look forward to your feedback on my new fictional format.

Have a Marvellous March!

The Stilted Fairy

Wings toy

Honestly, at my age, I’m not used to standing up for so long. It’s not how I was designed, after all. My feet are rebelling. They ache and they are sore. I’m wearing entirely the wrong sort of shoes – they may look elegant, but they are remorselessly squeezing my toes, so that every step has now become a wincing agony.

This exhibition that I’m wondering aimlessly around is boring me any way; it’s just a way to kill another lonely Sunday – in a vast Expo Hall, somewhere on the edge of London.

My feet certainly aren’t thanking me for the outing and there is nothing of any interest at any of the stalls, so finally I cue up to buy tea in a large cardboard cup, and limping now – rather than gliding sexily and confidently along, I stake my claim on a dirty table scattered with used cups, scrunched up napkins and discarded crumbs.

My cardboard tea cup has a leak and as I raise the drink to my lips, hot brown liquid spills triumphantly down my white blouse instead… I look down surreptitiously and check out the damage, “Oh wonderful!” And so I put down my defective cup and watch the hectic world whirl about, as I silently spy on the people around me; honing in on clothes and conversation, demeanour and body language and then having analysed the symptoms I see, I start to spin stories of who the people about me are and what they do…

Over at the next table is an anxious young man in a suit, leaning forward, posturing and dominating, clearly desperate to seal a deal with his laconic older companion; a man dressed in jeans and a casual jacket who is in more relaxed mode – sitting back, observing rather than taking part. I can tell, just by my side line observation, that the young guy is not going to get the deal, opportunity or cash that he wants so much. He may instead just get a brush off, although his older companion looks like more the type to give advice. The young guy ignores the stand-off signals from his coffee buddy, but instead finishes his diatribe and holds out his hand to shake on a deal.

Now his older companion leans in. First he looks the young guy in the eyes. Then he speaks slowly and deliberately, looking over the top of his erstwhile companion’s head. Finally, now that his careful, spare words have been spent, he stands up, touches the other man on the shoulder and disappears smoothly in to the crowd.

Before I can observe the reaction of the object of my observation, there is a blur of white in my peripheral vision and I turn to see her… The Fairy…

Now here is a wonder of a woman who does not hide her wings. Instead she is proudly out in public, on show in this showy space.

Of course she isn’t a real fairy… She’s a circus performer or promotional worker, attention seeking and adding a strange brand of ethereal glamour to this earthly place. But still I look her over, so I can consciously compare and contrast…

Unlike me of course she cannot fly or hover – so she is, instead elevated on stilts. Her hair, naturally (or unnaturally, since I suspect that’s a wig) is long and blond, flowing down in tidy waves over her shoulders. Honestly, if she ever actually flew – her hair would never look that pristine.

She’s dressed in clichéd white, in a dress sprinkled with silver stars and she has a delicate silver coronet on her head. Again, it’s hardly practical garb for flying – in these days of pollution and miscreant weather, the frock would be filthy in seconds and the crown would fly off her head during take-off.

Her wings it has to be said, are more impressive than the usual pink Chinese (made) chiffon toy versions are.   They have an individual span of around 18 inches each, with a top wired frame from which drips a light diaphanous material, which means that they flutter behind her as she lopes along.

Instead of a sinuous flowing flight, her walk is a laboured gait. It is less lift and more limp. Despite all her sparkly finery, she’s too earth bound and gravity heavy to ever take off into the skies.

Unlike me, she gets noticed though. She is constantly photographed and posed with. Whereas – as usual, I just sit invisibly by, observing on the edge, with a smug secret smile which belies my tea stained shirt and swollen feet.

So let’s compare her to me… Firstly, my wings are bigger, much, much bigger…

“Can I take this seat?” a man of 30 something says, grabbing the spare chair at my table and taking the seat for granted by planting himself in it. He is wearing glasses, and underneath the dun coloured corduroy jacket and black jeans, I can see a blue shirt, unbuttoned at the top. My nose is then assaulted by the foul smelling black coffee he slaps onto the tiny table, which has the latent liquid consistency of idiomatic tar.

We both stare at the fairy, who is posing for a photograph, with a small excited child somewhere near her feet… “What would it take to get her to fly do you think?” I say idly.

“Ah well,” he replied “you’re asking the wrong person – I’m a scientist, so I know it simply isn’t possible.”

He then goes on to expound to me how a flying human wouldn’t work. Without waiting for any response from me, he launches into bafflement by wing span to weight ratios and uplift and the like. He speaks of energy sustainability and aerodynamics; all in order to refute my laconic proposition.  But I just smugly let all his unversed words flow over my own fair head.

He has, he explains, a degree in physics, so assumes that this means that he knows everything. Well, in the case of flying – naturally I know better…

Of course he could hardly know that I am a winged wonder who bucks the trends of modern day knowledge. I should of course be a creature of myth, whereas it turns out, that apart from the wings folded secretly flat against my back… I’m an unscientific, blonde, averagely ditsy sort of woman, who loves to introduce the conversational topic to random strangers of ‘if you sprouted wings and it was suddenly possible for you to fly, where would you go and what would you do’..?

An all too frequent response is that “er… I’ve never thought of it”, or “well I’d save money on my Spanish holiday by flying there, or I’d avoid the daily commute”, etc., and bla bla bla…

Such bland, flip responses all seem like wasted opportunities to me… They’re too pedestrian, and too plebeian… And so far none of the answers ever received, have inspired me to do any more than the same…

After all birds just fly from A to B don’t they – from nest to food? Why do I think that being a winged human gives me entitlement to anything other than the same mundane?

Well, it’s because I’m different of course – whilst it’s common for birds, most humans don’t actually fly. But then, since my wings are secret to most people – no one knows this of me. My difference has to remain invisible and so, out here in the earthbound world, I remain bland and simply stare at the leaden footed humans all around me; wondering who I should pity the most – them or me??

I stand up, and leaving my congealing tea and wrong footed companion behind, limp away from the table, to melt back into the crowd; without a backward glance or a smug good bye.

~ Sandra Peachey ©

PS: “Thank you for sharing your letters with us all. You have such a wonderful gift with words. … Wishing you joy.” ~ Monique Blackmore

This is just one from the many hundreds of comments I had when I did my first blog challenge 4 years ago.  The post above is a fiction and yet I also write about my own experiences.  In fact a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, exploring all the facets of my ‘real’ life in all its’ badness, banality and beauty. This is love seen in every aspect of the life that I live.  In it you will find the dark and the light of love, in a way that will make you think, entertain you and let you know that you are not alone in life, whatever it holds for you… It is of course the perfect Valentine gift. You can buy ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ by Sandra Peachey, from book websites anywhere in the world, including on Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)

Advertisements

Fiction: Growing Wings

February 2016 Blog Challenge: Blog 28 of 29

As a child I was happy to create stories and loved the escapism that they offered, especially from gremlins of every kind… 

As an adult, I have now returned to the fiction form and have embarked on writing my first novel (of a trilogy). It’s a blend of semi auto-biographical and fantastical elements, which feels somewhat like making a giant patch work quilt of my life: There are some favourite scraps of my own old clothes, which I am adding to, embellishing and turning into a brand new pattern…

Part of my blog challenge this month is to create content for this first fiction book.  Each excerpt, which stands alone on this blog – will eventually be woven into the larger fabric of my completed book.

Growing Wings

Wings

It started gradually, her knowing of her wings… She had dreamt of them and hoped so heavily that this time would come. And as time is, they did not come suddenly; instead they came gradually, starting slowly as an itch, something stretching and shoving, thrusting up inexorably, from deep within the skin around her shoulders and across her back – just where it was hard to see, just where it was difficult to feel any more than the stroking of her hand, over her slowly reddening skin.

She had dreamt of course, that she could fly, ever since she could remember dreaming. During these night time reveries, she endlessly owned the freedom of flight, and would rise up and away and fly from trouble, buzzing and hovering like a fairy or a dragon fly, flitting about over roofs and looking down on all the earth bound, clay bound mortals who would never ever look up and see her, high above them in all her feathered glory.

And for once, her dreams were coming true and so it was a delicious secret that she would keep, from her mother and from everyone, until she would reach her father’s family again and share her wingèd triumph with them.

Still her shoulders reddened and itched on. Ariel was now frightened that her secret would be shown when she went on her weekly school swimming lessons, but oddly no one seemed to see what she knew and what she felt – that her long dreamt of wings were coming through.

After weeks of burning and scratching their way upwards, finally the first stubbly tips began to show, like soft grey pin pricks running across her shoulders, looking just like daddy’s stubble the minute before he shaved. The feel of them was fascinating and so, in secret, in bed, craning her head to see her shoulders in the bathroom mirror she would rub hands against their ever increasing grain – to the left on her left shoulder and so to the right on her right shoulder.

They grew, like grass, daily, getting longer and stronger, forming new limbs that she could fold neatly back against her back. No feathers yet, just white down, fluffy and soft to the touch. And as they increased in length and width, she found that she could flap her wings and stretch them, but not take off yet, still tethered as she was, heavily to the ground.

~ Sandra Peachey ©

PS: “Thank you for sharing your letters with us all. You have such a wonderful gift with words. … Wishing you joy.” ~ Monique Blackmore

This is just one from the many hundreds of comments I had when I did my first blog challenge 4 years ago.  The post above is a fiction and yet I also write about my own experiences.  In fact a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, exploring all the facets of my ‘real’ life in all its’ badness, banality and beauty. This is love seen in every aspect of the life that I live.  In it you will find the dark and the light of love, in a way that will make you think, entertain you and let you know that you are not alone in life, whatever it holds for you… It is of course the perfect Valentine gift. You can buy ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ by Sandra Peachey, from book websites anywhere in the world, including on Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)

 

Fiction: The Dream Watcher

February 2016 Blog Challenge: Blog 27 of 29

As a child I was happy to create stories and loved the escapism that they offered, going where my dreams and others, would take me… 

As an adult, I have now returned to the fiction form and have embarked on writing my first novel (of a trilogy). It’s a blend of semi auto-biographical and fantastical elements, which feels somewhat like making a giant patch work quilt of my life: There are some favourite scraps of my own old clothes, which I am adding to, embellishing and turning into a brand new pattern…

Part of my blog challenge this month is to create content for this first fiction book.  Each excerpt, which stands alone on this blog – will eventually be woven into the larger fabric of my completed book.

The Dream Watcher

And so he dreamt on whilst she watched…

He twitched and moved through his dream scape. She wondered where on earth or beyond he was, and could see how his breathing silently jerked and rasped his rib cage. The rhythm simply seemed to be out of synchronicity, and to measure this she mimicked the inhalations and exhalations of his lungs, as his chest rose and fell in undefined waves.

Without noise, she breathed out as he did, pulled the air into her lungs as he did and it was an odd and absorbing exercise in trying to get under his sleeping skin, for there was no real rhythm to it.

There was a light breath, barely moving his body and then a heavy one, heaving his whole rib cage, then a breathless pause, a wait to exhale and three fast silent gasps. In twinning his breath, she was learning to be him, to know him in a new dimension, secretly – when he wasn’t sentient or contained or knowingly observed.

All hers as he said he was, he was in sleep, next to her, oddly out of reach.

And then it was as if he could feel her watching him and he rose up from the breath of his dreams and opened his eyes, looking into hers – bringing her into view and looking at her with clear sight.

She smiled…

But then it was clear that in the moment he had not actually awakened or acknowledged her – she couldn’t decide which; and instead turned his back on her, to go back to his cave of dreams, without her searching eyes upon his secret, sleeping face.

PS: “It’s gorgeous. Fiction and creating other worlds for us to go to is your thing.”
~ Jacqui Malpass

This is just one from the many hundreds of comments from recent blogs.  The post above is a fiction and yet I also write about my own experiences.  In fact a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, exploring all the facets of my ‘real’ life in all its’ badness, banality and beauty. This is love seen in every aspect of the life that I live.  In it you will find the dark and the light of love, in a way that will make you think, entertain you and let you know that you are not alone in life, whatever it holds for you… It is of course the perfect Valentine gift. You can buy ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ by Sandra Peachey, from book websites anywhere in the world, including on Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)

Fiction: Miss Haversham am I

February 2016 Blog Challenge: Blog 26 of 29

As a child I was happy to create stories and loved the escapism that they offered, projecting my imagination into the past and the future… 

As an adult, I have now returned to the fiction form and have embarked on writing my first novel (of a trilogy). It’s a blend of semi auto-biographical and fantastical elements, which feels somewhat like making a giant patch work quilt of my life: There are some favourite scraps of my own old clothes, which I am adding to, embellishing and turning into a brand new pattern…

Part of my blog challenge this month is to create content for this first fiction book.  Each excerpt, which stands alone on this blog – will eventually be woven into the larger fabric of my completed book.

Miss Haversham am I

Haver

I spend a lot of time alone with books and it seems to me that there is a particular literary convention, where the author’s stance is to cut time into squares and rearrange it, like a giant patch work quilt, creating new patterns and meanings out of bits of posh cloth or jumble sale scraps, into something more clever, poignant and entertaining than the straight walk of real time and therefore real life. The reader does not hold hands with one character, but rather they watch a number of them, from afar, jumping about with them through time; shifting back and forth, switching to the viewing of various characters walking separately along differing paths, then at some points colluding or colliding, to be woven, brokenly back into a stitched cloth. Yet whilst I am self-consciously creating this body of work, setting down my memories and the landscape of sight and emotion, I refuse to assail my reading senses with varied voices and points of view, for this is my story, and mine alone and so it must follow a more linear track, halted only by the gentle interruptions of my latent, agèd insights. And since this is autobiography rather than fiction, I shall start with childhood and follow a recognisable, if somewhat undulating path to my current elderly self.

If these words long lingered over are ever read by others, then of course, they may perceive a fiction or indeed a madness in my sometimes bland and sometimes fantastical life stories. I cannot attest to being entirely sane, but have always believed that sanity is a point of convention, rather than actuality and so, whatever another mind may make of my maunderings, will be an opinion based on their own bias, rather than what is and what is, now being created by me, out of memory or what was, now of necessity becomes my own fictionalised facts, shaped by my slanting recollections of the past.

I love old fashioned, straight forward memoirs and have a more unswerving sensibility of starting at the beginning and ending at (the finale of) a full stop in time. I love the lore of Dickens, who took different narrative paths throughout his writing life, yet usually starting with A and ending with Z, and developed his style throughout his writing time; but here I am, nearing the end of my own time and only just now recording my memories before they recede for ever, so I just need to get them out of my head and down onto paper.

Having said all that, here I am, beginning at the end, setting the scene in my current soft seat, determined that it will not be follow the form of one of my favourite Dickensian characters, that of old Miss Haversham: a woman betrayed and hurt in the long ago past and now stuck on a throne, manipulating those around her for entertainment and revenge, which ultimately and literally consumes her. For rather than making a memoir of Haversham hate, I want this to be a journal of light, one which sets down and makes sense of all that has led to me now, in this strange, solitary chair of mine.

Light is important, since its’ warmth chases the hounds of hate away. I realise this now, with the hindsight of eons, but of course I have spent so much time alone in the darkness. As I mellow with age, I go about setting this sensory story down, for there are now many more days when the blindness of my heavy headaches lift and I can release all the trapped thoughts from my brain, only to bind them tightly back into words stuck instead to the lambent page of a computer’s microchip memory.

Like Miss Haversham, I still have an old wedding dress, but instead of wearing it to drear threads, I am saving it, in a store room somewhere, folded away in its’ own special box, still to wear again or to pass on to someone else in this family tree of infinity. Despite its’ age, I have always believed that its’ encroaching yellowness will wash out and that its’ classic beauty will see the light of dancing day again. I just don’t know when that will be, I just trust that it will be.

One day, that dress and these ancient written words of mine may be for other eyes, but for now, they are most definitely only for me. For in my old age, more and more, my memory often fails me, so when scenes return to mind, I seize them and seek to capture them for reflection or for (self) torture, depending on my whim or the fragile shifting state of my psyche. I realise now that I can choose how these scenes of past life lived can return to either illuminate my remaining days or to fog them up with wrinkled grief and regret.

PS: “It’s beautiful …  I have always said you have a ‘way with words’ and you do indeed have the wonderful gift of being able to write fictional prose. So pleased you are sharing this with the world .” ~ Lucie Bradbury

This is just one from the many hundreds of comments I had when I did my first blog challenge 4 years ago.  The post above is a fiction and yet I also write about my own experiences.  In fact a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, exploring all the facets of my ‘real’ life in all its’ badness, banality and beauty. This is love seen in every aspect of the life that I live.  In it you will find the dark and the light of love, in a way that will make you think, entertain you and let you know that you are not alone in life, whatever it holds for you… It is of course the perfect Valentine gift. You can buy ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ by Sandra Peachey, from book websites anywhere in the world, including on Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)

Fiction: Managing the Gremlin

February 2016 Blog Challenge: Blog 25 of 29

As a child I was happy to create stories and loved the escapism that they offered, especially from gremlins of every kind… 

As an adult, I have now returned to the fiction form and have embarked on writing my first novel (of a trilogy). It’s a blend of semi auto-biographical and fantastical elements, which feels somewhat like making a giant patch work quilt of my life: There are some favourite scraps of my own old clothes, which I am adding to, embellishing and turning into a brand new pattern…

Part of my blog challenge this month is to create content for this first fiction book.  Each excerpt, which stands alone on this blog – will eventually be woven into the larger fabric of my completed book.

Managing the Gremlin

pic

Staring forlornly at the shattered shards of ceramic all around her, Ariel desperately wondered what to do. She tried telephoning her father, but the line just rang on and on without being picked up.

The perpetrator of this havoc – her very own gremlin and tormentor Martrucio – was still with her, triumphantly surveying the scene and his message was “You are thirteen now.  Sod your mother – she deserves this, and more, for the way she treats you.”

Apart from her father and Marial – her celestial guardian, Ariel felt she had no one she could share or discuss this inexplicable episode with. Her father was seemingly unavailable right now and as for Mariel – well she always chose when she would make an appearance and right now, Ariel had no sense of when that would next be.

Ariel worked through her options – should she tell the truth; brazen it out with righteous anger or lie? Knowing her mother, none of these paths would mean that she would escape unpunished, but she had to do something – so she decided upon a lie… She would clear up the mess and tell her mother that it had been an accident. It was a feeble fabrication, since clearly the devastation surrounding her right now, was an ‘accident’ on an unprecedented and violent scale…

As she swept up the broken crockery, Martrucio danced around her feet and grabbed at the broom handle, mocking her. “This is all a waste of time – that bitch is going to get you, little Miss ‘Butter Wouldn’t Melt’ Tregorwick.”

 –o0o–

Ariel was right… Her mother was furious… Incandescently so… When she arrived home and Ariel set the scene, her mother’s rage ignited and she called her daughter a liar and a vandal. May Grigson screamed at the top of her lungs that her child was ungrateful, selfish, and said she was clearly her father’s daughter.

She cornered Ariel in their tiny kitchen – spat on her, then slapped and kicked even more tears out of her. She did not belief the lie – she knew it was spite.  The punishments she threatened were legion – there would be no going out, no treats, no television, no pocket money and no seeing her father, until she had paid every penny for every piece of damage… “This is all because I wouldn’t let you have your own way.” She shouted in Ariel’s face. “I will never forgive you for this, you evil, ungrateful cow. NEVER!”

And all the while Martrucio stood by, laughing along with every shout and every blow.

Ariel wanted to run to her bedroom and close the door on this nightmare, but her mother wasn’t finished with her yet. It was not enough that May screamed, slapped and shouted, she was now also determined to ensure that Ariel knew how having her things wantonly destroyed felt, too; so she decided loudly to break some of Ariel’s precious collection of ceramic cats.

May ran up the stairs, followed by Ariel, who was now angered by the fact that none of this was her fault “Don’t you dare!” she yelled as her mother threw open her bedroom door.

Of course those words ignited her mother’s ire even more. She marched to the dressing table, grabbed a handful of ornaments and hurled them, one by one at Ariel’s head.

Miraculously none of them hit the mark or broke, instead they fell safely to the carpeted floor. May was just about to come over and stamp on them to seal their fate, when the doorbell rang.

“Who the bloody hell is that?!” said May, as she stamped back down the stairs. It turned out that it was their next door neighbours Mr and Mrs Green, who wondered what was going on and if everything was ‘alright’. May apologised for the disturbance, which, she explained was all the fault of her selfish, vicious daughter. Having assured and got rid of her callers, she closed the front door on them, muttering “nosy interfering busy bodies”.

Much later Ariel sat on her bed, Martrucio at her feet – too emotionally strung out to cry, whilst staring at them both in the wardrobe mirror. She couldn’t even begin to make sense of what had happened and how she had been powerless to stop any of it. It had all just played out in front of her, ad nauseam.

Suddenly she noticed that the reflection in front of her had changed and that Mariel had manifested into the room with them. She didn’t move and just continued to start at their strange mirror image.

On seeing Mariel, Martrucio though, hopped off the bed in surprise. “Be gone – you stinking imp” she said peremptorily. He shrugged, then immediately disappeared from sight.

“So then, you’ve met your Gremlin.” she continued. “Why is he here?”

“I was hoping that you were going to explain that particular conundrum” replied Ariel.

“What happened?” asked Mariel. Ariel explained the sequence of events from the argument until that moment, with despairing, dry eyed disbelief.

“I feel so awful,” she said, “so, angry and scared and, oh I don’t know… Why did this have to happen? Mother will never let me forget this. I’ll be punished to kingdom come. And none of it is my fault. It’s so unfair…”

“Well, yes, I know that life can seem unfair at times like these” came Mariel’s reply. “And particularly to you Ariel, one who feels so out of place in life. But this is your place my dear and this is your mess, so let’s see if we can figure a way through it.”

Ariel now felt even more despondent. Mariel wasn’t going to wave a magic wand and make it all go away…

“You feel so awful, my fine feathered friend, because you’re so awfully sensitive. You sense things so deeply and along with that you are a deep thinker too. Such scenes as happened today will cut through you and wound you. But there is a reason for such depth and such perception – you need it in order to be able to fly.”

“I need to hurt in order to fly then?” said Ariel in disbelief.

“No Ariel, that is not what I meant”, Mariel continued “In order to be able to fly, to feel the wind, to soar and to swoop, you have to be sensitive. You have to feel the earth beneath you and sense the sky above. You have to see all, sense all, feel all and more than this; you need a depth of intelligence lost to most humankind, to be able to process all this and to respond to it, to rise greatly above it. Why – you are the very opposite of those so called successful, wingless beings with leaden feet we share this planet with, those who have stripped themselves of sensitivity in order to win and to achieve. You are not like that Ariel, you were born with wings and hence a whole corresponding set of senses and sensitivities. Without these my dear, you would be flying blind, would bang and bash into every obstacle, whereas I am teaching you to tune these skills, to be atuned to the world and all that is around you.

“Why is this happening Mariel? Why was I born with wings and then made to live this strange grey concrete life, most of the time? How can I defend myself against this gremlin when I’m so lost, so alone and no one understands what I’m going through?”

“Well my dear, you were born who you were and you were put in this place, so it is now up to you to find your way out of it, if this is not where you think you should be. Why in heaven do you say that you are alone, when you have your family and you have me? You must realise all that you have Ariel, and all that you are. You need to sit down and count every huge and tiny blessing that you have.

Gremlins are normal for folk like us. The wingless ones have them too, it’s just that they don’t see them as we do. So you have met your own gremlin, now – what is its’ name..?”
“Martrucio.”
“Your Martrucio – comes to you now, for he is attracted by the current darkness in your soul. He is the darkness in your soul too, for he feeds off your anger, and he drinks of your tears. This is how he thrives Ariel and he will do everything he can to drag you down to his low, stinking level in life. Your lowness becomes his significance and he will fight and do so dirtily to maintain it.”

“How do I get rid of him, Mariel? How can I live, how can I fly, with this evil creature constantly at my side?”

“Do you see him now, Ariel? No – because I acknowledged him and then I banished him. With absolute authority and committed certainty, I commanded him to leave.”

“But I told him to leave and he refused.”

“That is because he knew that you did not entirely mean it. That in telling him to go, you were giving him the significance to stay – by feeding him with enough fear and anger to swell him up and make him strong. This was your choice Ariel.”

“No, this was not my choice. I meant it when I told him to leave and I never wanted him to appear in the first place!”

“It is your choice to believe that Ariel, despite my knowing and telling you otherwise, then?”

“No Mariel, it comes from knowing myself. It comes from trying to banish him and failing… Does this mean that you will be leaving me now? That I can never fly again?”

“Oh Ariel, no! I do not abandon you for your flawed perceptions, warped by your emotions and sharpened circumstances. I am appointed to you to show you the ways of using your wings. Once you are old enough and free enough, you will decide where those wings will take you. And yes, you can still fly, little one. No gremlin can touch you when you fly – for a very good reason… What do you think that is?”

“Well…” Ariel considered… “one cannot fly in fear, or imbued with dark emotions. These make you visible and unsafe. The gremlin is attracted to those dark feelings, so without them, he has nothing to feed off and so cannot take off?”

“Yes, indeed.” said Mariel.

“Besides which,” said Ariel “I didn’t see any wings on that horrible smelly body of his!” At long last, she felt lighter and smiled with relief. “Let’s go fly now!”

“Not tonight, Ariel dear. It’s late and dark now. I believe too that you still carry the residual hurts of this difficult day, which will weigh you down. You need to work through all this now, to resolve it and make your peace with it.   Know that your gremlin will come back, but that he does not have to stay.”

Ariel was saddened by Mariel’s refusal. She felt that she deserved some fun and some flying freedom after the dire day that she had had. She sighed.

Mariel had suddenly disappeared. Then there, curled up like a black dog at the end of her bed, Martrucio had re-appeared…

PS: There needs to be a LOVE button. That was so beautiful, flowing, poetic. I can tell you love this character, the idea of flying. Had me wanting to know her life before and after this part.” ~ Alice Kasey

This is just one from the many hundreds of comments I have had on my recent blog postings.  The post above is a fiction and yet I also write about my own experiences.  In fact a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, exploring all the facets of my ‘real’ life in all its’ badness, banality and beauty. This is love seen in every aspect of the life that I live.  In it you will find the dark and the light of love, in a way that will make you think, entertain you and let you know that you are not alone in life, whatever it holds for you… It is of course the perfect Valentine gift. You can buy ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ by Sandra Peachey, from book websites anywhere in the world, including on Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)

Fiction: The Bedtime Story

February 2016 Blog Challenge: Blog 24 of 29

As a child I was happy to create stories and loved the escapism that they offered, largely due to the happy fact that my father read to me at bedtime every night. 

As an adult, I have now returned to the fiction form and have embarked on writing my first novel (of a trilogy). It’s a blend of semi auto-biographical and fantastical elements, which feels somewhat like making a giant patch work quilt of my life: There are some favourite scraps of my own old clothes, which I am adding to, embellishing and turning into a brand new pattern…

Part of my blog challenge this month is to create content for this first fiction book.  Each excerpt, which stands alone on this blog – will eventually be woven into the larger fabric of my completed book.

The Bed Time Story

Book

After dinner that night, Aunt Sarah turned on the radio to listen to the News and then the adults chatted about the work that needed doing on the Island estate and what the locals were up to.

Ariel secretly tried to stifle a yawn, though her father, as always, noticed. He smiled: “Come on then my little angel. You’re clearly tired and it’s nearly time for bed now. Go upstairs – get yourself ready, then under the eiderdown – and I’ll come up and read you a story.”

Ariel briefly thought about protesting, but she was tired and the thought of her father reading to her, made her quietly happy. The cosy bedtime habit they used to have was one of the things she missed most, now that her parents no longer lived under the same roof.

“Isn’t eight a little old for being read to?” said Aunt Mary, flatly.

“As long as Ariel wants me to,” said Daniel, winking at his daughter, “I will. Say goodnight to your Aunts, Ariel Angel.”

Ariel kissed each of her Aunts good night on the cheek in order of favouritism: Auntie Sarah first, then Auntie Becca and finally Aunt Mary. “Good night dear” each one of them said in turn, with differing degrees of warmth.

When she had settled into her bed, there was a light tap at the bedroom door and her father came in carrying a large leather-bound book. “Look”, he said “I’ve found a copy of ‘The Ancient Fables of Flying’ in the library downstairs. What do you think?”

Ariel sat up. “Ooh, yes please Daddy, read it to me.”

Daniel perched on the side of the bed and wiggled Ariel’s foot. “Move over now and make some more room for your old Dad” he grinned.

The book he held in his hands was a particular favourite of Ariel’s – one of the reasons being, that it couldn’t be found in an average public library – it had been specially written for the Emissariat, their circles and their children. She loved it too because it was beautifully illustrated with flowing, sumptuous images of wonderful winged folk; who, according to lore, were her ancestors of long ago.

Daniel lay the book on his lap and creaked it open. He turned the pages over to the beginning of the first fable and Ariel smelt leather and the must of dust rising from it, to heighten her sense of story and anticipation.

Her father’s voice rose and fell with the archaic rhythms of lilting prose: “Long, long ago, back in the time of sky and of water, when the people of the kingdoms of Breten had both wings and feet – there lived a beautiful Princess called Neyja; the only daughter of the august King Sira and his Queen – El The Beautiful…”

Ariel soaked up every word her father intoned, completely entranced. He told how the heroine of the story, Neyja – had inherited her beautiful wings from her mother. The book described her feathered glory in detail, from the span of her wings, to their distinct colouration and pattern. The book told that Neyja’s wings were unusual in that they were not completely white as was the traditional mein of her people, but instead graduated from white at the base of her shoulders, through to a sumptuous silver at their very tips – as if, the book stated ‘brushed by brightest moonlight.’

Not everyone could fly, even in those olden times – the gift of wings was an occasional inheritance passed down through certain royal blood lines, usually by women and sometimes, more rarely, to men.

Neyja’s winged mother Queen El taught her the ways of flight craft; for although some folk are born with wings, the book explained that flight was not simply a natural attribute, it was also a trait that needed to be nurtured.

One day when her mother was too busy to teach her, Neyja, without permission, impatiently took off on her first flight alone and was captured by The Drog – renegades from a rival, cold kingdom. After charming their leader Chifvik, she managed to escape the dark drudgery of marriage to his evil oldest son on their wedding day, when she was rescued by Gorour – a winged knight from the court of her father…

At the end of the first tale, Ariel’s father slowly closed the book to.   She was very sleepy now, but so wanted to hear the next familiar tale and the next; which went on to tell of the adventures of the children, the grand-children, and then the great grand-children of Neyja and Gorour, as they all flew and fought through the ancient kingdom of Breten; meeting monsters and mercenaries along the way and still, always, living happily ever after.

“Time to sleep now, my own little Neyja” her father said, lifting up the eiderdown, so she could easily shuffle down flat. As he kissed her forehead Good Night, Ariel was already fast asleep – flying easily through her feathered dreams until the early morning light of the next day.

PS: “Your writing is beautiful, it drew me in and made me want to read more. It’s my kind of book, that’s for sure. Your words are art, painting a picture, and I feel the story you have to share is a soul message…” ~ Lynda Louise Mangoro

This is just one from the many hundreds of comments I have had on my recent blog postings.  The post above is a fiction and yet I also write about my own experiences.  In fact a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, exploring all the facets of my ‘real’ life in all its’ badness, banality and beauty. This is love seen in every aspect of the life that I live.  In it you will find the dark and the light of love, in a way that will make you think, entertain you and let you know that you are not alone in life, whatever it holds for you… It is of course the perfect Valentine gift. You can buy ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ by Sandra Peachey, from book websites anywhere in the world, including on Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)

Fiction: Meeting the Gremlin

February 2016 Blog Challenge: Blog 23 of 29

As a child I was happy to create stories and loved the escapism that they offered.  As an adult, I have now returned to the fiction form and have embarked on writing my first novel (of a trilogy). It’s a blend of semi auto-biographical and fantastical elements, which feels to me like arranging a giant patch work quilt of my life: There are some favourite scraps of my own old clothes, which I am adding to, embellishing and turning into a brand new pattern…

Part of my blog challenge this month is to boost the content of this first fiction book.  Each excerpt, which will stand alone on this blog – will eventually be woven into the larger fabric of my book design.

Meeting the Gremlin

crockery

“I said, no” spat out her mother. “We don’t have the money.”

“But Dad said I could.”

“I’m not interested in the unfounded promises my ex-husband makes to curry favour with you, young lady. He may be your father, but you live under my roof, and I-say-no!”

Her mother huffed on her coat. “Enough of this, I have to go to work. You can sort your own tea out, you selfish, ungrateful child.”

“I’m not a child, mother, I’m thirteen years old and I’m sick of you treating me like a baby!” Ariel bellowed.

Her mother responded by slamming the front door loudly behind her.

Ariel was left alone to fume. “And it’s dinner, you evil bitch, not ‘tea’!” she yelled, emboldened by her fury and the empty house.

With no one to yell back at her, she stomped heavily up the stairs to her bedroom – either to scream or to cry, she would have to decide which, on arrival.

She flung open her bedroom door and there he was, sitting in the corner, casually and cross legged; just grinning at her.

Whilst this was the first time they’d met and they certainly weren’t being formally introduced, she immediately knew who it was. Here was her gremlin – her very own personal demon, just sitting there as bold as brass, and looking decidedly pleased with himself.

He got to his feet, proudly straightening himself up to his full height. He was nearly three feet tall. Then he bowed deeply and sarcastically to her. He was dressed in a black raggedy tunic and breeches, with a red pixie cap and pointy shoes. A red, corded belt was pulled tightly around his paunchy belly.

Just as Miss Maribelle – in her breezy story telling classes at Tregorwick Castle – had taught her, a few short years ago; her gremlin said nothing with words, but conveyed all he had to communicate with the vibration of thought and emotion. “Ah, so good to meet you at last, Miss Ariel. My name is Martrucio,” he insinuated. “How do you do?”

Ariel, rooted to the spot with surprised fascination, just stared at him. Then her mind started to turn as she looked him over and took him in: apart from the obvious fairy tale dress code, he was ordinarily obnoxious. When she looked closer, there was something quite familiar about his facial features, but she couldn’t quite work out what it was.

He looked up at her insouciantly. “I look like you, you ugly baboon.”

Ariel recoiled. “Get out!” she yelled.

“No.”

“Get OUT!!!”

“No way, young Missy. I’m here to stay.” And then to her horror, she realised that he was now clinging tightly to her right leg. She frantically tried to beat him off, screaming and pushing at his shoulders with her hands, yet he continued to hang on, implacably.

Realising that her desperate attempts to release his grip were fruitless, she ceased her physical tirade and took stock with several deep breaths. It was then that she noticed his foul stench. Martrucio it turned out, had a distinctly nasty and mouldy sort of odour that clung relentlessly to the back of her nostrils. “Please let go of me” she pleaded silently.

The gremlin smiled ingratiatingly and released his grasp. He then assumed – what she soon came to recognise as – his favourite position – just to the back of and several inches away from her right leg. This meant that he was always both close enough and far enough away, to be just on the fringes of her sight-line and her consciousness…

Ariel tried to remember what she had been taught as child about the management of the miniature, personalised nightmare which now lurked beside her.

“Oh, you’ll get to know me well enough, Miss. But manage me? Never!”

Before she had time to react, he’d gone. At least, he’d gone from her room. To her horror she now heard the sound of smashing crockery coming from the kitchen, below.

She hurtled down the stairs and there he was, hurling her mother’s best crockery onto the brittle linoleum floor – plate, by painstaking plate. “That’ll show her!”

“Oh God, oh no – stop this. She’ll kill me. She will absolutely beat the living daylights out of me” Ariel shrieked.

Martrucio theatrically dropped a large oval serving platter – her mother’s pride and joy – with relish, smiling his acquiesce as it fell and shattered spectacularly into a thousand pieces. He stood back to admire his work. There were shards of colourful ceramic scattered all over the kitchen floor and across the formica table.

In anguish Ariel crouched down to pick up the broken pieces, slicing a large cut into her left thumb almost immediately. She howled out in fearful fury as blood dripped down to mingle in with the mess on the floor. She rocked back on to her heels and put her throbbing thumb into her mouth to suck the blood away. Motionless now, Martrucio watched her and she felt his gloating victory.

Crying now, adrenaline rushing through her body, Ariel’s heart was hammering and her mind was racing. She couldn’t hide this ceramic catastrophe. She couldn’t blame anyone else or cover over her tracks. Who the hell was going to believe that the actual culprit was a three foot high gremlin who was only visible to her?

Ariel thought she was in serious danger of losing her sanity, but one thing she knew in that moment, with absolute certainty; was that her mother was going to be absolutely furious.

~ Sandra Peachey ©

PS: “Thank you for sharing your letters with us all. You have such a wonderful gift with words. … Wishing you joy.” ~ Monique Blackmore

This is just one from the many hundreds of comments I had when I did my first blog challenge 4 years ago.  The post above is a fiction and yet I also write about my own experiences.  In fact a collection of my ‘Peachey Letters’ have been gathered together in to a beautiful book, exploring all the facets of my ‘real’ life in all its’ badness, banality and beauty. This is love seen in every aspect of the life that I live.  In it you will find the dark and the light of love, in a way that will make you think, entertain you and let you know that you are not alone in life, whatever it holds for you… It is of course the perfect Valentine gift. You can buy ‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ by Sandra Peachey, from book websites anywhere in the world, including on Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)