February 2016 Blog Challenge: Blog 11 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 is 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.
“Why” Ariel asked, “why, why, why do you make life so difficult for me? You keep me from my father, from my family. You take his money and you moan on and on about him and about – everything! You just never stop bloody turning the knife do you?”
Her mother puffed up furiously and raised her hand to hit. “Don’t you dare swear at me, you ungrateful brat – you…”
Ariel raised her voice an angry semi quaver: “Just shut up, you evil cow! You pushed my Dad away. You didn’t let me go with him. Why? And you keep me walled up here in this urban shit hole, being lonely and miserable and always trying to make me miserable too.
Why do you always say ‘no’? Why do you constantly criticise? I’m sick of it, I’m bloody sick of it.”
Her mother had rarely seen such angry fire in her daughter since she was a tiresome toddler. She kept the parental boundaries strict – she was in charge – no challenges were to be brooked and things were to done her way or no way.
She was quietly furious and absolutely would not tolerate such recalcitrant teenage behaviour under her roof. “You stop this now, you ungrateful little bitch. Don’t think you’re getting any dinner tonight, after this. And don’t think you are ever going back to Tregorwick after this display. Just one more mention of this young lady and I am going to beat every last word out of you – do you understand?
“Oh mother, you’re pathetic.” Ariel countered. “Yeah – I understand! I understand that all you’ve got is complaints and punishment. And now you’re gonna hit me! Pathetic! If you so much as touch me, I will thump you back. Her voice raised to a scream “I will bloody thump you, you evil old cow!”
Her mother’s fury propelled her hand to slap sharply across Ariel’s face. Ariel screamed in pain and fury. “You stop this” her mother said, slapping again and again with each rising scream.
Ariel shoved her mother away and holding her at bay with her left hand, looked her in the face. “You’re happy now aren’t you mother? Now you’ve made me cry? You’re happy because I’m miserable, you horrible, horrible old hag.” Then she ran to the mirror in the hall and looked at the stinging, red marks the slaps had left on her face – one burning brightly on each cheek.
Her mother was silent, rooted to the spot and breathing heavily.
“I’m going out” said Ariel “I’m showing the world what you are like mother, how vicious and evil you are. I’m phoning my dad. And I’m going to get the police on you” she yelled as she yanked the front door open and headed down the path.
Her mother loomed on the doorstep. “Get back here Ariel Ann Tregorwick. Don’t you dare leave this house.”
Ariel ran down the street, and round the corner to the phone box. There were two teenage boys crammed in it, and she so carried on, parading her slapped cheeks for the world to see, tears still streaming down her face
Through the Sunday evening streets she went and realised that she had no change and would have to get the operator to organise a reverse charge call to her father. Then she remembered that her father was usually out at this time at his Bridge club.
Suddenly she felt stupid and vulnerable. She had the streets to herself. Nobody was around. Nobody saw the pain that she was in and the marks of her mother’s anger etched across her face; but out of sheer stubbornness she would not run straight back to her house.
She circuited the nearby streets a few more times and then had to face the prospect of returning home. Her defiance having now deflated, she slunk round to the back of her home and dragged her feet down the back garden path. As quietly as she could, she tried the handle of the back door. It was locked. Her mother had ensured that she would not be able to sneak in.
Ariel knocked and listened. Her mother kept her waiting. She didn’t come. So Ariel was forced to knock 3 times more, louder and louder each time. All this served, of course as extra fuel for her mother’s bonfire of anger.
Finally she came and opened the door, she let Ariel in, raising her hand ready to smash it down on Ariel’s head. They looked each other in the eye. “No, Mother” Ariel said. “No”.
~ Sandra Peachey ©
PS: This blog post 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, what ever 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 any where in the world, including on Amazon (in both Paperback and Kindle)…