Good times – Writing Prompt #161 “Collage 24”

“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” Margaret Shepard

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“Drink me.”

“Eat me.”

Alice stared at the buffet-laden table. The sausage rolls, the pork pies, the little triangular sandwiches with their crusts cut off, the cheese and pineapple cubes speared on cocktail sticks, the trifle, the jelly, the little clementine segments floating in their sweet, sticky juice, the bottles of cherryade and ginger beer, they grew in size, reached for the ceiling, loomed towards her menacingly. ‘No, no, invitingly’, she forced herself to think up a better word than the one that towered in her mind.

She gulped, panic turning her throat to sandpaper, gluing her tongue to the roof of her mouth. She took slow, steady breaths, just as she had been taught.

“Darling, isn’t this wonderful? All your favourite foods from ‘The Best Christmas Ever!’ Do you remember? We struggled so hard that year, what with your dad on 3 day weeks and no money to speak of, but it was the best one ever, for you. We were so happy!”

“Thanks, Mum,” Alice whispered, clenching her fists, magicking up a smile. Mum was doing her best, they were all doing their best.

She reached for a cheese and pineapple morsel, closed her eyes and took a tiny bite, the cheese clagging itself to the roof of her mouth, the pineapple tang making the back of her jaw tingle with the sweet, acidic bite she had barely thought of in years.

Suddenly, she was transported back in time to the 1970s, to laughter, to fun, to warmth and comfort, to when food was a joy and not a monster to be battled with every day.

‘One bite at a time,’ she thought, her therapist’s words echoing in her ears. ‘One bite at a time.’

 


And this time, thanks to Michael for inspiring me to take part in this prompt, hosted by Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The initial prompt is the quote above, this week form Margaret Shepard, and then to provide more inspiration, we have a little tableaux of beautiful images to ponder as well.

I hope you enjoy my piece and do head on over to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie to read other contributions and… take part!

 

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Impressment – SoCS May 28/16

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The pressgang pillaged our hamlet. We women, we thought we would be safe. We thought our men would be safe.

We were wrong.

I could not let them take him, my brother. he was too weak, too young, too necessary to keep Mother company. I could be spared, I could adapt. Dickon could not. He was Mother’s favourite, she and I were too different. Not a day would pass when we did not bicker, when I tended the crops one way, and she would undo all my handiwork. I could not stitch or spin or weave to her satisfaction. Dickon – he knew how to manage her, he could do all the things that I failed at so miserably.

I dressed as a boy, looked like a man, and the men of the impressment took me.

I am here now, aboard HMS Magnanime, about to go into battle with the French, yet again. I am slight, I am nimble, I can ascend to the very top of the highest mast and not succumb to the pull of the sea. I am the youngest, the best, so says the captain.

I am homesick. I am seasick. But I am glad.


Her’s this week’s entry into the lovely Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, where she has asked us to use the word ‘press’, either on its own or as part of a word beginning or ending with press as our inspiration.

The British Royal Navy was in the habit of using pressgangs to forcibly recruit people into service. For non-officers, there was no real concept of choosing a life at sea in service as a career, so the pressgangs (formally the Impress Service) would scour the country to select suitable men. Contrary to popular legend, they did not have the power to recruit anyone other than seafarers. But why let the truth get in the way of a good story!

Please do take part in Linda’s weekly prompt – you never know what will come into your mind! Please also pop along to read other entries – they will be many and varied!

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Even the sea – Friday Fictioneers

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There is no water left here.

Well, that’s not strictly true. There is the sea, but of course, it’s not drinkable.

The bottom of the reservoir is still shining with watery residue, but it’s more silt than anything else. A desperate few are laying rags down, hoping to soak up the final puddle, to squeeze a few cloudy drops into mugs for later.

Others are still hunting for fruit of any kind, hoping to find The One that is still succulent after all this time. But the entire world is brown.

Even the sea. Even the sea.


It’s been a very long time, and I’m trying to get back in the swing of things. What better way than to dive into the ocean of Friday Fictioneers, hosted by the lovely Rochelle? Do give her weekly fun a try – be inspired by the image she posts eery week to write 100 (ish) words on whatever comes to mind.

As for me, I will take a good nosey around at the other entries over the next few days – I’m so looking forward to it!