Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Five Minute Writer January 15th - Unfinished Sentences

Unfinished Sentences


On Monday evenings, I always try to do some yoga. It's calming and good for my flexibity. At least that's what my sister said when she persuaded me to join her at the village hall. At first everything was fine. I started as a complete novice and the instructor was very kind, helping out as my stiff limbs refused to bend as they should. I was so sore the next morning and vowed I'd never go again. But I did and as the weeks went by it got easily. Things were freeing up and I could do the poses and moves withpout too much fuss. Until today that is. I don't know what happened but I was checking my breathing as we moved into warrior three and I heard a click. Everything that had been moving freely seized up and I was stuck. There was no way I was feeling anything like a warrior at that moment. I was terrified that I would be carried out on a stretcher stuck in a half finished yoga pose. But again the instructor came to my assistence, gently moving my limbs and encouraging me to free myself and return to the stance of a human being. Strangely the next morning I didn't feel at all stiff. But I did feel very foolish and I may never set foot in the village hall again.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Five Minute Free Write

I decided to go freestyle today and leave the prompts alone. This is a sketch of an incident on the bus the other day.

I got on the bus with my son and we sat down only for a woman to begin shouting at us. She was distraught about something but all I caught was that we were looking at her with 'black eyes'. She wandered to the front of the bus and began to yell at the driver who waited patiently and asked if she wanted to get off the bus. It became obvious that she didn't but she carried on shouting and swearing. Naturally, being British, we all sat with our eyes downcast and listened. Nobody seemed to know what to do or even if doing something was the right thing to do. She eventually went upstairs and the bus drove off. We then heard her yelling and loud noises which seemed to be her hitting or kicking the side panels on the bus. The driver radioed some message to the depot but we carried on. Every now and then there was another thump and more swearing from upstairs. Two young professionals got on, asked the driver some questions and went upstairs to speak to the woman. She came down and got off the bus, cursing and punching the bus as she did so. The young people seemed to know how to deal with her and phoned for someone to go and make sure she was OK.

It was obvious that she was in some sort of crisis and I guess that the young people who spoke to her were mental health care professionals of some sort. The driver said she was a regular on the route so they knew what to do. My point is that in an ideal world someone would have been looking after her and she wouldn't have been wandering around on her own in obvious distress. But this isn't an ideal world and unless a crisis is reached little seems to be done to help those who are vulnerable. They are left to their own devices and picked up when they become a danger to themselves or a 'nuisance' to the rest of us.

I hope they found her and helped her. I hope she had a better end to her day than the beginning seemed to be. I hope she had a quiet and calm time later that day. And I am so glad there are people like those two young people to care for the most vulnerable in our society.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Last Line Triggers

Today's task is to take the last line of a novel and use it either as a first or last line of a story or as an inspiration. I really enjoyed doing this one, made me think outside the box.

'It had never occurred to him that a dog might be clairvoyant.' from Spooky, a short story by David Dean.

All those years and I never knew the old dog was clairvoyant. He'd behave like any other dog most of the time but just occasionally he'd do summat daft. Like that time he dragged me away from the pub and all the way through the wheat field until we found that little kid, crying and lost. Never crossed my mind that he was using psychic powers or the like. Then there was the day he wouldn't come out from under the bed, shaking like a leaf and no way to persuade him to go for his normal walk. The day the doodlebug hit the church that were, about the time we normally walked past too. But those were just coincidences my missus said. Dogs don't know stuff she said. Now you tell me he didn't know stuff now. It were him what picked the balls out of the sack, he chose those numbers and he got all of em right, two weeks running. First week was a jackpot of six million, next week was four million. We was the luckiest folk in the village then. Shame the old dog didn't live to see the Life of Riley we're living now. Run over by the milk float three days after we cashed the second cheque. Poor old Lucky, he were a good dog.

Character Pen Portrait

Late posting again but here is the 9th of my Five Minute Writer pieces. I decided to write some short pen portraits of my main characters to get further under their skins and I thought I'd share one with you. This is my protagonist, the driving force of my first story and the one I am planning at the moment. I hope you like her as much as I do.

Character Pen Portrait

Madge is an older, feisty woman. She can be abrupt and even rude but she is caring and fiercely loyal to her friends. When she was young, pre-teen, her mother left the family home to fight in the Great Magical War where she was killed. Madge's father banned her from using magic despite her talents obviously laying in that direction. She studied healing instead, using magic covertly to make her potions the best in Lunecaster. When magic was banned across the city Madge was sad but carried on using magic to enhance her healing, knowing that the penaltiy for doing so would be banishment or death. When her beloved father died her brother Gilbert disowned her as a witch and she lost her family forever. He forced her to leave the family home which saddened her further. Madge is very 'home' focussed, she values the comfort and stability of having her own space. She isn't a great housekeeper, living in a state of clutter with trinkets and treasures covering every surface. A canny business woman, she barters hard at the market to obtain the best supplies at the best price. She is selective in her friendships. Once you are her friend she would move mountains for you. In appearance she is short and plump with a mop of unruly grey hair escaping from her shapeless felt bonnet. She wears vast flowing skirts with many pockets and always has a shawl knotted across her ample bosom.