Short story

It is amazing how, with the hum drum of forced house arrest for us here, and the limited amount of things to actually do, that regularity of blogging has not been a strong suit of mine. Although, as I watch the blogging world, I see that many have fallen prey to this. And not just on here. There are those who are tenacious in their production of ‘things’, whether it be on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or WordPress posts. But I have definitely seen a decline in regularity among the majority.

Today, instead of a ‘blog post’ of my usual kind, I decided to share a short story that I entered into a writing competition a few years ago. I actually entered three, as entries were not limited to one per person. The instructions were that you could write in any genre, but your story had to end in a twist – and no more than 500 words.
It’s most certainly not a masterpiece in creative writing… but should keep you somewhat entertained for the little while that it takes you to read it. I don’t remember what I called this piece, so feel free to throw a title into the comments, just for fun 😉

Hope you are all keeping well. ❤

”Glass shattered.
The limb of a branch had been thrown viciously against the window in the upstairs bedroom. The howling wind that trailed immediately after sounded like that of a large man, booming with laughter in great satisfaction. Sounds of the wild weather outside would ordinarily have caused fear to rise up in her throat, but tonight all she could feel was the agony of grief.

Disease had ravaged every inch of her weary body. They had warned her that the advanced stages of the disease would leave little to sustain her will to live. Physically, she could no longer feel. Every nerve in her body had been deadened; if not by the disease, then by the variety of medical treatments that could not cure her of her affliction. There was no cure.  Treatments were aimed at prolonging her undignified existence. Her brain screamed in anguish as she silently wished the opposite were true. She wanted to feel physically, and instead have her emotions crushed.

An icy wind entered through the broken window, licking at her skin, seemingly waiting in anticipation for her shivers. She felt nothing. As if angry at not being able to get a reaction from the object of its affections, it gusted and swept through the room, knocking a photo frame that had been perched on a table to the floor. Her hands shook as she began to reach for it, the photograph inside now bearing small lacerations from the shards of glass that had once been whole.

Then she heard it. The floorboard creaked in the hallway outside the bedroom door. The doorknob turned, and a shaft of light steadily crept in as the door slowly opened.  The man standing in the doorway was muscular, somewhat scruffy, from what she could see of his appearance. He was no one she recognised. He stepped forward, and the light bounced fleetingly off the large blade of the knife in his right hand. For one brief moment, she felt relieved that her grief had finally been replaced. Terror gripped her. She opened her mouth and screamed. No sound was heard and she stood there, gaping like a fish on dry land trying to catch just one last breath.

She watched as the expression on his face changed from satisfaction to disgust. She realised that her small, weak frame posed no challenge to this man, and that he would not be able to relish in the pleasure he usually felt when taking someone else’s life. He approached the mahogany bed in the centre of the room carefully, and she watched him with dread. He stood there for a few minutes, reached out his hand to touch something, then turned on his heel and left. She didn’t watch him go, but was instead transfixed by the sight on the bed. Her body lay pale and lifeless, blending in with the stark white of the linen sheets. He hadn’t killed her, because she was already dead. The disease had won.”

an early valentine

Now that the retail industry has completely exploited our desire to celebrate what we view as special occasions, Valentine’s Day is nearly here. Don’t get me wrong… I’m a huge fan of chocolates and roses and beautiful words. But Valentines Day is one day I don’t actually recognise/celebrate on the day, as a day – not for the last 22 years, at least.
I am doing this blog post now, before the fact. And also because tomorrow I will be helping move my mother and the other residents in her current care home to a new facility.

I wrote the following story for Valentine’s Day about three years ago. I wanted it to go viral – not with my name attached and not because of wanting recognition…
But because I wanted people to ‘get it’.

I’d appreciate it if you’d take the time to read it.

“I feel like I should go.”
“Whenever you’re ready.”
“Not yet. I think I’ll have some more juice first.”

She smiled and filled his glass, and then plopped into the chair next to him, sighing deeply. He smiled, raised his glass to her, and said,
            “Here’s to us.”
She winked and gave him the biggest smile she could. Then she giggled,
“Happy Valentine’s Day.”

He rolled his eyes and they laughed together. They’d been together for ten years and had never yet ‘properly’ celebrated a Valentine’s Day together.

This was the thing that had drawn them together in the first place – the knowledge and desire to live every day as Valentine’s Day.
To do things with love – loving strangers and animals and friends, and inadvertently loving themselves.

Every day the opportunity to love each other was not wasted.
Every week he brought something new for the garden – so her house had a permanent supply of her favourite plants and flowers.
Breakfast in bed, taking turns with housework, a surprise bottle of champagne or dinner out… these things were not just saved for special occasions.
Uplifting words of love and encouragement, and exclamations at their good looks and intelligence, were a daily thing.
So when Valentine’s Day came around, it was just another day for them.

He reached for her hand, and stroked it gently, asking,
            “Do you think they’ll ever get it?”
She shrugged and replied solemnly,
            “Some do, and that counts.”

He nodded thoughtfully, and then said,
            “I broke our rule a bit…I got you something for Valentine’s Day. It’s in the cupboard.”
Raising an eyebrow, she retrieved a large, flat box from its hiding place.
As she slowly lifted the lid with a frown, he grinned,
            “Don’t be too mad. It’s for the baby.”

Instinctively, her hand rested on her swollen belly for a moment, and she caressed the bundle that had been nestling there for the past seven months. Then she smiled lovingly at him, and opened the lid.

She lifted out the large scrapbook, entitled ‘The Love Journal’, and began to page through it. Unable to hold back the tears any longer, she let them travel a silent path down her cheeks, wetting her neck, as she saw what he’d done.

He had taken their photo’s and memories as a couple and filled the book with them, as well as tips and quotes on each page, as a reminder and guide to the beauty of loving every daydoing things for others unselfishly. At the end of the book, in a sleeve, was a voucher to purchase another journal – she removed it from its plastic resting place and gave him a watery smile,
            “For me and the baby?”

He nodded, a tear escaping from the corner of his eye. She gently nestled in next to him and held him tightly when he said,
            “I guess I’m ready.”
Looking up at his handsome face, she kissed his chin and whispered,
            “I love you.”
He held her, and whispered words of love to her. Then laying a hand on her stomach, he whispered a little more, before closing his eyes.

The doctor and nurse watched from the doorway, tears streaming down their cheeks, listening and waiting patiently for the young couple to say their goodbyes. As he took his last breath, each of them knew in their hearts that they had got it.

~~ Written by Meg ~~

Wishing you all flowers and sweetness and an abundance of love EVERY day!

Happy Valentine’s ❤

Barnabas Award Encouragement

meme_-barnabas-award-1

The way this works: Thank the person who nominated you, and share their blog. Think of five bloggers that encourage and inspire you and nominate them. List five things about yourself. Lastly, ask your nominees five questions. Why five? Because five is the number that signifies grace.

So yes, I was nominated for this award – last week actually. I’m only getting to it now because it was one that really made me think! 😉

Thank you to herrychiccounsels for the nomination. She writes a spirit led blog that is a blessing for all with regards to the Christian walk.

Five things about me? Hmmmm. It’s tough, because I am not sure where to go with this one 😛 Okay, here are some random bits and pieces…

  1. I am not a beach baby. (or even a beach babe 😛 ) I have lived, for the majority of my life, on the coast. The beach has always been 10 minutes walk away. And I think that is why it’s not a major attraction for me. Please don’t get me wrong – I love the crashing waves and still see the beauty in the beach – I like to sit and watch the ocean and can do so for hours when there are whales or dolphins playing. And a walk along the river with the sand between my toes on a cool evening is definitely a happy activity for me. And yes, I enjoy a good swim in the ocean if the beach is almost deserted 😛
    But to tell me we’re packing a picnic and heading to the beach for the morning brings an onset of exhaustion and I will cancel on you 😛
    I’m a mountains, forest, waterfalls kind of girl. My picture perfect retirement would be a log cabin on a lake with a view of mountains and hills, and a waterfall nearby – somewhere in America 😉
  2. My daughter was born next to me bed at home. Yes, I had a home birth, with a midwife. At the time it was a very unusual occurrence here in South Africa, and not an option I would have dared to choose if it hadn’t been for the circumstances at the time. Thankfully, it all went well, and although it was extremely difficult and stressful, it was a great experience. There was no water birth, or anything quite that interesting…but having to boil a pot of water for the midwife’s instruments was definitely ‘far out’ for me. 😉
  3. I am a creative individual. Other than writing, I also love to paint. Ornaments, blank canvases, fabric. I like to paint, decorate and create various home decor items – photo frames, small storage crates, bottles, tins, etc.
  4. My birth name is Megan – but I prefer to be called the shortened version, “Meg”. Megan is the angry version 😛 I have many nicknames from friends : “Meggie Pegs, Megs, Eggie, NutMeg, Megster, Mega and Smiley. Smiley is not adapted from my name, obviously 😛 It’s actually the name I have been given by staff members in all the shops I frequent – either Smiley, or Butterfly Lady. I love butterflies, and usually wear at least one form of one – earrings, bracelet, top, scarf etc.
  5. I love to sing, and I am the strange person you will see in traffic, playing drums on my steering wheel singing away to my hearts content, possibly even attempting a few dance moves 😛

NOMINEES QUESTIONS AND MY ANSWERS 

  1. Are you an affectionate person? Yes! I love to hug 🙂 I am physically affectionate in a nurturing kind of way 😉
  2. Have you ever done something ‘physically daring and adventurous’? I have never tried bungee jumping or skydiving. And I have no desire to do either. I have never attempted white water rafting, but it’s something I might like to try…although my neck and back injuries may make that a little too risky. I still like the thought of trying though 😛 When I was younger, I did a hike up to a waterfall and abseiled down to the bottom again – and then I tried rock climbing back up. I loved it, but it’s not something I’d try now…unless I can get back into shape.
    I do, however, think that a homebirth with no drugs counts in this category though 😛
  3. What do you think is the biggest problem facing our world today? I could drone on and on because the list is long. But when I look through that list, the thing that stands out and seems to connect the dots for me is the growing lack of human compassion 😦
  4. What does encouragement mean to you? What is it that people do to make you feel encouraged? For me, personally, it comes back to my love languages. I wrote a contributors post about that here if you’re keen to check yours out 😉
    I have always known, but the quiz was confirmation, that I am greatly encouraged by words of affirmation. (The 5 love languages are not just applicable to romantic love.) Compliments and praise don’t boost my ego and produce a big head – they’re an encouragement for me and also inspire and motivate me to do better and be better. Physical touch is my top love language, and so it’s no surprise that when someone hugs me or touches my arm in appreciation, that that is my greatest source of encouragement. But just a message, or phone call, where words of affirmation are said, is of very great encouragement to me! And because physical touch is not always possible, I think that when it comes to me feeling encouraged, words of affirmation take precedence 😉
  5. What is the worst gift you have ever received? This one goes back to childhood – it was my birthday, a whole 10 years old. Double digits – my older brother’s card read that now I had double responsibility. *rolling my eyes* But the worst gift was the one from my other brother….
    I definitely see the funny side of it now, and with adulthood has come an appreciation for his sense of humor because I’ve discovered that we’re a lot alike. He’s 9 years older than me though, and so his incessant teasing in my younger years was not fully appreciated 😛
    When I turned 10, he gave me a box of throat lozenges. The card said, “Because you’re a pain in the neck.”
    I laugh SO MUCH now when I think of it. But as a 10 year old I was devastated 😛

As you know, I don’t usually tag anyone in these things…. but today I am going to. Please DO NOT feel that there is any pressure for you to comply. 😉 I can only tag five, and if I don’t tag you please know this : in no way am I saying that you’re not an inspiration or encouragement to me. NOT. AT. ALL. Because every blog I read and follow most certainly gives back to me, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing so in the first place.

I AM VERY GRATEFUL FOR ALL OF YOU

But today I tag :

Paul’s Blog

Willing Yourself to Win

Love Never Fails

Beautifully Restored

Imagination Salvation

The Dark Side of Humor

According to ‘some’, it is unfortunate that my children are so much like me. Most disagree though and so the ‘some’ don’t win. Personally, I’m rather relieved that they’re so much like me. Although admittedly there are moments when they terrify me – said tongue in cheek 😉

Like the other night when my daughter sent me this, with the caption, “I’d sleep with one eye open, Mom” :

IMG-20181028-WA0010

If it had come from my 20-year-old son I don’t think it would have bothered me quite so much – which is kind of weird, I know. But my daughter is 13…and she’s a girl…for goodness sake! I placed a bookmark into the spot in a really interesting part of a psychological thriller I was reading, and marched myself to the dining area where I could hear her tapping away on the keyboard.

Continue reading

And then this happened

funny techno

I’d like to think that I am not technologically challenged – and I’m quite proud of the few things that I have managed to figure out for myself. For everything else? I have kids 😉

The threat of technology and even the so-called simple process of doing certain things has been a hindrance to me. But I finally swallowed the pill of fearless internet, and embarked on a new journey. There’s no stopping me now 😉

I have seven books currently on my computer – all written by me, in a variety of genres. I have finally published my very first one.

Continue reading

Courage

Today is an unhealthy day for me.

And I was sitting at the doctors surgery, eagerly awaiting my appointment, when I received a notification for a new blog post on one of the sites I like to regularly visit.

(It’s an excellent post and you should go and read it)

The question in the blog post loomed at me, because at the moment the only thing keeping me from writing right now is my health. And time.
Because ill health means there is even less time than usual.

Continue reading