Tag Archives: grief

55 Words: Tears of the Innocent

sad-child

Photos found at http://www.publicdomainpictures.net Links on 55 Word Challenge Page

The trees arched overhead, foreboding and dark in the gloom of the forest; only whispers and sadness carried on the breeze, drifting high and swirling like ghosts through the canopy.
Now, decades on, the couple stared through red-rimmed eyes and bent their frail joints to touch the truck entwined in roots, their son’s last memorial.

(55 Words)

0. 55 Words Challenge

 

Written for 55 Words over at #55 Word Challenge, use one or all of the photo prompts to write a story using only 55 words or less.

NaNoWriMo Teaser: Empathy

Week two and my second unedited, first draft NaNoWriMo teaser for ‘Beneath the Stormy Sky’:
The anniversary of Freya’s death arrives and Jasmine’s mum fears the bluebells won’t flower in time…

The bluebells did blossom in time.
Jasmine woke early and watched her mother trudge down the garden. It was raining, an early morning shower, and Mum walked to the apple tree. A pink blush appeared over the horizon as the garden still sat in gloom. Jasmine peered around her curtain, not wanting to interrupt her mother’s private ritual.
At the tree, her mother sank down to the dewy grass and began gently plucking fresh bluebells. She touched each stem, carefully moving it away from the cluster, examining the delicate bells and choosing the best flowered stems to pull. There wasn’t a strong showing this year and Jasmine watched as she left flowers still tightly in bud only picking the open blossoms. She had a paltry handful, when Jasmine’s attention was diverted.
Out of the corner of her eye, in the semi darkness, someone moved in next door’s garden. Not worrying about concealment, she lifted the curtain and squinted. Their elderly neighbour, Daisy, wandered down her garden, in fluffy slippers. Jasmine’s eyebrow rose. Daisy shuffled quietly towards a crop of bluebells beneath her hedge and bent down. She moved slowly and definitely, choosing the best flowers as Jasmine’s mother did in her own garden. Daisy’s bluebells filled her frail hands as she painfully straightened her back and stood.
Jasmine glanced back at her mum and saw her brush tears away with her sleeve. Her mum held the small bunch of flowers against her chest as she sat beneath the tree.
In the still of the burgeoning morning Daisy’s soft murmur could be heard even by Jasmine through her window. Her mum looked up, turning to the fence. She saw the flowers in Daisy’s hands and more tears fell. She got to her feet and moved to the fence. The two women grasped hands and Daisy offered her flowers to enhance the grieving woman’s own bouquet.
Jasmine suddenly felt hot tears course down her face as memories flooded back. She remembered standing at that very fence handing bunches of flowers to her elderly neighbour. She recalled posies of daffodils, huge yellow trumpets and thick stems; bunches of freesias, purple, red, yellow and white, with long and broken stems; clusters of sweet peas, filling the air with scent and colour; late bouquets of bright blue cornflowers, bright red montbretia and heady purple lavender; and as today, limp bunches of bluebells…
Memories swamped her and emotions rose like a tidal wave. Warm and choking moments of pride, memories of a small girl gifting her neighbour battered bunches of flowers to continue a tradition set by her lost sister, threatened to undo her and a sob welled up with her tears.

Five Sentence Fiction: Words

Photograph by Lisa Shambrook (Please do not use without permission)
The sudden explosion lit up the dusk and its thunder robbed him of his hearing as he was hurled across the dusty, gritty road; shock and shrapnel embedded its shards beneath his bloodied skin, but nothing stopped him crawling back across the detritus to circle the remains of the best friend he ever had. Confusion tore at his heart, but despite the ringing noise and acrid smoke he refused to leave, and settled mournfully in the middle of the rutted road to wait.
Black night loomed with shouts and gunshots, then chaos and blasts, and he flattened his ears and his body, and trembled by his master’s corpse. 
Dawn sneaked across the hills and he shivered in the morning cold, until soldiers, bloodied and weary, marched back along the road, and he growled, his hackles raised and ears sharp. He flinched as they approached and their brusque commands failed to touch him; it took a burly trooper’s bristly embrace and soft, whispered words to allow the dog to leave, but never forget.
go and read all the other stories…

‘Those Silly Dreams…’ Beneath The Rainbow Review

Photograph by Lisa Shambrook (Please do not use)
The scariest thing about having a book out there in general public land is not knowing what people will think when they read it, or even if they will read it…will anyone ever read it? 
I’m lucky some lovely people have bought and read my book, and they seem to have enjoyed it! My friend, the lovely Sarah Nicholson at re-ravelling, took the plunge and read Beneath the Rainbow and wrote a beautiful Blog post about it at re-ravelling: here. Like I said it’s always scary when people actually read your book, so I was honoured and pleased to discover her enjoyment!
When Sarah told me she was reading it I knew it was near the second anniversary of the death of her husband, and I had no idea if my book about grief and joy would hurt or help…she writes:

‘Some books forever get caught up in real life events of the reader, something the author cannot predict, but in this instance it made my enjoyment of the book even richer helping me process a bit more of my own grief.

For me this is why I thought it was a great first novel and I would recommend it to anyone grieving because it is so beautifully written and thought provoking.’

I teared up when I read her praise and I was significantly humbled.

Something powerful happens in the mind of an author when they write and they always hope that that power, that inspiration, that something will engulf the reader, but they never know if it truly will.

I want to thank those who’ve read Beneath the Rainbow and enjoyed, and especially those who’ve left reviews whether on their Blog, on Goodreads, or on Amazon. You are so very much appreciated!

If you are interested my book is available on Kindle:
and 
(and other Amazon country variants…)

Five Sentence Fiction: Empty

Photo by Lisa Shambrook Instagram (please do not use without permission)

It was the imprint in the sofa, the flattened cushion and the worn patch in the carpet.
It was the ridge in the centre of the bed; she’d tried sleeping on his side, letting her body mould into the contours of the mattress, but she could never get comfortable, could never sleep that way.
It was the lack of matching knives, forks and spoons at the dining table, no need for the half-full jar of Marmite, and too much milk in the fridge.
It was the shaving gel and razor still sitting lonesome on the bathroom shelf, and the memory of aftershave.
It was those sad puppy eyes his beloved old Labrador gave her when they sat together in the quiet sitting room, with too much to think about, surrounded by ghosts and empty hearts.

12 Days of Christmas: Snow

This is written for the 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop with Rowanwolf over at A Jar of Fireflies. The theme is Gifts and each of the twelve days represents a month: January – Snow:

Photograph by Lisa Shambrook (Please do not use without permission)
Snow
As the snow fell, swirling and eddying, Cerys danced around her parents. She pirouetted and twirled, and leaped and flew around the garden, circling her mum and dad. 
The snow slipped through her fingers, its glitter coating everything else it touched, and she tilted her head, raising her face to the blizzard, trying to absorb the flakes that fell. 
Mum and dad stood oblivious to anything but themselves, their arms wrapped tightly around each other. Nothing Cerys did caught their attention, so she became wilder, twirling like a tornado, her arms outstretched, and flurries of snow spinning around her like a cyclone. 
Still nothing impacted her parents.
They stood in silence, her mother’s head resting upon her husband’s shoulder. Her eyes were closed and her nose was red, and the grey tracks of mascara upon her cheeks now tainted his cream fleece.  His eyes were as red as her nose and his arms ached as he held his wife as close as he could, and they stood amid the squall oblivious to their daughter’s efforts.  
Cerys danced and frolicked in the snowfall, and dressed in white, decorated with a million tiny, silver snowflakes, and fur-lined, white boots, she was a sight they could not behold.
She moved as gracefully and as invisible as the wind, but she was there, dancing her heart out…
Their grief and loss blinded them, but she danced still…she danced and danced until her mother’s freezing breath finally gasped, as tiny childlike footprints emerged in the snow. Footprints that danced and danced, and then were gone…
(260 words)