What a difference a word (called a prompt) makes, multiplied by 500 (+) and channeled through the myriad tunnels of the creative mind. Fascinating how such 'caterpillar turned into butterfly' concepts flutter and alight and take off again in flights of fancy until they find their perfect home. But wait. Did I say 'perfect'? Mmm no... but a cosy corner nonetheless.
Need to fill in some boring moments - in a queue, a traffic jam, or patiently (?) waiting anywhere, as we do in most places these days?
My collection of flash fiction and non-fiction stories cover most genres and moods and comprise a mere 5 minute read, designed to entertain you through Life’s most boring moments.
They were a delight to create, and the beginning of my addiction to continue writing more as a welcome interlude to my other works.
Please enjoy whenever a spare moment presents.
'revival' Jan 29, 2016
“It’s coming now… NOW... PUSH NOW!” The baby’s head crowned, smooth and shiny with its bloody wrapping of the umbilical sac. The mother moaned as she gave her hardest pushes yet, clinging desperately to the iron bed head. Two more heaves and the body slid into the waiting Doctor’s hands. A boy, he registered happily, but the smile quickly left his face as he saw the newborn was not breathing.
Quickly as he could, he broke through the sac, clearing nose and mouth, although all seemed far too late. Suddenly the woman’s face tightened with pain once again. Not the expected after-birth - another head crowning, instead. For a moment the Doctor couldn’t decide between the lifeless body in his hands, or the second arrival about to issue forth from the heavily panting mother, arching her back like a taut bow, higher than seemed possible.
He shook his head impatiently. These women who insist on giving birth at home, he thought. Then his heart softened, as he thought how hard times were in this working-class neighbourhood. The large family sizes didn’t help either – but who could blame the loving couples for reaching for each other for the sweetest pleasures?
He had no choice. He thrust the tiny and unfortunate first-born to the end of the bed, and returned his full attention to the woman, palpating his hands lightly against her stomach. No time to waste. The second birth proceeded much easier and faster. A smaller baby. Another boy. He shook his head in despair - still no vital signs here either. This time, he gathered the slippery body to him and rushed from the room. He must save this one. He must! He didn’t want the woman to witness his attempts to bring life back. Not a pretty picture – certainly not for a woman who had gone through many trials and tragedies in her life as this one already had.
How seriously he underestimated the exhausted woman's tenacity. With the greatest difficulty, she raised her head barely high enough to see the lifeless little being at her feet. Painfully she reached forward until she could gather him to her. Instinct led her to pinch his nose and blow into his lungs – again and again. Could it be only a mother’s love able to cause the miracle to happen? The miracle called revival…
With the tiniest, most shallow gasp her first-born began to breathe on his own.
The Doctor returned to the bedroom, his head bowed low, a stricken expression on his face. His voice faltered, near breaking as he said, “I am SO sorry. He didn’t make it, either. I tried every… “
Now his voice broke off altogether, and his mouth fell open in amazement at the sight of the firstborn suckling at her breast. She smiled, Madonna-like, though tears rolled down her cheeks.
Wednesday’s child is full of woe, she thought. How ironic.
'furniture' Feb. 19, 2016
Below our Grandfather Clock, cherished chattels live atop our antique Oak writing desk. Bought for an amazingly low price at a farm clearing sale in Western Australia in the late 1960's, it was old, dirty and unloved, bearing the scars of an attempted break-in. During its many hours of restoration we wondered about valuables once locked inside - someone's life-savings; a Will to possibly change fortunes and hearts; maybe even ill-gotten gains?
We imagined letters written on its drop-down lid - news and happenings; tragedies and deaths; celebrations and wondrous announcements. First love, maybe, and then expression of developing feelings. Life and Death and every moment in between witnessed by this fine old desk. Fanciful thoughts... but strangely comforting as we vigorously rubbed and polished our find with many heavy layers of 'elbow grease'.
Aching muscles mattered little as the full warmth and mellow charm emerged - a butterfly from the ugliest chrysalis - with the wondrous glow of old Oak irresistibly drawing us with its gentle appeal. A drop-down lid revealed its many dividers, and although difficult to see, each side of the top drawer has a couple of pull-out 'arms' to brace the lid for writing.
Years later, back in our home State once again, she found her 'forever' home as a crucial part of the arrangement below our Grandfather clock from Denmark. That precious group has been together for over forty years now, gracing five of our homes in two States of Australia. They are inseparable - from each other and from us.
The oldest member of the desktop quartet is an Antique Brass Iron c.1850 - a treasure through five generations of the Danish Larsen family. Although appearing purely ornamental, it was once a working item. A square hole at the back with a 'guillotine' trapdoor, encloses a space containing a spearhead-shaped piece of Iron-stone for heating atop a wood stove, wrapped in absorbent cloth and inserted into the iron. Imagine the work involved ironing those mountains of petticoats and long, full skirts, plus the cotton nightgowns and other 'unmentionables' of the day.
The opposite end of the desk is graced with an Antique Brass Mortar and Pestle - also c.1850, and also believed to have been in the Larsen family almost forever. This two piece item is solid brass, weighing 2-1/2 lb. (1109 grams). I wonder if my 'modern' marble mortar and pestle will last the same distance? Doubt it somehow.
In the middle of these heirlooms, two beautiful 'Birds' take pride of place.
There is a small replica of the famous Little Mermaid statue in the harbour of Copenhagen, Denmark. It celebrates the heroine of the famous story of the same name, by Hans Christian Andersen.
The tiny figure of a Robin is not a familiar sight to Australians, due to the impossibility of imagining temperatures dropping far below zero. But some of my husband's clearest childhood memories of Denmark include propping 'sheaves' of hay on a broomstick for birds, unable to forage on the snow and ice-covered ground. A most special chore, made as a Christmas present for the Danes' small feathered friends.
Typically, small birds puff up their feathers' to fullest capability for warmth. The beauty and faithful attention to detail depicted in this 'Robin' ornament is a hallmark of Royal Copenhagen porcelain items. With a sharp yellow beak and jet black beady eyes, it looks ready to burst into song at any moment.
Much like their owners, this group have a marriage still standing the test of time. Ours for over fifty years, and theirs sneaking right up behind us. We antiques have a definite affinity.