Tag Archives: Loneliness

Dandelions at Night

Dandelions at Night

Mary went to close the bedroom curtains, and looking through the window, she saw her neighbour wandering around in his garden. She glanced at her clock. It was almost ten o’clock at night, and a bit late for planting or pruning. Perhaps he was looking for slugs, it was the sort of thing he might do. Poor Mike, for the past year, he had struggled on his own as isolation didn’t suit him.

In the moonlight, the garden was a monochromatic scene where detail merged into the shadows. She saw Mike was now on his knees, digging with a trowel.
Mary closed the curtains. She would take a hot drink to him and have a neighbourly chat. Everyone likes some company and a gossip, since living on your own isn’t easy. 

Outside, a breeze rustled the branches of the sycamore and blew her dressing gown loose. She pushed open the side gate and closed it with a nudge from her bottom. In her bare feet, she tiptoed across the grass and stood behind him.

‘I know you are there,’ he said and continued digging.
‘Hot chocolate.’
He stood up. ‘Mary! you’ll catch a cold.’
‘It was the wind.’ She passed him both cups and pulled her flimsy gown together and fiddled with the straps.
‘This is lovely,’ he said.
‘Hot chocolate,’ she said, and sipped her drink. 
‘Yes, I know.’
‘Look,’ she said. ‘It’s a bit late for weeding.’
‘Oh, I can’t stand digging out the dandelions when they are in full bloom.’
The knot in the straps of her dressing gown slipped loose. She sipped her drink.
‘The flowers close up in the dark, so I dig up the plants when they’re asleep.’
‘Oh, I see,’ she said. ‘Mike, why don’t you come over for a nightcap when you’re finished?’
‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘I still need to close the shed.’
‘You do that.’ She closed her gown. She took the cups and ambled across the lawn. With a backward glance, saw him watching as she pushed through the side gate with her hip.

In her living room, she slipped a small log onto the fire and then fetched two glasses. She still had plenty in the bottle of her 12-year-old Macallan to encourage him.

She sat down on the sofa and waited.

Magical Emporium

A light hearted piece of old fashion flash fiction to raise a smile.
Inspired by stories from Philip K Dick.

Magical Emporium

Mary wiped the kitchen sink and stared out of the window at the dull, dark clouds. Rain was on the way. Her entire world seemed miserable, as if a screw was loose and she wasn’t sure how to fix it.

The fridge motor interrupted her despondency, and its humming became a rhythmic beat of da–daa–dum–dum. She imagined herself in a Viennese Waltz cavorting with a tall hussar, so she twirled around the table.

The hoover in the corner perked up. “May I have the pleasure?”
“Delighted.” Mary curtsied. She took the hoover by the handle and they danced around, flowing with the music.

Rain streamed against the window like violin strings as the fridge rumbled on; the slow-cooker gurgled, and the kettle whistled. Her washing machine shuddered out the bass of beating drums and the Dolce Gusto went whoosh, whoosh, sending aromatic plumes of percolating coffee into the air.

Mary skipped and spun, swinging on the arm of her handsome Mr Hoover, waltzing around her ballroom. A spectator in the clock sprang out and called cuckoo, cuckoo—just as the timer on the oven played an allegro bleeping in consonance with the kitchen orchestra.

She heard the front door slam. Her music stopped. Quickly, Mary shuffled the hoover into the cupboard. She strode into the hall.

“I am shattered,” her husband said, “and completely worn out.” He gave her a pitiable peck on the cheek. She hung his jacket on a peg as he slouched into the living room and slumped onto the sofa.

“Did I hear our white goods singing?”
“No,” said Mary. “We don’t call them white anymore.” 
“What!” He kicked off his shoes and laid back. “I am too tired to argue.”
“They are called appliances,” she said, reaching into his trousers’ pocket for a long flex cord and she plugged it into a battery recharging pack.
“Ah! That’s better.” He closed his eyes.

Mary returned to the kitchen and made a call on her mobile.
A loud voice answered. “Mr Wong’s Magical Electrical Emporium.”
“Mr Wong, it’s Mary.”
All the appliances rumbled, and the Dolce Gusto hissed.
“Yes, Mary, do you need a repair?”
“Sort of Mr Wong. Do you have any hussars?”

The appliances sighed. They were safe. She wasn’t disposing of them.

“A new man? Why not repair the one you have?”
“Mr Wong. My husband has degenerated. He’s worn out and completely flat.”
“We can fit a new battery.”
“It’s no use. I want one with style and stamina.”
“Okay, I will bring a fresh one tomorrow. Anything else?”

“Yes, I seem to have a screw loose in my head. It hurts.” 
“An emergency!” said Mr Wong.
“It is! Oh yes, an emergency. Oh, it really is.”
“I’ll bring some spare parts immediately.”

Mary grinned. Mr Wong was always gentle with her parts, and his tuning was so invigorating.
She smiled and felt so cheery already. 

Dreaming of Hollywood

This week I have posted a piece of poetry, a villanelle.

It reminds me of sitting in a hot, dark bar in San Salvador wondering why was I there. At the time, the country was in turmoil with rumours of a civil war.

Cottonbro – Pexel.com

Dreaming of Hollywood

When we met in September’s heat one lonely night.
They were playing soft Jazz in the Bertolt Brecht bar
Where she was sipping mojitos under a flickering light.

She licked her sulky red lips, her dress smooth and white
She asked me to drive her somewhere, anywhere not far
When we met in September’s heat one lonely night.

The jazz switched to Latin and couples were holding tight
I said let’s Salsa and away from drinking at the bar
Where she was sipping mojitos under a flickering light.

She uncrossed her legs, her bare thighs flashing in the light
What happened here? And she caressed my facial scar
When we met in the September’s heat one lonely night

I said, it’s a reminder over a woman I lost in a fight
We could go to a room, she smiled and I lit up my cigar
Where she was sipping mojitos under a flickering light.

She purred, and asked me politely to pay for her flight
As she spoke of her dreams of being a Hollywood star
When we met in September’s heat one lonely night
Where she was sipping mojitos under a flickering light.

When Two Make a Crowd – Ochlophobia

Friday Fictioneers – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Read more contributions from the group here.

When Two Make a Crowd – Ochlophobia

Caroline shivered, and she pulled up her hood. She staggered and used the wall to steady herself. Was she the only one who saw it? The tower floated away up into the clouds.
So many people talking; the noise. She pulled her scarf over her face; no one will recognise her. At last, she dared to walk along the street and she felt proud.
She had quivered locking her apartment door, but she forced herself out to restore some self-confidence.
A child began screaming; was she the only one who heard it?
She fled with her chest gasping in agony.