This week’s picture prompt, thank you Dale Rogerson, reminds me of the odd freak snowfall we sometimes get in May. Also, how sometimes we get caught out by a sudden spring frost that decimates the border flowers planted out the week before. Weather around the world follows a similar pattern each year, yet nature surprises us with unpredictable events. Nature loves us, really.
We had held hands on the veranda listening to Spanish guitar music, watching the meteors streak across the night sky. We had bread with bratwurst dipped in Dijon and drank Pilsner. One shooting star momentarily lit up the entire street and Baxter scampered indoors whimpering, Caroline followed to calm our Labrador. It was a hot summer with an uncomfortable, sweaty night, but in the morning, I woke to a sharp frost with a snow-covered garden. I saw footprints leading to the rose-bed, then stop. By midday the snow had gone, as was Caroline and Baxter. It has been three years.
I always admire the skill and patience it takes to handcraft art that produces aesthetic pleasure and brightens up our lives. Even more so when the item is an antique with a checkered history. This week’s picture reminds me of wandering through street flea markets and searching in curiosity shops for nothing in particular.
Carla, me and Joey loved Old Hickory’s shop. We spent Saturday afternoons enchanted by the curiosities. To us, every item oozed a magical secret.
Old Hickory frightened us with murderous tales of the polished pirate’s chest. Full of gold. He grinned. Inside is a world of dangerous dreams, and he laughed like Bluebeard himself.
One day, lifting the creaking lid, we took a peek, and heard Hickory cough and spit in the backroom.
No, we said, but Carla climbed inside looking for adventure. Don’t tell, she giggled.
For years now, Joey and me, we have stood outside praying for Carla.
“I was found wrapped in my mum’s coat – but who am I.”
Today, I was enthralled by the story of Mr Tony May, who, as a newborn, was found wrapped in a coat on the Victoria Embankment by the River Thames, London, in December 1942.
His adoptive parents assumed he was an abandoned GI baby, and it was not until 70 years later that Tony discovered the truth.
“Tony thought he was the result from a liaison between a British woman and an American GI. It’s estimated that about 22,000 children were born in this way between 1942 and 1945.”
Family history and genetic identity are subjects of great curiosity for many people who crave to know the past about their family and relatives. There is a sense of satisfaction they feel when they can complete a family tree and learn about their own personal history.
Genealogist, Julia Bell, was successful in tracking down many American servicemen as the fathers of the GI children left behind in the UK. She took up Tony May’s quest as a challenge since he didn’t know who his mother was, or his father.
In Mr Tony May’s case, the discovery of his biological parents and circumstances of his birth was a revelation and, in many respects, a sad story.
You can read the full story by Claire Bates on the BBC web page.
For my contribution to Friday-fiction this week I have made faith my central theme. Adversity strikes us all at the most inappropriate of times, and it is our faith that keeps us going. Faith and trust in ourself, in others and a better world – Smile.
They have come! Carol fidgeted with the cross in her hand.
“Then sings my soul, my saviour God, to thee. How Great Thou Art.”
Surely, they can hear her. “Down here in the basement!”
She watched the crowd of feet; police and medics take away her captor, her abusive and weak-minded cousin. Her keeper.
Carol struggled against the straps in the wheelchair. “Down here in the basement!” She screamed through the gag.
She heard the vehicles drive off; the sudden silence speared her heart.
Carol’s sliver cross fell. “Lord help me today.”
Behind her, the lock turned, the door opened.
I can’t remember when I first noticed the little bird, a wheatear. When the telephone rang it appeared at the window and when I hung up the handset, I would drop some seeds or crumbs outside.
A bond developed between us and mutual expectation. The bird became my companion, and I was its source of titbits. We were creatures of habit, and the little bird became a great comfort to me in my moments of deep anxiety.
The bird will migrate soon, what will I do?
I wished the calls would stop, or at least whoever it was, would speak.
I love the solitude of walking in the park; it reminds me of you asking to play ball with me. Afterwards, we grew in love sitting on a bench talking of brilliant futures.
I am alone tonight since Old Joe with his terrier are in the hostel. He once said the park was his kingdom of peace on Earth.
I believe him.
The snow muffles sound, and the crunch of footsteps are reassuring as I retrace my memories.
It has been years, but I can feel you holding my arm and see the snow sink with your footsteps by mine.
Anya was naked and walked past.
I stopped reading.
(Mrs Newsome wanted Strether to rescue Chadwick from a wicked woman.)
I was dressed when Anya emerged from the bathroom.
‘Ready?’ She adjusted her blouse.
In East-Berlin, we had met in a provocative gaze across a crowded room.
‘Will he be alone?’
‘No,’ she said. ‘My flight is tonight.’
Col Kryuchkov met us at Marx’s Tomb in Highgate, and I gave him the USB memory.
‘I love you.’ I kissed Anya. ‘Goodbye.’
The encrypted files were bogus lists of double agents.
Another time, they may return to poison me.
Let me know what you think, which was the best of the bunch?
I am working on a new anthology – title undecided – I am aiming to produce 300 pages based on a theme of lost love. It will not be a romance collection, instead it will be a series based on real life events.
I received a lovely comment from a reader about my book, Missing.
She found the description of the location, setting and the farming community authentic and real. This, she believed, could only have been written by someone from within that environment.
It always happens to me. Melissa kicked a bucket.
Ouch, it was full of sand. Had she broken her toe?
More rain to come, so the welcome BBQ was off. What will they think?
She had escaped squatting in a squalid basement flat, and after they took her baby, Ellen, away, inside she died. Her pimp, a weak drug dealing scum, had a fortune stashed beneath the floorboards. She put a mickey in his vein and left him to rot.
She bought into suburbia – clean and with a teaching job –an ambitious single woman out to trap a rich husband.
‘Whoever created time.’ Holmes mumbled as sweat dripped from his chin. ‘Must control the universe.’
I sprinted to catch up. ‘It’s abandoned. You were wrong Holmes.’
‘No, Watson, those walls conceal the Tardis.’ He wiped his brow. ‘See, a warning; Transgression S – S for Sherlock.’
I stared at his intellectual smugness forming laughter lines by his eyes. The dust burned in my lungs, and Holmes’s grin prompted me to draw my pistol. If I shot him, I’d be free from this mad quest?
‘Yes, let’s be careful,’ Holmes said. ‘We may have overstepped the Time Lord’s patience.’