The haunting

Genre :   Horror

Action :   Washing a car

Word   :   Fame

NYC 100 word microfiction challenge

The smell of sulphur filled the room and woke her up.  It was pitch black.  She hurriedly turned on the bedside lamp, knocking over the famed naked photo of herself washing a car.

The stench was putrid now.  She moved tentatively towards the closet, goosebumps pricked her skin. An ice cold breeze swept by her face.  ‘Ahhh’ she screamed as the door flung open slamming her to the floor.  Scrambling to get up, screaming and punching the air, she was silenced.  Cold hands around her throat, eyes bulging.

Mayday….

Mayday Mayday can you hear me

We are a nation in distress

We are being savaged by a virus and

We’re all just doing our best

Well some, more than others they

Show up time after time

They are the doctors and the nurses

Working on the front line

We are spared the horror

 and dread that they must face

safely locked away

 in our own special place

But there can lie another terror

One you may not see

The scars and wounds will

Long be etched in our memory

Some at home, are far from safe

Not just from the virus

Another fear may reside in the form of domestic violence

No escape, where can they go

To seek safe sanctuary

Mayday Mayday please, can you hear me

What about the clusters, in our nursing homes

Distanced from friends and families, feeling quite alone

The PPE, well where is it, to keep the staff all safe

Platitudes and promises won’t keep them from the grave

Businesses and mortgages spiralling out of control

The fear of death and the fear of debt, new commodities to own

We look to our world leaders and put in this request

Save us from this burden at humanities behest

Let us come together and strive to each help each other

No profit or loss should be accounted

For He aint heavy, he’s my brother

Mayday Mayday can you please hear me

We are a world in distress

We need an intervention to help clear up this mess

We shall learn to be kinder in treating our fellow man

And strip things back and start again before it all began

Let’s view with eyes that see despair and decide not to fight

Take hold of the power and use it best to set the world right

This virus has shown it doesn’t care if you are rich or poor

It can travel through any nation and any status at all

The graves we dig are all the same depth when it’s time to go

Followed by grief and loss and despair, hearts full of sorrow

Help ease those sad and fearful hearts and put in a better plan

Cos the world is just the world if it doesn’t have man

Let’s not destroy it or tear it apart for it is a beautiful place

The seas, the rivers the mountains and sky, all so full of grace

and when we finally get through this we need to show we care

By reflecting and by doing and by making the world fair

No more looking down or even feeling entitled 

Peace and power can go hand in hand 

With ambition that’s unbridled

To heal the world and fellow man and stop being so greedy

Take the wealth and hand it out and help  prop up the needy

Mayday Mayday,  are you listening,  can you help us out

If we don’t heed, what we’re doing

Then it was all for now’t

Breathe…

Breathe, said the river as it whispered to the sea
Something is happening, the cowslip is growing free
Bees are feasting on the broom, a delicious yellow delight
Happy in their busy dance, what a wondrous sight
Birds surveying the landscape in noisy melody
Observing all the changes as he flies from tree to tree
And the mountains echo as the hawk and eagle soar
The beasts, the deer’s the elephants, gave a triumphant roar
Breathe whispered the estuary as it washed into the sea
Look at the fishes dancing, oh so merrily
The crabs the sharks the jellyfish, maintain their habitat
No longer caught in the destruction of man, and all that came with that
but as the mist is lifting, like a bride to be’s veil
We see the glorious beauty, of a world that never fails
Just as mother nature, intended it to be
Her creation will provide enough for the likes of you and me
For a while she was raging and her arteries were blocked
Choking, coughing spewing and dying with toxic shock
So breathe said the wind, as it sent out clean fresh air
The people get the message and now they’re feeling scared
Let’s hope they remember the devastation caused
As they watch the planet breathe again, when they were put on pause

The Oscars…..

Not many of us expect to be talking about our ‘final wishes’ at a young age. That is usually for the very rich or the very old, who make provisions for what is to happen to them at ‘the end’. This pandemic may give us all a different view on that now.

I was thinking about the Oscars, I don’t know why, because I never watch them fully, but I do sometimes watch the edited highlights.  I watch as the camera pans to the celebrity that has been nominated, all of them tentatively smiling, looking coy or bashful, but hopeful that they will win the Oscar.  One of them will read the speech which they had prepared, in the hope that they might win.  So many potential speeches waiting to be read, full of thanks and praise for many, including their loved ones

We are currently going through a pandemic; this time it has the full attention of the world.  When it was the Bird Flu, or SARS or even Ebola, the whole world didn’t quite take note as they are now.  I myself, carried on as normal at that time, thinking ‘it won’t happen to me’ and I am sure there are many people who thought the way I did then.

This time it is a different story.  This time the virus is spreading like wildfire and like other viruses, it does not discriminate against age, sex, race, disability, marital status or religion.  This one is abiding by the Equality Act and each of us must take note.

We have all become accustomed, at this stage, to know what ‘Social distancing’ ‘wash your hands’ lockdown’ and PPE mean.   It has become part of our everyday dialect and vocabulary.  My 3-year-old beautiful grand-daughter calls it the ‘Virusy’ and wonders when it will go away so that she can give me a hug again.  How I long for it to be over now, so I can give her and my 3 other grandchildren a big squeezey hug.  I cannot answer her with certainty, no-one can.   Instead we have to ‘make do’ with the occasional ‘window visit’.

What I do know is that the longer people flout the rules and don’t engage in social distancing, washing hands, remaining in lockdown or having the required PPE, the longer this virus will dance with us and pick us off one by one and none of us will know for sure, if we will survive it. 

From healthcare workers to people on the street, Actors, models and even the UK Prime minster, young, old and in between people are contracting this virus and people are dying.  It’s like a lottery, people are chosen at random but there are no winners, only losers.  Sure lots of people will get over it and survive, but with what long lasting damage to their lungs?  Others, not so lucky to survive.

This brings me to the Oscars.  What if you get it?  You don’t know if you will survive it.   You have to be prepared.  You have to have your ‘speech’ ready.  You have to tell your loved ones, not only that you love them, that you will miss them, that you don’t want to leave them, you have to tell them what they have to do with you, if you do indeed, leave them. 

Some families only think about having to bury their elderly relatives, but this virus can take any of us and we need to let our families know, what and how we would like to happen to us at the end.  Whether that is to be cremated or buried.  Whether it is to be repatriated home if you live/work in another country or indeed which graveyard to be buried in.  Is this morbid, no I don’t think so.  It is necessary.  Not everyone has made a Will.  Talk to your loved ones, let them know what you would like to happen to you, ‘just in case’ you are the one. 

Write your closing speech.  Your speech of acceptance, in the event that it is you.  Write it in a letter.   Tell your parents, your siblings, your children, your grandchildren, your friends.  Tell whomever is dear to you, what they mean to you, in your closing speech.  Be prepared.  You may never get this virus and the letter will then never have to be read out, just like the nominees at the Oscars, they go home with their unread speeches if they didn’t win.  You get to keep your letter if you are lucky enough to not contract this virus.

In the meantime, follow the rules to slow the spread and flatten the curve.  Keep our Healthcare workers as safe as possible, by staying home.  Allow them to not to have to be crushed by an overwhelming workload, in these extraordinary circumstances, and often, without the proper PPE.   Give them some respect.  If you do not stay home and follow the rules you are risking their lives as well as your own.  They already have enough of a burden to bear, being in the midst of this pandemic and watching people suffer and die on a daily basis.  Please do not add to their burden unnecessarily.

Take care, stay safe, stay home and give your ‘speech’ some thought as well as your wishes. 

I hope they’re not ugly

When ugly is more than what the eye perceives. Ugly comes in many disguises

Authors own…. dancing in the shadows

I hope they are not ugly….

What does that say about me?  What do I mean?  I don’t know really.  When I signed up to take in other people’s children and when I would get the phone call from the social worker asking me if I would take in someone, ‘I hope they’re not ugly’ would always spring to mind.

Rewind to years before I ever became a foster carer but to a time when a seed was planted.  Working on placement whilst studying law, with young offenders in a secure unit I was horrified that they were so young and yet were locked up due to their ‘behaviour’.  Having read their files, I was more appalled at the level of neglect they had received from their significant care givers.  I knew then whose behaviour was uglier. 

Through this placement my path crossed with foster carers, caring for a very pretty little baby girl.  My heart broke.  My 2-year-old was safe at home and surrounded by a loving family.  The seed was truly planted.

When my 2-year-old was 15 I took in my first child.  It was to be for 2 weeks.  Having been given some of the back ground, it was with nervousness, excitement and even a little bit of trepidation that I agreed.  Not only wondering how this would all go, she was also the same age as my 15-year-old, I would try to imagine how she would look, based purely on the information I was given about her circumstances.

In total I have fostered 13 children over the last 15 years and none have them have been ‘ugly’.  But what does that even mean.  Ugly can be determined in different ways can’t it

The dictionary definition is: –

  1. unpleasant or repulsive, especially in appearance
  2. involving or likely to involve violence or other unpleasantness

At times, over the years, there has been an element of ugliness with regard to unpleasantness, bad or undesirable behaviour.  There have been challenges, battles, disagreements and it doesn’t necessarily come from the ‘child’ who has been fostered.

I have had battles with school teachers, my own biological children, social workers, my husband, family of origin members, my family members and of course, the children themselves. 

I had wanted to foster children between the ages of 0 to 10, because at the time, my youngest children (twins) were 10 years old.  I wanted all of my children to be older.  As I said, the first child which was placed with me was 15, the same age as my oldest child.

As the two-week period came and went, turning into six months, things eventually became difficult during this period of adjustment, for my oldest child felt that her ‘life’ as she knew had been completely changed and taken over.  She had to share her home, her school, her friends, her mum and dad, with this new girl.  There was nowhere for her to ‘escape’ apart from her own bedroom.  It was junior cert year and it was a difficult time.  She felt for the girl and her circumstances, but was that really her concern, she was after all, just a kid herself and didn’t really need that sort of responsibility, did she?   Wasn’t she already dealing with enough transitioning into and through teenage hood?  So at times, it got ugly. The twins however, felt differently because to them, it was just another older sister.  She didn’t impact on their friends, their after school activities or their school life. 

Even now 15 years later, we are in touch with this girl.  Lots of other children have made a way into our lives and most have stayed a part of it too.  Fostering is not an easy task by any means, because there are many different angles, perspectives, personalities, dynamics, challenges and ugliness.  There is however, also a sense of joy, a sense of satisfaction and a sense of hope that you can make a real difference in someone else’s life.  Not only the child that you foster, but actually, your own and your biological children’s life.  It teaches tolerance, respect, understanding, responsibility, sharing, even when they don’t want to and acceptance, even of the ugliness.  It teaches people to grow, to have empathy, and to care, to care enough for someone else, someone who has to deal with the ugly.

Time

What do we do now?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Too busy to do the things that need to be done

always on the go

doing for others, chasing my tail

no time

til now

time slows to a halt

all is changing

yet, now I fail to do the things that need to be done

realising, there’s more important things

using time instead, to sit

to ponder, reflect

it’s peaceful

it’s calm

time to create

to contemplate, to connect

to be humble

time to stand together

apart

it’s revealing

this matters

to just stay home

this is the thing that needs to be done, now

Mothers

The strong, the weary , the substitute and the absent… you are doing a great job….

 

 

happy mothers day card beside pen macaroons flowers and box near coffee cup with saucer
Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Mothers,

once were little girls, dreaming of the beautiful world

in which to make their mark

Cuddling their teddy or little rag doll,

not knowing life could be so stark

for becoming a mother gives feelings like no other

in the lightness and the dark

The fear begins at the very beginning

and seems to never abate

the love so great,  hard to contemplate

how to keep you from ever getting hurt

fear of the unknown as we watch you grow

always on high alert

the bonds that they share with the children they bare

is one, only they can know

they prep and they nurture and try not to hurt ya

as they watch their babies grow

into upstanding adults, as they swim without paddles

when finally, they must let you go

They continue to worry, so try not to hurry

just go about life at your best

It’s hard on your mother, to let you discover as

you seek out and fly from the nest

Some, not so lucky to feel this love or have the same strong bond

you may live with another, not your actual mother,

who will love you and hope you’ll respond

for love it can come, in all shapes and sizes

and mother’s can come in all sorts of guises

it’s the love that matters,  no matter life’s tatters

that brings you into the fold

so on this mothers day, all that I pray

is that ‘I love you’, is what’s being told