Dream Catcher . . . Story Weaver

Category: Contemporary Page 1 of 2

Angels of War

Image by AD_Images from Pixabay

I’ve been dreading this day ever since you left. Visiting St Symphorien seemed at the time a very fitting and honourable journey to make. But that was then, when life was whole, instead of being torn to shreds and scattered amongst the wilting poppies. I shouldn’t have come, your parents would have understood, but our son, perhaps not. A father, a father’s father, and some that will never be. A war to end all wars goes on and on, whilst life struggles to exist.

The shadows from the trees play in the grass at my feet and I kick my sandals off, letting the feathery blades slip between my toes. I close my eyes, the ribbons of sun push their way through the canopy poking me with a fiery warmth, challenging me to respond. But inside I’m cold, ice-cold. A stone where my heart once loved so fiercely; flames of anger for leaving me rise in my throat. How could you! The tears are long gone, for I always knew that you were not mine for the keeping. That one day I would sit and mourn you.

We wanted him, our son, to remember. To show him the travesties of war. To show him the hope of peace. To show him that together we are strong. I stand up to shake the images of you from inside my head and to force the hatred from my soul for the one who took you. Grief has no boundaries, no race, nor colour. Grief is something we all share, but I want mine. For me. For my son.

I can hear my son’s tight, bright voice cracking through the silence. Asking questions of your father, who finds it difficult to provide the answers. Answers that cannot be found or understood. I walk along a line of white headstones, as straight as a line of soldiers, forever on guard, forever united in death. Protected by the woodland, marked by the rainbow of wild flowers. A garden of peace, a garden of regeneration, a garden of forgiveness.

He cries for you every night. And he tells the angels he will be good, always good, if only they give you back. I cannot forgive, I cannot find peace, I cannot regenerate. I wish I could.

A small hand slips into mine, chubby fingers curl around mine possessively. ‘Cuddles, mummy,’ he whispers.
‘Hush now, we don’t want to wake them.’ I scoop him up, his legs wrapping around my waist, his head burying into my neck, and I plead with the angels too.

Forever Reunited

Image by Tú Anh from Pixabay

Sarah clenched the stem of her wineglass as Ned arrived. Putting his hands to his sad, lined face, he stopped.

She raised her glass, pointing to the chair in front of her. Shoulders hunched, he slid into the seat, making himself as small as possible. She curled her lip. Once a coward, always a coward.

‘Why are you wearing that?’ Ned hissed.

Sarah sniggered and stared at the other diners until they turned away.

‘It’s our special day, isn’t it, Ned? Would have been our special day.’ She stroked the pale cream silk and plucked at the lace around her sleeve with a post-box red nail. ‘The dress didn’t get the airing it deserved. Look—’ she ran her hands down her bodice. ‘It still fits me like a glove.’

He sighed. ‘This has to stop. It’s been fifteen years, for God’s sake!’

‘See! You remember! Do you know what symbolises the fifteenth anniversary, Ned? Guess.’

She poured some champagne into the crystal goblet in front of him. He pushed it back towards her. ‘I don’t drink, as well you know.’

Sarah pouted. ‘Oh, come on. Humour me.’ She stared at him hard, watching his Adam’s apple bob in his throat. ‘I said, drink.’

Ned looked around, then sipped.

‘It’s our year too.’ Scanning the label, she frowned. ‘I had to search for it but it’s rather pleasant, don’t you agree?’

Ned shook his head. His complexion was grey, his skin wrinkled and drawn. He hadn’t aged well; she thought. But I will always love him.

‘Sarah, this isn’t funny. You aren’t supposed to contact me. It’ll get you into trouble.’

Moi? So why did you come?’

Ned’s shoulders shook. ‘Because I feel sorry for you, because . . .’

‘You feel sorry for me?’ She sneered. ‘You should’ve thought about that fifteen years ago—’ She looked at her diamond encrusted watch. ‘Three hours and twenty-one minutes ago.’ She tapped the glass face. ‘Such memories time holds and another fifteenth anniversary symbol.’

‘I’ve explained. I’m sorry. But I can’t make it better.’

Flaring her nostrils, she raised her voice. ‘So what’s all this nonsense about your getting married again?’

The silence from the other tables echoed around the room. Ned pulled his chair closer. ‘I’m not getting married again, I never married you.’

She smoothed the skirt of her wedding dress, encrusted with tiny pearl roses. ‘A minor technicality. You chose not to turn up. Left me at the altar. But I forgive you.’

‘You need help. I can’t do this anymore.’ Ned sobbed.

She reached forward to him, but he recoiled in disgust.

‘I don’t need help, Ned. Not anymore. I’ve forgiven you. It’s my time to say sorry.’

Sarah pulled out a small silver gun from her bag. Ned gasped, grabbed her hand, but he was too late.

‘If I can’t have you, no-one will.’

He slumped forward, shattering the crystal goblet. Crimson petals of blood spattered her dress.

A second shot pierced through the diners’ screams.

A Slip of the Tongue

Eric put his hand over his ears as his wife wittered on about the number of ‘little jobs’ that needed doing now

Christmas Goes Crackers

Image by Beverly Buckley from Pixabay

Frankie’s head hit the top of the box, not once but seven times.

“Mum, Mum! I’ve found them! I’m sure Francesca is in here, she’s so

The Sleeping Gypsy

Hattie took a deep breath. It got no easier, but she owed it to Tom. He had made plans for her after his death and she had to get out and see them through. It had been the only thing that kept him going through the failed treatments, the tears and disbelief, and finally the acceptance that there were no second chances.

Bathtime, Bubbles and Back Tickles

As a baby sitting on my mother’s knee, my big brother splashes loudly in the back and flicks water at me. A jealous big brother who gets the sharp end of our mothers’ tongue. She turns her attention back to me, a fuzzy face smiling, whispering, soothing and safe. I am lying on my tummy and the sweet cloying smell of Johnson’s baby powder fills the air, the tiny dust particles tickle at my nose, inviting a sneeze. I am cocooned, warm and gurgle with an innocent happiness. My mother gently traces her fingers across my back, following a swirling, twirling path, her touch as light as a butterfly kiss. My eyes grow droopy, yet I battle to keep them wide open, not wanting the tickles, and yet it is that which puts me to sleep within seconds. 

As a mother I stroke my baby son’s back, as soft as silk, tracing those same swirling, twirling paths. His head is a cap of thick black as night hair which will lighten to a dirty blonde as he gets older. Talcum-dust motes float between us and I hear the gentle snores of my son’s slumbers and the moment I stop the tickles; he objects softly with a moan.  

As a grandmother, I am introduced to my granddaughter, seconds old, pressed against the warmth of her father’s chest. The same cap of black-as-night hair which will turn golden and grow to waist length. I smile as he traces his fingers across her tiny back, cradling her tiny form. She snuggles deeper into his neck, as if she has always known him.  

Sandcastle Dreams

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

Pippa chewed noisily on a piece of gum as she tried to remember Chico

Life in A Suitcase

Image by Irina L from Pixabay

Alice stared at the two red suitcases travelling around the carousel. She shifted slightly, not wanting to

Ode to a Child

I treasured the first picture of you as a mere blurry, half-baked blob, weeks before you arrived searching for,

Home Is Where You Park It

Victor wasn’t sad that his mother had died. A good innings, she’d said it herself. His eyelids drooped, bored by the monotonous tone of the solicitor’s voice. He didn’t need to hear that his mother left

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