Hello, here I am, back after a long while out off writing.  This is Baby’s story. Maybe you’ll enjoy it…

« Muuuummy ! Muuuummmy ! » Like a little brown ball Baby rolled down the stairs, his face a mess of tears and snoot. He could hardly breathe from sobbing so heartily, and his big brown eyes were drowning in mixed fluids. He thrusted his rubbery body right into his mother’s legs, bouncing against her, and collapsed at her feet. She did not seem impressed. Calmly, she bent over and asked : « Now, what’s the matter with you Baby ? »

Of course she knew he was not a Baby anymore. He was three already, He should have started school in September, but he was her youngest, and probably last child. She wanted to keep him to herself a while longer. But today was a day off, and all the four kids were at home. The teenaged twins were locked in their bedroom, as usual, and her six years old little girl was supposed to play with Baby upstairs.

She picked him up and wiped his damp curls away from his face. He was in a state, all sweaty and sticky. « What’s wrong Baby ? Tell Mommy. »
« Nana, Nana ! My Nana, I waaannn my Nanaaa ! » Nana the Wubby : it was a wretched fluffy dog, with no tail and only one eye left, but Baby wouldn’t go anywhere without it.
« What about Nana ? Where is it ? Have you lost it ? »
« Janey got Nanaaaaa, he wailed, Janey peed on Nanaaaa !» Baby started to sob again, so hard he could only shake his head in despair.

She headed upstairs, Baby tucked on her hip, and found Janey hiding behind her bed. She put Baby down in order to pull Janey out from her hideaway. She knew the girl was guilty from the terrified look on her face. She frowned down on her, did not say a word : Janey led them to the loo and picked up Nana from deep inside the toilet bowl, dripping with a mixture of urine and water. « Don’t worry my sweet Baby, Nana’s going to go in the washing-machine, and he’ll come out all clean and beautiful ! » said Mummy, and she picked him up again.  Baby watched her with adoration, giving Janey the occasional triumphant glance.

Mummy looked at Janey straight into the eyes : «  Now young girl, I promise you you’ll never want to play such a trick on anybody again. » Her tone was a no-joking one, and Janey cringed. She knew she was going to pay for it. « To begin with, you will pair the socks on the kitchen’s table, said Mum, then you’ll tidy up the shoe shelves in the cubbyhole. » Janey followed her downstairs with tears in her eyes. She resented wasting the first day of her holidays.

Though he did not fully understand what pairing the socks was about, or what was to happen in the cubbyhole, Baby was delighted with Mummy’s decision : it sounded real tough on his sister. So when he reached the floor again (he had to wriggle himself free for that), he happily crawled to his favourite corner in the kitchen, by the big stove. He had a nice colourful mat there, with a big basket full of toys. He silently hummed little songs to himself, while tearing off the arms of an old doll.
Meanwhile, his sister sorted the socks, and his mother peeled vegetables over the sink.

The room was peaceful and silent. The only noise came from Janey’s hamster, nibbling grains in his cage. The tiny thing was Janey’s love. She had called it Binky, and she was fond of cuddling him for hours when she came home from school.

Now Baby was young, for sure, but he was smart. Very much so. And he felt in a disposition of revenge. Therefore he quietly crawled up to the cage, softly lifted the latch, reached for the fragile warm body, and grasping it very firmly indeed, inched forward to the back door. This is where the cat flap was, at the bottom of the door, just at the right level for Baby to discreetly push Binky through. Through to the other side : into the wild, cruel and nasty world of the garden (cruel and nasty for a hamster in any case).

And the day went on, as any day would ; that is, up to a point. As a matter of fact up to a very precise point in time : at twenty past four sharp, right in the middle of this normal afternoon, a terrible scream burst out of Janey’s throat. A scream worthy of the most frightening horror movie. It resounded throughout the house, attracting all the people present (that is : Mummy, Baby on her heels, and the twins. Daddy was off on one of his business trips as usual).

Janey was standing in the middle of the hall, eyes bulging, mouth wide open on her wail. On the entrance map, proud as a peacock, stood Pandora the cat. In its mouth today’s booty, which it had brought back as an offering to the family : Binky. Stiff dead. The cat had rescued the hamster from the wild outside world, and taken it back home to where it belonged. The fact it had died on the way (due to too much playfulness on Pandora’s part, but hell ! Warrior’s pleasure), this fact was minor compared to the joy of returning the runaway to its mistress.

But Pandora felt a wave of panic when the twins tackled it and forced Binky out of her mouth. And why was Mother shouting « bloody cat, bloody cat » ? And Janey, from Pandora’s point of view, was overreacting with this downpour of tears…Better take off like a shot.

As for Baby, he was in a shock of course, but mostly he enjoyed the whole drama. Especially Pandora’s grief. Also he hoped he would have a chance to get closer to the small corpse, for it fascinated him. He wanted to poke and pinch it, see if he could set it in motion : it seemed so still. Unfortunately, Mummy was already bending down, a paper towel in one hand and a stick in the other. She gently pushed the limp body of Binky with the stick, onto the towel. She pinched the corners of the towel between thumb and index and took that shroud outside, holding it strangely far from her body. Janey was still howling, the twins patting her in vain to comfort her. Baby was delighted. This had been a good day in the end.






Autumn Has Come

A first attempt at poetry in English… (it is an entry to a challenge)

Autumn Has Come

I sit by the lake
Silent as a stone
And still as a star
The world unaware
Of my presence yet
Is made of noises
Sounds quiet and fragile
Rattles chants and whistles
Of colours soft and hushed
Only broken by the plunge
Of a fish dancing in the air
Silver light and swollen clouds
Wandering on leaves of gold and blood

The postman

(Work done for a new writing course)
‘Yes, coming.’

I ran down the stairs to open the door. I was expecting my Mum to babysit while I went to a major job interview. But here was the postman. Well not exactly ‘the‘ postman, since our usual was on leave. ‘A’ postman would be more accurate. This one was behaving strangely : he was bent in two, arms folded against his chest, and he was moaning. On closer looking, I realized he was bleeding : the doorstep was stained with his blood.

”My god, what happened to you? Come on in, come and sit down.’

I led him inside, had him sit on a chair. I still didn’t know where he was bleeding from, he was all curled up. I hadn’t seen his face yet. He seemed terribly small and thin for a grown man : his uniform was way too large, floating around his body. I noticed this while I tried to unfold him, searching for a wound.

”Where are you hurt? Show me.” He showed me his hand: it was a mess, minced-meat, dripping blood. I grabbed a clean cloth to wrap tight around the wound.

”What happened? How did you do that?”

”The dog next door…” I had to make an effort to hear what he said.

I dialled the emergency number. At the same time I filled a glass with water and offered it to him. The poor man was pale and sweat was forming on his brow.

‘Emergency, I’m with a man bitten by a dog. Nasty injury.’ I went on with the details, and they promised to send help very soon.

The postman was holding his hand in his lap. His head was lolling backwards, the man was fainting.

”Hey!” I said ”Stay with me. Medics will be here soon.”

I grabbed his face and made him watch me: he looked like a child, smooth skin, tiny pinched mouth, big worried eyes.

”Tell me what happened”. I wanted him to stay conscious.

He spoke in a weak hesitating voice:

”I was delivering the mail next door. Thick envelope. Didn’t go through the letter box… Pushed hard. Hand got through with the envelope. Got stuck in the aperture. Rang the doorbell with my other hand. It must have caught the dog’s attention. It went mad at my hand.”

We could hear the sirens of the ambulance. Soon the kitchen was filled with men in white.

My Mum stepped in right in time to tidy up the mess. Baby had not woken up yet. I was in a hurry for my interview. I left before the rest of the company.

I never saw that postman again. But I got the job, if you want to know.

An ordinary school day

Here is an attempt at writing dialogue.

”This morning Marigold gave me a tablet because I had a sore throat,” Luigi told me as we walked down the road to the library.

”Who is Mary-old ?” Ian asked him.

”Not Mary-old, Marigold ! She is my foster mother.” Ian looked puzzled. He remained silent for a few seconds, then :

”What’s a foster mother ?”

Now Luigi was in trouble. I could see his eyes wandering from side to side, his breath was getting hard and loud. I knew he was at a loss for a clear explanation.

”Ian, I said, Luigi lives with a host family : Marigold and Peter. They look after him and another little boy, don’t they Luigi ?”

”Yes, we’ve got Kevin with us now ! He’s three and a half. He is very naughty, but he is not going to stay long : his mum will get out of jail soon. ”

Obviously Ian was still bewildered. ”Why do you live with a host family ?”

”My parents hit me and the social workers sent me into foster care” said Luigi. He spoke in a calm tone, but now it was Ian’s turn to be nervous. He looked at me anxiously.

”My mum hits me sometimes, when I’m nasty… But she hits my sister more often. I don’t want to go into a new family” he said, crying already.

I stopped to wipe his tears, the rest of the class pushing behind.

The day was still young and full of promises.


My participation in the challenge set on Sian’s blog a while ago…                   Strange how it fits Sharon’s piece                                                                                            Genuine coincidence !

A man grabs Laura’s breast and puts it firmly on a cold shelf. Then a piece of machinery is lowered and pressed upon her soft flesh until it is totally flattened. It hurts. Laura lets out a small cry. She keeps her eyes tightly shut. Done.The technician turns the machine sideways and installs her again. ” It’s just about finished Ma’am. Hold your breath ! There…” Clank ! goes the performing device. ”Off you go lady, it’s over ! You can get dressed, then go back to the waiting room, we’ll call you .”

Laura sighs deeply. She hated it. Her first mammo. She looks at her breasts, expecting to see pancakes instead of the usual globes. Now she must wait for the doctor’s approval of her mammary glands before she can go on with her life. She will have to go to this trouble every year now, in order to detect any nasty invading cells before they colonize her body like they did her grand-mother’s, her mother’s, and now her sister’s. The women of her family were born with this curse. Genetics. Great. She’s glad she has sons.

When the doctor walks in, she looks up anxiously.