Short story – Voice recognition

‘Hi George, how are you feeling today?’

 ‘I’m having trouble with my hearing. You’ll have to speak up.’

‘Okay is this better? We might have to keep it brief today if I have to shout. People are staring.’

‘But the shore is empty.’

‘How do you know?’

The only sound is the soft wash of the waves lapping the stony shoreline, and my breath echoing back on the line.

‘Why don’t you meet me at the pier and we can get a hot chocolate. They put a marshmallow on top. I wouldn’t have to shout then.’

‘Hmm, it’s too cold, maybe next week.’

‘You know you can ring my mobile. I gave you the number. It’s cold inside this box. It would be nice to sit somewhere. Or better yet I could come to your place. I can bring my marvellous marble cake.’

Silence across the line meant the answer is the usual no. Over the past two months, every Sunday morning, George had revealed by his moments of silence that he didn’t go out of his home and never allowed anyone in.

 It had been by chance that I answered the phone the first time. I waited in my car until the market ended and there were only a few stragglers walking past.  I’d set up my easel and was sketching outline of the coastal inlet, trying to create the depth of field with the mountainous rainforests in the background, when the phone rang in the red box.

At first I tried to ignore it, but it kept ringing, stopping and ringing again. In frustrated annoyance I entered the booth and said hello. The low toned voice on the other end engaged me instantly and I couldn’t hang up.

The conversation continued for over an hour with me revealing more than I anticipated and much more than what I usually share with anyone else. It felt easy to talk with another person without having a physical connection.  From then on I had set up my easel every Sunday, painting while waiting, for the phone to ring.

 ‘I don’t eat cake.’

‘By the way George, I entered my painting of the boat into the local art exhibition.’

‘Wonderful. I’m very happy you did.’

‘Would you like to come to the opening of the exhibition, I have two tickets. Only the entered artists will be there.’

‘Hmm, I’ll think about it.’

I catch my breath in my throat. This is the first time George has said he may meet up with me. My mind goes into overdrive creating pictures of the man on the other end of the line.

‘Oh, that’s great.’ I try not to sound too excited. I bite my lip trying to calm the instinct to nervously laugh.  ‘I would love it if you came. Um, how will I know it’s you? How will you know to find me?’

‘You’ll know by the sound of my voice, and I already know you.’

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Grade 4 – (me, front row far left) Happy days

The old school desk

weathered and dark in tint

faded memories

in  carved initials on wooden lids

mask secret lovers messages

left behind

New Picture Book in the works

My drawing (for my next children’s book) with Digital artwork by Sarena Flanigan (https://sfflanigan.com/?fbclid=IwAR2m2E5ljeX0AEPvlVqrYLJ5bZ7YmrnE-XhMHard6bETNMe8cNP-TnNP6Sc)

To anyone who is interested in picture books – like agents – or anyone who wants to give feedback. It’s a long road for a writer. Sometimes you get lucky, other times it becomes a hard slog to keep going. I’m upping the ante so to speak and finally sharing some of my artwork – I am being brave!

Original water colour ideas for the book

A few odd drawings of first draft of story

Lunch time at work and no drawing pad so had to use my diary!

Not a great photo but inspiration was there!

Another lunch time at work – the diary comes in handy some days!

Those shadows will not disappear

Dark Words

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When the sunlight touches my skin

I smell the wildflowers

embracing all extraordinary moments

I surrender to your words

and respect the insight

that reveals the truth

Savouring strange encounters

creates difference beyond expectations

with the flavour of life

beneath the ageless tree that stands beside

cascading white frothed water

the sunlight warms the earth

before the mist and darkness falls

concealing the path back to normalcy

In between, contrasting conditions,

I will weave thoughts

of commanding the guard to subdue you

Until your words

become the ghosts of the past

and the sunlight touches my skin

once more

 

Stories of Hope

I am very excited to say the least. Thank you to everyone who has purchased “Stories of Hope”. Your contribution to the WWF and Red Cross will be hugely beneficial to many lives. Plus you get a fantastic read!No photo description available.

 

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The challenge of overcoming fear

allowing oneself to get closer to the edge

to summon all that the mind takes exception to

 

Means crossing an invisible line

 

Fighting the light that will break the dark

Being lonely amongst others

Is hard to digest

 

Trust once broken

leaves an emptiness that cannot be filled.

until human contact is made again

 

How we stay quiet

when the urge to scream becomes overbearing

can be brave – usually a safety valve in the recesses of thought

 

Unhealthy quiet control

can be like a steam locomotive

 choking

Remembering these times

I cry:  Someone loves you

Somewhere

There is a limited amount of time

between the stages in life

childhood………adolesence………. maturity

Milestones that connect and overlap

Threaded dimentions interlocking with other human emotional stages

 

Repeated painful cycles periodically occuring

over and over

through stages of life that we cannot understand

 

No proof of their existence

No denial of their existence

Only self testimony after realisation of their existence

 

If only the badge we place upon ourselves could be changed

We could feel like the goal keeper

Like those who found the warrior within

who learned control