The Woman by Amber Jager

He sat alone in his chair, quiet for now. It is the first time all week that he has kept to himself, the soft slippers given to him when his daughter last visited settled calmly on the grey industrial-style carpet. All around him people mill about; those others that live here easily distinguished by their walking aids, grey hair, and shuffling steps. Slippers to match his own are extremely common, some marching slowly from place to place and others seated in chairs identical to where he now rests. Among the groups is the occasional younger person, the footwear being the comfortable easy walking style common in those that work in the medical profession. Not all are nurses, but all work taking care of those unable to take care of themselves any longer after the sands of time took their toll.

For the most part, everyone leaves him alone. Some smile over at him if they even bothered sparing him a glance, but he does not pay attention to them. His focus lingers on the far wall, waiting. The nurses call him ‘troubled’ and do what they can to keep him settled, but no one dares try to move him to another place with another wall to watch. This was the only place where there was ever a quiet moment. If ever placed somewhere else, he would fight and scream and demand to be placed in his usual chair.

When he had first moved into this place it had been different, of course. He’d had the occasional episode. Moments where his children were frightened by his rage-filled tirades, directed at empty spaces. He never turned on them specifically, but after one day where he had fallen after lunging at a lamp, they’d had no choice but to seek out somewhere that he could be kept safe. Since then, the episodes grew more and more common. The medication had helped in the beginning, but now he instead had straps carefully keeping his pajama-clad arms in place on the chair, which was securely bolted to the floor. Short of constant sedation, there was only so much that could be done for someone in his situation.

“Hello Mister Turner. How are we feeling today?” The voice came from his right but he didn’t turn. The nurse came to check on him every afternoon, and he didn’t dare look at her and away from the wall. He did give her a slight nod though, an acknowledgement of her greeting. Continue reading

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Shopping and Lies by Kathryn White

shopping&liesthumb

Monday February 9, 2009

 

Underpants.

Right now, my biggest problem is underpants. This is despite the fact that just a week ago, I eloped with fiancée of five years and no one, except for Samuel (who is now, of course, my husband,) and my dad (who funded the whole thing,) knows about it and they all think that our real wedding is going to be this huge, elaborate ceremony that my mother-in-law (who thinks that she is my soon-to-be mother-in-law,) is organising and will take place on Saturday, which is not only Valentine’s Day, but it will be my birthday as well. Anyway, despite the obvious problem of having to either a, reveal that Samuel and I went and got married without her knowing about it and causing Ursula considerable hurt and upset, or b, go through with an elaborate ceremony that neither of us asked for or wanted, right here and now, my biggest problem is underpants.

Or, to be a bit more specific about it, my biggest problem is underpants that are completely the wrong style, not to mention the wrong size.

This morning, I was feeling a bit lousy, which I suppose is normal when you’re not only a liar, but you’re a liar who has just told the whopper of the year to the majority of your family and most of your friends (no, no, I’m not already married, I’m not getting married until next week,) and you also happen to be pregnant and have just gone for your billionth fitting for the maternity wedding dress of the year that your mother-in-law is buying for you and not only do you not want it, but you’ve just discovered that it does not fit and it will have to be altered again, and so I decided to treat myself to a brand new bra and a matching pair of knickers. I found the perfect pair almost straight away and was secretly feeling rather triumphant that I found them all on my own and that the bra was a perfect fit, meaning that I didn’t have to worry about any kind of interference from that rather smug looking woman who works behind the counter at L’duds, who always reminds me of Mrs Slocombe from TVs Are You Being Served. Her name, at least according the little piece of gold plated plastic that she has pinned to her apron is Florence but I bet that her name is really Shirl, Marj or Beryl. (I don’t think that there is anything wrong with those names by the way. I just think that it is silly for people to be embarrassed about them and to want to call themselves something else, as if pretending to be named Florence magically makes them a better person.)

Continue reading

Something’s in my Head by HMC

Public domain image, royalty free stock photo from www.public-domain-image.com

Running – something I can’t see,

I feel it chase, envelope me.

Falling now, then I’m down,

 it comes back.

Back around.

Fill it with something or other,

Shove it down like bread and butter,

Chase the pain with a shot of Vodka,

It comes back round, and so why bother?

Bottle up, shut it up, push it down, hide away.

Cut it out, butt it out, smoke it up, buy today.

Hoard it quick, take a sip, roll around in someone’s bed.

Anything, anything, do anything – escape your head.

I run around this mouse contraption, relying on this mad distraction.

A song and dance it doesn’t cease, so I can pretend that I’m at peace. Continue reading

Memories by Evelyn Steward

How fast time flies? I never knew it could, not when I was a whole lot younger. I like to think of the early 1960s as the best time of my life.

It was exciting. New-ish job which gave me the chance to fly to Canada and other places. Spain, France, Germany, The Netherlands and odd spots inbetween.

1960 was my first trip to Canada. I will not go into detail, other than to say that the journey outbound was on a BOAC jet prop. Stopping at several places going north from London (Heathrow) Airport. Not sure of all the stops but I think Manchester was one and the West Coast of Scotland. This was at night, so seeing the darkness of England inbetween airports where lights twinkled like fairy grottos, was amazing for a first ever flying traveller. Continue reading