The Almost Heirloom

‘I had a lovely necklace once,’ said my grandmother. ‘It could have been yours.’

‘Was it stolen?’

‘No. In 1923, when I was fifteen, I sold it.’

‘Why?’

‘I could sit on my hair, but the fashion was for Eton bobs. When Father forbade it, I sneaked out, sold the necklace and went to my brother’s barber.’

I couldn’t imagine my grandmother, the perfect housewife, as a teenage rebel.

‘Was your father angry?’

‘Even angrier,’ she said, ‘when I started wearing skirts above the knee and pale stockings!’

She laughed, ‘keep annoying your parents, darling. It’s what youth is for.’

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Words and photograph copyright Paula Harmon 2017. Not be reproduced without the author’s express permission.

From a prompt in Thin Spiral Notebook

 

In the Diner

Outside rain pours onto a city dissolved into night.

Inside, the diner is garish with comforting colours; I smell coffee, fried food and damp clothes. I gather my things.

At this despairing hour, there is music, but little chatter. I should go, taking and leaving loneliness.

I should go, returning to my world; rejecting yours.

You catch my hand.

I should go. I should not look into your eyes. But I do. Through my tears, I see your tears. I am lost. Lost in love for you. Lost mapless at a crossroads.

Your hand holds mine.

I do not leave.

diner

Words and photograph copyright 2017 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

From a prompt “Lost” on Thin Spiral Notebook – check out the other reactions

Honey

She climbed a tree and hunched.

We called: ‘please come down,’ but she stared over the rooftops to the wide world as if yearning to fly.

‘What shall we do?’ we whispered.

In the kitchen, we cut a wobbly doorstep from the fresh loaf and poured honey over.

‘It’s your favourite,’ we called, ‘just for you.’

Mummy turned. A moment passed. Then she climbed down and hugged us tight, bread and all.

She smiled a little, but tears mingling with honey, sparkled in her hair.

Under our kisses, her face was sticky and salty.

‘We’ll make it better,’ we said.

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Words and photograph copyright 2017 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

 

From a prompt on Thin Spiral Notebook – check out what others have written

The Road

Is this the road to failure? Isn’t the light fading?

Nothing is clear. I want to flee the hurt, yet first I want apology, atonement, understanding. But there is silence. Have I failed?

Keep driving. Don’t slow down when tormenters whisper from alleyways. Find the lane lined with friends to help.

The sun sets, but I’ll drive on.

Day will follow night.

And the drag of the hurt will stretch and thin, from cable to rope to thread to hair to … snap… nothing.

I’ll drive on: curving with the road, healing from the jolts, bending with the camber.

Travelling home.

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Words and photograph copyright 2017 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

 

Thin Spiral Notebook – 100 word challenge

Pirate Treasure

On a tropical island they captured a girl.

She was beautiful, skin and hair iridescent. She was locked up. The purer she stayed, the higher price she’d command.

From the hold the girl sang. Words unknown and yet understood: loneliness, bereavement, yearning.

Her song curled into the pirates’ minds until they wasted away, tears mingling with the sea-spray. The ship drifted on, steered by music, until reaching land.

The harbourmaster unlocked the hold, finding nothing inside but a bejewelled bird.

It filled his ears with triumphant song. Then, still singing, it flew out and disappeared southward over the waves.

PirateFrom a prompt “Music” from Thin Spiral Notebook – check out what others wrote

Words and photograph copyright 2017 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

Goodbye

Ben holds one hand. Teddy holds the other. My feet are sore. Ben has a bag with some food and water. Maybe we can stop for some soon.

We had to leave everything else behind. It’s hard to wipe your eyes when a teddy’s holding your hand.

‘It’ll be a great big adventure,’ comforts Ben, ‘we can look after ourselves. I bet we’ll meet dragons and giants and aliens and everything.’

‘Will it be scary?’

‘Don’t worry, I’ll look after you.’

‘Will we never ever see home again?’

‘Never ever.’

‘Never ever?’

‘Well,’ says Ben, ‘not till dinner-time anyway.’

teddy

Words and photograph copyright 2017 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

 

From a prompt on Thin Spiral Notebook – check out the others

Cold

At nightfall, she lay down on the pier, her head on a carrier bag full of her last precious things: photos, letters.

Eyes closed, she listened to the sea wash the sand and shingle: whisper, rattle, whisper, rattle.

She waited for cold and hunger to take her, drifting into a sleep where the letters and photos seemed to be speaking to her, seemed to embrace her and then she realised that the voice and the touch were real and the voice was saying:

“We’ve found you! Wake up. Your family has been looking so long. They love you so much.”

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Words and photograph copyright 2017 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

Thin Spiral Notebook: Hunger