Our next retreat focuses on settings and characters, drawing inspiration from some gothic writing of the past. Here’s a little teaser from Sandra to whet your appetites…
Here’s my own cheeky little entry, which I thought I would squeeze in before tomorrow evening’s deadline. Keats it certainly isn’t! 🙂 Still, it’s just a bit of fun, so hope it at least provides a temporary distraction from all the bad weather… (and I love the picture!)
Halloween is in October,
Thanksgiving’s the next month,
then it’s Christmas in December,
families and turkey lunch.
But January has nothing
bar cold wind, ice and snow.
Amid bleak winter, hasten Spring,
help us and nature grow.
I am cold. I am cold even though it is bright outside. It looks warm. I have lost track of time. Is it Summer already? Inside days merge. Some are even lost completely. The irony is that just when time has suddenly become more precious I find it a fleeting entity, hard to keep hold of as it slips through my fingers like grains of sand. My hourglass is filling up exponentially but all I can do is sit and look; watch, wait and reflect.
Visitors start to arrive as I continue to gaze out of my window. Sure enough, there is Paul’s battered red Ford squeezing into a narrow parking space between a lurid green Mini and a gold Land Rover. He, Molly, and kids tumble out. For a second his guard is down and I notice how tired he seems. Then he looks up and catches me watching. His face lights up in an over bright smile that, even from this distance, I can tell doesn’t reach his eyes.
As I wait I adjust my scarf and ask for my pillows to be plumped up for more support. I want to be sitting up properly when I see them. I want to remember today for as long as I can and ensure a strong memory lingers. I want them to remember me and not my illness.
I have passed through a spectrum of emotions; disbelief, numbness, anger, guilt, fear and terrible crippling sadness. Why me? Why my family? I have already started grieving for what I am leaving behind.
But today is different. Today I am at peace and I am in charge for once, not this disease. Me! I know I will only have a small window of lucidity before I will have to self-administer more drugs, which are only ever a temporary relief from pain. But although it has won I won’t be beaten.
My family enter and Paul comes straight over to take my hand. He is gentle, like I am made of glass and could shatter into a thousand pieces at any second. His smile is sad and this time it does reach his eyes.
“It’s okay,” I say, “It will be okay.”
His Adam’s apple is bobbing up and down furiously and his top lip quivers slightly. “I don’t want you to go.” His voice catches and I can see him struggling for composure in front of his girls.
“I know,” I smile. “I feel it all; from what you want to say now but can’t, to what you may later wish you had said. Promise me you won’t ever look back in regret as I know your heart and love you for it. All of you.”
They stay for half an hour and I turn my head to watch as they slowly walk back towards their car. Paul stops, looks up, and places one hand across his heart. I close my eyes and press for more drugs.
It is time to say goodbye.