‘Twas Not the Night Before Christmas

T’was a few hours before lockdown, when all through The Cave;

A misfit was writing, thinking of a Knave

Her Macbook was charging with fans a-whir

Knowing that tomorrow work still awaited her

Her thoughts raced quickly on a track of their own;

She felt a foreboding about being alone;

Interesting times we’re living in, the whole wide world,

Much time we’ll be spending in bed, upcurled,

Thinking of life as it was before the virus,

No, my darling, COVID! Not meningitis.

An essence of fear hangs in the air,

We’ve a way to go, but we shall get there.

Our streets will be quieter with no cars on the road

Nature will heal and you’ll hear the call of a toad

Smile, because when confinement is over

You will appreciate everything, even a tiny clover

Lockdown’s a sacrifice, that feels unfair and untrue

But Cyril’s done it, for me and for you.

Be a good citizen now, don’t move around,

For if you do, you may be jailed to sleep on the ground.

Now, COLLEAGUES! now, NEIGHBOURS! now, FAMILY and FRIENDS!

In, HOUSEHOLDS! in, SHACKS! in, FLATS and BEDS!

Remain indoors between the walls! read a book if you so feel!

Don’t go out! stay at home! That’s the deal!

It’s 21 days, and yes they’ll be long,

But when you feel morbid, sing a song.

Lockdown your loved ones, don’t social, or mill

BECAUSE IF YOU DON’T, CORONA WILL KILL!

Copyright: Priscilla Fick

Reblog: Solitary Confinement

Funny, I had a totally different idea of what I’d post tonight.  I even typed an entire post, but then delved through my archives, and found this, which seven years to the day, accurately describes my mood today.  The last week has been a tough, emotional one.

 

https://reflectionsofamisfit.wordpress.com/2012/09/17/solitary-confinement/

 

 

 

Reblog: The Beauty Within

August is Women’s Month and out of the blue at work something stirred in my soul today, telling me to reblog this post I wrote last year; that someone needs to be reminded that she is a Beautiful Warrior.  I don’t know who you are, but I hope you know that you’re special!

https://reflectionsofamisfit.wordpress.com/2018/06/08/the-beauty-within/

 

I See Trees of Green, and a Mystery too…

I was chatting with Yasmin and her friend, Bella a couple of days ago about a writing workshop they attended. One of the exercises they had to do was write an entire story without using the letter “E”. It sounded easy enough, but turns out, I need my “E”. I managed to string three sentences together:

I am going to Bali to drink martinis, tan and find a hot man; a man with brown hair, a round bottom and strong hands. I will kiss him on his full mouth.

When I think about it, the Fifty Shades books made millions, despite EL James’s writing style, so maybe the few lines above are the key to hitting it big on the NY Bestseller’s List. Probably not, but hey, a Misfit can dream, right? Sorry, I got a bit sidetracked there; I was imagining that hot man’s strong hands… massaging my… back…and his warm panting…and let’s leave it there, shall we?

Back to the task at hand. The no- “E” challenge shifted my brain into an inventive space. I got to thinking How can I challenge myself and my blog followers with a creative exercise? I decided to compose a story using snippet lyrics from various songs, quite a few in fact.

I’ll post the answers in a separate post sometime next week. Drop me a comment with only the number of lyrics you recognized, not the song titles. And don’t use Google! I’ll know. Trust me. I have some wicked mind-reading powers. Like right now, I’ll bet at least one of you is thinking yeah, right! And not a single on one of you is thinking Maybe she’s the Last Jedi. I’m right, aren’t I? Of course I am.

Greetings_from_New_Orleans_NBY_8983-700x450

BLACK MAGIC WOMEN

In the last moments of the dawn all that was left to eat was jambaylaya, crawfish pie, fillet gumbo, so the triplets, Susan, Jack and Diane continued their search on empty stomachs.

At the edge of the Quarter, they saw a stranger strutting into town like he(was) slinging a gun. The man was unfamiliar to them, but somehow reminded them Pete, who was known for making love to his tonic and gin. The threesome approached the man, immediately mesmerized by his gaze, like the deep blue sea, on a blue, blue day.

“Sit,” he told them gently. “Let me tell you something important. Something you must never forget. Life is bigger, bigger than you.” He continued his story while brewing a pot of tea on a portable stove, surveying the world over the rim of his teacup. “Children, be careful, she’s gonna get you from behind! Keep your eyes open all the time.” Moments later he was gone; vanished without a trace.

They’d been born in Palm Beach but had grown up in The Big Easy. They knew all about Voodoo and respected those that practiced the religion, but Mother forbade them to dabble. She was a God-fearing woman, “You don’t need that, Jesus loves you more than you will know.” And they were Mom-fearing kids. They’d seen what happened to their Papa; he was a gambling man.

The well-known town-car stopped next them. “Get in,” she told them. “Quickly! Before anyone sees you.” She was brushing her cat in (the) black limousine. Jack had had a bad feeling about this adventure, but his sisters had convinced him that Darius would find which side his future lies if Jack remained at their side. He’d reluctantly agreed, despite feeling nothing good would come of this.

“My insides are shaking,” Jack whispered to Diane. “You know me, when I know the time is right for me, I’ll cross the street, but right now, I really wish I’d stayed on the sidewalk.”

“Stop being such a baby, Bro. It’s not like we’re going to put a gun against his head. Jasaria is just going to help us; convince him that he better get that drug dealer on speed dial to cough up the truth about the E. What if we hadn’t found Susan lying on the floor where you left (her)? She could have died!” Looking at Jasaria she said, “It’s time, it’s a quarter after one.”

“Indeed, it is,” the mysterious Jasaria replied. “Are you sure you want to go through with this? Remember what I told you, you can check in any time you like, but you can never leave.

And that dear readers is all for now… I’ve gotta a feeling that this story is going somewhere, and it’s not the end of Lonely Street.

I’m looking forward to reading the comments. Hope you had fun reading (and playing!)

Creative Writing: It was a Dark and Stormy Night

As I cranked up my 1988 Compaq SLT/286 laptop to write a piece for this week’s writing theme, “It was a dark and stormy night…” I gave a wide, lazy yawn. “Really! A dark and stormy night? How original!”  I’m 39 years old.  I’ve seen enough B-Grade horror movies to know that the only time anything happens to some horny teenagers is during a dark and stormy night – as if their hormones are only supercharged during such climatic weather occurrences.  Watching Jason Voorhees pick off teenagers at Camp Crystal Lake for the umpteenth time wasn’t doing much for my mood either, but it was way better than having to listen to Bella cruelly drone on and on about her pending nuptials, as if James leaving me two months ago wasn’t pain enough.

Getting up to make myself a cup of soothing Earl Grey, my routine when writing, I was reminded whilst filling the kettle that I really needed to get the kitchen tap fixed; the constant drip-drip-ddrrriiippp was driving me crazy.  My life was arduous to say the least, without still having to deal with Chinese water torture on top of it. I also needed to get myself a brand new Apple Mac when I got the refund on the honeymoon flight tickets.  I didn’t care how hard James had hunted to find that vintage laptop; it had to go!  I was keeping the Louboutins though.  My ancient feline companion, Gerry (short for Geriatric) purred in agreement as if reading my thoughts.

Teenage screams bounced off the walls as Friday the 13th continued to play to nobody in particular while I washed my hands repeatedly under ice-cold water; rubbing, no, scrubbing between my fingers, under my nails, rinsing and repeating the process until the kettle finally whistled.  I’d never had any kind of obsessive compulsion before, but ever since James left me standing in a church full of witnesses, I needed to wash my hands. Damn him! And damn her!  That hourglass shaped redhead with the emerald green eyes.  Jessica I think he said her name was. Or was it Janice?  Or Juliet? No!  It was Julietta – “like the car, just spelt differently”.  I supposed it was apt considering the first place he’d decided to have sex with her was in the backseat of a car – the very Lincoln Continental that had taken me to the church that fateful afternoon.

At last the laptop had booted up, and I opened the internal word-processor to type my tale of stereotypical mayhem when I heard thunder in the distance.  Odd for this time of the year, but still a welcome sign of much needed rain.  The wind also started to howl round the corners.  Clearly the Universe was trying to get me in the mood. Clicking on the keyboard, I began my story: It was a dark and stormy night…

Another clap of thunder hit, and the antique telephone rang at the same time.  Sighing, I rose to pick it up.

“Hello,” I said, trying not to sound exasperated, given the lateness of the hour, “Kim speaking.” The connection was crackly, no doubt a result of the looming storm. “Hello, I can’t hear you, the line is bad. Hello?  Hellooo?” Click. Silence. Shrugging my shoulders and giving Gerry an ear-scratching before I returned to the couch, the phone jangled again. “Hello, Kim speaking.  I hope you can hear me now,“ I said less-than-friendly.

“You shouldn’t be watching horror movies on dark, stormy nights, MISS Winters.” The voice on the other side was raspy, breathless and mechanical, almost like someone was using a device to alter their speech, or like Jason’s underneath his hockey mask just before he slashed another oversexed adolescent.

“Who is this?” I asked, failing abysmally to hide the terror in my voice. “Answer me, damnit!” Click. Silence again.

The phone chimed a third time, and as I picked up with “Listen here, you creep…” lighting struck and the house was plunged into velvet darkness, save for the few green words on my aged laptop’s screen:  It was a dark and stormy night.

Blood pumping through my veins, heartbeat audible in my ears, I picked up the phone receiver and listened; the alien voice was gone, but I could hear the wind in the background.  The caller was obviously mobile.  Could he be close? I needed to call for help, but I didn’t want to hang up.  The landline was my only way of knowing where, to some extent, the caller was.  I reached for my handbag, worse than a witch’s wardrobe at the best of times and located my cellphone.  The battery was dead. Sugar!  Ever since James had chosen her above me, I tore myself apart wondering what I could have done differently.  Losing the sailor’s mouth seemed like a good start, although in this situation, four letter words would be more appropriate.

Glass shattered, but with the inclement weather, and disorientating darkness, I couldn’t be sure where.  My adrenalin was in overdrive, my fight response stronger than my flight one, but granted, I didn’t know who I was up against.

Thankfully the Glock I’d inherited from my dad was in its trusty hiding place.  I opened the bread box as quietly as I could, locating the cold weapon, “I’ve got a gun, and I’m not scared to use it!” I shouted, hoping that my mock-bravado would do something to give my assailant second thoughts.

“Did you honestly think I wouldn’t bring a weapon of my own?” I heard a familiar voice call out.  I spun round in the eerie blackness, stepping on Gerry’s tail.  He screeched and disappeared with a hiss.  “Miss Winters, come out, come out wherever you are…”

If I could just get to the basement cellar, I could lock the door from the inside and climb through the window and get help.  I had to, or I quite possibly would end up dead. And I didn’t want to die on the eve of a new decade.

Trying not to breathe heavily for fear of being caught, I crawled towards the cellar door.  Yanking it open, I rushed inside, but the lock jammed as I turned the key.  “Oh, Miss Winters…Kimmy…I just want to play…”

“Leave me alone,” I screamed, “I will shoot you if I must!”

My nostrils filled with the smell of mildew as I took the rickety wooden steps with trepidation.  One gave way and I tumbled to the bottom, hitting my head on the concrete floor. “So this is how I die, I thought to myself, “in a dark basement, a lonely unpublished wannabe author with unworn Louboutins.” I blacked out, swallowed by the cold darkness.

The next time I saw the light, I was being strapped to a stretcher by Basil and Adrian, two paramedics I worked with.

“Trust Kimberley Winters to make an entrance that would wreck her own surprise party and bash her head in,” laughed my best friend and colleague, Susan. “Do you have any idea how much planning went into getting everyone down here?  Good think I swapped out your gun, or you’d have shot our dear old amateur drama student (and Pastor), Harold. Well, it’s past midnight, so Happy Birthday, Hun.  We’ll have you blow out your candles at the hospital.”

And that is how my forties started, not a word of a lie – with a concussion and the fanfare of ambulance sirens and flashing red lights.

 

 

 

 

 

The Beauty Within

My friend, Jenna, gave me the following brief:

“The Beauty Inside

How about something to inspire us who are not able to see our worth or beauty in a cruel world.”

I have been thinking about this since I first read her comment.  I had a few ideas I was toying with but decided that something unconventional would be the best route to go with this subject.

The Lady Without a Name

She is there on the park bench; the lady without a name

I see her every Friday, like we play some kind of game

 

Her sight is straight ahead – an empty, lifeless gaze

I see something on her cheekbone, it’s clearly a graze

 

She wears pretty clothes, but something’s clearly amiss

She’s a classic beauty, not at all a ‘Miss Pris’

 

Her eyes are dark pools, rich and deeply clear

It’s only when she blinks them, that I notice her tears

 

I wonder what she’s thinking, what’s making her sad

Or is she crying because she’s irate; flaming mad?

 

Excuse me. What’s the matter? Yes, I am bit nosy

Before she can protest, I hand her a posy

 

Oh, Sweet Girl, it’s my husband, you see

He words are cruel and hateful, and he beats me

 

I too have been there, I know her pain

But us women are warriors – rainbows after the rain

 

Tell me what he said, I ask, the reason you’re so blue

Men that treat women badly, they’re a Motley Crew

 

Her lips tremble as she begins to speak

Her voice is so quiet, barely an audible squeak

 

He called me useless: A whore!

He said I’m stupid,

A bad mother

Decayed at the core

 

The tongue cuts deep, a double-edged sword

That I do believe, as it is written in the Word of the Lord

I take her hand in mine, and give it a squeeze

Listen to me now, and believe this, please.

The world may be cruel, dark and dim

But you have a special light, that shines within

You are unique, special and I can sense, kind

Don’t let anyone who can’t see that make YOU feel blind!

It may not be easy, but you have the power to leave

No person should choke your living, disallowing you to breathe
Despite the rank darkness of the world today

You are important, you have a fated role to play

I also know it’s easy for me to talk

I don’t wear your shoes, I don’t know your walk

What I do know is this, we’re women; warriorly fighters

We sacrifice of ourselves all the time, to make others’ burdens lighter

There is beauty in you, and hidden gems too

You work to fill others, it’s what we do

Be hopeful, be happy, choose to be free

Others have done it, you can too!

She rose from her seat, no tear in sight

Thank you, she said, woman of might!

It’s been a year since that Friday, her bench has been empty

But she’s moving and shaking, with good deeds a-plenty

I’ve heard she shares her story, no longer with shame

That incredible lady, without a name.

images

Solitary Confinement

(Image from:  indybay.org)

Alone with my Thoughts

I’m not my worst enemy

I’m a prisoner, an unwilling hostage

Confined by thoughts of despair and solitude

Incarcerated in the darkness of my regressive mind

Images cloud my tired mind

Some strikingly clear, others somewhat hazy

Slivered light – Dawn signals a new day

Not enough to fend off my mind’s tricks

The mildew of indescribable sadness

Fills my nostrils, making me gag

My heart aches, but no tears fall

No-one hears the silent screams of my misery

Dampness clings to my cheeks

Tears have escaped, during my sleep

I’m alone. No Love to cover me

My vivid imagination my only hope of freedom

Seated on the slimy mattress

I contemplate jumping into the chasm

At least there I will be free

Thoughts…they won’t be able to harm me

There is no prison warden

With an evil grin, nor the keys

Only I have the means to leave

I need strength to fight the loneliness

Yearning

I woke up on Sunday morning, opened the blinds and smiled with relief when I saw the blue skies because I wanted to take a solitary nature walk, to connect with a part of myself that I miss.

Image

(Photo from saidaonline)

Alas, the weather has turned foul, so my plans were shelved for the moment.

I had had some friends round the night before for a small get together.  We had a few laughs and when everyone had left and I was doing the last of the dishes, I suddenly felt like someone had ripped my heart out.  Just.  Like.  That.  I waited until everyone had let me know they’d arrived home safely and I crawled into bed.  Horrid dreams plagued me all night.  I was awake at five am again…

I had my morning shower and put on some Lady Antebellum – it’s great Sunday music.  The strangest thing happened when All We’d Ever Needed started playing – I was overwhelmed by a flood of tears and a gut-wrenching yearning…for someone.  The question is who?  Some days being alone really gets to me; it makes my heart ache so badly. My folks got home from a weekend away and we went out for lunch to a local steak house called Cattle Baron.  Elizabeth joined us, as did Aunty Carol and Uncle Barry.  Lunch was divine, as were some shooters…but even more scrumptious was our waiter, a tall, dark haired, blue eyed god called G.T.  The old folks left and Elizabeth and I stayed behind, drinking coffee – but G.T I’m sure knew we stuck around to just perv over him.

After I got home, the Sunday blues grabbed me again, so I forced myself to write something – I have had no inspiration for quite a while now and many people notice that I’m devouring books.  What they don’t know is that as long as I’m reading, I’m not writing much.  I read three novels last week…

Yearning

A simple tune drowns out the white noise

But it doesn’t stop the raging storm

Waves of emotion crash over my rocky heart

Changing its exterior with each swell

A deep, insatiable yearning sets in

Tears blur my vision

The melody continues to taunt me

Rubbing my solitude in my face

Taking pleasure in my heartache

Evil voices laugh in my head

Making me doubt my worthiness

I wonder if you see what I see

Is that why you keep your distance?

I know you’ve noticed me

Yet you keep me at arm’s length

Or do I just blend into the background?

The yearning to be part of your life

Devours my mind

Day and Night

Dawn and Dusk

Through my soft sobs

I wipe my tears

The yearning isn’t gone, but the ditty is finished

I have to carry on, face the day…and not lose hope.