So I've not written a lot for a while. I know. Well, not a lot that I've posted on here at least! The good news is that I've got the bug again. The bad news, at least in some way, is that I've started a Creative Writing Course with the Open University. Now that is in fact good news but it does mean that I am going to be writing mostly for the course for the next couple of months. Little pieces, projects and the like. However with the fact that any feedback is worth getting I decided that I'd post pieces here too.
The premise of the bit below is that we set challenges for one another based on a word or item. The item thrust my way (on a forum, not literally) was a stuffed duck that squeaked. The result, is Harold and the Duck.
Harold carried his toy duck through to Fiona. As he dropped it by the side of the bed a meek squeak crept out as if in fear of breaking the silence. The silence that had lasted for too long as far as Harold was concerned. Still Fiona didn’t stir, her tired eyes stayed fixed on the television but she was taking nothing in. A blur of colours and white noise to provide at least the sensory numbing she needed to hold back the tidal wave of despair. Harold was having none of this, he was tired of being ignored and more importantly, he was worried about Fiona.
He rested his head on the edge of the bed. No reaction. Finally he gave in and nudged Fiona’s arm. Startled she flinched, scaring Harold who immediately withdrew. “I’m sorry Harry, I’m so sorry mummy didn’t mean to scare you”. Tentatively he returned to the bedside as Fiona cooed and stroked the hair from his face. As his heartbeat calmed he paused, reached down and held the duck towards her, squeaking it, once, then twice. All of a sudden, as if something inside her had been switched on, Fiona took the duck and a faint suggestion of a sorrowful smile appeared at the corners of her mouth. She lifted Harold onto the bed and held him.
“I guess you think you haven’t got anyone to play with anymore don’t you young man? I just really miss him. But I know it’s been hard for you too. It's been tough on all of us. Still, you don’t have to worry anymore. We just have to be strong for each other now, starting today. What do you say?”
Harold said nothing but leant lovingly on her listening to her heart beating. It’d been three weeks since the accident and this was the first time that she’s spoken to him. It’d taken Harold ten days himself to realise that Steve wasn’t coming back. That explained the tears. The cards. The strangers who visited almost every day, talking to Fiona behind closed doors and away from the children. Harold was the man of the house now whether he liked it or not so it was his job to get Fiona back to the world of the living.
“So what do you want to do?” said Fiona, energized by his affection. I know. It’s been long overdue. I think it’s about time we went for a long walk in the snow – you love the snow don’t you?” Harold wasn’t waiting one moment. He leapt to his feet, tail wagging, and fetched his leash from downstairs. Finally she was back and he wasn’t going to let her slip away again.