As some of my audience will already know, I love to write stories. Instead of letting these stories spend another five years sitting on my hard drive, I thought I would share them.
Introducing Fiction Friday. Every week will feature a new chapter of my stories. The first story I wish to share with is Dream A Little Dream of Me:
I finished wiping the kitchen side down, making sure everything was perfectly clean, tidy, and in order. At least there was one thing I could maintain control over; despite everything else spinning wildly out of control.
I opened the dark oak cabinet, and took out a small crystal tumbler, and turned on the cold faucet, filling the glass halfway. I rummaged in the small purse I'd left on the countertop, lookin for the small strip of sleeping tablets.
I needed to sleep. To forget. I didn’t think when I was asleep. I took one of the tablets, as I leaned against the side, turning the pack over in my hand again, and again. Out popped out another tablet, and within moments I had swallowed it. I took another, and then another.
The kitchen was quiet - silent in the still twilight. A few minutes passed as I rested my head against the cabinet door. Then the room started to turn and I began to feel giddy, extremely sleepy. I turned away from the counter and felt myself slide down toward the floor. I curled up on the cold linoleum and closed my eyes, feeling dizzy even though I was lying down. Sleep was almost upon me. I saw the darkness coming toward me, and a light the shape of a female figure coming ever closer. It was odd, like a reverse silhouette – light surrounded with dark rather than dark surrounded with light.
I felt the sense of falling and let myself go with it... slipping further into the abyss. Somewhere in my mind, I was aware of a female voice. A female voice was calling my name. Then I began to dream...
Chapter One - Kaelyn
The dream was vague within my memory. A guy in a charcoal grey suit – designer maybe, though I didn’t know much about designers – was waiting for me. He was tall; around six feet at least, and well built. Muscular, yet slim at the same time. His face was turned away, as he watched the hordes of people come flooding through the arrivals gate. I couldn’t see his face, but in the dream I knew I was supposed to be meeting him. I didn’t know why it was so important to meet him; but I knew I had to get to him.
The station was crowded, and I kept bumping into people who were rushing to and fro, too busy to stop, and take everything in properly.They were always in a hurry. I was just a few yards from him, and a luggage cart moved in front of me, blocking my view. Once it had passed I could see the back of him, striding away toward the exit. I tried to follow him, colliding with more human obstacles and muttering insincere apologies as I went.
I reached the exit in time to see him heading toward a silver Mercedes. He was looking down at a mobile phone; working his thumbs over the keypad, as if sending a message.
Then I saw it. I tried to call out to warn him, but my voice didn't come. It just croaked out a few incoherent syllables. A driver had lost control of their blue Vauxhall and the car was veering off the road toward him. I tried to call out to him and he looked up toward me. His silver blue eyes met mine as the car collided with him...
I sat bolt upright; my heart pounding in my chest. The had dream felt so real - the kind of dream that has you convinced it is real life. I looked around my bedroom, using the light of the beam shiningfrom the hallway through the slightly open door, to make out the silhouettes of the dresser and wardrobe along the far wall. Everything appeared to be just fine. It was just a dream - nothing to worry about.
The soft glow of the hall light danced across the ceiling as a chilly draft made the door creak back and forth a little. I groaned to myself. God damn this cold apartment with its draughtiness, and inadequate heating. God damn Adam for the pittance he spent on Amy’s upkeep, and damn him further still for the fortune he spent on call girls, drugs, and alcohol. Damn him for leaving me to struggle to make ends meet as I raised our now three-year-old daughter when she was just three months old.
The door creaked loudly as it opened fully to reveal a messy haired silhouette, no taller than three feet, the shadow of a teddy in one hand; and a blanket in the other.
"Hey, Sweetie,” I cooed to my little girl. “Are you sneaking in for cuddles?” I stretched out my arms to her. “Shall we climb into the rocking chair?”
I expected her to wait for me to stand and swing her up into my arms, like usual, but she toddled over to the rocking chair at the side of my bed, and then turned to look back toward the door. I watched, bemused. This was new. She patted the seat of the rocking chair with her chubby little hand, and then stepped aside to look back toward the door.
"Rupert, sit?” She asked the door.
Baffled, I reached over to pick her up, but she moved away just out of reach. I watched her eyes move across the room, tracing their way slowly from the door to the rocking chair. Then she smiled - her bright blue eyes sparkling in the half light. She climbed up onto the bed and snuggled into me.
"Rupert is my friend,” she whispered dreamily, and then she was asleep once more.
Hmmm, I thought. That girl must like her dreams as much as her mummy. She must have been dreaming about her favourite TV show, Rupert Bear. He was a character I had adored as a child, passing my love of the little bear down to her. Her little mind must have still been thinking he was there with her, so she had brought him to my cosy little room so she could go right back to dreaming of him.
Bless her ability to believe in her dreams, I thought as I carried her back to her bed, once she had settled to sleep. I hoped every one of them would come true. I knew differently, of course. Dreams didn’t come true – especially not mine. They weren’t little bubbles that suddenly burst into reality and existence. They were more likely little glass spheres holding everything I could possibly want within their shatter proof, toughened shells. The man of my dreams was locked within one of those spheres. He could never be destroyed but could never be obtained either. Which was just as well as what I wanted in a guy seemed to change so much that even the most perfect guy would have a hard time getting it right. At least I could dream. I thought, as I drifted back off to sleep.
"Shit! Shit! Shit!!” The alarm sounded in my ear. How many times had I hit the snooze button? I had no idea - but I did know the clock face was supposed to read seven am, not eight-twenty! Gordon was going to kill me! I was supposed to be opening up The Coffee Station this morning, and the pastries should be coming out of the oven about now to have the glaze added to them.
"Amy, sweetie. Time to get up, darling.” I said quietly as I crept into her room, and opened the lilac curtains. A mop of blonde curls is all that could be seen of Amy on the pillow. She slowly sat up, rubbing sleep out of her eyes.
I went to the white dresser in the corner, smiling at Winnie The Pooh’s friendly face painted upon the front, and then rummaged through the drawers for something warm for her to wear. The weather had just turned chilly, and Amy seemed to have grown out of so many of her clothes. This was just great. All I needed was to have to re-kit her wardrobe out when I could just about afford to keep the electricity running.
I pulled out a lilac pair of fleecy trousers which looked like they were long enough for her legs, a vest, white t shirt, and a pink fleecy jumper. I quickly undressed, then re-dressed her. Then I picked her up and carried her through to the kitchen, where I sat her in her chair at the small beech wood table in the corner of the room. I opened up the bread and popped two slices into the toaster, checking first to make sure no mould was starting to grow on it.
"God, I need to food shop too,” I groaned to myself as I ran through to my bedroom. I dressed quickly, pulling on a white T shirt and blue jeans. I grabbed my mobile phone as I headed back toward the kitchen, dialing as I popped Amy’s toast out.
"Adam hi, it’s Kaelyn.” I spread some raspberry jam on the toast and placed it in front of Amy. The last time I had spoken to Adam was a few months ago, when I took one too many sleeping tablets, and he had expressed very temporary concern for the welfare of his child. He still saw her, but he collected her from and dropped her off to my father’s house when I was not there.
"I need a favour. I hate to ask you but Amy really needs some new clothes and I just don’t have that kind of money right now... No I can’t ask my Dad. He's bailed me out enough...” I listened to him some more as I brushed my wavy chestnut hair, watching Amy in the mirror as she appeared to offer a piece of toast to the empty space beside her.
"Yes, I know you pay money to the CSA for Amy, but it isn’t enough, Adam. I have rent to pay, rates, electricity, nursery – not to mention I need to food shop... No tax credits don’t cover the whole cost of her nursery. I’ve told you that before... Oh... Well, that’s just great, Adam. Go out every night and get high on whichever substance you wish, and pay to put your hands over whichever slapper you so choose - but paying to have your daughter kept fed, dressed and warm is more than you can afford? Then you have the cheek to indicate that I am living beyond my means? I work, rarely go out and get to spend maybe two hours a day with Amy... No! I will not calm down! Well thanks very much, Adam. I really appreciate it. If you don’t want to pay for her, can you at least have her overnight on Saturday so I can do an extra shift at work to earn the mo... Oh, for fuck sake Adam... Why can’t you have her at all? No one else is available to mind her. Oh! Well that’s just great. Less money! Thank you very much!”
I slammed the phone down into its cradle. How could some men be such total bastards? I turned to Amy, grabbing her coat from the hook by the door.
"Come on, Sweetie.” I lifted her out of the chair and hastily put her coat on, then picked up the plate of unfinished toast and threw it in the bin by the back door. Amy started to paddy and cry. Just another thing I really needed just then. Ten minutes until opening time and she – of all times – chose to throw a tantrum!
"What is it, honey?” I asked her, crouching to her level. She shot me her 'you’re a nasty mummy' look. “Amy. Tell Mummy what’s wrong?”
"You took his breakfast. He’s still hungry.” She told me through her tears. Eh? What on earth was she talking about? There was nobody else here.
"You took his toast. I was sharing it with him," she sniffed.
"Honey, there’s nobody else here...” Then I remembered watching her play with her toast while I had been brushing my hair, and on the phone. “Amy Darling? Who’s still hungry?”
"Rupert. Rupert is still hungry and you took his toast."
Next time: It seems little Amy has gained an imaginary friend. Where did he come from? Come back for Fiction Friday next week to meet Rupert.
If you like the beginning of this new series, please leave a comment, or you can tweet me, or follow me on Facebook. I'd love to hear from you. To make sure you don't miss any of the Fiction Friday series, pop your email address in the box below and click the "create subscription" button, and you'll never miss an installment!
My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.