Goodbyes.

I love writing short stories which capture single moments; instances which are often overlooked. This is one such short piece inspired by the accompanying painting, observation and my own experience of leaving.


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Goodbyes are strange things, often they are the closing of a book before the end, before the story is finished, leaving so much unsaid and undone.

Forever a moment tinged with sadness for what may have been, whilst lingering expectation of future calls from beyond the now.

Enhanced for me by the hissing of steam locomotives and the rattle of passing railway carriages. I find the very intrinsic transient nature of the station heightens the poignancy. You see today I go to my future; a place where hesitant anxiety skulks in the shadows of trepidation.

Stepping from the platform onto the train is confirmation of my intent, yet my heart is heavy with sadness. The weighty clunk of the door signals finality. The solid steel and wood closing off possibility of concede.

Leaning from the open window I look into her eyes.  Deep brown pools glistening with wetness, teardrops not yet formed. My heart flutters in the presence of her beauty, as it always does.

Leaving her is my greatest regret. Pale skin, gentle, soft. Hair that cascades over her shoulders, which lays upon the morning pillow, a delta, a million threads sparkling in rising suns light. Oh, how I shall miss her warmth, her scent, her childish laughter and her smile.

I reach forward as she steps closer. Wrapping my arms about her slenderness I pull her to me, hold her close. Comfort, comradeship, love.

She lifts her face, powder and rouge, lipstick and Coco Chanel. Pouting she reaches to me. My lips taste hers, sweet, soft, eager. I can feel her skin through the light cotton of her dress. My body floods with desire, with passion. Yet overall the sadness of parting drapes around my soul, a black cloak of earnest despondency.

One moment. One solitary final moment. It is all I have left.

The shrill shriek of the stationmaster’s whistle pierces the air cutting lose the threads of safe harbour. Our lips part, my hands slip unwillingly from her body. The train moves, a grunt, a hiss of steam, another whistle.

My destiny awaits.

I stand looking back. One hand raised, a forlorn attempt to wave. She smiles back, gesturing in return. Small rivers, silver tears run down her cheeks. Too soon she is gone from sight. I fight to retain her image freshly in my mind. That last look. Sad inevitability painted upon her perfect face, the tears which enhanced her beauty. I want, need to capture that, burn it into my memory, etch it there for eternity.

Sitting back I keep my eyes closed, not wanting her light to escape. The faint odour of Coco Channel prevails, the waxy smudge of lipstick. Her laughter is conjured within my mind, giggles, childlike, almost a squeal.

I wonder if I shall ever set eyes upon her again.

Who knows the future, who knows what destiny holds in store?

Not I.

Goodbyes are strange things, often they are the closing of a book before the end, before the story is finished, leaving so much unsaid and undone.

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   © Paul White 2015

Please visit my website and browse through my books, if you read one, or more, please leave a review so I know your view.

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Mr Harrington

Mr Harrington is a short story, a comedic piece of flash fiction I wrote about two years ago. I have decided to post ‘Mr Harrington’ on A Little more Fiction for several reasons, the first is, due to other commitments, I have been unable to post here as often as I wish and feel in some way I am letting my ardent followers down.

Secondly, since I reblogged ‘A Preserve of Love’ a few days ago, I have gained a number of new followers, so I hope this story will be received, as a way of a thank you, by them.

Lastly, but not least, I hope you will take some time to browse the stories I have here at the moment. Most are mine, but I do have a couple of guest posts. I frequently change the stories on show, never allowing a large number to be present at any one time.

Hopefully, you will enjoy my various writing styles and genres and, leading on from that, I would like to think you will take a peek at my website HERE and maybe purchase one or more of my books.

Alternatively, you could take a look at Electric Eclectic’s website HERE. I have written several Electric Eclectic novelettes such as the psychological drama Three Floors Up, North to Maynard, an urban ghost-in-the-machine tale, Miriam’s Hex a lighthearted black comedy of greed and latent curses and, my latest addition, The Orb, a high octane, urban fantasy speculative thriller.

Anyway, on with the show as they say, (whoever ‘they’ are?)

 

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Mr Harrington

 

Something astounding happened yesterday I must tell you about.

I was standing at the kitchen sink, washing the dishes from lunch and gazing out of the window as I did so. In the corner of the kitchen, little Jack was playing with his favourite toy, a fabric clown. I could see Jack’s delight each time he made the clown squeak.

Outside, a flock of sparrows were devouring some crusts I tossed on the lawn earlier and I could see Mr Harrington pottering about in his garden, which adjoined the end of ours.

It was pretty much an ordinary and uneventful day until Mr Harrington looked my way.

In fact, I am sure he looked directly at me. A strange type of challenging stare. It was most unusual for him to look at me in such a way and most disconcerting.

Mr Harrington then stood, stretched his back and began running towards me. With one flying leap, he hurdled the back fence, continuing to run at full speed the entire length of our garden, scattering the sparrows as he neared the house.

Mr Harrington did not stop running, he came dashing through the kitchen door, ran straight up to little Jack and hit him on the side of his head with a vicious, swinging swipe, before turning around and dashing off.

Jack spun across the floor and slammed into the cupboard doors. His toy clown flew into the air, bounced on the floor with a pathetic little squeak before coming to rest under the kitchen table.

The entire act happened so quickly, I only had time to pull my hands from the suds and pick up a towel ready to dry them, by which time Mr Harrington was halfway back down the garden and heading home.

Jack was far quicker than I. He scrambled to his feet and was after Mr Harrington like a flash, jumping on him and raking his claws along his back. The two cats tumbled and twisted, matted clumps of fur flying into the air and letting loose a series of those blood-curdling, high pitched, ear shattering screeches and meows that resonating throughout the entire estate during the early hours of the morning.

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Mr Harrington

Catching up with them I clapped my hands, stamped my feet and shooed at them. Mr Harrington giving up the fight and running home, while Jack came and rubbed himself around my ankles like a furry slinky, purring away as if nothing untoward had occurred.

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JACK

Looking up, I saw Mr Harrington sitting on the fence between the two gardens washing his paws. He looked back at me, head slightly tilted and wearing an expression which said: “This ain’t over yet.”

I know this to-do is mostly my responsibility.

You see, until I brought Jack back from the animal sanctuary, we welcomed Mr Harrington into our house and garden, fed him on occasion and spoilt him with tidbits of ham and the odd prawn or two.

Now Jack is here, Mr Harrington feels pushed out. He is understandably displeased and disgruntled.

 

End.

© Paul White 2016

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A Preserve of Love

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 Today I made jam.

 Blackberry jam with the fruits from my garden, the final harvest of the year.

These Blackberries are plump and juicy. They have such an intense flavour and sweetness which comes from the fact they are actually wild Brambles I have tended, with love and affection, during the past three years.

I have ensured these Blackberries have a rich soil, a solid foundation in which to sink their roots. I have fed and watered them whenever they needed attention.

I cared for each leaf, gently dusting off the debris which fell upon them as caringly as I untwisted the mess and tangles they got themselves into.

I marvelled at the beauty of their flowers, the bright centres, the white petals and the sweet scent.

When the fruits began to form, I admired nature’s magic and when they ripened, I plucked each one with respect and appreciation, leaving a few behind for the birds and wildlife so they too could share in nature’s wonderful bounty.               

In fact, I showered these berries with love and affection, tenderness and understanding. I tried to balance their wildness and waywardness with thoughtful, considerate support. There was little I would not do to ensure these Blackberries were as happy and contented as can possibly be.

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As I stood in my kitchen preparing the jam I thought of you.

How I gave you a place to live, a home, somewhere you could put down roots of your own. How I provided food when you were hungry and drink when thirsty.

The many times I picked you up and dusted you down, brushing off lives injustices and torments. How I untangled you from those situations and incidents you got yourself into.

I marvelled at your beauty, your bright eyes, the porcelain glow of your skin and your sweet scent.

My love for you fruited, like a mystical magic. When we made love, it was with respect and appreciation, leaving little to the imagination. We shared each other, nature’s wonderful bounty.

I showered you with love and affection, tenderness and understanding. I tried to balance your reckless foolishness and rowdy craziness with sensitive, considerate support. There was little I would not do to keep you as happy and contented as I could.

I always knew you were a wild child, a free spirit seeking something, seeking yourself, seeking the unobtainable. Whatever you needed I knew it was something more than I could offer.

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So now, as I pour the last of the Blackberry jam into the jars, I am smiling to myself. Smiling because each time I look at one of these pots it shall remind me of you.

During the bleak winter nights as I sit by the fire, eating a simple snack of jam on toast, the summer sweetness of the berries shall bring forth such fond memories of you I shall weep with sad contentment.

On crisp cold snow-covered mornings, the flavour will remind me to look up to the sky and send you a pray of love and well wishes for your safety and happiness.

A prayer to let you know I love you still and so I shall forevermore.

Today I made a preserve of love.

 

© Paul White 2014 

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Visit my website at https://paulznewpostbox.wixsite.com/paul-white

Toothache drops

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“Johnny” shouted Marjory, her voice carrying the length of the garden. “Johnny, stop running about. Go sit with your Grandfather.”

Sluggishly, Johnny dawdled along the garden path towards the small arbour where his Grandfather sat. As he walked he ran a stick along the fencing so it made a clackety-clack sound.

Most adults found the noise annoying, but Grandfather Eddie clapped his hands together, jumped from his seat and said “Go back a bit Johnny, go back and do that again.”

Johnny liked his Grandfather, he was funny. He did lots of stupid things and told jokes which his mother called, ‘only nearly funny‘. That was when he wasn’t grumpy.

Not that Grandfather Eddie was ever grumpy for long, he had his special sweets, his toothache drops. If he felt bad, he ate two or three of those and he was smiling and laughing again in no time.

Johnny often wondered why Grandfather Eddie did not go and see the dentist more if his teeth hurt. Surely a dentist could make the pain stop, or he could take Grandfathers tooth away altogether?

Grandfather wrote songs. Not old songs like he was old and Nanna was old, but songs you hear on the radio. He knew all the stars and artists. Grandfather had even been on television and had trophies for writing, on display inside the house, next to his collection of guitars.

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Sometimes the famous people came to eat dinner at Grandfathers house, or to have a barbecue. Some of them were coming today. Which is why Johnny had to be on his best behaviour. Although, when you heard and saw all the things these people did, Johnny wondered why he had to behave when no one else did?

Adults can be strange at times. Most times.

Johnny sat opposite Grandfather Eddie and, looking directly at his face, watched as he tapped away on the laptop key board. His Mother said, “Don’t disturb you Grandfather when his typing.” So, Johnny waited patiently.

“That’s it” Grandfather said, a big grin spreading across his face as he shut the laptop. “So, Johnny, that’s the Vampire Dunkin Monkeys next big hit in the bag. That’s the Grunge-punk awards won for this year and it’s all down to you and your clackety-clacking.”

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“I could have done more Clacking, but the Lemon tree is in the way” said Johnny.

“You have done quite enough young man, I shall reward you handsomely, when the record become a big hit.”

“Can I have a fast car, an orange one, with silver wheels?”

Grandfather Eddie laughed. “When you are old enough you can have all the cars you want.”

“Eddie” it was Nanas voice. “They are arriving.”

“Right, Johnny.” said Grandfather Eddie, “Let’s go to work, let’s get that fast Orange car for you, shall we?”

“Go to work? I thought they were your friends?”images

 

“My friends are Alexander Hamilton, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Franklin, William McKinley and Grover Cleveland. You would do well to make their acquaintance too, young man.”

Grandfather Eddie popped two toothache drops into his mouth as they walked towards the house.

When they met their guests, Grandfather Eddie was chatting and buzzing like a teenager.

END.


Check out my novel, ‘The Abduction of Rupert DeVille’ right HERE

Andromeda’s tears

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My yacht, Cetus, gently rises and falls with the sea swell. It is a motion I find comforting, a feeling further enhanced by the occasional sound of muted splashes as the sea laps against the hull.

The sun is low, an orange globe, slowly sinking towards the far horizon; the one we crossed earlier in the day, when the sun was at its zenith.

It was hot then. Oppressively hot.

The raw heat sucked the moisture from our skin, from our mouths, from our lungs, like a vampire drains the blood from its victims. Leaving nothing but shrivelled carcasses of dried parchment in its wake.

Now, I sit on the quarter deck. A flame from the spout of a small Aladdin style genie lamp flickers in the faint breeze; its feeble light still reflects and refracts from the etched glasses and the silver of the pot, from which Cassiopeia is serving sweet Moroccan mint tea.

Casablanca is lost to us, far behind in the darkness, beyond that far horizon. Ahead, barely visible in the dwindling light, is another. One we shall sail over in the morrow, as we make headway for the island of Seriphos.

Upon whose shores Andromeda awaits for our arrival.

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Phineas, has let his mouth become quarrelsome with his head once more. The promise of marriage fades, tears run down Andromeda’s cheeks.

Cassiopeia demanded we make this passage, before Poseidon becomes enraged with Andromeda’s words and lets loose the wrath of his jealousy upon the innocence of the young girl.

Which is what brings us here, to the centre of the sea as the night falls.

The sun, I am sure will hiss and splutter as it dips itself into the dark waters of the Mediterranean. Perhaps not, but that is how it seems from my vantage point on this deck.

The mint tea is refreshing, revitalising. It replenishes that which the sun has drained from my body and Sucked from my skin and eyes.

I lean back, the night air is still and warm. It hangs almost immobile, just brushed by the lightest of night breezes. The silence it brings forms an accompanying peace.

All is well with my world, for this moment.

Cassiopeia settles into the seat next to me, she rests her head against my shoulder.

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“Will we make landfall tomorrow, Cepheus?” she asks.

“If the winds be to our favour” I reply.

“Then I shall dry Andromedas tears” she says, kissing my neck gently.

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While you are here why not check out my website, there you can see my books, blogs & works in progress. Feel free to contact me, ask questions and comment. http://paulznewpostbox.wixsite.com/paul-white

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Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned

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The following story was inspired by this image. 


He watched as she trotted backwards and forwards and all around the house. Naked, except for her shoes and the small gold pendant dangling between her breasts.

Those stupid four-inch stiletto heels, tapping an irritating Morse code each time she passed him by and, this was even more annoying, leaving dimples in the linoleum and the parquet flooring.

She knew he disliked her flitting about wearing nothing but those ridiculously expensive Christian Louboutin. Which is why she was wearing them now.

It was her way of saying, ‘Fuck you’.

Her way of saying, ‘I’ll do what I want when I want’.

He gritted his teeth. It was not worth attempting to speak with her, especially when she was in this mood.

She stood a few feet in front of him, eyes fixed on his, challenging him.

He stared back, trying not to show any emotion on his face. ‘Let her think what she will’, he thought.

A flick of her head sent the mane of golden blond hair from her face, over her shoulder. She tipped the small bottle of perfume, letting a droplet onto her fingertip. Slowly, seductively she dotted the scent behind her ears. Another finger full ran from under her chin, down her throat and between her breast.

She never took her eyes from his. The next trail of perfume was teasingly spread along the crease where her legs joined her torso, her fingers dabbing the scent in a line alongside her smooth, freshly waxed virginal mound.

Two more dots. One behind each kneecap completed her task. She walked closer, smiling. Not a happy smile, not a loving smile, just a smarmy grin.

“Jimmy likes this one,” she said, sniffing her wrist, breathing in the aroma of the perfume. “He says it compliments my own smell, especially when I get… hot”. Again, the sickly smile spread across her face. “Oh, I forgot to say, Jimmy is coming here this time. You’ll get a chance to see him after all”.

With that, she turned and sauntered out of the room. Not looking back Not even an over-the-shoulder glance.

He was sickened by the way she treated him. Yet what could he do? This was her revenge, her punishing him for all his misdemeanours and lies and dalliances of the past.

Some might say he was lucky she did not kill him when it all came to light. But he knew this was a fate worse than death. Something few believe possible.

He clung to one hope; this situation could not go on for much longer. He was sure she would become bored by the whole thing pretty soon. Nothing and no one held her attention for long, not even him and that was then, let alone how they were now.

This had lasted much longer than it should have. To continue would be, at the least, inhumane. Although he knew that fact would not bother her. Boredom was his only hope, the only true conclusion he could wish for.

Two hours of hearing glasses tinkle with ice, soft music and constant chatter, followed by giggles and laughter. He wished he could move away, out of earshot. Even with his eyes closed, he could not sleep.

It was the noise, the music, their voices. Mostly it was the expectation. The images of imagination playing in his mind which prevented sleep.

Not much would be left to his imagination now the door to the lounge was opened. Their voices becoming louder.

“No, no.” He heard her say. “In here.”

The door, which was ajar, swung open and they came staggering in. Glasses of red wine in their hands.

They should not be in here, in his study, his private sanctuary, especially drunk and with red wine. He knew there would be spillages. The bitch.

She plonked herself down on the large leather footstool. He noticed her steal a surreptitious look at him, a flashing, covert glance.

“I want you, now,” She said to the young man kneeling beside her.

“Here?” He asked.

“Right here, right now.”

“I need to… um …go…first,” Jimmy said, leaving the room.

She stood and walked over to him, bending slightly so her head was level with his.

“You can watch this. You had better watch this. If I see your eyes closed, even once, I’ll cut your fucking eyelids off.”

The young man came back into the room. “who are you talking too?”

“No one, silly. I was singing,” she said. “Now, this is for you” She deftly unzipped the back of her frock and let it slither to the ground.

Underneath she was totally naked, except for her four-inch heeled Christian Louboutin, which she crossed over the young man’s back, pulling him closer and the small gold pendant nestled between her breasts.

He watched her, watching him. Besides closing his eyes and risking his eyelids, he had no choice. After all, his head was not joined to anything. It was not as if he could move it.

She gasped. Fingernails digging into Jimmy’s back, white teeth biting down, teeth sinking into the flesh of the young man’s shoulder. Yet, only for one small insignificant moment, as her body jerked with pleasure, did she glance away, did her own eyes close for a moment.

Laying these few feet in front of him, her eyes fixed on his, she was challenging him.

It was her way of saying ‘Fuck you’.

Her way of saying, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.

 

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© Paul White 2017