365 Day Writing Challenge 12: Hello

365 Day Writing Challenge

12. Greeting: Write a story or poem that starts with the word “hello”.

“Hello?”

There was silence on the other end of the line. Then her voice. Startling, yet still clipped, still nasal, still upper class.

“Yes?”

Janie’s heart was pounding in her chest. She could feel it echoing around her whole body. Her mother hadn’t recognised her voice.

“Yes?”

That tone was like a quick stab, reminding her of so many childhood memories. Why are you doing that. Why can’t you be quicker. Why are you like this. Throughout her whole life – why. Her mother questioning her existence.

“Hi, Mum.” There, she’d said it. She was past the point of no return now. She’d expected it at least a moment’s pause. For her mother to be at least a bit surprised, at least slightly taken aback, that her daughter was getting back in touch with her after seven years. But, no. Mrs Wiltshire was never surprised. Well no, that wasn’t strictly true. She had been. Once. Just that once.

But not now. She’d had seven years to regain her composure.

“Well?” her mother said. “Did you call me up to just breathe down the phone?”

Another stab. Though she should have expected it. her mother was always cold, always sardonic. Always waiting for you to do something to interest her.

“Did you see the news?” Janie asked.

“News concerning what?”

Janie took a big breath. “My people. People like me. Our news.”

“Disgusting.” her mother said. “Absolutely disgusting.”

“Really? Over a million people are disgusting are they?”

“Is this why you called me? To gloat?”

“No.” She paused. “Actually yes. I am. I’m not a freak. There are millions of people like me. And even more who think like me. We proved you wrong today.” She paused, but then went hurtling on, so her mother couldn’t interrupt. If she didn’t say it now then she never would. “You don’t love me.” Strange to hear it aloud. “If you did then you would be happy that I’ve found someone who loves me. You’d be happy that I have friends who love me. You’d be happy –” her breath coming faster and faster now – “that this whole country sees me as a person. They think I have rights. They know that I’m a human being.”

Then she slammed the phone down, the noise of it somehow still not as loud as her own heartbeat. She stared at the phone, terrified that it would start to ring, but knowing that it wouldn’t. She heard the patio doors slide open and looked up. Leanne was stood there, smiling cautiously.

“Everything alright?”

“Yes,” said Janie. She would tell Leanne about it later. But not now. Leanne cocked her head, still looking concerned, so Janie pulled her into a hug. They held each other in the sunlight spilling through the open windows. They could hear the laughter of their friends in the garden. Janie breathed in the smell of Leanne’s hair, and thought of what her small, scared, childhood self would think if she saw her now. If she knew how she had stood up to her mother.

She thought of her mother, forever straight-backed, forever with her lips pursed. She knew that phone call hadn’t resolved everything. But it was a start. It was definitely a start. Today was the start of a lot of things.

( Featured image from BBC)


 

A woman calls her mother after Ireland votes Yes. 

© Kate Warren and Rebuild Expand, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kate Warren and Rebuild Expand with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Advertisements

365 Day Writing Challenge 9: Animals

365 Day Writing Challenge

9. Animals: Choose an animal. Write about it!

Dogs. I hate dogs. When I was a child, right up until I went to university, I was completely terrified of them. I’d cross the street if I saw one coming, even if it looked docile. I hated going round to people’s houses because I didn’t know if they had a dog or not. Ringing the bell and hearing barking from inside was the worst feeling in the world.
I don’t know how I got over my fear, but I did. I have friends who have dogs, and I’m alright with them (none of these dogs bark though, it’s the barking I can’t stand). I still don’t like them though.
But there is a problem. My boyfriend loves dogs. He’s a lot like a dog himself, always bounding about happily, getting easily distracted by things. He’s always wanted a dog. My cousin’s dog, Toby, is the most excitable thing ever. He goes crazy and barks whenever he sees someone new in the house. He was running around in circles but Max just looked at him, said, “Sit” calmly but firmly, and Toby actually sat. I thought oh Jesus, my boyfriend’s the dog whisperer. On the way home he was talking about how much he loved Toby, and I said, “But what about when he weed everywhere?” And Max said, “Oh that was cute! He did it because he was excited!” I realised then that he really must love dogs, if he found that cute. So I’ve been trying to bring myself round to the thought that I might get Max a dog one day, for a surprise. I even smile at dogs when I see them in the street sometimes. But every time one growls, or pulls at its lead, I think no. Never. Also, if you get a dog your whole life changes. Your house smells of dog. You have to walk them. You have to pick up their shit. But Max looks so happy when he sees them! Maybe I’ll bring myself round to it.

But ugh.

365 Day Writing Challenge 2: The Unrequited Love Poem

365 Day Writing Challenge

2. The Unrequited love poem: How do you feel when you love someone who does not love you back?

 

Unrequited love makes you feel ugly. It makes you feel like you’re in high school again, spotty and dumpy, laughing nervously, getting everything wrong. A nerd. All your carefully built self-esteem can be tumbled so fast because they didn’t notice you. In fact, notice isn’t the right word. They don’t see you. They don’t see your heart beating faster, your hands twisting in your hair, your quick smile. And of course you don’t want them to notice these things (because that would be mortifying) and yet you do at the same time,because maybe, just maybe, they feel the same way.

This is why unrequited love is so hard to get over – the lines between fantasy and reality become so blurred that they  could tell you straight to your face that they have no interest in you, and yet you will still convince yourself that they do, actually, like you – they are just hiding their true feelings, they have to push you away…

This is, I suppose, more of an unrequited crush than unrequited love. To truly love someone, with all your heart, and not have them love you back is an ache that is terrifying to think about. I’m also not sure if I’ve experienced it. It was certainly an infatuation, but was it love…? I still don’t know. But I certainly felt that my heart had been broken. Truly severed in two. I had been so mentally and emotionally involved with the idea of this relationship that I broke down – not like a nervous breakdown, but more like a machine that has had its batteries taken out. It was just so earth-shattering, after months of an internal tug-of-war, to know for certain that this relationship was not going to happen. I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself.

It feels strange to talk about this now, because it was such a long time ago. It always feels like a betrayal to my boyfriend to admit I felt this strongly about someone else once. But I did. But I also got over it. It took me a while, but I did. And I’m grateful for the whole experience, for so many reasons. But I’m also glad it’s over.

(Featured image from pixabay)


© Kate Warren and Rebuild, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kate Warren and Rebuild with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

“But my good Lord, I wot not by what power…”

Quotes

“But my good lord, I wot not by what power, –

But by some power it is, – my love to Hermia,

Melted as the snow.”

Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

(Featured image from visualhunt)

What did you learn From Your Grandparents?

Articles

 

“What did you learn from your grandparents?” This was the tagline on an advert I saw today on a bus for Dirty Grandpa, a new film with Robert DeNiro and Zac Efron. Even though the film looks terrible, it got me thinking. Grandparents are always portrayed as the ones who spoil us, and our relationship with them as good and pure. But lots of the time this isn’t the case, and in face we do learn a lot from them. What did you learn from your grandparents? Let me know in the comments.


 

She taught me to always appreciate the beauty of poetry. He taught me that I was likeable, that I was fun. She taught me how to make pastry. Then coffee cake. Then scones. Then pastry again. He taught me the joy of drawing moustaches on the faces in the papers. He taught me that spending time with me was not a chore, but something he enjoyed. He taught me that I was special. She taught me that I was a stupid girl. She also taught me that people who call others stupid are stupid themselves… He taught me that people can change. So did she. She taught me that the soft and the savage can come hand in hand. He taught me that your heroes can let you down. She reminded me he was human.

 


 

© Kate Warren and Rebuild, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kate Warren and Rebuild with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Dad

Poetry

I was from another world,

and so were you.

When I think of you,

I think of hills.

Long, long walks

off into the unknown –

I think of the wind in my face,

crisp, clean, clear.

I think of the autumn leaves.

I think of the magic you bring –

that something new and different and exciting

could be waiting

around any corner,

any time.

We aren’t from different worlds any more.

Hope

Poetry

I should be you.

And you should be me.

I am an accident,

An anomaly.

The usurper the rightful king finds on his throne.

Someone somewhere has stumbled into a parallel universe

Where everything’s the same but a little bit different.

An alternative timeline

Where you stumble in the dark

Trying to get back to where you belong

To feel the pull of gravity once more.

But it doesn’t work that way.

You’re not Odysseus,

And I am not the suitors.

The universe is not made of rigid rules,

And we do not live lives of undeniable fact,

Treading down a narrow ditch that has been dug for us,

Until we reach a fixed point,

Every action, thought, breath, pulling us there.

(Featured image from Foter)


© Kate Warren and Rebuild, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kate Warren and Rebuild with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Fantasy vs Reality

Poetry

I just want something to happen.

Either the hot rush of tears

or the shock of a phone call

or the sharp pain of betrayal –

something

other than this muffled heaviness over my mind,

than the knowledge that emotion is just beyond my grasp,

shrouded in cotton wool,

And I want to feel it, I truly do,

I want the fuzzy picture to become clear,

I want to pierce through,

to bring tension to slack muscles,

to feel the cold of reality,

rather than the air-conditioned warmth of fantasy.

(Featured image from inframe)


© Kate Warren and Rebuild, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kate Warren and Rebuild with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.