I have a blog. That blog desires to be updated.
I’m also a mum. My brain is regularly drained to completely empty by the time I get a minute to go anywhere near a computer. Especially when you spend somewhere close to an hour reading a book especially designed to make children sleepy while your 1-year-old cries at you… So, you give up and let him cry for ten minutes. Go in, lie him down, let him cry for ten minutes more, and go in and lie him down and wait the two minutes it takes for him to finally fall asleep… Much faster than an hour of reading. Of course, I would prefer it if I could read my child to sleep, but he’s just not a fan of his cot. And I can’t leave him sleeping in the car over night. And he can’t sleep in my bed until I’m ready to be there, too (no safety sides). It’s just one of those “battles” I’m not winning at the moment.
On the bright side, Mr6 generally settles to sleep really easily, and sleeps deeply.
Anyway, enough about that. I thought I would type up a wee story I wrote in June 2014 during a writing meeting I attended (and Chaired). For this exercise, we had four images from which to choose as inspiration, and 30 minutes to write. No, I cannot recall the image that inspired the following, but so be it… you’ll survive! (Yes, you will!)
Dinner was to be on the table at five thirty.
Mary slid the tray with its neat rows of pressed cookie dough into the oven and swung the door closed. With a contented sigh, she brushed her fingers down her apron, freeing them of butter grease and flour dust, and turned for the sink. She donned her rubber gloves to protect her delicate, feminine skin and nails. Through the warm, soapy water she passed the spatula, mixing bowl, a spoon, fork, knife, chopping board, giving each a good wipe with the cloth. Sometimes two. Or scrubbing when the food had dried hard.
Dishes done, she wiped the bench clear. Home baking was an excellent thing, but one mustn’t leave any clue that one had actually done it. She worked right into the corners, careful to leave no single stray grain of flour.
She dropped the cloth in a laundry bucket on her way to collect the mop. Clean spaces were something to be proud of, but one mustn’t leave the tools of the trade where anyone might see.
Mop in hand, she returned to the kitchen to abolish any traces of baking from the floor, before returning the mop to the cupboard.
Dishes dry and put away, she rinsed and dried the dish rack, hiding it away from curious eyes.
How does the job get done? What job? I am but a wife and mother, I do no job. See? No tools to be seen. No sign of effort.
Potatoes scrubbed, peeled. Evidence destroyed.
Carrots peeled, sliced. All traces abolished.
Peas shelled, rinsed. Any clues masterfully secreted.
Meatloaf spiced and moulded.
The oven chimes announced the biscuits [cookies, to you folk who call scones biscuits] ready. Taking a thick towel in hand, she deftly swapped cookies for meat and placed the cookies to cool while she wiped the bench again, took the compost scraps outside and bagged up the rubbish.
She had just enough time to run a brush through her hair and whisk off her apron before the front door permitted her children entry.
“Hi, mum.” Alex kissed her cheek. “Oh, biscuits. Thanks, mum.”
“Hey, mum.” Sarah kissed her other cheek. “Yeah, thanks.”
Six biscuits disappeared, along with the teens into their rooms.
Biscuits cool, Mary gathered them into an airtight container, washed and dried the cooling rack and wiped away the crumbs.
Oh no! Some landed on the floor.
She got on her knees and wiped them up before banishing the guilty cloth to the laundry.
Potatoes, carrots, and peas on to boil, she made her round of the dining room and lounge. Not a speck of dust would do.
Five twenty: set the table, just so.
Oven off. Stove off.
“Dinner’s ready, kids! Your father will be home soon!”
Four plates. Four servings of potatoes, carrots, peas, and meatloaf.
Plates to the table. Knives, forks arranged a finger-width from plate edge.
She must be seated at five thirty. Did she have time?
Run to their rooms.
“Dinner’s ready! Alex! Sarah!”
Run back to the table.
Five thirty-one. Oh no.
She sat. Alone.
Would he know she was late?
And that’s that…
Whether it’s a good story or not, I hope it stressed you out a little. It’s what I was going for.
And now I must return to regular programming. I have a lunch to make and a bed to head to, so I can be up and about for tomorrow’s tasks…
One day I will write new stuff again.
One day, I will make real progress on Magician’s Touch again.
Today is not that day.