On Wednesday’s, Delores, from Under The Porch Light, has a meme which she calls
“Words for Wednesday”.
She puts up a selection of six words which we then use in a short story, or a poem.
I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.
It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?
This week's words are:
Delores has also favoured us with a phrase, "faster than a lie from a cheating husband"
Here is my short story:
The news spread through the village faster than a lie from a cheating husband.
Mrs. Jackson's daughter Rachel was back in town.
"Saw her with my very own eyes!"
The nasal voice of Mrs. Silver caught the attention of every woman lined up at the checkout.
"I was closing my curtains and saw the taxi pull up in front, so I looked to see who was visiting from so far away they needed a taxi..."
"Of course you did, you're always at your window," muttered Vera Jones.
"Well excuse me!" spluttered Mrs. Silver. "Someone has to keep an eye on things in that street. If it wasn't for me, Mr. Pressing would never have known about those boys picking apples from his tree last summer!"
"They were his grandsons, staying with him for the summer holidays" said Vera.
"Well how was I to know that, nobody told me they were coming..." said Mrs Silver. "Anyway, a young woman gets out of the cab and Mrs Jackson rushes out and calls 'Rachel, you're here at last', just like she was expecting her."
"Didn't look anything like the Rachel I remember though, you remember Vera? all that lovely wavy blonde hair and the sweetest face..."
"What does she look like now then? " asked Sara Hartwell.
"Skinny as a rake now and her hair all short and black, six years she's been gone, six years since she run off with that Tommy Osbourne."
"I remember," said said Aggie Black, "Tommy was working with my Dad, had just started a month or so, Dad said he was a good worker, had a good future with Black's Plumbing and Repairs if he kept it up, then one morning he just wasn't there."
"And neither was Rachel Jackson!" said Mrs Silver.
Pretty soon gossip was flying thick and fast as each woman tried to get her words heard.
"Fourteen she was when she run off with young Tommy"
"He wasn't so young, twenty he was, and should have known better..."
"How did they meet anyway?"
"Tommy was installing the new venting system for Mrs Forrest's new clothes dryer...."
"Rachel and her Mum were round there looking at the new baby...."
"You know I can't remember a year back then when there wasn't a new Forrest baby, popped them out like peas from a pod she did..."
Nods all around as Vera said, "there's ten of 'em! Six boys and four girls...I don't know how she manages."
Aggie said "I've only got the two and they're handful enough even now they're at school"
"Such an angel she was, Rachel I mean, always helping her Mum, superb school record, never missed a single day...."
Others chimed in with spurious claims...."she wasn't always so sweet and innocent..."
"I heard she and Angie...." "What about that time..." "No! Really?"
The checkout operator just kept scanning and bagging all the women's groceries, thinking to herself, "If I tried to even say hello they wouldn't hear me"
Once through the checkout, the group of women walked over to the cafe and sat themselves at two of the larger tables to continue their gossiping.
Rachel stepped out from the canned soup aisle and came to Angie's checkout.
"Did you hear all that?" said Angie. "I did," laughed Rachel, "and they didn't even recognise you, all the while going on about the time you and I stole trinkets from the variety store. Think I'll go out there and say hello, give them the surprise of their lives.."
Angie giggled and said "oh please, I'd love to see their faces!"
Rachel paid for her tomato soup and strolled over to the group who were still chattering as they drank coffee and ate pastries. "Hello Mrs Silver, ladies..."
Several jaws dropped open as the women stared in shock at the striking young woman Rachel had become. Jet black hair, short and straight, tiny black leather vest over a skimpy t-shirt dress and a glittering chain linking the stud in her earlobe with another at the top of Rachel's ear.
"ah...ah....it's nice to see you again Rachel," said Mrs Silver, "we heard you've been living in the city...."
"In Sydney," said Vera, "with that Tommy Osbourne."
"Did he come home with you?" asked Aggie, "my Dad was so cross when he didn't turn up for work, said Tommy was the best apprentice he'd ever had."
"We heard you'd run off because you were pregnant" said Meg Brown.
Rachel laughed at that. "We knew there'd be that kind of talk, but I wasn't pregnant."
"Why did you both run off to the city then? said Mrs Silver
"It was just one of those crazy, wild, love at first sight things," said Rachel, "we wanted to be together and by ourselves, so we went. We hadn't really thought it through.......just packed some clothes and took off."
"Where's Tommy now then?" "Why isn't he with you?" "what did you do for six years in Sydney?"
The questions came all at once while Rachel just sat there smiling.
At last she said, "it was hard for a while, I was so young and Tommy needed to find a job, our little bit of money wasn't going to last very long in Sydney, we stayed with friends for a while, people who had known Tommy's family, they helped him find a job with a construction company and after a few months he was earning enough money so we could rent a flat. We got furniture from the charity stores..."
"But where's Tommy?" asked Mrs Silver. "What's happened that you are back here all alone?"
"I'm not alone Mrs Silver," Rachel dropped a bombshell into the group. "I'm pregnant now and Tommy is coming home too, as soon as he finalises things in Sydney."
She glanced at Aggie. "He's going to apologise to your Dad....and ask about a job....if your Dad needs help."
Then a further bombshell, "we were married last spring."
She walked off and waved at Angie through the supermarket window as the women sat stunned for a moment.
Then the gossip started again....."well I never...."