Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Wednesday's Words on a Friday

On Wednesdays, 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:

1. piercing
2. persistent
3. municipal
4. sewers
5. glancing
6. bloodshot

Here is my story:

A nurse came in to check Angelo's temperature and pulse just as he was beginning to open his eyes. She and Cordelia both smiled at him, with Nurse Carol saying, "there you are, we've been waiting for you to wake up." 

Cordelia leaned in and kissed the cheek nearest her and murmured into his ear, "welcome back, I've missed you, I love you."

Angelo tried to say something, but his mouth was too dry after the anaesthetic, so Nurse Carol helped him drink some water, then Angelo asked Cordelia "have you been sitting there all the time? I dreamed you were there..."

Cordelia replied she had been there almost every minute, leaving only to use the bathroom. 
Angela and Georgina had been in too, Nicky had phoned a few minutes ago. Joe and Tom were at the store.
Nurse Carol said; you're a popular man Angelo, everyone wants to know how you are."

Angelo smiled at that and thanked her for her care. He looked over at Cordelia again and they nodded at each other. Words were unnecessary, each knew the relief the other was feeling.

For the next two days, Angelo learned to balance while walking without his toes; at first putting his foot to the floor was very uncomfortable, the bandage was thick, well padded, but he put most of his weight on his heel as he hobbled around the room supported by Dr. Johns. 
Cordelia went home to sleep and prepare the house for Angelo's homecoming, now that he was declared well on the way to mending. All their things were brought downstairs into the large guest suite, since walking up and down stairs would be difficult for Angelo. Cordelia had been wanting to move into the guest suite for some time, now seemed like the perfect opportunity; their upstairs bedroom could be redecorated as a guest room for when the grandchildren visited. She thought suddenly of the gates that used to be at the top and bottom of those stairs when their children were toddlers. Where were they? They'd have to be cleaned and reinstalled when the newest one, Daniel started crawling. Plenty of time for that though, Daniel wasn't even two weeks old yet...

A walking stick had been provided for Angelo to help him balance and a wheelchair took him from the ward to the hospital front door where Cordelia had a taxi waiting. Angelo protested a little at the expense, but Cordelia hushed him, saying all the kids were busy and couldn't be there to bring him home. As soon as they arrived however, the real reason was revealed. 
A welcome home party with balloons and streamers, lemonade and cake and grandchildren everywhere!  Angela's girls, Cathy and Theresa helped Angelo to the Chair of Honour, surrounded by purple balloons, while Georgina's son Mark brought him a small side table and her daughter Jenny brought over a plate of sandwiches. 

Soon the room was noisy with several conversations going at once, the main topic being Angelo's foot, with new baby Daniel a close second. By dinnertime a few hours later, Angelo was feeling very tired and relieved that most of the noise had gone home, only Thomas, the youngest son,  remaining to help Cordelia in the kitchen. Thomas and Joseph, the eldest, had been working the veggie patches alone while Angelo was unable to do his share. They knew the gardens and business inside out by now, having been helpers since their childhoods. Discussions had been underway for the boys to take over, with Angelo taking a step back towards retirement. "But who really retires?" he thought, "even if I don't manage the shop or deliveries, there is still the house garden to be worked, Cordy will need help there..." 

Later the next afternoon, Cordelia brought up the subject of the stair gates and they began reminiscing about the time when their children were tiny. In time, Cordelia left Angelo under the shade of the apple tree and went inside to prepare dinner.

Angelo's thoughts went back, back, more than fifty years.....

...the piercing, persistent shrill of the alarm clock woke Angelo too early. He wasn't ready to wake up, but wake up he would...glancing at the clock, he rubbed his bloodshot eyes and made his way to the bathroom. 
He stood under the hot water for a few minutes, before soaping, rinsing and drying off. He wasn't looking forward to going to work, but until the fruit &vegetable shop was doing better business, he needed an outside income. 

Cordelia was pregnant with their first baby and things had been a little rough for her.  Doctor visits had been plentiful in the first months with a short stay in hospital when it seemed Cordelia might miscarry. But the baby stayed safe with Cordelia resting a lot and doing less in the veggie patch, and not climbing any ladders at all when the fruit was ripe for picking.

Angelo wanted nothing but the best for her and the baby, so he'd taken a job with the municipal county, but all they had to offer was clearing blockages in the sewers. The fumes had made Angelo's eyes sting and constant rubbing to relieve that had caused them to be bloodshot. The foreman had agreed to get Angelo a pair of safety glasses today. 

As he ate the breakfast Cordelia had cooked, Angelo thought about the nursery, nearing completion now, with the walls a soft blue chosen by Cordelia and the hand made, solid golden oak, antique crib and rocking chair gifted to them by Angelo's grandfather Joe. That crib and chair had been covered in many layers of old paint and Angelo had spent two full weekends sanding it back to the bare wood before finishing it with a light coat of clear varnish to show off the pretty grain. It looked lovely in the room where blue and yellow checked curtains blew in the breeze from the open window. They'd decided there and then to name the baby Joseph, after Angelo's grandfather. 

Angelo kissed Cordelia goodbye, asking for a promise that she wouldn't do too much today, with the baby due next week, she needed to be careful. Cordelia promised and said she would be spending the day finishing the quilt for the crib and anyway her mum was coming today to do the vacuuming, remember?


  1. I am loving the Angelo and Cordelia stories. Thank you.

  2. He's reliving the best parts of his life.....let's hope he can find his way back to reality.
    another great job

  3. Elephant's Child; I hope to keep them going, but they may not all make it to the blog.

    Delores; he's firmly in the "now", just remembering how his family grew from one son to five children, numerous grandchildren and now one brand new great grandson.

  4. Another good story...keep 'em coming, River. :)

  5. Lee; I'll give it my best shot.

  6. This is growing into a book and so well written too that I feel I am there with the family.
    Why were Angelo's toes amputated and how many of them? On both feet or just the one? Had he had an accident or was it a side effect of diabetes? I am very concerned that such a wonderful old man has this problem. I hope he recovers sufficiently to once again lend a hand where it is needed leading up to his retirement.
    See! You've really got me in now and I love it.

  7. Mimsie; I feel it could become a book, a short story at least, which is why I won't post too many of the chapters here. I'll keep it going here at home. Angelo lost two of his toes through infection, after he accidentally hacked into his foot with a hoe while gardening, he wasn't wearing his heavy boots at the time and thought "it's just a cut" and didn't bother going to the doctor. It's all in the first story three Fridays ago.

  8. I am another one who is loving these stories. I think you should write a whole book as you have a real feel for their lives and personalities. Self publish and I'll certainly buy a copy - it's been a wonderful read so far.

  9. I enjoy your reality stories. Often the real things in life are hard to write about. You do it so well and with so much passion.

  10. Marie; I'll give it a go, but don't hold your breath.

    Manzanita; thank you. I'm surprised at how easily this is coming along. So far.

  11. This is intriguing - I will have to go back and find the others now that I see from the comments this is a series. Very evocative, and has a lovely feeling of timelessness and suspense as the narrative flows between now and the past.

  12. Jackie K; the previous two Fridays is all there is so far.