The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles.
The aim of the words is to encourage us to write, a story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.
If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along and read it.
This month the words are supplied by Elephant's Child and can be found here.
This week's words are:
I have also included two words from a couple of weeks ago, but didn't use all of this week's words.
Here is my story:
Tom's Memories Chapter Eight
After making the appointments at Curly Cuts, Tom packed up his things in his hotel room, stood a moment on the balcony wondering why he hadn't remembered being up there before, then went downstairs to ask the receptionist to hold the room for his parents who would be arriving in a day or so. She mentioned the extra days would go on his account and Tom said that would be okay.
He took his time walking back up to the Scenic Retreat, enjoying the spectacular evening light and taking more than a dozen photos. It occurred to him that maybe his love of photography was inherited. Sara had said Cherie took photographic assignments to make money, but clearly loved her work and was very good at it. Tom's heart swelled a little with emotion; something from his mother had been handed down, something more than the colour and waves of his deep chestnut hair and the shape of his mouth. Sara had mentioned both were exactly like Cherie's had been, while the rest of tall Tom was all Frank. Cherie had been petite.
While Tom was down in the town, Ed went back to his studio and asked Stephanie to clean up and please help Sara with making the spare room nice for Tom. Her head lifted at the name and she said "I knew a Tom, a long time ago. A little boy, then he was gone suddenly". A look of confusion crossed her face then Stephanie's expression was blank again. Ed made a mental note to tell Dr Jones of this and then took a look at Stephanie's work.
The background had been a wide confusion of yellow-brown-orange and over that were a few smudges of a particularly virulent* shade of green. With just a few masterful* strokes, Stephanie had transformed this into a sunset desert scene with several clumps of cactus standing behind long shadows. Ed was astounded. This was so much more than he had taught her, it seemed Stephanie had some latent skill that was now showing itself. This, plus her moment of awareness, made Ed hope that perhaps a breakthrough would be forthcoming. He couldn't wait to tell Sara. Maybe it was time to bring back the clocks and calendars. He'd speak to Dr Jones first though.
Years ago, when Steph had had the breakdown, time was very confusing for her and all clocks and calendars had been removed from the Retreat in order to help Stephanie's waking hours flow more smoothly. Many days were still spent in the psychiatric ward of the local hospital, but in the past year more time was being spent at the Scenic Retreat with Ed and Sara. Until now there had been no indication of Stephanie's memory returning. The catastrophe of that ghastly night was still buried deep.
Ed finished cleaning up the brushes and scrubbed paint from around his fingernails; he knew Sara preferred clean hands at the dinner table. On his way down to the kitchen, Ed glanced out of the landing window to see if Tom was on his way back yet. A familiar figure was just cresting the hill and Ed thought immediately of Frank who'd walked just the same way Tom now did. Long, easy strides, no wasted movements; the apple hadn't fallen far from that particular tree. Ed noticed Tom had his camera out and decided to ask if he would like to use the darkroom to develop his film as Cherie had. He was rather pleased to see Tom had an old style camera, instead of a modern digital one.
Sara and Stephanie wasted no time getting the room ready for Tom, fresh sheets on the bed, pillows fluffed, window opened to let the soft evening air into the room. Sara made light conversation, not expecting much from Stephanie, but watching closely in case something triggered a reply. "You're looking very well today Stephanie, you have a little pink in your cheeks, have you been walking in the sunshine? it's lovely out there now the heat of summer has gone." Stephanie looked up from smoothing the bedcover and for a moment there was something in her eyes, a glimpse of the younger Stephanie. She seemed about to say something, but instead turned away to place an extra blanket at the end of the bed.
"We have a guest staying here tonight," said Sara. "A young man who is a photographer, I don't think that's his job, more of a hobby, but he takes his camera everywhere." Sara wasn't at all sure of this, having met Tom just that morning, but wondered if the mention of photography might bring back that glimpse of awareness she'd seen so briefly in Stephanie's eyes. "It's almost time for you to go back to the hospital, is Mrs Jones coming for you today?" A tiny head nod from Stephanie was enough for Sara. Any communication, no matter how small, was progress.
As a car came along the tourist trail, Ed went out to meet Tom. "Just stay back a bit Tom, the car is Mrs Jones, the doctor's wife, she's here to pick up Stephanie. I'll have a word with her, tell her about Steph's latest painting. Did you pass the message to Bill at the Post Office that I'd like to see Dr Jones soon? I probably could have telephoned, but I feel like I've known you longer and the request just slipped out. I don't mean to impose."
"It's fine Ed," said Tom. "I didn't mind and if I'm truthful I feel very comfortable with you and Sara too. It's the strangest thing, we only met this morning, but you feel like family."
Just then, the sun sank low enough to illuminate the ocean from horizon to shore in a wide band of pink and gold and Tom turned to take several photos. "Sunset over the ocean," he murmured. "Just like when we watched my sandcastles get washed away."
(* two words from two weeks ago)