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 know it's unusual for me to post chapters two days in a row, but yesterday's was from last week's words and today's is this week's words.
Well, some of the words, with a few unused from past weeks thrown in as well.
Here is the next chapter of Tom's story:
"In the fridge? Yes please Tom, I'll use the meaty gravy to make a pie for our lunch," said Sara as she limped away supported by Ed.
" A nice shepherd's pie with mashed potatoes on top. Gosh I've stiffened up a bit from sitting so long after that fall, bed is so appealing right now."
Sara yawned then and Tom noticed how much more tired she looked since the fall. Ed said, "A warm bath first love and I'll check for bruising."
"That pie sounds wonderful Sara, now don't worry about a thing here, I know how to clean up a kitchen, Vanessa taught me well." As Tom washed up and searched for the right places to put things away, he listened to the muted sounds coming from Ed and Sara's room and wondered again why he felt so comfortable here.
After just one day, he loved Ed and Sara as much as he did Robert and Vanessa.
A cursory glance around the kitchen to see things were shipshape and Tom noticed the duct-taped shoebox where Ed had placed it on the big old oak bookshelf in the corner. Such an innocuous item, yet one that held so much promise.
Tom lifted it, feeling its weight, then placed it back on the shelf. He'd been eager to open it at first, now he wanted all four of the others around when he did so. Tom went to bed wondering if he would be able to sleep, but almost immediately felt the black velvet creeping in. "Must be the sea air," he thought as sleep claimed him.
In the morning, Tom surprised Ed and Sara with a bacon and egg breakfast and was pleased to see Sara eat a healthy portion. He asked their plans for the day, mentioning that he could stay around if they felt they needed help with anything.
"We'll be fine love, you go and do whatever you want, I'll be spending the morning in the kitchen making that shepherd's pie and Ed will be around if I need help with anything," said Sara.
"I'm glad to see you're okay after that fall," said Tom, "so I'll do as I'd first planned and go down to the town. I'll phone Mum and Dad, see how close they are and I'll drop in at the library and look up old newspaper articles from sixteen years ago. Maybe I can stumble on something that will help us find out more about what happened. I'll leave the shoebox until Mum and Dad get here. I'm itching to know what's inside, but I can wait. It has been waiting for me all these years, another day or so won't make any difference now."
As Tom walked the goat track to town, he noticed the Doctor on his way up to speak to Ed about Stephanie. "I'd love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation," he thought. He had no memories of Stephanie, perhaps they'd come back with time, or if anything else triggered them. So much of his past was hidden from him, the years between four and six a gigantic sea of faces, places and confusion, until he started school. Tom remembered the early school days well enough, his jealous feelings of the other kids who had family and home they'd known all their lives. The following six years had been rough, then he'd been taken to Robert and Vanessa Moore and had his life turned around.
Reaching town, Tom went first to the Post Office where he phoned Vanessa from the public phone box and was surprised to hear her say they were already at the hotel.
"Rob didn't want to waste any time," she said. "In between naps, we took turns driving and arrived last night. Thanks for holding the room for us, can you come to see us right now? Where are you?"
"I'm at the Post Office just down the street, I'll be there in five minutes!" A joyous reunion followed, with many hugs and exclamations over Tom's new tan and how well he looked.
They all went downstairs to the hotel's cafe and Vanessa briefly mentioned the paperwork they'd brought along, then Tom filled them in on everything that had happened the previous day.
"It's the strangest thing," he said. "After only one day with Ed and Sara, their name is Saunders, I feel as comfortable with them as I do with you two. And I think they can tell me much more than I might find out through other channels. They remember my parents and me being here all those years ago. Their names were Cherie and Frank Kendall and Cherie was a photographer. They're very eager to meet you so we can all talk together."
"We're keen to meet them too," said Robert. "Vanessa here insisted on buying a small gift too, to thank them for their kindliness to a stranger at their door."
"But you aren't exactly a stranger to them, are you Tom?" said Vanessa. "Do you have any memories of them like they do of you?"
"No, I don't," said Tom. "But there's something. A familiarity with the kitchen and sitting room up there. I can't put my finger on it, but Sara said I spent many hours there and we all even slept up there for quite a while, in the same room I slept in last night."
"How about you show us around the town a bit before we all go trooping up there?" said Robert. "Anything interesting to see here?"
"Not a lot right now, it's the off season for tourists, and I don't really know what makes the 'on' season, why people come here for the summer. But I can show you the Post Office, which is also the general store and market with fresh produce from some of the surrounding small farms. And Curly Cuts. That's a hairdresser-beauty parlor and Sara asked me to make appointments for her and you Mum, on Thursday, she thought you'd like a bit of pampering after a long drive."
"That's very sweet of her," said Vanessa. "I'd love a salon treatment, it's been a long while since anyone washed my hair for me and a professional manicure is long overdue too. Let's go off and find Curly Cuts before we see anything else."
They left the cafe and asked the receptionist for directions, then walked in the opposite direction from the Post Office and turned left at Cove Street to find Curly Cuts almost immediately. "Well that was easy enough," said Robert. "Did you want to go in and have a proper look or leave that until you go with Sara Saunders?"
"I think I'll wait," said Vanessa. "Let's have a look at the Post Office Market place and anywhere else Tom wants to show us."
Tom said, "I haven't seen much of Shark Cove myself yet. My first stop was the jetty on the night I arrived, the one I told you was in the photo I found behind the Mona Lisa. Right there was when I remembered being four and running along the beach with my father and making sandcastles that got washed away when the tide came in. We ate ice creams because it was my birthday."
Tom turned to see Vanessa looking apprehensive, her delicate features a mix of joy and worry. Immediately understanding why, he reached to hug her close while saying "nothing can change the fact you're my Mum and Dad now, and always will be as far as I'm concerned. I love you both so much. I'm just so excited to finally be finding out things I thought I'd never want to know. I spent so many years pretending I didn't care about them or myself, or what happened to me before I came to you. I was just getting through day by day, then you two turned me around and made us a family."
Robert joined the hug, saying "We've been proud to have you son. You've done us proud too, since that first day, when you looked so beaten down by life. After you'd gone to sleep, we talked all night, Van and me, decided to treat you like a son, like you'd always been with us. We'd ignore all the bad reports so we wouldn't be biased and just get on with it."
"It seems to have worked," said Tom with a grin. Let's go to the Post Office and I'll introduce you to Bill Money who runs the whole place on his own until tourists come in."