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 Margaret Adamson and friend Sue and can be found here.
This week's words are:
I haven't used all of these words, but I have used a couple from past weeks, 'eclipse' and 'weak'.
Here is my story:
Tom's Memories Chapter Thirteen
Dr Bruce Jones knocked at the Retreat door and was let in by Ed. They chatted a while and Bruce asked about Sara, learned about the fall and wondered if he should take a quick look at her. Ed said, "there's no need Bruce, she's just as she always is, no damage at all, a bit of bruising where a pot landed on her shin, but she's getting around okay and her head is clear, eyes are sparkly as always."
"Good to hear," said Bruce. "Bring her in if anything changes, okay?"
"I will," said Ed. "You'll see her for yourself a bit later anyway, she'll bring us a cup of tea and some cake I'm sure. Now about Stephanie. She's been doing okay with the painting therapy, lots of canvases with big empty desert spaces, I imagine that's how her mind feels, empty. But just yesterday..well come in and see."
They entered the sunlit studio, with the floor to ceiling windows looking over the ocean, and Ed brought Bruce over to the easel where Stephanie's latest work stood drying.
"Look at this now. The desert, with a few cactus, but look at the shading, the detail, this is extraordinary compared to what Steph usually does. There's so much more in this. "Hmmm," said Bruce. "Has she always used colour for her painting? this is certainly an excellent piece, it seems she has a real talent hidden away there."
Ed said, "well in the beginning, the paintings were mostly brownish, like a dull ochre, I'd say a desert in a windstorm is a good description, look at this one here," and he pulled out a canvas from the back of a stack leaning against a wall. "See what I mean?" Bruce nodded, then asked, "when did the colours begin happening?" "Within a month," said Ed. "We ran out of brown and Steph just stood looking at her canvas for quite a while, then suddenly picked up the yellow and the grey and made a mix to cover the canvas, just thin, like a wash, then she started with the dull green and I thought she was doing trees, but they became cactus."
"And then this?" asked Bruce.
"Not right away," said Ed. " She did the empty scenes for weeks and this one here looked just like those at first, then I went out to see who'd come calling, Sara was a bit excited about this young man, seemed like someone we knew long ago. I got back to the studio and mentioned Sara wanted Steph to help make up the big guest room for Tom, that's the young fellow who came visiting, and Stephanie actually said something. Spoke a bit dreamy like, said she knew a Tom once but he went away, then she had that blank face again and went off to help Sara with the sheets and things and I came over and saw this. Took my breath away with the beauty, it did."
Bruce looked a little shocked at this news. "She spoke? I've been treating her for years and there's never been one word and now she's said a whole sentence?" "That's right," said Ed "Sara said she almost said something to her later as well, when they were making up the guest room, Stephanie looked like she was about to say something to her, said she saw a bit of the old Stephanie there just for a moment."
"That's interesting, the speech as well as the painting," said Bruce. "You know I've bought paper and pencils for her at your suggestion, but she's never done anything like this down at the clinic. Andrea has seen her at the easel there, says Stephanie gets quite feverish, scribbling furiously with her pencil, but always just the black one and there's never a picture. Just black right across the page until the pencil wears down, then she stops and seems exhausted. It's quite disturbing to see the difference between here and there."
"She's never chosen the black here," said Ed. "Always reached for the brown at first, then one day, after the brown was gone, I mixed up the tubes instead of laying them out and she looked through and made her choice like any normal, sensible person would, chose the yellow and grey to make a wash, surprised me that did. I hadn't shown her how to make a wash, thought she must have been watching me do it and learned that way."
Sara called up then and asked if they were ready for afternoon tea, the chocolate cake was iced and sliced and how many pieces would they like?
"Up here or down in the kitchen?" said Ed. "In the kitchen," said Bruce. "There's more chairs and I like to sit at a table. I can watch Sara too, see how she is after that fall." Ed led the way down the three steps from the studio, along the short hallway into the kitchen where a cheery tablecloth was laid out with teapot, cups, and plates of cake.
Bruce watched Sara bustling about and was convinced she was fine, then asked about Stephanie. "Stephanie seems just fine," said Sara, pouring out the tea. "I noticed a little pink in her cheeks and asked if she'd been walking in the sun. I thought she was about to say something, she looked right at me, but then she just got a blanket for the end of the bed and that was that. Moment gone."
"Ed told me she spoke up in the studio, a whole sentence. That's a real surprise. There hasn't been a single word from Stephanie for years, although she had occasionally muttered 'Frank' in her sleep. I don't know about recently, we stopped monitoring her sleep when the nightmares stopped, it seemed like an invasion of her privacy," said Bruce. "There was one time she said 'eclipse' instead of 'Frank', which seemed odd at the time, but reading through Ben Wurtzel's notes I found she got that knock on the head on the night of an eclipse, but nothing makes sense about the 'Frank' or her drawings which are just deep black scribble."
"Just scribble?" asked Sara. "But her paintings here are actual pictures, yesterday's one is lovely. More cake?" "No thanks Sara, better not. If I'm not hungry at dinner Andrea will know I've eaten cake and you know she doesn't approve of sweet things before dinner." "I'll put it away then," said Sara. " We can have the rest of it for dessert." Ed said, "I've been thinking about what you said, the difference between here and the clinic. Maybe it would help Stephanie to spend more time here? There's plenty of room, her parents were planning to run this as a bed and breakfast place and it is Steph's real home after all. she might be happier here."
'It's something to think about," said Bruce. We'd have to proceed with caution. I'd have to brief you on her regular routine and how she copes generally. I don't see any evidence of senility in either of you, and you aren't weak physically, but you are getting on in years and Stephanie is quite young still. If something should happen that you can't cope with, we'd need to have a plan in place." "How about we all get together next week and hash this out," suggested Ed. "That's a plan," said Bruce. I'll have Andrea get on the old typewriter and print up Stephanie's routine, she still prefers it over the computer, says she likes old-fashioned things better. Now tell me about this visitor you've got."
"A lovely young man," said Sara. "A photographer, although I think that's just a hobby, he got a bit excited about the scenery here and phoned his parents, he's having a bit of a holiday away from their farm, and they decided to come down and see for themselves. He's down in the town now, he phoned while I was icing the cake. His parents have arrived earlier than expected and they'll all come up here for dinner tonight."
Ed was silent while Sara prattled on and wondered why she was leaving out important parts of the story. Protecting Tom's privacy perhaps? Things would be out in the open soon enough when the Police were told he'd appeared out of nowhere, but keeping it quiet for now might be the best idea.
***we may have a winner for a new title. Delores has suggested Lost and Found, which I like rather a lot, but I'm still open to further suggestions.
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