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 Cindi and can be found here.
This week's words are:
also an image which I have included
here is my story:
I'd had nightmares for years, ever since coming to live with Aunt Julie and Uncle Bradley. I knew they worried about me, I worried too. The nightly visions where I watched myself running through endless tunnels ankle deep in muddy water, always looking over my shoulder to where a bunch of bright red balloons floated free against a misty sky.
I would wake screaming and thrashing and Aunt Julie would rush in to cuddle me while Uncle Bradley got a damp, cool washcloth to clean the sweat and tears off my face. Each night I tried to tell them, but all I could do was gasp and gulp for air until my chest closed and I would be in the grip of another asthma attack.
In desperation, Uncle Bradley made an appointment for me with the family doctor and Aunt Julie drove me to the building where Doctor Vincent had agreed to see me at the end of his scheduled appointments.
Aunt Julie reassured me, saying how nice he was, always calm, children loved him. "Dr Vincent isn't the kind of Doctor who gives injections and listens to your heart and lungs," she said. "He talks to you and tries to sort out what might be in the forgotten part of your mind, to see if something you've forgotten is causing the bad dreams."
We arrived at the office just as the last patient before me was leaving, a smallish girl who held herself tensely, but smiled as I passed her, so that seemed a good sign. We went in and Aunt Julie introduced me. I shook hands with the Doctor and he smiled, "that's a good firm handshake Will, do you mind if I call you Will? Or do you prefer William?"
"Will is fine," I said. "All my friends call me Will." "It's good that you have friends," Doctor Vincent said. "Do you ever tell them about your nightmares?" "No," I said. "Usually it gets muddled by the time I'm eating breakfast and it doesn't seem worth talking about. We're usually all talking about the next soccer match or the arithmetic test or something like that."
We chatted for a while, with Aunt Julie answering a few questions too, then Doctor Vincent asked me what I remembered about my parents. "Nothing much," I said. "My head hurts when I try to remember, all I know is their names were Vivian and Michael. They died suddenly, then I went to live with Aunt Julie and Uncle Bradley."
"No other memories of the time before they died?" said Dr Vincent. I shook my head which was beginning to hurt. I scrunched my eyes a bit against the glare of sun through a side window.
"Why don't you go over to the small bookshelf and look at the books for a while, I'd like to talk to Aunt Julie for a moment. Is that alright with you?" I nodded and walked away from the big polished desk, to the small bookshelf on a blue rug in the corner.
I could hear what Aunt Julie was saying, "it was a couple of days after his birthday party, someone broke into their house looking for money and jewellery I suppose. Vivian was an heiress, there were a lot of valuable antiques, including several diamond set necklaces handed down for generations.
The police found Michael with the phone still in his hand, he'd phoned the emergency service, they found Will crouched under his bed, so frightened he couldn't speak. it was eventually thought someone from the party, a guest perhaps, had seen things inside the house and couldn't resist, came back to burgle them, then killed Viv and Mike when they resisted. We think Will saw the whole thing, but he was never able to say anything."
"I see," said Dr Vincent. How old was Will at the time? Would he remember who was at the party? Or what about you? Were you there?" "I was there," said Aunt Julie. "A lot of Will's friends from school, he was just turning six that day, they were running about playing hide and seek," she stopped as I began to shake and moan, holding my head.
"No, no," I said. "Don't talk about the party, don't talk, don't talk."
Doctor Vincent came to the blue rug and sat with me. Very gently, he said, "I think we have to, Will. It might be time to gather all your courage and learn what happened so there isn't another recurrence of the nightmares. Now, how about you tell me what you remember. Think back, right back, to the morning before people arrived, what do you see?"
His voice had become hypnotic as he rubbed my back, and I felt myself going back to that day even though I didn't want to. I told Dr Vincent about the cake waiting in the kitchen, the hide and seek game, Bobby falling in the fishpond and getting all wet. Then, a blank spot. Nothing in my head.
Aunt Julie prompted me, "that's when the clown arrived. Don't you remember the clown Will? He had a carload of big red balloons." The clown popped into my head and I shrieked and shrieked, "No, no! No clown, he's a bad clown, he came back, he wanted Mummy's things, he hurt Mummy and Daddy, I don't like him, make him go away!"
Tears were streaming and my head felt like it might explode.
Aunt Julie had a shocked look on her face as Doctor Vincent went to the phone and quietly made a call. I was gasping and gulping just like after my nightmares and remembered the part of the dream I always forgot. The clown was chasing me with his bunch of balloons, telling me he would hurt me too if I ever told anyone.
Doctor Vincent came back to the rug with a cup of water for me, "this will help," he said and I swallowed the mild sedative and was calmer by the time the police arrived at his office. Uncle Bradley came soon after and we all sat on the blue rug, which became quite crowded with so many people. We all chatted companionably as if it were a Sunday afternoon picnic, but at last I was able to tell what had happened.