Wednesday's Words on a Friday
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 ME, and can be found right here.
During March, the words will be supplied by Delores again.
I'm sure her selections will be interesting and challenging, and I'm looking forward to them.
This week's words are:
1. personal space
I've also included three words I didn't use from last week's selection in my story:
footrest, olive oil, and unimaginable.
Here is my story: Chapter Fifteen of Lost and Found (which began as Tom's Memories)
Irene and Stanley left Bernice’s hut, promising to return the next day, dressed for a hike. Bernice had something to show them. They returned to the Cove Hotel, to mouth-watering aromas of garlic and pasta sauce. The evening receptionist, Karen, greeted them saying “I hope you like Italian food. Once a month we have what we call Italian Night, the menu has pasta with a choice of sauces, pizza in a couple of varieties and garlic bread of course.” “I can’t speak for Stanley, but I love Italian food,” said Irene. My family is mostly Italian.” Stanley said, “I eat anything, just lead me to it.”
Karen smiled, “dinner will be in the Red Room at 6.30pm, you’ve plenty of time to get ready.” The two detectives walked up to their rooms, wondering along the way what Bernice had in store for them tomorrow. By 6.30 they were in the red dining room, where platters of antipasto were laid out along with crusty loaves of bread and bowls of virgin olive oil for dipping the bread in. They took a loaf to share and a bowl each of the oil and sat at a table by the window. As they tore chunks of bread and dipped into the oil, Stanley said, “Can you imagine a world without the varieties of foods available these days?” “Unimaginable,” said Irene through a mouthful of bread. Karen came in to take their orders and Irene chose the pasta with a bolognese sauce, Stanley opted for a pizza with everything on it and serves of garlic bread for both of them.
As they ate, Irene said, “Did you notice the footrest by Bernice’s armchair? It looked like it was covered in a cat’s fur coat, reminded me of a neighbour near my Aunty Marie’s house, I don’t remember her name now, but she had a lot of cats and used to spin the shed hair from them into cord and knit blankets for them to lie around on.” “Is that what that was?” said Stanley. “I thought it was a fake fur cushion.” “Mmmm,” said Irene, her mouth filled with pasta. Swallowing the deliciousness, she said, “what time are we heading up there tomorrow?” “Right after breakfast,” said Stanley. “We’ll see if the kitchen here can pack us a lunch and hop on the mail truck again. I’m kind of in a hurry to know what she has up there. We’ve only seen the hut each time we came up, doesn’t look like there’s much of anything else up there.”
They both passed on dessert, preferring instead to get comfortable for the night and hope their sleep wasn’t disrupted by the ringing of their phones.
On reaching Bernice’s hut next day, Bernice showed them where to stash their packed lunches, then asked if they were ready for a fair sized hike around the side of the mountain. Both replying yes, Bernice locked the front door with a large padlock, “can’t be too careful,” she said and led the way through the field to the east of the hut where a dusty dry path appeared through the grass. “I was walkin’ along here one summer,” she said “and storm clouds had been gatherin’ all mornin’, when the first fat raindrops hit the ground, the petrichor was wonderful. I’ll never forget it. I got real wet that day, soaked to the skin, but I was on my way home so it didn’t matter.” ‘What was that you said?” said Stanley. “Pet something?”
“Petrichor,” said Bernice. “It’s the name for that distinctive sweetish smell when it hasn’t rained for a long time and the first drops hit the parched earth.” “How about that Stanley? We learned something new today,” said Irene. They followed Bernice for about half an hour through grass and trees, then suddenly the vista opened up and they were looking across a valley to an open quarry.
Eyes squinted at the sunlit rocky surface, Irene and Stanley looked at each other with surprise on their faces. “How did we never know about this?” said Stanley. “It’s not an active quarry,” said Bernice. “Nothing has been cut from here for fifteen years. I think of it now as my own personal space, I come here when I need to make decisions.”
She sat down on a squat flat-topped rock and told them, “I’m not so crazy as I make out to be. I’m different, I know that, as a child I saw and heard things no one else did, so I was taken from hospital to hospital getting tested until I learned to hide my gift. I knew when things were going to happen before they did. Scared the hell out of my parents. They thought I was possessed and wanted nothing more to do with me. I eventually came to stay at Dr Wurtzel’s clinic, where I was accepted for who I was and just lived there until Old Doc left.”
“Why did he leave?” asked Stanley. “No one knows for sure,” said Bernice, “but that new Doctor started changing things and most of us there left because we sensed he wasn’t a nice person, something suspicious about him, in spite of all his smiles and promises.” “His name?” said Irene. “Bruce Jones is what he tells everyone, but I snooped around a bit and found his books had Bryce Johns written in the covers. I came up here to this old shepherd’s hut and cleaned it up, been here ever since.
But I was walking one day, down the track that leads across to the quarry and I found some old maps, wrapped in a sheet from the Hotel, they showed where the seams of granite went across towards the ocean, it’s a peculiar type, very rare apparently, copper coloured granite and it runs in a widening seam right under that Scenic Retreat just up from town.”
“Is that so?” said Stanley. “Did no one ever think of digging that way?” “I’m not sure how much I should say,” said Bernice. “I listened a lot and heard things, but I’m scared now that man is back, he hung around a lot with that Dr Jones, when he wasn’t hanging around young Stephanie that is, and I think I heard plans for an accident to the people around there because they didn’t want to sell the land.” “I see,” said Stanley as Irene wrote all this down.
“This put a bit of light on all the letters you’ve sent over the years, we may be able to find out more when we get back to the city.” ‘That’s why I brought you all the way out here, it’s too far from the hut and from town, I don’t think anyone would hear what I say out here. But when we go back, I have to pretend to be a bit crazy again, you understand that?”
“Of course,” said Irene. “Your secret is safe with us. Just like with any other confidential informant, we never reveal things that might cause problems for them.” “Do you still have the maps?” said Stanley. “Of course,” said Bernice.