Silverlink Writing Group: The Writers

 

 Wendy Braly

 

Here are some examples of my work:

Page last up dated 2 November 2009

 

 

Silverlink Writing Group Competition August 2009:- 500 words starting with:- The heat haze shimmered above the road.  It had not rained in weeks...

Word Count = 300

Rain

The heat haze shimmered above the road. It had not rained in weeks.

The children huddled in corners, devoid of energy, sucked dry by the relentless, blazing sun. Hollow-eyed, abandoned like the blackened crops in fields and ditches, waiting for rescue. Waiting for life-giving cooling water, for thunder clouds to mass on the horizon, for the heavy spattering drops to run in rivulets down upturned faces. Waiting for showers of rain to pattern the dusty track in darkening, coalescing blotches, to wash the landscape down from earthy brown and yellow, to shades of blue and grey.

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

The elders gathered in the long hut in the centre of the village, their faces grave, etched with anxiety.

“What will become of us?” they cried. “The streams are all dried up, no fish survive. The cattle starve and crumple into dust. The well no longer yields. This place is cursed, our people doomed. We should have listened when the Wise One spoke.”

“You should have listened. Yes, indeed you should.” The old man’s voice, high up in the rafters, quavering, dusty, tinged with weariness.

They helped him down, gave him his cloven stick, his heavy woollen cloak, his feathered helmet. He stood head bowed, carving strange patterns in the sandy floor, the silence deepening with time. Then, of a sudden seized the nearest man, held him with gimlet gaze.

“All this will pass.” he chanted, “All will pass. A child shall save you. Only watch and wait.”

A hollow sound, like bracken brushing over sand. A sudden gust of wind. Men shivered, though heat lingered in the long hut walls. A crack of thunder as the sun turned black. Then though the gloom, a figure silhouetted in the doorway, small and delicate, its arms and legs like sticks, and just beyond….

The first great sheets of rain.

 

Silverlink Writing Group Competition January 2009:- 500 words starting with:- The clock struck midnight, a new year was born.

Word Count = 340

WINNER of the Silverlink Writing Group

Competition January 2009

 

The Midnight Hour

 

The clock struck midnight, a new year was born. Lisa pressed her forehead hard against the wooden balustrade, shivering in her thin cotton nightdress.

As the last notes of the grandfather clock resonated on tiled floors and wooden panelling, shadows in the hallway far below, seemed to deepen. Softening the outlines of discarded coats and umbrellas. Blurring the detail of the hallstand with its heaps of outer shoes and trailing woollen scarves. The palest hint of grey filtered through the fanlight high above the oak front door.

The strains of Auld Lang Syne. The clatter of heels on wooden floorboards. Laughter leaking, with orange candlelight, beneath the sitting room door. Her mother’s voice much earlier. ‘No Lisa. New year is not for children. Run along now. Get your beauty sleep’

The sitting room door flew open to reveal a tantalizing glimpse of faces bathed in firelight. Men and women swaying to the music, before her mother gently closed it over and stood quite still, alone and listening.

A tall figure in a greatcoat slipped from the shadows and they closed together, his head bent down, hers raised with parted lips.

Lisa pressed her clenched fist against her teeth so hard she tasted blood. She felt the throbbing, yet denied the pain. Unfair. Unfair. While Papa battled through the snow, to reach some unknown family in distress, her Mama could embrace a stranger down there in the hallway.

A strangled cry above them made them turn. In two bounds he had mounted every stair to reach the swooning child. Cradling her in his arms he murmured reassurance, called for smelling salts. Her mother too, all sweetness and compassion, rubbed the small fingers blue and stiff with cold. Wrapping her shawl around her, stroking her hair.

“Oh my poor Darling…Oh my darling child”

And Lisa, feeling foolish as warm blood returned to cheeks and neck. Her Papa was the tall dark stranger playing his part with ritual coal to bring the house good luck.

 

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