Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Scent of Apples




A writing prompt from Write On Edge - to create something for Halloween - and from Trifecta to incorporate the word "boo" - defined as a call to show disapproval - and from Studio30+ to incorporate the word Mask or Red (I chose the latter and made a hat of it...)






 She had been holding my hand, woolly glove in woolly glove, as we stumble-shuffled our way through the crowded market.  Autumn chill was biting and the market was a treat not to miss.  Stalls crowded with toys and trinkets, cakes and biscuits, and the beautiful smell of hot spiced wine and honey buns.   We'd turned a corner in the crowd, my hand was empty now.  I looked back to reach my hand for hers, but she was not there.  I looked the other side of me. Not there.  The crowd filled the space meant for her, panic punched me in the chest.

Surely just a step away, a step beyond the moving mass of shoppers in their garish scarves and hats, just a step and I'd take her hand again, and she'd chide me with her only-child authority so natural and so unusual in a girl of seven.   I pushed back the way I had come, eyes raking, desperate for the sight of a red and green bobble hat a size too big.  Nothing.  I called her name heedless of dignity.

I smelled hot cider.  The scent of apples had haunted me since my childhood and the desperate flight from chaos and nightmare and into a world where time passed second by second and the spoken word did not take flesh or flight, where magic was just a story and not a pestilence.  Twenty years since then, a world of light and television and blessed dullness, and I'd boo the pantomime villains that hinted at a childhood I no longer believed in.

I pushed past a stall where tiny wooden figures with tissue wings made a mockery of the truth, turned faerie into frippery, and my daughter was gone.

Her hand took mine then, soft woolly pressure.  Relief flooded me and I looked into a serious unsmiling face.

"She's ours now," she said, eyes ancient, "and missing you.  Come back to Avalon and dry her tears."

Her hand gripped mine, an unbreakable bond.

(333 words)


14 comments:

  1. This caught my heart. Beautiful as ever LMx

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  2. I love this take on our old friend the doppelganger. Very creepy!

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  3. Well done, I'm caught again. I want to know more story.

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  5. As you know, I'm very pleased to see your story appear this week. You've written a wonderful story, full of atmosphere and intrigue - heartfelt sadness and a spooky spin. Really, really well done! I can smell the scent of those apples and feel the scratchy woolly gloves. :))

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  6. Whoa... that was spooky indeed! You've got such a charming way with words Thomas. Absolutely stunning!

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  7. So well done, I agree with every single comment. And creepy too. Boo!

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  8. Fascinating and so mysteriously eerie!Loved it!

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  9. Ahhh spiced apple cider. I love this. Makes me want more!

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  10. Its always a treat for the eyes ... any little story of yours ! Perfect ! Wish my words flowed like yours ! :)

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