Saturday, 4 July 2009

Not Quite a Wordizzle

Following the the footsteps (pawprints?) of the ever-brilliant Watercats. I thought I'd try my hand at the Wordizzle thing from Raven's Nest. Being a numpty, however, and not reading the rules properly, I didn't get that it was supposed to be just one paragraph (duh!).

Thing is, it's now 23:38 and I can't be arsed to trim my obese opus, so here it is anyway.

Words to include: florida, spit, child bride, operatic, busy, holding pattern, sunflowers, ginger jars, office, superintendent.

I am eight years old, perched precariously on the high wooden stool that I have had to climb like a mini Everest. My feet dangle inches from the floor and I swing them back and forth in a slow holding-pattern.

Mum is busy at the table, making sandwiches. A small ziggurat of Hovis is emerging from the flat plain of the gingham tablecloth we had back then.

I watch the brisk, precise way the knife whisks across the bread, leaving a perfect layer of yellow in its wake.

"Why can't we have butter any more?" I hear my childish voice whining, "I don't like that marger-, madge-".

"It's margerine, and you know why we have it." The knife whisks a little faster. "Mummy's not been well and the doctor says this will do me good," Mum replies wearily. We've had this conversation before and will no doubt be having it again. "It's made of sunflowers. You like sunflowers, don't you?"

"Not to eat!" I protest, "Not to eat!" I pretend to spit out an imaginary mouthful of the evil Marger-whatsit.

"Stop being silly now and eat you tea. Dad will be home soon." She pushes a plate containing a layer of the ziggurat towards me.

Even back then, her face was beginning to show her age. She'd married late - hardly a child bride – to a gorgeous-looking man several years younger. That was my Dad, the handsome superintendant of the building where Mum's office was. None of her friends could believe what a catch she'd made.

Putting off the moment of having to eat, I pick at the bread. I pinch little bits of it off and roll them into perfect little balls and drop them onto the floor.

"Trisha, stop that!" Mum snaps. The loudness of her voice is startling in the quiet of the kitchen. "What's got into you today? First you break one of my ginger jars, now you're making a mess for no good reason."

Defeated, I pick up the sandwich in my two hands, like she always told me to and, watching her to make sure she's watching me, I bite resentfully into it.

As I chew, a thought comes into my head.

"Mum, where's Florida?"

"Oh, it's hundreds of miles away in America," she answers, expertly back-heeling the fridge door shut whilst balancing a plate of sandwiches and a jug of orange in her two hands. "Why?"

"That's what was on Daddy's ticket."

"What ticket? What are you talking about?" Her voice is sharp now.

"It had an aeroplane on it and it was in Daddy's drawer, under his socks."

I wish I could say that Mum did something appropriately operatic at this point, like dropping the plate and the jug to smash dramatically on the tiles. Instead, she just sighed, set them down on the table, thunk-thunk and sank down into the chair.

"You shouldn't go looking in the drawers, I've told you that before."

And that was all she ever said about it.


  1. Good job! Even if you did break the rules... I want to know the rest of the story!

  2. As a self-confessed IT Geek you really ought to have known the rules. What is your favourite acronym Argent? Surely: RTFM...

    Just kidding. Good story.

    Regards, Phil

  3. @PhilipH - I know, shocking! In my defence, it was late at night and I'm not as young as I was. Gone are the days of the all-nighters. (Actually, that's a lie: I've reverted to being a programmer for the duration, doing stuff for Sheffield City Council 'till 1 and 2 am). It's a struggle.

  4. COOOL!... OOOPS.. CAPS.. That's better! Loved reading this! I instantly loved the characters and the history and the atmosphere.... You're sooo good at capturing places and ..well.. englishness!
    As far as rules, I don't think it's a hard and fast thing. Some people do a mini challenge, (one paragraph) others just one long one, some do poems.... it seems all good natured and whatever... and it's brilliant for getting the head going where it should be creatively... Cheers for the link b.t.w! :-)

  5. oh yeh.. did you add your name to the mr linky on Raven's page?... That way people know to visit you. It's a white box below her story...
    Just in case :-)

  6. Well, I found you purely by accident and I think you have wordzzled brilliantly. Wordzzles have no rules. None. Nada. Nary a one. If you visit around to the others who participate you will find that some write relatively short things like I do and others are writing serial novels. This was beautifully written and the words were used so naturally that it's amazing. Please add yourself to Mr. Linky so others can enjoy your wonderful offering... I think you should change the name of your blog to Delusions of INadequacy. Welcome to wordzzles. Thanks for participating.

  7. Excellent tale - really saw the room in my head and the tastes and all...

    I would have a go myself, but i think yours would be hard to beat.

  8. Thanks for the good vibes, chaps. I have added myself to Mr Linky now and hope to play again soon.


Without your comments, I am but a wave without a shore...