Writing Challenge: Object – The Walking Stick

As I waited to speak to Alison the receptionist, a simple wooden walking stick caught my eye as it stood in the corner of the hotel reception room propped against the white wall behind the desk. How long it had been there was anyone’s guess as I could see a thin coat of powdery grey dust sitting undisturbed along the top of its handle.

‘There must be many walking sticks standing or lying idly all over the place,’ I thought. Antique ones, decorative ones,  of all styles and descriptions. They’re mostly seen as antiques now or just for the elderly,  but once upon a time, all noblemen would have had one. It was a sign of status and position, a far cry from today.

However, this walking stick was simply carved and I could see it was a beautiful walnut colour. It had a hooked top and it looked more like a cut down version of a shepherd’s staff. At the bottom however, was what can only be described as an ugly rubber cover, which was worn from regular use and some what I’ll fitting. It spoilt its look and design, but a necessary adage I suppose for its elderly owner at the time.

How old was it? Who knew? To me, I think no more than fifty years but I fear my judgement is driven more by the modern stopper than the rest of the stick. So what do I know, it may well be a lot older.

I remember my grandmother had one just like it. She used it during the times she was at her most frail, otherwise she would walked unaided.  I remember her first using it after she had her stroke. It had been a sweltering summers day in London and the night was oppressively hot. There was no air.  Even with the windows opened, nothing happened. The heat and the humidity felt like and insufferable coat, that you could not remove.  She was 75 at the time. Following the stroke (and there were many elderly victims that summer) her recovery was quite impressive, considering her speech had been lost and she was affected down her whole right side. Initially she had a walking frame, but as she grew stronger through physiotherapy she progressed to the hospital issued metal sticks. You know, the ones you get if you had broken your leg or injured your foot? The weeks  and months went by and she continued to regain her strength and mobility. She then started to use her own wooden stick.

As I looked at the walking stick, it seemed out-of-place in this home, I wondered whose it was? Did it have an owner like my grandmother? Someone who would have loving taken care of it and used it in their life time? Where had it been? What conversations had it stood in the mist of?  Had it been forgotten, or even lost?

This walking stick was about function. Nothing ornate or expensive about it. Its reason and  purpose now lost. It really made no sense as to why it was where it was? But someone had placed it there rather than throwing it away or placing it in the attic. So maybe, it has some sentimental value. Maybe no longer used, but still a need for it to be seen.

This weeks writing challenge, something I will be participating in regularly in order to develop my writing skills.


Short Story: Jamaica Drifting

Jamaica Drifting - Cover Art 2014

It was another humid day. The sky was blue, the sun sat high in the noon-day sky, and the heat felt divine on my skin.

I could hear Harry Belafonte singing in my head.

Oh island in the sun…….

Which was enough, of what was really quite an old song to be going around my head considering I’m not even thirty yet. But somehow, it summed up how I was feeling perfectly,  as I drifted along the most amazing river. The raft was one I  had hired in order to do the touristy thing for a couple of hours, along what was a very well-known and historical river. The raft itself was about thirty-six feet long and three feet wide.  It was made up of huge bamboo canes fixed together in a very rustic fashion, which was now considered a bit of an art, requiring skills which had been used for many years during the slave trade. Originally it was a way of transporting cargo using the river, but over more recent years its use changed to more pleasurable reasons.

Situated about third of the way in , was a double seated chair, also crafted out of bamboo and positioned centrally with cushions on it.  This is where I sat or should I say reclined, legs stretched out before me, totally at ease. It felt so good. There’s a tranquility and peace that flows with a calm flowing river, that is simply beautiful.  I was so glad to be here, Lord knows! I sighed within myself.

My life wasn’t exactly going great right now. Work had been totally stressful for longer than I care to remember, and my boss was the coldest, hard-nosed, heartless women I knew. I was the PA to a woman who could pour out charm and warmth as easily as she could switch on a word with the sharpness of spinning on a dim, only to take the legs from beneath you with a few choiced words.  In that skill, she never missed a beat. She was enviously smart, with the highest pace I had seen in a person when it came to work. She had no time for fools, shirkers or people who were unequally driven in her eyes. She had an agenda all of her own and no one was coming between her and her goal of becoming the first female Partner of Staiton, Reece & Staiton a long-standing and notable firm of lawyers.

I was well paid and for good reason, as I had been the only PA who could match her pace.  I decided I would not be sacked from my job like my predecessors. So I upped my game.  But it had a cost, it demanded my life, literally.  I had no me time outside of SRS.  I  began to dislike  my job around two years ago. I think that was when I started to question myself as to why I was doing what I was doing?  My dislike grew into hate to the point where I resigned and walked just over a week ago, not knowing what I would do next, but sure of this one thing.  I was not spending another moment of my life being dictated to by someone I had grown to have no respect for.

A week later I booked my flight to Jamaica in order to get away.  It wasn’t only me physically drifting on the river but my whole life had been drifting for the past few years. I had let things go and gotten complacent.  Instead of taking real risks, I decide to hang on in’ for one lame excuse after the other, in the hope that things would improve because the company was growing and going places, fast and I wanted to be part of it somehow.  Not as a PA but as a lawyer myself. I knew I could be good at it – it’s what made me so good at my job.  When it came to research and finding angles and that all important nugget of information that had the power to win or lose an argument, that was my niche.  Psycho knew it. She knew I was more than just a PA but she made sure she feed me just enough promises, and dripped fed me enough carrot to feed my ambitions and keep me hanging on in hope, but by no means did she promote me or allow anyone else to. She played me for ages, and I let her.

But now, I had hit a major point in my life and I needed to make the right decision (whatever that was) regarding what I did next with my life after ‘Jamaica Drifting?’ was over, and I would have to return home.

I could hear the sound of different birds spontaneously bursting into song as we floated along. There were dense green trees and foliage on either banks of the river.  This was years, centuries of hardly touched foliage. Some of the trees reached out and stretched with aged old branches across the river. In parts where the river narrowed, they almost touched.  My guide steered the raft skilfully along the river using nothing but an immensely long bamboo cane. Which he would firmly plant in the river using his body weight to then manipulate and shift the raft away from the banks.  He stood around five feet eleven inches tall. He had a lean physique, similar to that of a welterweight boxer, with absolutely no fat to be seen anywhere on him. His locks were secured into a pony-tail, by being bound using a few of his own locks and they hung neatly. cascading down, just past his shoulders into the middle of his back.  He wore knee-length khaki shorts, no belt, causing it to sit low on his  hips whilst his boxer waist-band sat slightly higher by about a waist band width above it. I was sweating by now because the humidity was no joke. He however, hardly had a sheen on him.

I looked at the river, which seemed to be a patchwork of green and clear blue water depending on the depth of the water, and the moss that covered the rocks nearer the edges of the banks. I could feel the power of the under current beneath the raft and at one point I decided to get of the seat to sit on the bamboo floor just so that I could put my hand in the river and feel the current against my hand.  The water was refreshingly cold and the sound was beautiful as the water lapped against the bamboo, swirled around the big boulders and lapped against the edges of the bank, as we continued to float downwards.

I dropped my shades back over my eyes to lessen the effects of the sun on my eyes and the reflection bouncing off of the river.  I could hear the high-pitched distinct buzz of mosquitoes now and then near me, I just hoped the mosquito repellent worked, otherwise I would look like a swollen pin cushion by this evening. But then I thought, no I shouldn’t because I had made sure that I had taken my antihistamines this morning just in case, so this should keep any swelling down to a minimum. Mum was also an avid lover of all things herbal and all things Aloe Vera, so I have drinking that in small doses as lovingly dispensed by mum since my arrival.

Here Lady…yu cool?  It was my guide he had the deepest Jamaican accent.

“Totally” I replied with the biggest smile.  Because for the first time, in the longest time, I genuinely was.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Refraction

This is my first entry into a photo challenge of any kind and science was not my strong point, so I had to look up what Refraction meant:-) Anyhow I thought, I could recreate that. So I got a champagne glass, filled it with water turned off my TV for the background dropped a spoon in it and thought there it is. I then snapped it with my phone a number of times and collaged it.

Refraction 17-10-14

Refraction – The Imaginary Bureau

I liked how the shot on the right almost aligns with the top segment and some how they seem connected.


The Encounter

Waxing Crescent Moon – Creative Commons – Google Images

It was 1:30 a.m.  It had been a really long day and finally I had reached that point where I was now making myself comfortable, in my warm and oh, so cosy, bed for the night.

My body was tired, and in total appreciation of the warm sheets I now snuggled under, duvet and all. But my mind was still busy. Racing, considering this, pondering that.  For I was playing and toying with the idea of writing my first story.  What should it be? Maybe Fiction, as I love all things imaginary and sci-fi or something based on my own story? Ideas raced and whirled in my mind. As quickly as they appeared and were considered, explored and imagined, was as quickly they were rejected tossed aside and forgotten.

What about angels I thought? They do fascinate me?  What do you imagine one would look like? Would they look like you or would they be more biblical having four different faces? Would they look human like me and be normal in height or would they stand tall, around eleven or twelve feet in height? How would their wings be? Would they be as you see depicted in movies or would that be in proportion to the angels body size when closed but once open magnified into amazing proportions? My thoughts just whirled and collided, on and on.

At some point my thoughts moved from consciousness to unconscious,  and I had slipped into sleep.

I have no idea how long it had been, but I knew I was now standing on some high building. I say standing, but the thing was, I sense I was standing but at the same time I knew I did not have legs and feet to physically move and support as I was use to. It was night. There was a wind blowing soothingly, but I wasn’t cold. I could see other tall  buildings, some as dark silhouettes, in the distance and around me and bright white lights were speckled here and there. The sky was unusually black, like a sky with the moon fully covered. But the lights amongst the buildings were intensely white and bright enough for you to see one place to the other.

I was flying.  Any where I chose. It was the strangest thing. I had no flapping wings, that was far too much effort and somewhat inefficient.  I just thought it and I did it. I moved in sync with my thoughts. I felt my self in flight rather than saw myself in flight. Where ever I wanted to be, I was.  It was the most liquid, fluid and agile movement I had ever felt, and I know I was fast.

But then I sensed something moving towards me. It was moving at a pace, and with such a force, before I knew it, I was caught up in its arms. I was now moving at a speed I could no longer fathom.  I was not frightened, because for some reason I knew this was an angel.  It was Michael. Do not ask me how I knew this? Just as I thought flight and I did, so it was that I knew this was Michael. As sure as eggs were eggs. No words were shared between us.

Whatever realm of a world this was, it did not function on the five senses I knew. Movement were thoughts and feelings all rolled into one.  As thought moved in nano seconds in my head so I traveled with a level of awareness and understanding, no sophisticated instrument could split.

My back was in the direction we were travelling in and I could sense we were approaching something that was like a barrier ahead of us. We forced upwards gaining height whilst not loosing speed. The climb seemed immense as well as intense. The direction in which we moved cut the atmosphere like a sound wave and as accurately as a laser beam. We then shifted, moving over and across something. It felt like I was climbing a sheer cliff face and then dropping, as if over a rainbow.  It was at this point the force became less intense.

I was awake. My heart was racing, my mind felt like I had been inhaling pure oxygen. My thoughts were clear and sharp. The room was dark and pin point quiet. I gathered my thoughts. I knew I was dreaming but at the same time my heart was still racing.

What… was that, I thought? Was I somewhere, I should not have been?