Writespiration #79 Write About The Edge

Write About The EdgeMy son has been driving me insane this week. He is two. Everybody says ‘oh yeah, terrible twos, proper bad them…’

But, no body tells you how bad they really are. Cause trust me when I say, it is fucking horrendous.

My wife needs a medal for her patience and levels of tolerance. Quite frankly it stuns me. See, my frustration is that we are doing everything by the book and by that I mean: the naughty step, only so many warnings etc. We are consistent, constantly refer to each other to ensure we don’t undermine each others authority, back each other up even when we disagree (he doesn’t know that) and our childminder does the same. She uses the same methods, timings and types of discipline. And yet, still he tantrums until he’s blue in the face and trying to vomit!

I know… I know… he’s two, they all do it and he will grow out of it, but seriously… Right now, it doesn’t feel like it. I’m tired and I’m at the edge of both my sanity and my patience.

This week, the challenge is to write a story about the edge, whether that be of your sanity, your patience, the edge of a cliff, maybe even the edge of a blade, whatever that looks like, write about it in less than 200 words. Post your story in the comments below or on your blogs and I will publish it with next weeks entries.

Here’s mine:

As a note of explanation, this is part of a series of submissions I have been writing that stem from an idea sparked by the Flat Earth Weekly Wonder I wrote some time back. I broke my own rules, soz, but you know how it is. You start writing and when it’s a new idea that will be a novel, you can’t help yourself, it spiralled and is a smidge over 200 words… ok it’s a smidge over double that…*cough*

The Firmament #6

This wasn’t just a doorway or an escape route, and I wouldn’t ‘just’ be leaving everything I knew behind. This was the precipice of something enormous. Something so big, it would change the course of history. And because we both knew it it made the goodbye so much harder.

Luke gripped my hand.

“Lexi, wait…”

I took a deep breath biting into my lip. I’d dreaded this conversation from the moment I touched the Firmament and knew I had to get out. Goodbyes are meant to be time limited, filled with the hope of being reunited. But, neither of us knew what was on the other side and I couldn’t promise I’d see him again.

Heat poured from Luke’s hand wrapping round mine like a noose ready to hang our friendship.

“I have to tell you something,” he said, pulling me round to face him.

Lead lined my stomach. I averted my gaze, I unable to bear looking at him. Tears pricked at my lids.

I couldn’t hear this. I knew. I’d always known. It was the way his golden eyes would stare at me. It told me why he had spent months helping me and why, his sleeping bag would always end up closer to me in the morning than it had been at lights out.

“Don’t,” I whispered.

I pushed him back shaking my head, tears dotting the ground.

“I have too, Lex.”

I swallowed hard as he pawed at his neck. The pained look crawling across his eyes told me he knew how I felt, and yet, he still had to utter those words, knowing he could never take them back.

“I’m in love with you.”

Tears streaked my cheeks, each one carving a canyon of hurt into my face. I stared at my hands, expecting to find an answer. Hoping I’d discover the right words to say. But my palms were empty, and so was my heart.

I stood rigid. Ready to take a knife to my best friends heart. It would hurt him, but It would break me. I would lose my best friend.

“I…”

Luke placed his finger on my lip.

“It’s ok. Don’t say it. I already know. But if you don’t say it then, it’s not true. And maybe when you come back you’ll feel differently.”

I nodded and he kissed my forehead.

My shoulders sagged, tension seeping away. Agreeing was a lie; prolonging the inevitable. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever come back and even if I did I would never feel the way he wanted me too. To me, Luke would always be a brother and a best friend. I was grateful for him not making me say it, but who was he really saving?

I turned my back, touching my fingertips to the Firmament’s swirling wall.

“Goodbye, Luke.”

Something locked onto my hand and yanked hard. I lost my footing and slipped into the wall. Everything went dark; sound muffled to a deadened quiet. The air was so crisp, it smelt like the first puff of falling snow. In the distance, I saw the most beautiful blue eyes staring back at me. Whatever gripped me, pulled me forward. I blinked and was standing on a pavement, in front of a boy.

“Lexi Orion. You finally made it,” he said.

***

Now to last weeks Writespiration and First Kisses


First up we have Allie, with a personal recollection of the brief encounter kind!

I don’t entirely remember my first kiss, that’s how noteworthy it was, but I believe it was with a boy who was a year younger than me and the act was so wooden that it might better be classified as an accidental collision than a gesture of any real romantic interest.

What I remember more, was a time before that first kiss. Someone had the idea we’d play spin the bottle, and I was terrified the guys playing, who were older, cooler, and easy on the eye, would figure out I had no experience whatsoever. I had no idea how I’d even gotten invited to participate in the first place, and worried I’d ruin my chance of ever getting kissed for real afterward. I remember biting my lip repeatedly in an attempt to keep it moist, and how sweaty my palms were as I clenched my fists to keep from fidgeting more. My turn never came though, and my secret was safe a while longer.


Next up a post from Sarah Boucher, a fellow writer I know from Twitter, who has written a story using the lipstick prompt from a few weeks ago. You can find it here.


Ali in next, with a little explanation before she kicks off with this stunning kiss…

I have a first kiss for you which is completely fictional… I don’t remember a kiss ever feeling like this. For me, they involved purely physical sensations, but for Cethlenn, the main protagonist of my latest WIP, Swanskin, it was a completely ethereal experience… Mind you, she was kissing someone quite unique.

“Put on the ring,” I said softly. “You’ll never know if you don’t try.” I picked up his maimed hand and pushed the ring onto his index finger. Then I pressed his hand to my lips.

He drew a shuddering breath, and then he was moving towards me, pulling me close. I melted against him, standing on tip toes to clasp my arms around his neck. He cupped my chin with his hand and tilted my face. I felt moonlight, then shadow as he stooped to kiss me.

And that was when I came alive. Every nerve ending in my body flared into life. He pressed me back against the trunk of a tree, and I felt every fibre of its bark imprint in the arch of my spine, whilst his heart beat against my chest, like the wings of a caged bird. Above me, leaves lisped in a breeze which did not blow, and the stars wheeled along their bright path, stretched into streaks of light, slowed as time dropped out of existence. There was only this moment, in which his touch trailed fire over my skin, his lips pressed against mine, and I surrendered to instinct.


Geoff in next with this hilarious little story.

It will seem odd to link cricket with kissing. Maggie Hoole was the only girl I knew who liked cricket. Correction. She liked cricketers. Especially a tall blond one named John Rees or Rice or something. He wasn’t especially talented but he wore his hair, a la mode for 1973, over the shoulders and he smouldered in ways that my lack of lips and excess of spots mitigated against. We were 16, just finished our O levels. She was leaving school to do something with a spatula I think while I was one of the nerdy ones, off to enjoy my A levels. But for one summer, between grim summer jobs we went to Bournemouth and Southampton to watch our beloved Hampshire and the smouldering John play. Hampshire were excellent team and they reached the quarter finals of the national cup, an away game in Leicester. We scrimped and bought tickets including a coach journey to and from. Maggie had frothy honey blond hair (in my memory at least) and two very visible breasts which acted as eye magnets for not just one such as me. As such she was so far out of my league as to be Venusian. On the way there, a three hour journey we sang and laughed. But we lost the game so the journey back began in a more sombre mood. I had a book, expecting to read for the journey but some turn of Fate’s Gyroscope and the benign absence that day of the spot god meant a strange alignment of the stars. Maggie put her arm around me, pressed a breast into my bicep and fell asleep, her head on my shoulder. I got neck cramp but didn’t move a muscles as I read the same page for an hour. Then she woke, looked at me and kissed me. Not like an aunt but on the lips and then the mouth. I didn’t know, for all my wide reading that it was de rigeur to use your tongue too. It didn’t feature much in the scifi and cricket fiction I enjoyed. And it was so wet. Looking back I did wonder briefly why affixing a postage stamp and snogging involved similar actions – I knew writing a letter was romantic; I learnt that posting it was actually the erotic part.
I do remember being disappointed when she stopped and more disappointed when she turned to the boy on the other side and snogged him too. We did have a few more Stanley Gibbons* moments but then I went and bought her the Who’s latest double album, Who’s Next (fab cover btw if you’ve not seen it) and she thought I must be getting serious – maybe she worried I was developing a passion for stamp collecting – so dropped me like a simple chance to the wicket keeper.
*Stanley Gibbons is a world famous stamp collection shop in London


Next in Jane, with this gorgeous little tale that just makes me want more…

By the time I was in Junior III I’d had several love affairs. None of them had meant anything to me though. The boy I really longed for was Martin O’Donoghue in Junior IV, the top class. All the girls were in love with him, but I used to catch his eye and imagine that he looked at me in a special way. I dreamt of holding his hand, having him whisper in his soft voice just for me. I dreamt of being his partner for dinner duty. In fact, fantasizing about dinner duty was almost like fantasizing about marriage and children.

At my school, the older children did the dinner service. There would be two older children on each table of eight to serve out, keep order, clear away and clean up afterwards. Just like Mam and Dad. We were keen on family values in those days. I longed with all my heart to be chosen to be ‘Mam’ at dinner service, and to have Martin as ‘Dad’.

At the beginning of my penultimate and Martin’s last year at primary school, the head of Junior IV paired up the couples for dinner duty and called out my name with Martin O’Donoghue’s. I can’t say I couldn’t believe it, because I did. We believed in miracles in those days. Martin smiled at me as if he’d expected it. Maybe he’d asked to be paired with me. Maybe Sister Theresa just recognized young love when she saw it. The nuns were like that. Romantic.

For the whole of my last year at primary school I lived for dinnertime. Martin and I sat next to one another, shared the chore of feeding a couple of wingey Big Babies and some obstreperous eight-year-olds. We didn’t speak much but we sat close and exchanged glances full of warmth and promises we could never keep. We held hands on the way into the dinner hall because Martin claimed that Sister Theresa had said all the dinner servers had to. Nobody else did, though. Nobody else was on cloud nine like we were.

But it wasn’t until the evening of the Nativity play that we had our first and only kiss. We were both there as spectators. My little sister was an angel and Martin’s Patrick was Saint Joseph. It was dark; the only lights were in the school hall. As I wandered up to the door in my parents’ wake, a soft voice called my name. Martin. He was standing in the doorway with his dad, a man so massive he blocked the double doors completely. With a word of greeting to my mum and dad, the massive silhouette moved, walking with them to the hall, and light appeared in the doorframe.

I stepped to one side, into the shadows. Martin was there, with the big grin he kept just for me. He took my hands and bent his head. He was tall and I was tiny. He kissed me and I kissed him. Our lips fluttered together, brushed like butterfly wings, and I filled up with the most glorious feeling, as if I was bursting with light. He said my name again but I don’t remember being able to say anything at all. We moved apart because more people were arriving, and my parents were waiting for me inside. Our hands lingered, fingers clutching, slipping.

We never had another opportunity to be alone. For the rest of the year, holding hands became the most intimate of gestures, and the tone of voice sent the most intimate of messages. At the end of the school year, Martin went on to the grammar school and out of my life. For dinner duty, I was paired with Aidan Lynch and his loud voice and rough gestures, Aidan Lynch who kicked my shins and soon put me straight about what eleven-year-old boys were really like. It was several years before I kissed another boy and, with not a little sadness, came to accept that the slobbery, groping, pawing was real life. Martin’s gentle butterfly kiss was the stuff of fairy stories and dreams.


Next up Ellen’s first entry this week.

Scared I was on my first day at school, my two sisters were here somewhere, i thought they would be with me, how wrong could I be.
I love my dress, emerald green tiny checks with white sash and buttons, last night I crept out my bed put it on and twizzled. I am grown up I go to school and have a new dress; well nearly new handed down but no marks.
Now I’m here it isn’t so good after all, everyone else has the same dress…  except the boys. My sisters are gone and I need a pee, I huddle down next to a caged heater at the back of the room and push my thumb between my lips. A long thin lady with tight black curls and glasses bent down, took my arm and pulled me to the front without a word. The lady sat me in a wooden chair infront of the teachers desk. There was a lot of noise, scraping chairs banging lids and a slam of the door.

The lady was Mrs. Chilbury she is teacher for class one infants, I still need the toilet and i know it’s near so I stood up while she told the class about registration and milk. Mrs. Chilbury looked at me held my arm above my head pointing, while she told everone this is how you ask for something.
Just then she looked down as a dark puddle spread across the floorboards; her eyes got big and her head jerked back looking for someone. Miss Jones appeared from nowhere and ushered me and a boy who hopped from foot to foot while standing by the door; to a lobby.
The lobby was rows of benches and clothes hooks with names on and toilets leading off each side. Off Miss Jones took kenny; leaving me now shivvering in the lobby.
When she returned she took him back to class then cleaned me; I like miss Jones.

Quite used as I was to wearing someone elses hand me downs i didn’t worry. Back in class we were lined up for assembly, kenny smiled at me,  others laughed and pulled my pigtails and called me baby.
At playtime I was very tired so sat with my back to the concrete steps, huddled in my blazer dropped my head and sucked my thumb.

Sometime later I was woken by Kenny who had sat next to me, he had the bluest of blue eyes and the whitest hair. Kenny held my hand, smiled and walked me to the classroom. This is what school was about, making friends i have sisters so hadn’t  had a boy friend before.

When Miss Jones shook the clanging bell everyone stood for dinnertime. The first class was allowed to go out with the bigger children after dinner, so I was upset when my sisters didn’t want me to be with them. Kenny was playing catch with a boy, I watched them until he came over and let me join in. We sat together at story time and we both sucked our thumbs as we listened. In the lobby with our coats on I began to worry that I wouldn’t see Kenny again; after all I had quite enough and wouldn’t be coming back myself.

We were the only ones left in infants lobby when he took out his thumb. We smiled and our faces touched, our lips pouting stretched forward and kissed. Wiping my mouth I said “yuk! That was wet and fizzy” Kenny looked sad “What did you do that for” stamping my little foot.
“Cos I want to marry you when your legs get big like my mum’s” said Kenny through a spitty corner of his thumb filled mouth.
I did return to school, although I made some fuss the following morning, Kenny and I never took up kissing again nor did he marry me; but sometimes I wish we had.

The basis of this story is true, the names have been altered to not cause embarrassment but all the actions took place. Can you remember your first kiss?


Last by but no means least, Denise Claas with this tension fuelled first romp

We had been playing this game of flirt for a couple of weeks.  It’s not that I didn’t like it, I was just starting to feel uncertain.  Did I misread all of the signs?  Did he not really want to get together?  It was getting in the way of a good nights sleep.
So I decided to take action.  I was wearing the most daring outfit I felt comfortable in and went to the place we had planned to meet.  If he would not make the final move, I would take that as a definite sign, he wasn’t interested enough.

He was already sitting at the counter with a beer in his hand, talking to one of his friends.  It was only when I removed my long, black coat, that one by one the men at the bar, turned their heads to look at me in surprise.
I decided to prolong the game for just a little longer and sat at the end of the bar, ordering a drink for myself.  Some people came to talk to me, but it was obvious the only wanted to have a ‘look’.

It took about an hour before he had the guts to sit next to me, or that’s how I define his actions.  I should really say behind me, as our backs were almost touching each other.  We still hadn’t said a word to one and other, but I could feel the warmth of his back.  It made my temperature rise.

The evening passed and I could feel disappointment, hiding behind the corner.  When an ex-boyfriend of mine started showering me with compliments, I felt a touch against my hand that was dangling next to my side.  At first I was rather unsure of what had happend, but then a more daring large hand, was caressing mine.  I could not keep myself from smiling, I knew who that hand belonged to and I felt relieve wash over me.

The ex, encouraged by my misjudged smile, asked if we should try dating again.  I was suddenly very awake, realizing, I might have given him the wrong impression.  So I told him, that although he looked fine and I was happy to meet him again, I already had my heart set on someone else.  He looked at me in disbelieve.  But soon realized that my hand was intertwined with a large hand, belonging to the man sitting behind me.  The ex looked at me and smiled graceful.  Before leaving, he gave me a kiss on the cheek and whispered that he would be happy if I should ever change my mind.    I replied witch another smile, while my hand was squeezed.

His voice sounded softer then it ever did, asking me if we could look up somewhere more private so we could talk.  I put on my coat and followed him out the door.  During the walk to his appartement, we did not talk, nor did he let go of my hand.  It was not until we entered his living space that he walked up to me and lifted me of of my feet, remembering a conversation where I said I wanted to be swept of of my feet. And then he gave me a kiss, filled with held back passion.  I remember I wanted more, so I kissed him again and again.  I felt like I had waited forever to be able to kiss him, and would not be satisfied until all that build up frustration was kissed away.

We did talk.  while holding hands, while hugging, kissing and trying to feel each other.  I wondered why he was slow in approaching me.  He told me he didn’t want to fight for the same girl his friend did.  He wondered about why I chose him, I replied that he had grabbed my interest ever since the first time we had met and my belly suddenly produced butterflies.  The last thing I remember is saying that dreadful goodbye.  I did not want to leave.  But if I didn’t…

124 comments

  1. The chances are, Sacha, that you have been warned. The problem is that, like childbirth, until you’ve experienced it, you can’t believe how traumatic it can be. So, even as I make this next comment, do bear in mind that you will severely underestimate what I am telling you. The teenage years will make you look back on the terrible twos with fond memories. And, in spite of that, you will still be grateful that you had the opportunity to be a parent.

      1. It can leave you in a place so desolate, so soul-destroying that your breath is taken away and you just don’t know where to turn. You begin to understand that you’ve failed as a parent, that all your hopes and dreams for those children have been torn into tiny shreds and the whole of the previous 14 (take your pick between 11 and 20) years have been wasted. That time you spent nurturing them, giving them time, leading by example, reading them bedtime stories and trekking half way around the country on a weekly basis so they could play football/rugby/cricket/hockey/netball has been blotted from their minds because you’re just getting in the way of them living their lives now. At least, that’s your interpretation, because you’ve got to work it out for yourself since they don’t communicate with you any more – unless you count the occasional grunt or stroppy rant that you’re treated to most days.

        Sadly, my vocabulary is too limited to express the full impact of the teen years. But I want you to know that I do understand. A return to the halcyon days of the terrible twos sounds like bliss.

        1. Umm. Wow. This is possibly the most horrific comment ever. I really hope that’s not the case. I can’t believe it is. I’m 28 and I adore my mum. Yet, when I was 15 we fought like cat and dog…….. Your kids love u Graeme all kids love their parents even if they don’t say it. 💖

      2. The conclusion I came to some years ago now, is that every phase has good and bad points. When they’re first born, for instance, they are so cute and you just want to hold them close all the time, but you don’t sleep much. When they’re two and throwing tantrums, it’s hard work and you need to be determined, but they’re still under control, and when they calm down they still want to be hugged. And when they’re teenagers and grumpy and treat you like shit, at least you don’t need to pay babysitters when you want to go out for a drink to ease the pain (though the house might be trashed when you get back). See: good and bad, and the best thing you can do is remember that the bad stuff will pass and enjoy the good moments.

  2. On the edge is an exceptional way to describe the terrible two’s. Just when you are certain that you k ow how to hadle them , the two’s make way for hormones….
    Thank you for carrying my post from last week here it was a memory I had all but forgot. As i wish i could my three’s terrible torturous two’s. 😂😃😄

      1. Yes but they can start as young as seven! Periods at seven now that makes the two’s look like a splash in the puddle of life! Boy ones are as bad but not as obvious…. nasty sneaking, creeping ,sulking, shouty, spotty hormones. Yup! Good luck 😨😱😲😜

  3. Oh, I remember when my daughter had the ‘terrible twos’ and how everyone told me she would grow out of it! Yes, she did (eventually), but it didn’t help me deal with it at the time! All I can say is that it sounds like you are doing everything right, with you, your wife and the childminder sticking to the same rules and being consistent. I quite often gave in and made it worse for myself! Hang in there Sacha! 🙂

    1. Thanks Judy 💖 it is soooo long and I don’t want to wish the time away either because I know it’s precious and should enjoy it but it’s so hard when they are so naughty!

  4. Beautiful story, Sacha! I made me swallow too! You right so amazingly.
    And regarding kids…. hmmm… I have had three of them and all different at that age. But all (have) had an age I could have gone totally nuts. My youngest one (13) is in the “I don’t need to care about anything” mood… So, I don’t want to scare you but…. it doesn’t really stop, it only gets different…

    1. Thank you 💖 what a lovely comment to have made. I have very little confidence in my writing so your comment really does make a difference to me.

      Haha, lots of people are saying the same… It doesn’t get easier!! 😂😂 I guess I better push my sleeves up and get on with it!!

  5. My Submission… The Edge

    Sometime in the past quarter hour, the air had turned stale. That was when this interminable meeting was supposed to end.

    “Now, then,” Jack Lemmings muttered. The CEO of Lemmings International shoved some papers into an unlabled file folder, “let’s talk about the Employee Satisfaction Survey. It seems folks…”

    Jack turned his focus to me, searching for the right words.

    “Seek direction?” I followed his lead.

    “Yes–seek direction,” he repeated. He steepled his fingers and began to drone.

    Others in the room shifted in their seats and stared down the clock, willing the second hand to tick. Just. Once. More.

    A bead of sweat formed on the clock face and fell soundlessly on my necktie.

    “That’s it,” I stood up.

    All eyes turned to me.

    “What’s it?” Jack asked.

    “It’s time,” the words rushed out of my mouth, uncontrollably, hurtling themselves towards the inevitable. My words led the way, and my instincts could do nothing to stop them. Within moments, I blazed out the door.

    I turned my head to glance over my shoulder.

    They were all there: Jack and the gang from Lemmings International. A sense of glory swept over me.

    This was our time!

        1. yes it is! but its all good practice! also, I sort of feel like because I get a number of entries, the post gets a little out of hand if I have no word limit. One week it was 6500 words long!!

  6. I hope there’s going to be more of Lexi’s story soon, Sacha. You really got the pace spot on in that piece. About tantrums. I only had one who had the terrible twos and she has never grown out of them, sorry. I don’t know what you can do about it except belt the daylights out of them. Joke (half). My sister used the explain and be patient approach and it just made everybody around her want to give her kids a slap if she wouldn’t. You can’t reason with a two year old, nor should you have to. You’re the boss. He has to accept that. You can explain things when he’s calmer or older, but when he’s throwing a wobbly there’s no point. Smothering with a pillow can help…

    1. Aww, thanks Jane, I really REALLY appreciate your words. Editing my first draft is putting me in a funk, making me think I can’t write, so it means a lot that you said that. There will be more. I’m building it week by week in various challenges and it will be another novel that needs writing at some point!

      Haha, you’re the second one to suggest giving him a whack. Problem is, he already slaps and kicks, I fear it would only get worst if I slapped him. He’s all about copying!

      But you are certainly right about one thing. There is NO reasoning with them. Sigh. The day I can will be a bloody good day!
      and if it never comes, I’ll tap you up for your best pillow!

      1. Don’t doubt yourself. There’s plenty of other people will do that for you 🙂 Seriously though, about your young man, if he slaps either of his parents he needs punishing. I don’t mean by just belting him harder, but you have to show him you’re the boss or by the time he’s thirteen he’ll be putting his feet up on the kitchen table, lighting a joint and snapping his fingers for somebody to cook him supper.

        1. Ah trust me. We are super strict. I think this is part of the reason for the tantrums. The moment we say no he goes into one. He’s learning that when we say no we mean it, and when we make a threat, we follow through. Thats causing the most tantrums, like: if you throw your toy again the TV is going off and your going in a time out…. he throws the toy… .and so the TV goes off and he gets chucked in a time out….. commence epic tantrum!!!!!

          Both of us had strict parents and we turned out ok. So we are following suit. I probably shouldn’t complain so much.

  7. I remember those days. With 4 adults in the house, it was a mess because everyone used their own tactics. The real headache is that there’s really no reasoning with them at that age. I don’t know what else to say there. Parental advice doesn’t always work because it seems children are designed to undo whatever tips you’re given. Hope you can pull back from the edge and relax.

  8. Oh Sacha, the twos are tough! But I do think they will pale against the teenage years -I can see the hormones starting to kick in already with my daughter and her friends.

    Still, sending you commiserations – the terrible twos don’t last forever, though it might feel as though it will. There really is no reasoning with them, is there, when they go into tantrum mode. I used to just turn my back and walk away, because I thought ‘if there’s no audience, there’s no show.’ That did work sometimes but obviously it’s easier to do at home than when you’re out somewhere, which is usually when they like to kick off 🙁

    Right, here is my entry to this week’s challenge and yes, it’s a continuation of the forest one from last week…

    Water tumbles, phosphorescent foam spattering against the dark flow. I can see a little better now that we’re out from under the trees, the moon’s light unhindered.

    It’s beautiful.

    The waterfall thunders into the gorge, the stream rushing through the forest to throw itself over the edge of the rocks.

    Which is where we are standing. My toes are almost at the edge, the stone slick under my feet. Ordinarily, I’d be terrified. But Kyle is next to me, his arm around my waist.

    ‘I won’t let you fall,’ he says, leaning in close, his voice a deeper rumble against the water’s roar.

    ‘Okay.’ I nod. It is exciting, standing here in the circle of his arm. I tempt fate, leaning forward a little, the drop sheer below me to a moonlit pool, churned silver and black.

    ‘Hey.’ He pulls me back, then turns me to him. I feel him smile as his lips meet mine, his arms coming around me, his body hard against me. Then the kiss takes me and I feel as though I’m falling, the ground dropping away from under me.

    The kiss ends. And I realise I am dangling in mid air. Over the edge.

      1. Thanks, Sacha. The story is actually starting to take shape, working title is ‘Silver and Black’ at the moment. LOL, ridiculous how these ideas just appear. Wonderful, too 🙂

          1. Yep – it’s the one in this post! The Firmament. About 1000 words of random scenes from challenges. And a scrap of paper with random notes! Might need to put some structure to it!

  9. Well Cai is 14 and Mal is 12, and so far the hormones have not been a problem, but there is still a long way to go lol! Toddlerdom is soooo hard, and you took me right back to when my three were all preschoolers, in fact, that’s what my story is about this week.

    But in my defence, i should just like to say that I was trying to look after a naughty toddler, a baby with Hirschsprungs and an illeostomy, and about to give birth to my daughter with a mystery syndrome who was expected to die before she was born, so at the time this happened, I was very highly strung! It was the first and last time I slapped my son.

    The Slap

    As I tiptoe from Mal’s room, Cai streaks past, scattering a trail of clothes in his wake.

    “Quiet now. Mal’s sleeping.”

    “No!” His favourite word, the first he ever said.

    “Put your pyjamas on. I’ll read you a story.”

    “No!” He darts into his room, slamming the door. I clench my fists as Mal starts to wail.

    Cai is bouncing on his bed, tousled hair flying. I pull him to me, and begin stuffing his legs into the pyjama pants. He kicks wildly.

    “Nooooo, don’t want to.”

    His foot connects with my chin, the sudden jolt of pain knocking me over the edge. Before I realise, I land him a sharp, stinging slap on the thigh. He stills immediately, clutching his leg.
    We stare at each other warily, eyes smouldering accusation.

    “I’ll tell Daddy,” he yells, bursting into tears.

    “So will I.” I am yelling and crying too.

    We hug, and for Cai it is soon forgotten, but I can’t forgive myself.

    “It was just a slap,” says Conor later, when I confess.

    “Yes,” I agree, wiping away tears. “Just a slap.”

    But the red mark on Cai’s leg fades long before the bruises on my heart.

    1. Been there. Done that. Only once. Slapped the first one when she was climbing up the walls and it cured me of anger slapping. Never slapped any of them after that. Possibly that’s where I went wrong…

      1. Haha! I’m sure you have reared lovely children. But yes, mine was definitely an anger slap. I once slapped Mal when he was three. He immediately slapped me back. I realised that all slaps did was teach a child to be aggressive, and that it’s ok to react to feelings of anger with violence. Those were the only times I ever slapped my kids. I found far more effective forms of abuse after that! 😁😂😄

  10. Great stories all around, Sacha. I totally agree with Graeme’s comment – just wait until the teenage years. In the meantime, your son is doing exactly what he’s supposed to do – test the limits of his power over the world (including you both). And you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing – teaching him that frustration and boundaries are part of life, and that love persists despite the anger and tears. 🙂

    1. Thank you 🙂 <3

      haha…. ohhh man, I really can wait. If it's as bad as everyones saying, I am sooooo ok with waiting!!!!!

      What a lovely way to put it. Love persists despite the anger. That, is a gorgeous phrase. 😀

  11. Keep up with the consistent discipline. It’s huge. And, as someone else said, it doesn’t get easier, just different. So sorry. Well… Depends on the child. Maybe it will. 💖 Great writing this week and absolutely love your installment. I really hope you continue this story.
    The edge. Yes. I’m living on the edge, baby! (Not in a good way. *sigh*)

    1. ummm….. right. Well thanks for the ray of optimism! :p :p :p hahahaha.

      Thank you <3 I can't tell you what it means to hear you say that. <3

      You are on the edge… I hope you can take a few steps back this week… <3

      1. Seems like you’re getting a lot of rays of sunshine in these comments. 😉 You’ll be fine. We’re all just parenting on the edge. Hey, that should be the title of a book. “Parenting on the Edge”

  12. The terrible 2’s I remember them so well, before you know it you’ll have a stroppy teenager on your hands. Both are difficult, challenging times, but somehow I think those toddler tamtrums really were the worst. My eldest was a complete nightmare, a whirlwind, totally exhausting. My youngest daughter was no trouble till she turned 12 …… she had the tantrums late but thankfully she is a sweetheart now at 16. Definitely sweet 16! They both have ended up being just fine, so take heart from that. ….. Oh and great bunch of stories, Sacha.

    1. haha, Marje, so many people keep saying that. It’s horrifying to think the teenage years will be worse! I think teenage girls are predisposed to argue with their mums! Thanks for being lovely, and giving me a ray of hope! :p

  13. Never had any problems with ours. Delightful all the way through. I think the only advice that made sense to me was that while you have to be attentive to them more regularly when they are under ten, when they need you, post ten, THEY NEED YOU. Everything’s a bit more intense. Sure boys lose the power of speech for a few years, becoming borderline simian, grunting and picking fleas off each other but a plentiful supply of bananas (pretty much anything beige actually – cheese, bread, butter, cereal, milk) and trees to swing from and they’re fine.

    As for a small story

    Jim always wanted to go to sea. At ten he became cabin boy to Captain Corman and set sail for the Indes. Corman had no children and liked Jim. He showed him the maps.
    Jim pointed to the tumbling torrents, foaming at the Edge. ‘What happens here, Cap’n?’
    ‘There, Jim? Either this map’s wrong or we tumble to our doom. I’m betting it’s wrong.’
    ‘We sailing right to the Edge, Cap’n?’
    ‘And beyond boy, and beyond.’
    Jim loved the maps, especially the fabulous horrors that cartographers chose for the Edge.
    One hot day, the First Mate and the Cap’n stood on the bridge. They’d forgotten Jim was there.
    ‘Any day now, Cap’n.’
    ‘Any minute, Mr Mate. By my calculations we are close to the Edge.’
    The Mate laughed nervously. ‘Can’t see no waterfall, Cap’n. We’ll be alight, then?’
    ‘I’m not so sure, Mr Mate.’ The Captain took his eyeglass away and pointed to a black shape, looming ever larger. ‘Looks like those map maker knew a thing or two.’
    The Mate squinted, while Jim clung to the rail. His young eyes saw clearly what the Captain had seen with his glass. ‘You see it Jim?’
    ‘Aye Cap’n. Here Be Dragons!’
    200 words

    1. Simian…. PROPER laughed at that!! Can’t believe you had perfect children…. surely they had tantrums?

      Ohhhh Geoffle, dare ye venture into fantasy?! I like it. Sort of reminds me of a book for kids, I think it has mileage if you add a moral or two in there, and get an illustrator you’re on to a winner for a MG book. <3

      1. Another one on the TBW heap. Thanks for the encouragement. Nah, they were shits really esp the girl but I used to laugh when she lay on the floor and beat her fists into the Lino.

  14. This Writespiration event that you do Sacha is so interesting, I wish I had stumbled onto this before! I have a quick question in regards to participation: is this something that anyone can join?

    1. Hi Jade, absolutely. It’s open to all to join in, just pop your entry in the comments below, or post it on your blog and link back to here 🙂 🙂 Great to have you on board.

  15. All I can say, is a miss my kiddos…but I do not miss two-year olds, not even my own! 🙂 Stunning part 6 to the Firmament. Wow, that’s an exciting twist. And what great first kisses from last week! Jen is biting at the bit to be let out so I’ll take her to the edge this week.

      1. Nope! Don’t miss the terrible twos! But it did make its way into this scene, thinking about Jen and her family of origin and what it prepared her for…

        Over the Edge by Charli Mills

        “Wolfrick!” Jen sprang off the log. Like a warrior adjusting a sword before battle, she let go the ax handle, catching the steel head and running blade-out.

        “Stay back,” Wolf shouted. He hunkered, either to roll with the coming blow or charge. Backed up to the edge of the ridge that fell 3,000 feet to the Kootenai River below, he was trapped.

        Jen slowed, talking low and confident, as if soothing a troubled toddler. Being the eldest of 12, she knew something about tantrums. Be calm. Be strong. And, by God, don’t go having a dozen of them. One snorting, dirt-pawing, 800-pound moose was tantamount to a gang of toddlers throwing fits. The moose lowered its head and lunged.

        Wolf’s powerful tumble dodged the full impact, but Jen heard his muttering in German. He lay on the ground curled on his side. Cautiously, Jen approached. “You okay?”

        “Yes, it hit my shoulder in passing.” Jen extended the handle of her ax and helped him up.

        Together they approached the edge. “Damn,” she swore. The moose crumpled motionless at the base of the Ponderosa that broke its fall and its neck.

  16. Been there with the terrible twos, it does pass but me saying that when you are slap bang in the middle of it is not helping, coffee helps, a lot. My sympathies Sacha, and a big hug.
    Now the small rambling story.

    The wind tugs at my hair, slapping it against my face, I stamp my feet.
    “Not playing today.” I am sulking, why did they come and take my dog away, why? He didn`t do anything to those stupid sheep, I hate the farmer, he`s a mean old man, even if he`s my best friends Dad.
    “I`m not crying.” The wind picks up my shout and runs with it, I follow. Running, screaming, Terns scattering as this wild monster bears down on them. Then I stop. I`m at the place, the very scary place. Here the world stops, the edge falls away into the hungry sea below, it`s spittle hits my face. I am fascinated, I am very scared. I sit down. I hear things, nasty, sneaking whispers that tell me to jump, go on just a bit closer. My tummy feels funny, my legs tingle.
    “No.” I shout at it. I lie on the ground amongst the gorse and sea clover and kick my feet. Finally I cry.

    The wind strokes my hair and dries my tears and together we edge backwards from those voices. The wind blows them away, they have no power over us.
    “I`m broken.” The wind just tugs at my hair some more and I get up from the ground. A dirty, raggy taggled girl who has just lost her dog because sheep are more important than dogs, than people, than another hundred thousand reasons.
    “When I grow up I`m going to have lots of dogs and no one will take them away.” I say to the wind who quite happily goes on ahead of me.

  17. As I entered the room, I was struck by the mismatch of velvet curtains against the floral pattern of the bedspread. The clock on the table showed it was one in the morning, but to my body, it felt more like three. Exhausted, I pulled open the covers. Did something just move across the sheets? My tired mind protested in denial, but as much as I wanted a good night’s sleep, I couldn’t succumb. Kneeling next to the bed’s edge, I pulled out a credit card and scraped along the mattress seam.

    Please don’t let the bed bugs bite.

    1. OMG. So, I am allergic to bed bug bites…. You’re wondering how I know this right? FML. Moved into a student house with an infestation SO bad that you could see them crawling all over everything. Normally you don’t see them, thats how bad it was. When I woke up the next day they were in my cup of water, running over my clothes. It was horrific. I’d been bitten 68 times, so I took my cup with my drowned bed bugs in it down to the estate agent. They said they couldn’t get us out the contract. So I stripped to my bra, and showed them my skin and 68 bites with a shop full of people…. this caused a bit of a stir. They apologised and said no. So I slammed the cup on their desk and said if they didn’t move us THAT DAY, I was going to collect the little fuckers in a cup without water and sprinkle them in their shop… They moved us. I mean, would you really mess with a half naked angry lesbian brandishing a cup of bed bugs….. LOL.

      1. I don’t blame you one iota! My co-workers make fun of me, but I check out the places work sends me to against 2 bed bug registry databases before the trip and then I check the mattress before going to sleep.

          1. In defense of my bed bug ocd, we once took our dog on vacation only to wind up bringing a flea infestation back with us and it was hard enough to eradicate those bugs. I would hate to have to deal with bed bugs at home

  18. I love your ‘writing stories’ Sach. But the story about the terrible two’s was a story in itself, lol. Sorry about your crap; just pray it ends after two, lol. 🙂 <3

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