Writespiration #91 The Hug You've Always Wanted

Photo Curtsey of Luca Sartoni

Photo used with permission. Photo Credit to Luca Sartoni. Left to Right: Sacha Black, Suzie Speaks, Lucy Mitchell

I’m still reminiscing about the Bash, so I thought I would make this week’s writespiration all about the bash.

For me, one of the most amazing moments was when I saw two bloggers, realise who each other were. They leapt into each others arms. Flung themselves at each other like catapults and gripped hold like the world would end if they let go.

It was magical, emotional, and in that exact moment, I knew why I’d spent so long organising the event.

It’s a beautiful thing to watch…A moment of pure bliss.

So this week, your challenge is to write a story or poem in less than 200 words, all about a hug. A hug you’ve been waiting a long, long time for. Entries due by 10th July. To join in, either post your story in the comments or link with a ping back.

Please note, I read and moderate every entry, there are quite a lot of entires so expect a delay before your story appears in the comments and before I respond to you.

Now to last time, which feels like a life time ago now. Burnt edges…

First in, Ritu

Gingerly she picked up the remnants of the fire. Mostly it was just ash left behind but there was one piece of paper that had stubbornly not burned fully.

Typical.

It was a photo, and her favourite one ironically.  They looked so happy in it, smiling into each other’s eyes.

What had happened? Wasn’t she good enough? Could she change anything?

Her friends had said that this fire would be cathartic, she would feel fantastic after purging him from her life with the aid of these ‘ceremonial’ flames.

They had offered to be with her, to sit there and throw insult after insult at the bastard, as she dropped all these memories in to burn, but she thought it would be better, just her and a bottle of wine for company. Then she could cry as well as let her true feelings out.

Looking at the photo, she felt it was a sign. She would keep this picture,  and every time she felt herself weaken, she would look at the burnt edges of the photo, and remind herself why she had to walk away…


Next up, my lovely writing friend from the next village, Lesley Mace,

Gretel’s Story

Day after day flour fattens in the tins.
I knead the dough as yeast unlocks the bread.
My brother swings above me in a cage,
I dare not think about what it is made of.
Its lock whispers, ‘Flee! Go home little girl.’

As gingerbread men shout of yeasty death,
as bread screams – burning – Hansel also fattens.

Blind crone trusts in the bone I have her feel.
My brother has not meat enough, she thinks.
But soon she grows impatient and won’t wait,
today’s the day she’s chosen for sweet feeding.

I light the oven, check the catch is strong,
I beckon to her, smell her rank approach,
And – as she bends to test the heat –
I push with all my strength and bolt the door.

We burst the cage of bones and run away,
our hands over our ears to block her shrieking.


Next up the lovely D. Wallace Peach

The call woke us in the middle of the night, a neighbor screaming that our summer place was engulfed in flames. We drove up there on the weekend to find a pile of char dusted with ash. Everything was gone in the place where I, my father, and my grandfather had spent our childhoods.

The contents had been old and worn but tenderly loved: the tattered books, the pillows my mother had sewn, the logbook with hundreds of messages from visitors who’d joined us there over the decades. All swept up in the smoke, some memories impossible to reclaim.

We rebuilt. I stitched new pillows and scoured flea markets for old tables and chairs, for tattered books and well-played games. We started a new logbook though it didn’t feel quite the same. What we couldn’t replace were the huge cedars that had crowded the lakeside for centuries. The fire consumed dozens of them and left many scarred. We planted saplings, but will always see the burned edges of what was lost.


Geoffle next with a hilarious tale

Bernd Hedges hated his silly name. Everyone misheard him and giggled. ‘Burnt Edges? That’s a daft name.’ Why had his German mother married and Englishman and chosen his grandfather’s name for him? It was bloody thoughtless. But for Bernd the worst was still ahead. It was a Monday. He was late for the team meeting and Roger hadn’t noticed him sneaking in when he said, ‘Has anyone heard from the Singed Fringe?’


Allie up next with a really heart warming story

A curved scar split my grandmother’s chin and continued down her neck. It was the only thing that spoke of the flames that once licked her face as a child. Grandma herself never spoke of that awful day or of those who weren’t as lucky as she to only be scarred. The fact that Grandma lived with that mark to almost ninety was proof I was descended from those of strong stock, determined grit, and quiet resolve. Survivors.

As the years passed, I noticed how her scar faded while other lines on her face grew more pronounced, until the average person seeing her on the street might not even recognize it for what it was. Certainly at the end, no one would do a double take, but by then Grandma wouldn’t have cared if they did. As far as she was concerned, the only double take that mattered had been over sixty years ago when at a local dance, a young man saw the woman, and not the scar. And when that same man shyly asked her if she’d like to dance, that same woman said yes.

It is not enough just to survive. You must love too.


Next in Marje (Kyrosmagica) with an emotive piece

Suicide Burns

We all have burnt edges in our lives but mine exist as a form of evidence, a folded piece of paper scarred by a torched flame of memories. The suicide note had intentional burnt edges around the colourless paper creating a waving motion, a final goodbye. She’d wanted me to remember those precious smoke filled memories spent together, before her debilitating cruel illness burnt joy to dust. The note cast a warming glow each time I opened it. I smelt the aroma of logs, her sweet perfume rekindling long lost memories of our passionate love making, the embers of the open fire caressing our naked, youthful bodies.

After her suicide, I placed the folded note next to my heart. For days it remained untouched until I unfolded it’s sad, weary edges. How I longed to hear her thoughts, to say one last farewell, but her silent note told of the pills that I’d stockpiled. The note was no longer in my breast pocket. It was evidence of my confession: loving her too much. Her ghost danced alone, a pain free sparkle of brilliant illuminating light. The prison door claimed my guilt, a small price to pay, my sweet dearest love.


Mcclellanelias in next with a short power punch

Memories of love sear with passion bright and hot. Memories of false love burn with the stabbing pain of an ice shard through the heart. Time is no balm for that wound.


Jane in Next with a hugely powerful descriptive piece from her book (which I am reading now) Abomination

The man with the single, raging red eye and half his face burned away pointed, and the ramshackle barrier of upturned sofas and bed frames burst into flame. Maria Dolores screamed and covered her face, as tribesmen leapt into action, whooping with the pent up excitement of years of captivity, imprisoned by the biting cold and the devastation beyond the fragile walls of the mall.

Knives and bludgeons flailed, cutting down anyone stupid or slow enough to be hanging around in their path—stray children, the last of the old folks. Maria Dolores ripped the holy medal from around her neck and flung it with a stream of high-pitched invective into the flames. There was no hope now. Humanity had fled and He had come to take its place.


Derrick W. Miller up next with this tale with a sting

“Your phone doesn’t seem to be taking my calls,” I text. I just turned it on for her this Friday. She was paroled last night.

“it’s ok. I’m going to my sponsor today,” was all she text back.

“Good to hear.” I replied. “I’ll be home soon.”

No reply.

“Lacy, where are you?” I punched into my phone messages for the umpteenth time.

“Are you still there at your sponsors?” .

“Let me know you’re ok.”

Still no answer.

“Sarah, this is Doc. I’m sorry to bother you, but Lacy posted she was with you Friday.”

“You’re doc? The older guy she’s living with? She got a ride to your house Friday night.”

“She never came back. I was hoping that she spent the weekend with you.”

“That’s bad news, Doc. I’m sorry but she won’t answer my calls. I’m done with her.”

“Your girlfriend is seeing other people,” stated the restricted phone line.

“She hasn’t been here for over 2 weeks, she is not my girlfriend,” came my well rehearsed line.


Gordon up next with this excellent and educational little tale based on a real life discovery

Molly looked at the mess on the hearthstone and muttered under her breath. It wasn’t that her employer was a cruel man, he wasn’t, he was very kind and considerate, but Mr Walker was a chemist, and that meant mess.

He had told her that he was trying to make an, ‘inflammable liquid’, to make lighting fires easier. Why, she couldn’t understand, wasn’t a tinderbox simple enough? All he seemed to be making were horrible smells and mess like this on the hearth, she knelt down, and, taking an old knife, began to scrape it off.

Her scream echoed through the house, Mr Walker was the first in the room to find her sitting, shocked on the floor. Sulphurous fumes filled the room and flames were flickering over the hearthstone.

“I just scraped, and the stone caught fire.” She muttered, still shocked.

His eyes gleamed,

“Wonderful!” she looked at him bemused. He turned to his housekeeper.

“Take her and give a strong cup of tea, it’s alright, in fact it’s wonderful.”

As she rose he pressed a sovereign in her hand, ‘For your cap, the edges are all burnt.”

“Mad”, she thought as she left the room, “Quite mad.”


Judy from Edwina Episodes in next with this fab poem and a reminder to be kind

A throw-away comment

Stays with you, you know

Ok, it might fade a bit

But it never really goes.

Have you ever bought a new outfit

Then showed it to your mum?

Twirling around to show it off

Whilst sucking in your tum!

She looks you up and down a bit

Her face a furrowed frown

“It would look better on your sister”

Now you feel hurt and put- down.

Or the jealous ex-husband

Who wants to keep you in your place

Telling you that you look a mess

With that makeup on your face!

What about the best friend

That you tell your secrets to?

Who has betrayed your confidence

And made you look a fool

Sometimes we think it’s funny

To make a snide remark

Without a single worry

That our words have left their mark!


D.G Kaye up next with a heart wrenching tale inspired by her memoirs

Ode to my Mother

I have feared you for most of my life,
How hard I’ve tried to end the strife.

You’d never own up to your mistakes,
The decades had passed, yet your heart won’t awake.

I shudder and wince when I think of you alone,
But you left me no choice, emotional abuse I could no longer condone.

I wish you peace Mama in the time you have left,
I just can’t come back, my heart is bereft.


Lee Juana in next with another emotional story

As I stuff the last stack of sweaters into the contractor sized trash bag, I think, “I was a minimalist way before minimalism was cool.”

I glance back at my five year old self overhearing my sweet, angelic voiced grandmother telling my aunt how I was “the stingy one, but her sister is free-hearted.” Some words burden the heart and hold one’s foot to the ground a beat longer. Not these, with laser sharp precision, my grandmother burned “stingy” on the surface of my heart.

I am not stingy. I am free-hearted! Only to sit here in an empty closet and realize that my grandmother was right. I’ll give you everything, except me.


Jade Wong with a rather haunting science fiction piece, what if it were true?

The world was on fire, and I didn’t lift a finger to stop it.

Because I was the one who lit the match.

“I don’t feel like we’re doing the right thing anymore,” my companion said, as he watched billions of screaming people desperately trying to run from the flames. Like cattle with no shepherd. Or cattle with their heads chopped off.

“We’re long overdue for a cleansing,” I replied, from my cross-legged perch, looking down at what I’d done. Flames licked the ocean surfaces as if they were slathered with oil. Entire countries were engulfed by infernos, becoming nothing more than wisps of ash. The edges of the world had disintegrated into smoky embers.

“But…the people. It doesn’t seem right.”

I fixed my companion with a resolute gaze. “When the smoke clears, we’ll build anew. New people, new beginning, new world. And this time, hopefully, will be the last time.”


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55 comments

  1. There’s nothing quite like a hug. Thanks for the mention Sacha. Still missing the bash… so glad I found you and all these wonderful bloggers. It does make me wonder whatever I did before. Have to say I’m the happiest I’ve been for a very long time. 🙂

  2. The Hug
    A dark place. A phrase that is used often yet whispered by those who have been there. I lived through a dark place and now have the sunshine on my face and the green grass under my feet. My escape started with a simple tale about a selkie which captured the heart of a princess. She wrote back and so started the unfolding of soul loving soul. Eventually, we were to meet, she would leave her tower and travel to a wild land, never visited by often thought of. I would bend the bars of my cage and fly towards her. I saw her before she saw me and my heart burst the last bars of the cage. She came towards me and smiled then we hugged. Through dark, dark times we survived and married with the sun on our faces and the green grass under our feet.

  3. What an awesome writing prompt! I’m excited to get started. And as always, thank you for compiling and sharing all these great stories. I love seeing how creative everyone gets.

  4. I stood at the window and watched as others scurried about, intent on hundreds of other problems. I was only concerned with one. Though I had been in this place for hours, I wouldn’t have recognized a single one of them were we to meet on the street. I wanted to hate them, these faceless individuals. I hated that they existed, that the world needed them,. . . that I needed them. Stuck on the other side of the glass where no sound would pass, I could only imagine what was being said on the other side about me. I wanted to hate them for all they represented, but couldn’t.

    An unusual flurry of motion managed to do the impossible, cause me to look away. The door opened and a woman walked out. I held my breath as she approached. “The danger is over. Would you like to meet your baby now?”

  5. Hmmm,,,the hug. There are all kinds of hugs. There should be some great responses to this theme.
    The stories were terrific. I always try to pick a favorite, but it is impossible. They are all so different and so well written, how could I ever choose one above the others?

  6. Hi Sacha! The Bloggers Bash is such a brilliant idea and I hope to be able to make it some day. There are so many online friends I’d love to hug. The stories and poems featured here are wonderful. Thank you! <3

  7. That photo says so much of all the energy you put into the Bash and how you all managed to share it with those of us not present. I’ll work on a 200 word story and be back!

    1. Ahh thank you Charli, I am only just coming back to Earth after the bash. Been super tired – think I gave all my energy away! But I am going to come back to the ranch shortly. <3

  8. Empty arms

    There have been so many times,
    Your arms around me, held so tight,
    When I have thought heaven was mine,
    In an embrace that fills the night.
    Each time that tenderness, so sweet,
    I just reach out and you are there,
    Our bodies fit, match and complete,
    Is almost more than I can bear.
    But the deepest longing never sated,
    Beneath the bliss, a constant pain,
    Is for those gone far beyond my loving,
    All those I’ll never hold again.

    https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/2016/07/01/empty-arms/

  9. Aw! That is awesome! 💖 I can just imagine that’s how I’d be at the Bash. It’d be such an amazing moment to realize (with a “z” ‘cuz that’s how we Americans roll) that the girl in the corner by the bar is one of your good friends online or the book blogger you read every week.

    Ugh, I missed “burnt edges”. I might still use it for a flash. These are great stories.

    1. Well, as long as you don’t cower in a corner we’re all good. To be fair, I think you would get FAR too many hugs to be allowed to cower anywhere, and that’s just from me and Geoff!

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