My 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.
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.
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.
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.
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…