Tonight will be full of good food, bonfires and fireworks, if the downpour of rain stops in time. In my case, it will consist of good food and loud music while comforting a quivering dog who thinks the world is ending. In the last month, since I have come back to writing I have accomplished things I never thought I would.
They may only be tiny to many of you but to me, they are massive.
- I joined a Facebook group or two so I can discuss writing, gain support to stop me floundering and retreat back to my cave mumbling “I can’t do this” while throwing my laptop into the depths of darkness
- signed up for a writing course to learn more skills
- signed up to NaNoWriMo as a rebel
- joined a local writing group
- I wrote a piece of short fiction to share at the group. I nervously read it aloud to them yesterday. I resisted temptation to hide under the table, wash up remaining mugs from our tea break or hide in the loo. The doom I imagined,as well as the intense criticism and laughter did not happen. Relief descended but they could just have been being nice to the red-faced, stuttering and trembling newbie.
So today I am going to pluck up my courage again and share it to you*
With the flick of a match, the flames stuttered into life. “Come on,” she
pleaded. “Take! Hurry!” Perhaps she should have added something to help. She should have paid more attention to the annual fire building for their bonfire party over the years. But then, she seethed, she was always run ragged in the kitchen, adding the finishing touches to the copious amounts of food and lashings of hot chocolate made just how he liked it. She would be sweating, her feet aching while raucous laughter would drift into the house as he played the perfect host, regaling stories to entertain his friends. Fireworks would be set up and ready to go, waiting for the right moment.
She shook away those thoughts, breathing in the smoky air and revering in the increasing crackle of the fire. The night was otherwise silent. Flames began to creep up higher and higher, and she was caught, mesmerized by the flickering dance of the flames. Finally, the flames surged upwards, roaring as they caught the bottom of the guy’s trousers. Elizabeth smiled, feeling the warmth of the Horlicks spreading through her gloves.
No one was surprised when she contacted them declaring the party had been cancelled, though she could hear the disappointment in their voices and the unsaid thought that John could have waited until after bonfire night to run off with his mistress. Maybe she should not have cancelled. The bonfire was made, everything organised and well prepared. His friends could have been standing alongside her watching the flames swallow up the trousers and catch the jacket of the Guy. She wondered whether they would notice it was his favourite jacket, the one he always wore. The one he always wore when entertaining. The one he wore when he told her he was leaving. And the one he wore when anger boiled up inside her until she grabbed the antique statue to strike him. Elizabeth was shocked to see him crumble in front of her, blood seeping from the wound. He was always so formidable and alive, and yet there he lay, motionless and weak.
Lighting a sparkler, she idly wrote her name into the darkness. Her maiden name. Bonfire night was a perfect time for new beginnings.
Have a wonderful weekend and Guy Fawkes Night!