making a move:

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An early christmas presentappeared on my desk a few days ago…. a computer complete with internet connection!

I haven’t blogged in a few months but I have been writing, reading and learning so having logged back on here I realise it’s time to start fresh and taking on board all of your comments hopefully I’ll not only make a better blog but also a better me.

please find me at caswebb.wordpress.com , I look forward to touching base with all of you again!

cheers

cas

 

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Venting… a short story.

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Let me tell you a story about an 18 year old girl,

hanging out and having fun with her friends. School was all finished, university was on the horizon and after a few drinks at the pub everyone strolled leisurely back to the redesignated after party destination.

The night was chilly, one of those nights where winter regained control from summer. There was a mix of friends, everyone knew each other and everyone was laughing. Light music played in the background and a blanket was dragged from one of the rooms to keep everyone warm on the trampoline.

Chinese whispers and wrestling matches keep everyone occupied and right around sunrise most people said their good nights and walked home.

Two people stayed, though one of them lived there so really it was only one hanger-on, just one girl who should probably have left but didn’t.

Two weeks later the little test had 2 pink lines…

na not really but it sounds more poetic that way doesn’t it? Four weeks later she was frantic out of her mind, blew off the guy she’d kind of been seeing for a week and went to see the doctor. The doctor could hardly control his look of disgust, the midwife seemed lost for words and there was not a hope a single soul was going to find out – just yet.

“There’s a bus leaving for the clinic [insert name of town two or three hours away] would you like a seat on it?” The doctor asked.

The girl shook her head, she was scared but abortion wasn’t on her list of solutions.

What next? Not crying was priority number one. Two select friends were let in on the secret but this was completly new ground for them all. They couldn’t offer any support or answers or help.

Telling the folks was a must – but not until after the 3 month mark. There was no way she was going through the pain of telling people only to miscarry and have to take it all back.

Three months passed in a state of absolute stress and like world war three the news enticed tears and shouts and disappointment from almost every member of the family.

Still no moment could compare to the seconds when the ‘babies father’ was told, burned into her memory with twinges of shame and complete dispair. Each syllable held such hope and yet granted nothing of the kind.

“I’m pregnant.” she said. His eyes lit up like he was being let in on some great piece of gossip. “it’s yours.”

He dropped his head in his hands, sitting on the crochet rug that covered his parents sofa. He wasn’t going to say anything, or do anything, he didn’t care about her but she failed to see this.

“No one else knows, i’ve told no one so you don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.” she handed him her number scribbled on a shred of paper, and left.

Of course he didn’t ring, he didn’t try to talk to her, and she formulated a plan to avoid ever having to disclose the fathers ID. Simple enough, she would say he was a sheerer – a travelling worker – she didn’t know his surname so how could she track him down? He had been kind and gentle and romantic and she didn’t regret it so she’d be able to run with this story for the rest of her childs life. Especially if the real father wanted nothing to do with them.

If only the real father had been kind or gentle or romantic or even worth the five seconds of her time – but as every girl knows only a handful of guys out there know how to be any of those things. She would even have settled for exciting and passionate sex but even that was out of the question.

She wasn’t even showing when the bullying began. Names shouted out at her in the street, accusations and whispered comments and blatant harassment. She was pregnant and everyone knew it. Not from her doing, obviously, and it didn’t take long to trace the source back to the biological father. He hadn’t cared enough to talk to her or discuss anything with sensitivity but he was quite happy to start the rumor mill and let the whole town know what he thought of her. Apparently she was ruining his life, she was lying trying to get money out of him and amongst the other threads of hatred and aggression the message was clear, she was in this alone.

Worse, he had stolen both of their ‘out’. Even those whom she could have successfully lied to believed the stories and rumours, they filled out the paperwork for her and she just watched, unable to correct the hurried scribbles of the babies fathers ID, unable to but in and say ‘it was a travelling sheerer, i’m not sure of his full name, they called him …..’ it was pointless. They knew the truth and the both of them had to ware it all because he couldn’t keep his mouth shut. He had to spread the misery around.

The midwife gave her a list of post natal depression symptoms and before the baby was even born she was beyond that. So ashamed she didn’t even want to be seen, so scared she refused to talk to people, she tried to hide her body and work though the days on the family farm, as far out of sight as possible. Her happiest pregnant moments were those living 50km from town on a little property with no phone, no tv, a wood fuel stove and one item of furniture – a foldout bed positioned in front of the lounge room fire. No one was there to point or yell or whisper. It was easier that way.

She knew she was condemned but she refused to hate the baby. That little 8pound bundle of joy was made to be loved, even if she was not made of love.

And the desperate vein of life’s own cruel twists is that no matter how far into the future it gets the small steps misplaced in those beginning months lead inevitably to a force of fate in at least 3 lives. She is doomed to bare the scars placed by the babies father and the constant reminder of his attempts to dominate in her life and the child who should have been loved from the beginning will never know a whole home, only pieces of the live she might have been granted.

In the mothers eyes it was never ment to be this way.

Kemla

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I’ve posted a few short stories on Kemla, mostly the ‘prelogue’ type stuff. I’ve others from deeper in the first novel – like the moment Kemla and Orin meet… But they would kind of be spoiling the intensity of the moment by reading them out of context so i’m not sure whether to post them or if it matters, who wants to read more?

Zakkai, Kemla’s Da.

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What’s a father made of?

A Short Story from the Kemla Series, from her fathers point of view.

             “What are little girls made of? Rot and grot, and their fathers’ snot.”  The man sung, chugging ale and laughing at his own joke.

The rest of the household held little respect for any of his jokes, which perplexed his deep respect for his own authority. It was a building effect, as each moment passed he grew more and more angry, more determined to prove his point, more desperate to drink and not just the ale in his hand. He desired dominance, not that he saw it as any more than a god given right but the longer it was lacking the more he sought it.

“Ma,” the child called, it was the only word the two year old knew and that infuriated the man.

His foot jerked out from under the table, slamming into the bottom of the girl and sending her small body flying forwards and crashing into the cobbled floor.

“Silence you!”

“Zared she’s a child!”

Her words had no meaning but her tone changed everything.

“Women!” He roared, standing quickly and sending his chair flying.

There was still a large dinning table between him and his family but the distance could be easily covered. Retribution was only seconds away. The child clung in her mothers arms, tears and silent sobs were evidence of pain and fear but both factors alluded the man. Fear was not submission.

“Zared you keep your hands, and your feet, to yourself,” her tone held more force when used to convey a quiet resolution than he seemed to be able to muster in any of his growls or demands. Fury built higher in him, his fists already clenched.

Another little body ran into the room, not a full run, not the run of a happy child. She was meek and tentative and this amused her father. She huddles in beside her mother, risking a glance at the fuming man across the room. The depth in her eight year old eyes, the unfaltering comprehension of the situation, is lost on the man. Her trepidation, her misery, her angst are beyond him. His ideals, his view of the world is disjointed and misaligned, but from where he’s standing he’s right and everyone else somehow enjoys provoking him.

The older sibling slips her hands in around her sister, cradling her tight and running from the room, though it’s not without effort.

The man’s only thought is that wherever they go they’d best come back with something worth his time, something worth their keep. His mind quickly slips to the women before him, his mirth erupts, filling the house.

“You can’t run like your brats can you Ysabel? Or poor grandma upstairs will bare the brunt of your treachery.”

“I don’t need to run Zared.”

“You want to, you want to taunt me, you enjoy quarrelling with me, you live to incite me. I pay for your keep, I feed you, I keep you and those brats alive!”

“You were once a good man Zared,” Her tone slips lower, sorrowful, and for half an instant something stirs in the man.

Followed quickly by remorse and he buries the lot, slamming his fist on the table.

“You wait and see Ysabel, one of these day’s I’m not going to come home and then where will you and your brats be? Where would grandma be?” He pelts the mug across the room but she doesn’t flinch, resigned to his torments. If it hits her it hits her and if it doesn’t what’s it matter?

The  mug slams into the wall, spilling ale both on flight and impact.

“Clean that up wench!” He yells, slamming the front door open and following by slamming it shut after himself.

“Stupid wretched women, revolting kids…” he mumbles and grunts as he stomps down the street. Making a better impression of a tantrum than the kids he hates.

It’s in this state, half drunk and full of rage, that he finds an inn and downs his coin worth of mead.

With the added influence of intoxication, and the hatred for his lot in life still boiling in his veins, he turns the almost packed inn and shouts, “anyone care for a house, I’ve one going cheep.” There’s not a lot of thoughts floating around in his head, the desire to punish the wife and children who have wronged him and a vague notion of starting again, of starting fresh.

“Care to wager that house?” A gentleman asks, his attire not out of place in the inn, the centre of the slums still attracted many a wealthy man looking to engage in coin making enterprises that usually also inflict some manner of pain on the less well off of the population.

Zared didn’t care, he was good enough to play cards with a nobleman. He considered himself good enough to win and delighted in the coin that built up before him. His previous temper was nothing compared to the rage that overtook him as the coin begun to diminish. Stupid mistakes happened before his eyes, like he was dreaming and he knew the outcome of his next move but he still made it, he was watching himself loose and by late afternoon he found himself tossed out onto the street with nothing left but the clothes he was wearing.

He paced the ally behind the inn, actually his motions were more like stomping staggers. Movements that lightened when his path, by chance, crossed that of the noblemen who too all his money. Like the thieve he’d become he chased, unseen, after the man and scaled the wall surrounding his townhouse. There was little in the way of any connecting thought in the man. He wasn’t planning or scheming, just doing – enacting his rage, taking his retribution. He let himself into the kitchen and confronted with an angry nobleman things happened very quickly.

The nobleman was easily overpowered, unconscious on the floor his family came running. They weren’t like his own woman and children, they didn’t know how to be quiet, or when to run.

“You monster, get out of my house, you brute, you beast…”

The back of his hand met the face of the women and abruptly silenced her protests. He was none of those things, neither a monster, or a brute or a beast. His rage clouded judgement etched further from comprehension. The children he picked up and hung by the backs of their shirts on nearby pothooks.

“You leave my children,” the awakening noblemen demanded. “You filthy commoner.”

How the night unfolded Zared never fully recalled. His blood stained arms were testament to someone’s demise but who’s or how? He didn’t care either, not truly. For his memory loss yes but for their lives, any of them, they deserved whatever they got. One thing he did realise, not a block from his home, was that he couldn’t stay in the city. The noblemen did have the details of his home, and was perhaps dead, so trouble would come looking for Zared. Best he went where trouble couldn’t find him.

The sun was set but not by long, people were still about, giving Zared a wide birth. The man made his way out of town, hope unfolding within him. However it came about this was the fresh start he was after, he knew nothing of where he’d be in a few day’s time and that pleased him greatly. Perhaps he’s buy his own inn, become a working man? He forgot about the past, it wasn’t too hard to do, and just kept walking. All but himself elapsed, the same as he’d lived his whole life.

And of the women and children, his children, word came to them of what had passed. Good deeds often call more good deeds to themselves, they made their own freedom, overtime.

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