Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A return to writing

It's been a long time since I posted, indeed since I've written anything. I've had the idea for this flash rumbling around in my brain for a few weeks but only today have I been able to find the physical and mental space to create something with it. Just a short piece but after six months of no writing I'm easing myself in; with NaNoWriMo round the corner why overload myself?!

The Wedding Dress

The rustle of silk on plastic, throat-catching tang of naphthalene, a salt stream on her cheek. Barraged by memories Marion looks at her wedding dress hanging on the back of the bedroom door. A small sob escapes her parted lips, Simon looks in from the bathroom. He makes as though to speak, then sees what Marion is looking at and changes his mind. Simon sits on the bed next to Marion, his arm round her waist. Marion feels the warmth of Simon's touch and is grateful for this and the continued silence.

Marion's mother made the dress from ivory silk damask, all sewn by hand. It wasn't a showy dress, simple and elegant with short sleeves, the skirt down to mid-calf. Marion looked so pretty, Simon so handsome in his morning suit. A small wedding in the village church, no-one had any money to spare for an extravagant occasion then anyway, the war was still fresh in people's minds. They had a week in the Lake District on honeymoon, staying in a pleasant guest house over looking Derwentwater. So long ago.

A black and white photograph in a silver frame hangs above the dresser, the young smiling couple gaze out on the room, eyes full of hope and promise. Fifty years stretch to an abyss, the golden days which the young woman in the photograph thought would never end, gone. Then everything was possible.

Marion stands then fetches a tape measure from her dressing table drawer. She measures the waist of the dress, 21 inches, her eyes fill with tears. Simon stands behind her, a comforting hand on her shoulder. He turns away then and goes to the wardrobe. Marion turns too, curious as Simon opens the door and fumbles for something hanging in the far dark. He pulls out a grey suit, clear polythene covering it after dry-cleaning. He hangs it next to Marion's dress, eases the tape measure from her hands and measures waist of the trousers; 31”.

“Granny! Grandad! Everyone's here!”

Michael's head pops his head round the half-open door, a big smile lighting his face.

Simon speaks, “We're on our way down Michael.”

Marion dries her eyes, “Happy anniversary darling.”

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