A hundred other mornings echoed, as my feet touched the kitchen floor. Moving from memory, I dumped cigarette ashes and washed empty wine bottles. The mess was easy to clean; it was the remnants of shallow conversations from fleeting relations that wouldn’t wash off. I opened the balcony doors for fresh air and fed the neighbor’s cat a small bowl of milk.
“Vivette, make coffee,” she grumbled from her bedroom.
I listened to them laughing. Little was missed through the thin walls of our small apartment. Moments later my mother staggered in wearing only a slip. “Pour me some of that” she said as she sat down at the table. It was hard not to admire the symmetry of her bold features. Her full lips came naturally in a deep red most women had to pay for. Her large brown eyes stared somewhere in the distance, as she ran her hand through her short thick auburn hair, it fell framing her face, as if it knew its job. Despite her beauty, it was bitterness that defined her. Life’s disappointments had left her hard. I regarded her disapprovingly, but like the wall that kept her detached, I was invisible. The toilet flushed.
“You’re up early.” I wasn’t used to seeing her on a Saturday morning.
She motioned her head towards the bathroom, “He has to work today,” she said lighting a cigarette. I didn’t want to know his name or what he did for a living; relationships were like jobs to my mother, frequent and self-defeating.
The smell of sour milk arrived before he did. “How about some of that coffee?” He seemed to think I was the regular waitress at the local café. I tried not to notice him sitting there immodestly in a worn t-shirt and pants he hadn’t bothered to fasten. The hairs from his armpits blended with the ones on his shoulders and chest. Like the primitives we’d been studying in biology, he hadn’t evolved far from his ancestors. He lit a cigarette with one hand and slid the other between my mother’s thighs.
“You have errands to do, no?” It wasn’t a question.
“I need some money.”
My mother looked at the man. “Give her money.”
“Why the hell do I have to give her …?” The look on my mother’s face was enough to stop Cro-Magnon from questioning any further.
I turned my head towards the windows, as if the warm rays offered an escape. I could hear my grandmother’s voice, “smile to the sun if your spirt ever needs lifting, of all the darkness we create, the sun never stops shining.”
“Yah all right, here.” He said throwing some money on the table “Bring back the change …”
“And don’t forget my pills,” she added.
As I left the apartment, she was leading him back to her bedroom.
Some great short stories. I liked the pot of soup reminding of home, the horrid rainy day out leading to meeting her future husband and Oor Street which I enjoyed reading aloud to sound like a Scot! I never spoke Scottish before. With the help of phonetic stories, I sounded Scottish! Hilarious! It’s good to try out with friends.
I really liked the book at the beginning when Maud was getting confused and driving the police, her friend’s son and her daughter mad with her “Where do you plant marrows?” and “Elizabeth is missing” as a way of trying to figure out and communicate how her sister died after the war. Towards the middle of the book I was anticipating what kind of mishap Maud’s disintegrating mind would create. By the end of the book, it was getting ‘sameish’, predictable and I was getting impatient to find out how Sukey died and who killed her, but the mystery remains open-ended.
It’s a great perspective of a character with Dementia and I do empathise with those who have this common condition. Ordinary things are so hard for them and the book expresses that well. The book displays ‘showing’…
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An enjoyable read about the Welsh demigod/demon Cadegan (or Cardigan as I like to pronounce it) who is trapped in the mythical world of Avalon/Glastonbury (long after King Arthur and Merlin are dead) which is behind an enchanted mirror in a haunted house in New Orleans – of course and not in the UK! 🙂
Drum roll, please…TADA!
As promised, this is the cover for Sentient – Book Two of the Mentalist Series. Like it? I really hope so! It’s supposed to follow on from the theme of Aversion’s cover. Thanks to everyone who got involved in the design process. You know who you are…love you guys to bits!
Now for more book info –
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