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Friday, 25 March 2011
Friday Fiction #6 - Activity 1.15
This is taken from the University course again - activity 1.15. If I remember correctly, we had a choice of writing about a hairdresser finishing his work for the day and venturing out into Soho, or a mother of twins just moved into the village of Tollard Royal. They say write what you know - I know nothing about hairdressing or Soho, but I do know something about being a mum. :)
Screams woke me, twisting my stomach into knots and yanking me from deep sleep. I groaned as I levered myself out of bed, sliding cold toes into slippers without conscious thought.
'Oh, God, not yet,' I muttered, glancing at the clock. Crimson LEDS shouted 4am at me. 'It's too early!'
The cries persisted so I stood and snatched my dressing gown from the nearby chair, tugging it on and wrapping myself in comforting softness. I winced as the door creaked open, cursing the old hinges as the sound seemed to encourage the cries to a higher pitch. The door to the twins' room stood ajar and I hurriedly stepped inside.
'Hey, hey, hey,' I murmured, leaning over the edge of the cot to scoop Lara from the tangle of blankets, keeping my voice soft despite the grumpiness of being woken so early. 'Shhh, baby.'
The cries softened slightly to gulping little sobs as she snuggled into me and I rubbed her back, feeling how cold her little hands were as they lay against my skin.
'Did you kick those blankets off again, huh? Silly girl.'
Automatically I rocked her and wondered at it. I'd never considered myself maternal, but it was funny how that movement came so naturally, how my voice took on that higher, singsong version. I had always told my friends I would never speak to my children like that, that it was childish and patronising. Amazing how things change.
With Lara's sobs fading, I glanced over at her sister. Sophie seemed oblivious to her twin's distress, still tucked within her blankets, her tiny hands curled into little fists that poke from the edge of the covers. Despite it all, I couldn't restrain a smile at the sight; a definition of contentment.
I sighed and moved to the window. I hadn't pulled them quite straight the night before, and I could see out into the lane beyond. The village of Tollard Royal lay silent and swathed in mist, the row of cottages opposite rendered into squat grey shapes like huge rocks looming from a sea of white vapours. I shivered, chilled by the thought of the the damp mist outside, by the bleakness of it all. I'd lived in a small village all my life, although not this one, but there was something unwelcoming about this one. Our neighbours were friendly but reserved; I'd yet to make any friends here even amongst the handful of other mums. It was almost as if they were waiting for something, assessing us to see how we might fit into their community. I wondered what would happen if we failed the test.
I shivered again and pressed my lips against the fine down of Lara's hair; so, so soft. I never got tired of that feeling. She was asleep again, a bundle of warmth and softness in my arms, and the desire to remain there for the rest of the night tempted me. Instead, I laid her back into the cot and tucked her in carefully, hoping to prevent any further disturbance.
'Sleep well, honey,' I told her, and quietly left the room. No sooner had I wriggled myself back under the duvet and closed my eyes than another cry jerked them open. Sophie was screaming.