Friday, April 24, 2009

Chapter Five, Smoke

Christy looked out, watching the curl of the smoke, from over the paddocks, from the chimneys, of the neighbour's house. She knew they had their fires burning, and it was a fine, almost windless evening.

Looking at the streak of the smoke, breaking into sudden curls, some distance up, from the chimneys, she could feel the chill of the still night air descending. There would surely be a frost later this evening.

She could still hear the screams, echoing inside her head, of her neighbour's daughter, her age, after all, who was being attacked by her bullying brother, on their way over to the cowshed, to help their father with the nightly milking.

She could still see Irene Mc Lintock, running accross the paddock, her long blond hair streaming out, as she ran. Her bully-brother Lenny, catching her, tackling her slender body, crashing her to the ground.

He yelled in victory, as he jumped up and down, upon her poor, slim, body. The bloodcurdling screams and cries for help, unanswered by her family, who should have been her greatest shield, her fiercest protectors.

Christy's Grandmother, looking from the dining room windows, drew a deep breath in horror.

"That girl will never have children" she declared. "What is her father thinking, passing by, ignoring what his son is doing to her?"

Old Len just strode past, ignoring all the screaming, the brutalising of his eldest daughter, by his eldest son.

The younger siblings came barrelling out, onto the paddock. Laughing, jeering, as Irene regained her footing. Limped, slowly over to the cowsheds. Wounded. Hurt.
Her brother, brutally triumphant. What had he achieved?

Christy observed all this, and wondered where the brutal, primeval, urges came from. To be displayed unexpectedly in males. Why did they suddenly become some alien being? What call did they respond to, to be so base? So brutal,? so inhumane? So ...animal?


Christy thought again of Ross.
Remembered the wonderful nights they had had together.
Her mother had lent him her car, and they had travelled to a seaside destination, to join the fun of a carnival.
They had walked the streets, arm in arm, enjoying the lovely salty, warm night air.
How magical it all felt, the lovely salty feeling, the warmth eveloping them, as they strolled the sandy streets. The Pohutukawa trees lining the small alley ways. The cottages, & small blocks of flats, lighted sofly, all, somehow conveying the joy & peace of the evening.

Then, the hideous shock, of the man, kicking a woman, who was lying in the gutter crying.

Christy had leapt upon the kicker, berating him furiously, smacking him away, with slaps & mild punches.
"How dare you"!! "What the hell are you doing? Stop it, Stop it now!!"
Cradling the woman in the gutter, soothing her.

Ross, springing to her side, amazed at her bravery. A little shocked at how fierce she was, to the attacker.

He quickly backed her up, pushed the attacker away.

The 'victim' who had lain in the gutter, invited them back to her place. The 'attacker' turned out to be her husband. She was sure he was having an affair. He denied all knowledge of her accusations.

Christy and Ross never did decipher who was telling the truth. They consoled each other, that at least they had stopped domestic abuse.

They had resisted invites to partake of alcoholic drinks to celebrate the night. They took their leave, and Ross drove them safely home. A pleasant and safe evening for them both.

Another evening, another event. Christy & Ross, invited to a party.

A lot of Christy's aquaintances, a lot of 'strangers' to Ross.

"He drinks too much." A suprise to Christy, who had never seen Ross drinking alcohol, in any great amount.

He became odd. He decided he was 'jealous' of Christy's movements.

Who was admiring her? Who was making a move on her?

Ross began to be paranoid, seeing threats to his 'claim' at every turn.

She made the mistake of laughing, when he suggested such things. She laughed, told him he was "silly."
She did not see the anger, the 'almost mad' light in his eyes when he mentioned it.

Of course, she would later regret missing those warning signs. Those small signals that all was not well. That he did not register things the same way that she did. Indeed the way most other people registered things, as 'normal'.

When he struck with mean vengeance, perhaps. wanting to kill her, for his percieved transgression, Christy was unaware.

She had no idea what or why, he was attacking her. She did note, that had his father not come to her rescue, she would very likely have died.

She still shuddered at the memory. She still mourned the breakdown of the person she had seen as sensitive, loving, & wonderful.

She also knew, she would never trust him again.

Why did she feel he had been close? Why did she see his smile in the mocking curl of the smoke from the neighbour's chimneys?.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Christy's Doubt. Chapter 4.

"Morning Dew"

The winding tendril curls,
It seeks a destination.

In these magic whirls,
I see bright fascination.

A dewdrop suspended,
A treasure~ intended?

For watchful eyes to see,
A diamond blinks, in gold, to me,

It winks so strong, in rising sun,
Bright, fragile morning, just begun.

A treasure left, to flare so bright,
Or pass unseen, in morning's light.


"The Doubt, Expressed."

A little stumble at your station.
You know your situation.

You staggered at the curve,
You knew you had to swerve!

You could not swear alliance,
When you felt so much defiance.

They tried to grasp your mind,
They used the fear to bind.

In the end your sanity prevailed,
Your beliefs survive, unassailed.

The Lisping Leader, his whispers reviled,
You tried to tell them, but they just smiled,

And they said to "Have Faith"
But you knew the truth, his hands were defiled.

He clasped And he grasped,
Anatomy, to which he was not entitled.
The personal invasions, the girls that would squirm,
Who could they tell?
Of the Libertine worm?

Who would believe that the Pillar of Church
Would stoop to defile, commit acts to besmirch?
The Church.

So Churches left all the beliefs of the child.
Shed, "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild"

Never such crap, would again cloud her thoughts.
She instinctively knew, no justice from Courts.


Chapter 4, is really for Christy.

She buried her head into her pillow, sobbing quietly. She had no wish to disturb anyone else, and she felt her distress and sadness, were hers alone.
Her long auburn hair hung about her face, the wild curly tangles, causing her distress, because it was wet, and it was now, somehow, a reminder of Ross. He loved her hair, & she was determined to get it cut.

She could see his fine features. His neat short nose, his beautiful eyes, so grey, so appealing. He always felt he was too short, he told her. She felt he was just right, taller than she was, and so handsome, and fit. He had nothing to feel inferior about. He had told her he felt it unfair his father, old Angus, was taller and broader than he.

She had assured him that was nonsense, that he was perfect the way he was. She had loved his gentle sensitivity. The way he could sense a mood, and tune into it's wavelength.

She could picture his fine fingers, his delicate hands, as if they were meant to be artist's hands. To sculpt, create, somehow make beautiful paintings or works of art in other media.

She knew about certain parts of his life, but he shut out others. He became very secretive about his mother's death. He flat-out refused to talk about it. She thought that may be because he had no actual knowledge of her death, or the circumstances.

She really did not know. No one was prepared to tell her. They all feigned ignorance, & perhaps it was not feigned. Maybe they had no real knowledge.

She knew his father was a very private man. She could still see his shocked, though still handsome, face, appearing out of the mist, as she lost consciousness.
She could vaguely recall his shocked shouts, telling his son to
"Get the Hell off her!"
"What the hell are you doing? Trying to kill her?"

She could still feel that strangulation, that losing of consciousness.

Thank goodness she had had the sense to try to shout, as he attacked her. It had probably saved her life, as Angus had roused from his drunken stupor to come to her aid.

She could remember how he had shouted, to Ross first, then to her. Telling her to
"Get home" "What the hell are you here for?"

She could still feel the shame burn on her cheeks. Was it her fault??

She shuddered in revulsion, and the tears continued to fall, into the Auburn mass, which she decided had to go.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Footy Run. Chapter 3.

The evening was darkening as he hastily laced his trainers, & zipped his jacket. He had decided to take a run, down to the football oval to watch the training.

He had even kidded himself that he might join in.

After his hot day spent heaving bales of hay about for old man Purdy, he was feeling quite weary, & more than a little muscle sore. Old Purdy had made damn sure he got his money's worth out him. The cunning old sod had offered a price before the day's labours began, and he kept adding one more task, one more "little job".

The fact that he only had daughters had never slowed Purdy down, in the dishing out of jobs. He made them work for their keep. As he saw it, they were free labour, and rightly so. One by one, they had grown and gone, as soon as they could. One girl went nursing, down South, one got pregnant and married, making sure she moved away with her new husband. The baby of the family was not waiting around to be worked to a standstill, and she had run off to who knew where.

For months, the talk of the town had been that her father had killed her, and fed her to his pigs, but her mother claimed she got letters from her, so apparently she was not dead at all. Needless to say, the old biddies in the town were rather disappointed there was no juicy scandal.

However there was always other gossip to be found, not least being his return from his 'corrective' holiday, at one of Her Majesty's Establishments.

He supposed his father must have taken his share of the gossiping stares and whispers, and drowned his sorrows each night in his sherry filled haze. In a way, he felt he couldn't blame his father. He was not really sure whether his father was a drunk, or an alcoholic. Either way, the effects were the same, and he felt his father had been missing quite a lot throughout his childhood.

At least he had offered him a home again, once he had got released. It was the considered opinion of the 'Biddies' that poor Angus deserved better than his son, Ross, who had temporarily, gone a little 'wild'.

When Ross had come home from Purdy's, he was surprised to find his father had cooked him a passable meal. There were mashed potatoes, some hogget chops, which had of course come from the inevitable frying pan, along with some soggy cabbage, and a bit of carrot. No gravy, but the tomato sauce bottle was on the table.

Angus had grunted, when he thanked him, and had retired to his room, his radio blattering away, behind his closed door.

Ross had eaten, washed his dishes, then run a bath, & had a good soak to loosen his shoulders.

As he was closing the door, Angus stuck his head out, and shouted, gruffly,
"Go careful, son!"

Ross jogged down the street, in the rapidly chilling night air. As he approached the corner he saw a small bundle of fury come hurtling down the lawn. It looked like a tortured clump of brindle rags, in the streetlight, as it snarled and barked furiously at him.

"Oh Sparky, darling, come here! You know Ross, don't growl at him, he is a friend." Titter titter.

The neighbour daughter, who owned this ragged ball of slathering rage, came daintily out on the lawn, dressed in her nighty, pretending to be shocked at Dear Little Sparky's rage.

Ross ignored them both, and continued jogging on.
Who was she kidding? The dog behaved exactly the same, night or day, no matter who passed by. Ross had contemplated giving Sparky flying lessons, but had decided the aggravation would not be worth any pleasure he might get.

He jogged on down past the houses, then the 'Church of the Lisping Godbotherers', or whatever they called themselves, then past the last straggle of shops, to the footy oval, which was behind the imaginary 'end of town'.

Past the empty basketball courts, where the sweating, heaving girls, with their huge legs, and Gym frocks, with black stockings, manfully played their Saturday Games, with a fury and a passion only a player could understand.

Christy never played Basketball. Did not have any understanding of the game.

He stood outside the bright Oval lights, watching the would-be players running round the oval, passing the ball. The coach was yelling at them.

"Move it MOVE IT!!"

He watched them puffing and panting, most of them a little out of condition, from Summer's pub visits, and parties.

He watched Bennie 'Blue Balls', soon to be married to Donna Keyson, daughter of the local cop. Her father watched her like a hawk, & Bennie had no chance of getting into mischief, or anything else he should not be touching, while Old Keyson watched over Donna.

Hence the those stone flinging, tension filled, drives home, like a crazed man, once Bennie said 'Goodnight' to Donna.

Ross found his feet turning up another street, and he was running quite quickly now, a good rhythm developing, and his feet pounding out her name.

"Christy" "Christy" "Christy"

He knew he should not be coming back here. He knew it was wrong.
He just could not seem to stop himself.

As he neared the gate, he could see, the lights in the diningroom were out. Her mother's car was on the lawn. Her mother must have the night off.

He slunk up past the car, sneaking around past the tank stand. He could see the light was on in Christy's bedroom.

He was startled by a sudden burst of light, from Old Man Dan's next door, as the old man opened his back door- which was his only door, in his humble dwelling, a bach he had built himself.

Old Man Dan, had come out with his teapot, to empty the tealeaves around his lemon tree. For some reason, he believed it would give the tree a better crop of lemons. Maybe he was right.
He went back inside, & closed his door, the light suddenly gone.

Ross edged closer to Christy's bedroom windows, trying to get a glimpse of her, but her curtains were carefully closed. Her mother's bedroom light was on, but her curtains too, were closed.

He stood trembling with ... emotions, swirling, of what, he was not sure, ... was it anger... sorrow... despair?

He knew he had done the wrong thing.

She had given him the benefit of the doubt, the first time.

She had warned him, there would be no third time, should a second occur.

What the hell was wrong with him? What had he been thinking?

Cursing softly, he stole out of the yard. He began his lonely walk home, in the cold, moonlit night.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Morning Sun. Chapter 2.

He sat staring morosely at the painted cream table top, with the sun's rays showing the worn patches, the scratches, & the awful green trim along the edge. It reminded him of the institution green paint. It was supposed to calm people it was said. That particular shade of green made him feel rather green, and also, rather angry.

He supposed the table top was from his mother's days in this house. Before she died. He wondered why his father hadn't got rid of it, or changed it. He wondered if his father even saw it these days. He looked at the little dent marks he had made with his pocketknife one day when his father was not home yet.

His gaze lifted to the smudged widow, the swipe marks where someone had tried to wipe it clean, but had only succeeded in smearing whatever it was, in an arc. He glanced at the filthy curtains, the red & once-white check now grimed, & almost permanantly pleated with stiffness. He could remember the last time his sister had washed them, ironed them, & hung them back in the windows.

It was before he went away, & he was shocked to suddenly notice that the two little pot plants she had placed on the windowsill were still there. Brown skeletons, both of them, with dried soil now almost turned to concrete, or perhaps dust.

His vision shifted out the window, across the long grass, to the leaning stakes from old tomato plants. The overgrown & thigh high weeds which had overtaken the once neat vegetable garden.He remembered weeding it, watering the vegetables, helping his father plant the new seedlings.

That was three years ago now. He had been gone for a year. He had been home again for six months.

If he could really call this home.

He looked at the plum tree, now stripped of most of it's leaves. He remembered the evenings in the early summer when they had lain beneath the magic of the cotton candy tufts of pink plum blossom. He remembered how they had talked for hours. Her long hair lying on the grass.
Little petals of plum blossom, like confetti on her hair. Her easy laugh, their happy discussions of books they had both read. He had felt no one would love the books he liked, but she did. She seemed to see them, understand them with his understanding.

"Where the hell did you go last night?"

His father, standing in the doorway, his face wearing an expression as sour as his after-sherried breath. His eyes red, pouches of too many nights of drinking sagging under his faded blue eyes.

He turned to fill the jug, & turned on the element on the stove under the disgusting frying pan, which looked as if it might never have been washed. It seemed he lived on whatever food came out of that pan.

"I hope you didn't get stupid, & go making trouble at the girl's place. The old Lady doesn't need that nonsense, at her age."

"What makes you think I went there? I just went out for a run. I might play footy."

"Not with your build, your'e too slight. They want big buggers, the Maori boys would flatten you in the first five minutes."

"I might make those Maori boys my mates, then they wouldn't flatten me!"

Why did his father always have to make him feel worse about his size. Why couldn't he have inherited his father's height, not his mother's slight build. He could feel his face burning with the shame, the sense of inadequacy his father just had the knack to bring out. He wished his blond hair & white skin did not make his blushing so obvious. He felt a rage burn over him again.

"Do ya want some bacon? Eggs? May as well have some, seeing I'm cooking. What about a cup of tea, eh?"

As if to soften the remark about his size.His father didn't take milk in his tea, & he knew there was no milk in the fridge. The old man never remembered to buy it, & it rotted in the fridge when he did. He never forgot his sherry flagon though, as the stack of empties out the back testified.

"Nah. I prefer coffee."

"Well if you get a real job, you can buy your fancy coffee, can't you?".

He put the hot water in the teapot, swirled it about, tipping it out and adding the tea leaves from the packet.

"Old man Purdy said I could help stack the hay in his shed today. He'll pay me."

"You can come & work with me. I can teach you house painting, you'd do ok."

"Dad, we both know it wouldn't work, me working with you. I piss you off too much. Besides there wouldn't be enough money. You knock off too early, to get into your piss every day."

The older man turned back to the frypan, flicking the fat over a couple of eggs. Pretended not to hear the last remark.

"Just stay away from that girl, I'm warning you. I don't want any more scenes like there were here that night. Understand?"

He waited a minute or so, dishing out the dripping eggs onto the fatty bacon, some dry bread & butter.

"What the hell were you thinking? I thought you were trying to kill her!"

"Let's leave it eh, Dad? I will see if I can get the mower going, & mow the lawn later this afternoon?"

"Please yourself. I don't care anymore."

He could see his father meant it. He seemed to have lost all care about the yard, the house, his life.

It was a wonder he still had any jobs, but he was still regarded with some respect, even though he 'drank' and his only son had been sent 'away'.

Lenience was given, allowances made. After all the poor man had lost his wife, in childbirth, when she was very young.

He still managed to work, he kept that much dignity.
Night Moods Chapter 1.

He pulled his woollen cap down further about his ears. He had never liked wearing hats of any sort, but he was glad he had this one. The air was sharply cold, & he shrugged his shoulders up, so the collar of his jacket was right up around his neck. He had pulled the zip as high as it would go.

He had never liked ski type jackets, but he was glad he had accepted this from her Grandmother, even though he had not wanted to take a dead man's jacket.

Her Grandmother was practical, and had not wanted it "to go to waste", as she said.

He was actually quite surprised at how often he had worn it.

He wished he had worn the pantyhose, under his jeans, like the others wore for their footy training, The girls teased them about cross dressing, but hell, on cold frosty nights, like this one, they needed something to keep them warm initially.

He walked briskly, watching the puffs of his breath, in the bright moonlight. This was the second night he had headed off briskly, telling himself he would just take a training run.

His feet felt cold still, in his cross trainers, but he knew they would warm as he walked on, the soft spongy soles rolling under the balls of his feet, cushioning his heavy heel footfalls.

He saw the lights knifing through the darkness, as they approached the bend in the road. He quickly crouched down in the ditch, among the long grass, and bracken, that tickled his nose, until the lights had passed, going too fast on the gravel road, the tyres spewing out stones as the driver swung the ute around the curve.

He knew who the driver was, knew he was returning home and would be in a foul mood, as his father-in-law-to-be would have come out to order him home. It was a standing joke, in the dressing room, about the "Blue Balls".

Almost there now, the first fingers of frost tipping the grass, the bracken. It would be a heavy frost, and he felt the cold of it biting at his nose and teeth.

Here was the wide wooden gate, never closed, it hung slightly askew, growing more lichen with each year.

He could see the sliver of light, like a blade on the ghostly grass, thrown from the gap in the drapes that never quite closed.

He edged closer, cursing softly as his trainer sank into soft soil. The old lady must have weeded the flower bed.

He peered into the room. He could see the old Grandmother sitting in her chair at the top of the table, seemingly staring right at him. He pulled back, then realised she could not see him in reality, the net curtains prevented sight out into the dark. Not so, the reverse though.

He could hear the murmur of their voices, watched as her hair fell across her neck and face. She brushed it back, tucking it behind her ear. She said she was going to have it all cut short. He had asked her not to have it cut.

She said something, and her Grandmother laughed. She laughed too, lifted her knitting, to measure the length, with a tape measure, on the table top.

He had often wondered about the fact that they chose to sit in the dining room, rather than the lounge room. True, it was more cosy and easier to keep the smaller room warm, on cold nights such as this.

The younger brother would be in bed, sleeping the sleep of the young, the innocent.

He stared, his heart thumping inside his chest. He could feel the burning pain of her rejection. His fingers dug into the window sill to steady himself, as a surge of pain and yes, rage, passed shudderingly through him.

He stifled the urge to scream out her name. He thought of her Grandmother's soft eyes, when she had learned that it was all over.He wanted to reach out, smash the window. Pull down the drapes, the curtains, leap the windowsill, grab her and.... then what?

The pain washed over him, the feeling of helplessness.

A dog began barking furiously, somewhere over the paddocks. He could hear the chain rattle, carry in the still frosty night's air.

He looked at his foot prints, a darker green grey in the frost on the lawn. They would surely re-freeze.

His footprint in the soft earth would remain.

To Someone I Love.

To Someone I Love.
You know I love you more than life.

I gave birth to you-Perfection.

I can no longer hold the candle
At the door of your defence.

I cannot wear the mask
In the face or your pretence.

Or try to shed a light
On the path of your destruction.

Or your reasons, & excuses,
Your tides, your deduction.

I know you made the choices for the drugs
& your destruction

And your denial refuses,
To admit your wasted talent.
Your gifts untold, recluses.

Your art will remain unkown.
Your poetry - unsown.

A wasted talent
O my son,

A seed perhaps ungrown?

Feathery Notes.

This will just be for my occasional writings. I may transfer some of my odd 'poetry', or story attempts.

There is a meaning behind the name, which I may share at some time.
In the meantime, I am having fun scraping the rust off corners of my brain, trying to get this site up & running.

No birds were harmed by me for this photo ID, but I have a sinking feeling one may have come to grief by some animal intervention. Nature's ways. At least, though the bird may be gone, it is still remembered, & remarked, in this Feathery home.