Immortalised Memories

One of my favourite stories growing up was one that my aunt told me.
I come from a big family of twelve(ish) aunts and uncles and uncountable extended family members. My mum is ranked as the youngest girl, and I’m her youngest.
My aunt Mary is the oldest girl in the family, with two of my uncles before her. Despite the age gap my mum would consider her one of her siblings she’s most close to.
I never got to meet my grandparents, but my favourite story of Mary’s is one she told of them when she was born.
My granddad had just had his first pint after the birth of his first daughter. Chuffed at himself, he sipped away happily and content on his own.

One of the locals came in and said to my granddad:
“Ah Brendan, I just saw your two sons on the way here”
Without batting an eye, my granddad replied:
“Yes. But have you seen my daughter?”

The way my aunt tells it just almost transports me back in time. It’s a story that I genuinely would never get tired of hearing as it brings me a feeling of closeness to the grandparents I never had the privilege of meeting.

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The Darkness

Come with me

The darkness said

I’ll take care of you

It promised

You’ll be happy

An arm stretched out

No

I cried to the darkness

Nothing good could happen

Yelled a bit louder

A silence grew

I am not who you think I am

The darkness slowly said

Your tricks won’t fool me

Hands over ears

My blackness is not evil

The darkness admitted

I am strength

You are unknown

The darkness thought about this

Then why do you know me so well

A proposed question

My blackness is not the same

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Nostalgic gears

“Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams. They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.”
Neil Gaiman

A long time ago I stopped writing short stories
I never consciously made the decision to stop
Rather, I preferred to write about deep complex characters with long back stories that I knew absolutely everything about
But as I began to write my first short story in probably 4 years my chest swelled up with nostalgic happiness
I used to get an idea and write down as much as I could so I could remember and write and move on to my next project
I had too many notebooks to keep track of and far too many characters and plot holes to maintain
But I was so happy
Each character and each plot hole was filled with so much imagination because of the freedom I had to write about absolutely anything
I like my long stories, my poetry, and my blog posts
But I really love opening the part of my brain that produces short stories
It’s the first time in a long time that the gears in my head are turning as much as they used to and I cannot believe I’ve missed it so much

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Exploring Morals

When I was young I remember watching 102 Dalmatians (the one with people in it rather than the cartoon) with my Granny. It had got to the ‘stressful’ part of the movie where the villain almost wins and I asked my Granny why there was “bad people” and more importantly why would they want to harm dogs. For some reason her answer always stuck with me.
“Well it wouldn’t be very interesting to watch without the baddies, don’t you think?”
I didn’t dwell too much on it at the time probably because I just wanted to watch the puppies on screen, but I was recently asked why I loved the “baddies”. The reason why I’m using the word “baddies” instead of villians is because I’m not talking about the viscous villians who have no background or character development like Gaston in Beauty and the Beast. I’m talking about Sharpay in High School Musical who just wanted to perform as the star on stage, I’m talking about Regina from Once Upon A Time who wants to always do what’s best, I’m talking about Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights who never gave up, and so many more. To be honest I never knew how much I supported baddies until I began writing that list and had to edit out so many others.
I guess the question is why? Why do I root for these characters over the ones that I am encouraged to because their moral beliefs are emphasised. Well, to begin with, I was never one for letting someone else decide how I feel about something. However, I also think it’s because I can never seem to fully relate to main characters. I loved Summer more than Marissa in The O.C., I loved Cat and Jade in Victorious more than Tori, I loved Bonnie and Catherine more than Elaina in The Vampire Diaries, Christina over Tris in Divergent, and also so many others that aren’t from teen television… hah!
Main characters always seemed too “composed” for me. A bit too flawless with not enough personality. Which, I know, is how a plot should be written. It is also partially the reason why I can never seem to finish a story.
I never love my main character enough to care about their whole story. I know it sounds silly because obviously I can write whatever I want, but it never flows as much as writing about the “side kick” or “baddies”.
These underrated characters are always under appreciated as the hero or heroine essentially makes the last move and is given credit for everything.
Simply, they never interested me enough.
My Granny was right. It wouldn’t be interesting to watch without them.

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Grave Expectations

I hate cleaning my room
Not for the dust that gathers or the socks I forgot to pick up
But for the grave yard I discover

Filled with items from hobbies that I quit faster than I blinked

Guitars and other instruments I grew bored of
Sport medals from games I hated
Dance photos and drama tickets before stage fright kicked in
Art supplies that I never properly used

Started collections of dream catchers and snow globes
All started in a moment of passion
Only to fizzle out to something I used to do

But there was always my book shelf to remain constant
Even if it wasn’t constant with the same books

The only dust to gather was at the top

Since I can remember I always loved reading
It’s a reminder that something that can change so often can still capture my attention so despite all the things I used to do is in not a comparison to the books I used to own that each took me on their own adventure only to drop me back to the shelf

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Hair

When I was young I danced
My hair was scraped back in a bun
Not a strand out of place or on my face
Specifically too tight to avoid an onstage disaster
My hair out of my face made me focus

Swimming always had my hair in a braid
When it was down it was just annoying
When it was up it was just restricting
In the sea with a plait made me feel like a mermaid
With the salt causing natural beach waves
Never causing me hassle with a volatile ocean

A few years later I attempted football
My hair was thrown back in a messy pony tail
Instead of my unsuitable bun
Explained as too easy to grab
The pony tail flicked and swayed like the sport
A team trying to keep some femininity
While covered in dirt and bruises

Hair became important as I got older
Style defined personality
But I was just self conscious
My hair was let down for me to hide in it
A side fringe just like everyone else
Who just wanted to fit in

When I was stressed I did my hair
Rather than bite my nails or clean around me
Effortlessly using heat tools to make my hands busy
Perfecting curls to distract from every thing else I didn’t have control over
When my hair was up I felt like a slob
Instead of the dancer, the swimmer, and the footballer I one was

My life has been distracted with heat tools and hair products
And one day I hope to chop it all off
Lose responsibilities without losing my originality
But today is not that day

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The First August

This is the first August in five years that I’m not going to spend in Continental Europe

The first August I’m not packing my bags
The first August I’m not getting my camera ready
The first August I’m not excited to see everyone
The first August I’m not flying to the sun
The first August I’m not going to feel the warm air hit
The first August I’m not arriving in a new place
The first August I’m not reading by the pool
The first August I’m not discovering new cuisine
The first August I’m not drinking by the campfire
The first August I’m not having midnight barbecues
The first August I’m not begging for anyone to pose for pictures
The first August I’m not arguing over who does the washing up
The first August I’m not sending postcards
The first August I’m not sharing stories
The first August I’m not laughing until I can’t breathe
The first August I’m not coming back with new stories

The first August I’m not with him

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