Be who you are.
What if I don’t like
Who I am?
How do I step
Out of my own way
Create a new me?
To find a safe harbour
In the end
I am, what I am…
Be who you are.
What if I don’t like
Who I am?
How do I step
Out of my own way
Create a new me?
To find a safe harbour
In the end
I am, what I am…
Double Etheree: TIME
Lost dark star
hands held slow dance
Love song remembered
Time flies and we grow old
Dark empty space left behind
To love lost long ago, tears shed
Slow handheld time rhythm left alone
Let no soul remain to cry at windows
As I am passing by this empty life
I stand all alone to shed my tears
Tears shed too long in fruitless pain
Vacant phantom I once said
Sunken life is depressed
Void the empty shell
I left outside
Jack Holland couldn’t shake the image of the old woman from his mind. The way she had looked at him replayed repeatedly in his head, making him believe she knew what he was about and what he had done. Normally, he had the greatest respect for old age. If you made it that far, he thought, you must be worth something. She had looked at him knowingly and he didn’t like it.
What if she mentioned him to Kate? She might just assume some old women sometimes create suspicion in order to make their lonely lives more interesting, but the seeds of worry were growing.
Could she have seen anything else? One sighting might be dismissed, but had she seen him on other occasions too?
He prided himself on always being vigilant on his frequent visits to Kate’s flat, but the idea of a nosy old woman unable to sleep at night who might have been at her window had not occurred to him.
Now it ate at him. The woman’s face haunted him; sneered at his stupidity until he was convinced she would tell Kate everything and ruin his chances. He couldn’t have that. The thought of Kate finding out and running away from him again didn’t bear thinking about.
It took careful planning to keep both women under observation and not be seen by either of them and in a way, he was enjoying himself. He imagined he could be a secret agent on a mission of grave urgency. Down to him to do whatever was necessary to put the world straight.
His world, that is. Nothing would be allowed to get in the way of his quest to get Kate back to where she had always belonged.
The fact it had been so long now and Kate had shown no sign of missing him, had not entered his mind. It had tried to, and he had dismissed the thought as unworthy of a man in his position. He had to get her back, nothing else would do and he was so desperately tired of waiting. He was also tired of all these interferences and still fervently believed he would win in the end, once he had eliminated every distraction. He would make her need him again, one way or another.
He had invested in a small ex-electricians van, complete with a colourful logo on the side in which to conduct his surveillance. Nobody looked twice at a tradesman’s vehicle and he felt less conspicuous than he assumed Kate’s brother did, in his shabby old car. He could sleep in there if the need arose. It was a convenient arrangement and quite fitted his image of detective-hood.
She was a sweet old woman, he thought. She kept herself busy, popping up to the shops several times a week. Remarkably agile for one of her age, although he suspected she could be a nasty piece of work should the need arise. He had witnessed the way she treated the postman when he tried to post an armload of junk mail through her letterbox. He kept getting a mental picture of one of those small annoying Jack Russell dogs, busily tearing a rabbit to shreds, reminding him he had to be more than careful with this one.
Having to watch two people at the same time was a new experience for him and was proving to be exhausting, as he had no idea what either of them would do. The strain was becoming annoying and he knew he would have to take a risk soon, as he had visions of sitting in the van forever and that wouldn’t do at all.
The right time arrived just when he was prepared to risk everything by forcing the situation his way. It was Saturday morning and Kate had gone out. The old woman’s front door opened and she came out with a bucket in her hand and started to clean the windows.
It was the perfect scenario, he couldn’t have wished for better. He casually crossed the road, looking out for any nosy parkers and slipped inside the open door.
When the old woman came back inside and closed the door, she didn’t seem at all surprised to see him sitting in her living room. She just stood quietly in the doorway, waiting for him to speak.
He was in no hurry to tell her anything, in fact, he might not say anything at all. Pointless anyway, she couldn’t possibly understand just how important his mission was. He noticed she was nervously plucking at the handle of the bucket, trying not to look at him. It was almost as though she knew why he was there, and that was ridiculous.
After what seemed like an eternity, the old woman finally moved. She walked past him to the kitchen and he heard her rinse out the bucket and put it away.
He stood up and followed her, grabbing her by the elbows and throwing her to the floor. He had no real plan of action, no thought as to how to be rid of her, but he had no idea how strong an old woman could be. He had fantasied that the mere sight of him might have done it, but she was looking up at him, fiercely defiant blue eyes determined to see through whatever was coming. He took her head in his hands and contemplated crushing her skull. It didn’t feel strong. Her hair was soft against his fingers and he paused for a moment.
‘Shame about this, old girl, but no good ever came of being nosy, now did it…hmm?’
Then the sweet old woman with the soft hair and defiant eyes became an obstacle once more, something that had to be removed.
He closed his eyes and lifted her head away from the blue patterned lino. Her hands were clutching desperately at his sleeves, fluttering like birds wings. He thought of Kate, and how much he missed her, and the familiar mist seeped into his brain as he pounded the woman’s head against the floor repeatedly until her eyes closed and she stopped breathing. He left her lying there and went back to his van…
Shadows followed me today
Pushing me forward, holding back
Steps I had taken along the way
Memories flooding, sad to tell
Of family, friends left behind
Some to look for, some to find
Words I should have spoken
To say I am sorry, please take me back…
Two ghost hands
Waiting by the
Old golden bandstand
Still, no sound to be heard
Lights and music once they played
People dancing while banging sticks
Lights out, no people dancing couples
Ghostly hands on drums sound, cold and empty…
Ten Things I love Most in the World…
1. Mother Nature has been the number one love in my life for longer than I can remember. My idea of heaven would be to live in a forest with a river nearby.
2. The way I feel about horses goes way beyond love. Sometimes I think I must have been a horse in a former life, from the strong and powerful connection I seem to have with them.
3. I have always been a bit of a freak for thunderstorms. The noise, barely contained power and the majesty of the lightning speaks to me in ways I cannot describe.
4. Whenever I have spare time, and even when I don’t, I have to track down a puzzle. It can be a jigsaw, a computer game, or a simple game of solitaire. My idea of heaven.
5. Something about the smell of the sea communicates directly with my soul, and I think I could easily live on a beach. They say that salt water is a good healer, so how much more could sea water do?
6. The art of bonsai has always fascinated me, and over the years, I have collected some of my own. Like having children, they need so much care and attention, but give back so much more to their carer.
7. My love of writing has grown out of my love for reading, and my appreciation of all my favourite authors. On the good days when I don’t doubt my abilities, it is the best thing in the world.
8. Most people hate the rain, but I love it. Getting soaked to the skin is an amazing experience, and if there is thunder and lightning too, so much the better!
9. Making people laugh has to be one of the most rewarding things you can do. I love to know I have lifted someone’s spirits just enough to make them laugh.
10. I never thought I would enjoy blogging as much as I do, when I first started. In the beginning, I was hopeless, didn’t have a clue and knew no one. So much has changed since then…
Ten Things I Hate Most in this World
1.Cruelty of any kind comes top of this list, for there is far too much of it in this world. It is far easier to be kind.
2. Rudeness comes a close second, as I cannot understand the need for it. It closes too many doors that eventually will refuse to open again.
3. Arguments. Every time I get involved in one, I want to crawl away and die. Life is much too short to argue.
4. Hangnails are my least favourite thing, and I get some shockers. No matter how careful you are, your fingers get sore.
5. I hate the cold. As I get older, it’s becoming a real problem. Sometimes, even on a mild day, I have trouble keeping warm.
6. Things that go wrong. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and try very hard to get things right, but far too often these days, it just doesn’t happen, no matter what I do.
7. Computers. These should be on the top of this list, as they tend to drive me insane. They are illogical and unreasonable, but we know we cannot do without them.
8. Feeling helpless. Closely linked with number seven, this is what PC’s do to me. Nothing else on this planet can make me quite as angry as a computer.
9. Injustice. I hate all forms of injustice, acerbated by the certain knowledge there is nothing you can do about most of it.
10. Weakness. Mainly my own. So many things I wish I didn’t need to do, like the biscuits I cannot leave alone. How I can be so strong with everything else, but such a wimp when it comes to food is a mystery…
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©2018 Jaye Marie
‘He said that they’d let me go on purpose. That they could easily find me if they wanted to. He said that they didn’t want me. That I was too much trouble. He said if I went to the cops, he’d know. If I told Sonya, he’d know. If I talked to friends or teachers, he’d know. He told me to pretend it didn’t happen. He told me to consider it a compliment, that I was too strong. His last words to me were, ‘Just forget’.
Troubled teen Faith Marsden was one of several girls abducted from Crawton, a country town known for its picturesque lake and fertile farmland. Unlike the others, she escaped, though sixteen years on she still bears the emotional and physical scars.
Zoe Haywood returns to Crawton to bury her estranged mother Lillian, who has taken her own life. As she and Faith rekindle their high-school friendship, they discover notes left by Lillian that point to two more young women who recently disappeared from Crawton. But Lillian’s confused ramblings leave them with more questions than answers.
As Faith and Zoe delve deeper into the mystery, they become intent on saving the missing women, but in doing so are drawn into Auckland’s hidden world of drugs, abduction and murder.
And then Faith decides to confront the mastermind – on her own.
A brilliant opening prologue, the story opens in a foster home in 2001.
Faith Marsden had been in worse places, but a late night escapade finds her in somewhere much worse…
Sixteen years later, Zoe Hayward, a teacher at a boys school, is unfairly sacked because of an incident with one of the boys. Her mother, who she hasn’t seen in years, dies and Zoe must return home to arrange the funeral, so she is unable to stand her ground over the dismissal.
Zoe is just doing her duty regarding her mother but gradually becomes involved in the mystery of the missing girls in her hometown. The authorities seem to want it all to disappear, but she isn’t about to let that happen.
Fast paced in the beginning, the thread of this story alternates between the characters and their chapters, which vastly increased the tension.
Such a complicated and skilful plot, you really need to be on your toes with this one. The story unpeels like an onion, each layer full of frustrating clues and red herrings. By the time I was just over halfway through, the tension had built to an almost unbearable level.
The story slowly descends into a gruelling hell as the author describes the extent of the missing girl’s trauma with painful precision.
The climax of the story begins when Zoe makes an important discovery, triggering one of the best finales I have read in a while…
Her eyes began to burn from staring unblinkingly into the dark. She shut them tight again. Her hands wandered further, cautiously, off the edge of the mattress. A concrete floor, chilled and unforgiving. She stretched her hands out either side. One side touched hard wood. Shelves maybe? The last time she remembered any contact with people was sitting in Garth’s office at the Crawton Tavern, having a few drinks after work on Sunday, with … who?
She stood on shaking legs, the dark playing with her balance. She hardly knew which way was up, and a whimper escaped her lips. The sound, desperate in the stillness, chilled her. She edged forward, hands in front of her, hesitant, not knowing what to expect. After she’d counted six steps from the mattress her hands found a door. She had performed the same actions days or hours ago. She knew what the result would be but grasped the handle anyway, daring to hope, and turned it.
She stumbled to the side and her foot kicked something. A bucket? It skidded across the room. She knocked her elbow on what she guessed was more shelving. Rubbing at it the tears came, wretched, choking sobs that echoed around her prison. Her head thumped as she tried desperately to piece together what had got her here. They’d taken her like she knew they would. She’d told herself what she’d overheard was nothing, even when Tania disappeared. Deep down she’d known she was in danger.
But there hadn’t been anywhere else to go.
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Nail slammed in.
I walk among the dead of yesterday
A willing prey.
Unholy voices fill the air
With shattered hopes, they linger there
Ever deeper in despair
I sit alone, beside an empty chair.
In the darkness soft and sweet
All my sins of yesterday I meet.
With fear and sweat upon my brow
I stand before you empty now.
Heavenly angels take my hand
Lead me to your promised land
Help me find the love I seek
Which Jesus left for us to keep…
(an old one from 1979)
I was dreaming about a cave in Cornwall. If you are lucky enough to find it, you will meet your future self, or so the legend goes. I am here in a beautiful sunlit cave that goes through to the other side and surprised to find an old woman sitting on a ledge. She was wizened and thin with grey hair. I wondered how anyone this old could have climbed down this cliff to the cave. She must be ninety at least. When she turned to face me, I could see she had my eyes, black like coal my father used to say. Could this really be me in years to come?
“I lived a long life and hoped it was a good one.” She spoke in a tone of voice that I hear every day. “And that is why I am here to tell you. Don’t come any closer, to be in the same space would not be good for you. If we touch I could swap places with you and live all over again.”
I am nearing thirty and haven’t done much with my life. My childbearing days are slipping away. Maybe a swap wouldn’t be so bad. I could do so many things differently. I wanted to ask so many questions but they became jumbled in my head. She seemed to notice this. “There is nothing much I can tell you, we were not meant to meet this way.”
I could see she was sad. Had her life been lonely? My life, I should have said.
Her body was stooped with age. Is this what becomes of me? Old, sad and alone, I could see no ring on her finger, she had never married. Before I knew what I was doing, I flew at her, hoping it was true, that we would swap. I would be able to start my life again.
Her voice echoed around the walls. “You foolish thing, now you will have to find this cave in Cornwall to get your life back. My life was good. Yours has now changed. You may not like what you become.”
I awoke feeling the same as before, nothing had changed. Yet I wondered about the dream. I read a story like this when I was a child. Just a legend, I told myself. I wouldn’t have to go looking for a cave in Cornwall, would I?
A dream can’t change anything, I told myself. But as I passed the mirror, I split the air with a scream so loud I thought the mirror would break.
There she stood, my ninety-year-old self. Words whispered from the glass, “Come and find me…”