Words from my Stories: That's What I Want To Say

This is a mid-action extract from my latest short story That's What I Want To Say. It's the sixth (!) short story to be published this year as part of my Twelve challenge. That means we're halfway, folks! With that in mind, it's a little strange to be publishing and sharing with you this story as it's not really the most upbeat story I've written this year. There's quite a bit of mystery, a little sadness and of course, you know me, a bit of a twist too.

It seems that despite being in a very happy place in my own life, my stories aren't really reflecting this. If this month's doesn't prove this, next month's certainly will! To get next month's story for free (and five more until the end of the year) make sure you're signed up to my newsletter.

And if you missed this one, you can download That's What I Want To Say on Amazon for Kindle  and you can add it to your Goodreads shelves too.  On Amazon, you'll also find other stories from the Twelve series - like The Pink Flowers, Together, Apart and Balloons - and they're all just 99p/€0.99/€0.99 each.

Thank you so much for supporting the Twelve stories this far and as always, if you want to read any of my books for free in exchange for an honest review - just get in touch.

*****

That's What I Want To Say

Boom, boom, boom. Breathe, breathe, breathe. Relief, release, relief.

The skin of my finger is starting to wrinkle. I should dry and dress it. I have a plaster ready, retrieved from the bottom of my handbag. Seconds slip by as I think about which tea towel to use. Then I realise that it doesn’t matter anymore and I reach for the brightest, whitest one I can see.

“A little bit of bleach should do the trick,” my mother had said, standing over me as I sat on the floor holding the white cotton dress in my hands.

“It’s ruined.”

“No, it’s not.” She took it from me, placed it in the washing machine, poured a capful of bleach in after it and closed the door so it clicked shut. She added a quick shake of powder into the top drawer before looking back at me. “In an hour it will be good as new.”

“That stupid dog…” I spat out the words, still sitting on the lino floor in just my bra and a white satin slip.

“That stupid dog that you begged us to get. That stupid dog that still sleeps in

your room, even when you’re away at college. That stupid dog who’s now so old he can hardly see. That stupid dog that was so pleased you were here he just wanted to say hello…”

“But he didn’t have to jump up… and you could have warned me he was filthy.”

“Come on. Get up and go put your dressing gown on.” She pulled me up. My mother; so soft and wobbly, so strong and capable. “This will work, trust me. What time is he coming to get you?”

“Seven o’clock.” I was still frowning, my arms crossed.

“And will we meet him this time?”

“No.”

Mum looked hurt. I could never work out if she wanted me to see that or not.

“Well, maybe.” I walked away from her. “I’ll think about it.”

“Hi Mum, it’s me.” I want to phone her up now and say. “I’m okay, really I am. You don’t have to worry about me anymore. I’ll get past this. You can relax and enjoy life again. I’m sure the bowls club would love you to go back. And what about bingo? Does Carol still go every Thursday night? You should go with her. Do you remember when Michelle and I went with you that time? We just couldn’t get our heads around how fast we had to stamp the numbers! I kept swearing and Michelle couldn’t stop laughing. Do you remember the other women all giving us dirty looks? Oh Mum, that was a good night. I’d love to go back and have that again. What days would you have again? Us as kids? Michelle and Tim’s wedding day? My wedding day?

“What did you say to him when you came last? I’m just curious. I’m not blaming you, but everything changed after that. When I think back on it now, I can see that it was a turning point; the beginning of the end, maybe. What did you say to him, Mum? Not that it would change anything, but I’d just like to know. What did you say? Oh, Mum, it doesn’t matter. I love you.”

That’s what I want to say to my mother.

Boom, boom, boom. Breathe, breathe, breathe. Relief, release, relief.

*****

Read the rest on your Kindle now....

You can find extracts from Twelve short stories published in JanuaryFebruaryMarchApril and May this year and several other Words from my Stories here

Read next month's story in full by signing up to my newsletter! Happy reading, friends.

Photo from Skitter Photo, licensed under creative commons.

Frances M. Thompson

Londoner turned wanderer, Frankie is an author, freelance writer and blogger. Currently based in Amsterdam, Frankie was nomadic for two years before putting down some roots with her Australian partner and having a baby boy in July 2015. In 2017, she launched WriteNOW Cards, affirmation cards for writers that help build a productive and positive writing practice. When not writing contemporary fiction, Frankie shops for vintage clothes, dances to 70s disco music and chases her son around Amsterdam.
Find Frankie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+

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