I love short stories with impact, with enthrall and with suspense.Don’t you?
How many stories offer the thrill of riveting suspense?
How many women live for their children and their husband?
How many live each day waiting? Waiting for what in essence?
“If all the world hated you and believed you wicked, while your own conscience approved of you and absolved you from guilt, you would not be without friends.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
‘The phone rings, it is pouring with rain outside and the kids are screaming. ‘Hello, Burton household’, she chirps, faking happiness.
‘Listen, you are breaking up, hang on’. She mutes the phone with a cuffed hand. ‘For goodness sake, will you shut up , you noisy kids, I’m on a phone call’.
She uncuffs the phone. Muffled screams and taunts continue through the walls to the kitchen.
‘Sorry, what were you saying?’ She continues through the crackles, puffing on her now half lit cigarette.
‘I call from..Sc…on..doo..Maam..’
‘I can’t understand a word you are saying’, frustrated now her words mixed with fury, ‘the line is crackling’. A murderous scream drowns out her fragmented conversation.
‘Awwwww, that hurt, I’m bleeding’. Her phone call ends as she rushes to the adjoining room.
Terror marks the faces of her two frightened children as one lies motionless on the floor.’
Life as a yellow peg in Rome
“The yellow peg slipped easily from my fingertips. I watched as it spiralled to it’s demise. The unclean concrete below had become a meeting ground for others just like the yellow one; a coloured playground. Today the yellow could meet yesterday’s friend the green one.
‘Ciao’, a morning voice broke my concentration. It was my neighbour at the window in front of me, armed with washing and a handful of pegs. ‘Oh, ciao Monica’, we often met here at the same hour of the day, in the same pose. I continued to hang my laundry on the pulley system that had been created in this long trim courtyard in the centre of our apartment building.
‘Merda’, I heard Monica blaspheme as her pure white t-shirt drifted to the ground to play in the coloured playground. None of us ever rescued the pegs but clothing, well that was another story. Once retrieved it would be covered in dirt and grime. It happened to me once,frightened and vulnerable enveloped in the stale confines of the building, I’d grabbed my white singlet top streaked with dust and blackness and run up the four flights of stairs without stopping. They said rats lived below.
How I longed for a hills hoist. The laundry looked so happy hanging there as it twisted and turned, partying in the wind. I would watch it for hours when I went home on holidays. Watched it baking in the sun, whites whiter than white. The fresh and clean smell of happy laundry is something not easily forgotten.
The sun never reached the courtyard, my laundry couldn’t dance in the wind or frollick as it spun around. It wasn’t happy like the laundry back home.”
A sea of cobbled streets
The gypsy’s perspective is one that is not acknowledged on the cobbled streets of Rome.They are regarded as beggars and thieves. Maybe this is a fragment of what their lives might resemble if we were to walk in their shoes:
Mother of four children
Lives in a caravan in the outskirts of Rome.
Gravely ill with MS (undiagnosed)
” I can hardly take a breath under here. The black hood covers my head as I inhale the filth of the cobbled road beneath me. The winter chill has possessed my bones and I am chronically sick. I have walked kilometres in the last few days. What I own is on my back, my feet are worn and dirty. They jeer me you know, they think I am vermon, they don’t know where I have come from and how much sufferance I endure. To them I am faceless, the beggar with no identity. Some toss me a few coins, others ignore me and one or two tut-tut as they pass. I hear them beneath my layered rags. I hear the words, the blasphemy. My numb hands rolled into fists are practically lifeless but my hearing is faultless.
When approaching footsteps hasten I know they will not stop or look my way but when the footsteps hesitate and then slow to a halt I know there is a chance the odd coin will be thrown my way.
They don’t know where I have come from and how much sufferance I endure”.