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Yesterday

Here is my piece for the prompt ‘Yesterday’. I’ve been trying to banish the need to rhyme that seems to have taken hold of my writing lately, hopefully a return of my prose mojo, perhaps………….

finlarig-castle-ruins

“No, it was yesterday” Stella shouted louder than she intended.

She didn’t seem to be getting through. Four heads were nodding in agreement but she could see it in their eyes. Their eyes couldn’t lie, not like their bodies. There was concern; yes she could see that, a veiled understanding that something wasn’t quite right.  Her mother was rubbing her hand and nodding at her like one of those plastic heads in the back of a car. Stella swiftly moved it away, the rubbing was really beginning to grate. She raised her hand to her forehead rubbing at her temple and caught the shooting look between the others.

“What the hell’s going on?”

“Stella, you’ve been hallucinating”

“So you keep saying, but that’s bullshit” She cursed, as her mother raised a perfectly shaped eyebrow.

Stella let her head fall back against the pillow and shut her eyes against the thunder storm that was raging.

“She needs rest, we’ll go back to the hotel and come back later” her mother gestured to the others.

When Rita Kowalski spoke the whole world followed. The conservatively dressed matriarch had twenty years of high level politics under her belt and didn’t suffer fools gladly, least of all her children. Rita had the body of a twenty year old and the compassion of a piece of wood. She had chosen to adopt each of her three children rather than sacrifice an inch of that perfectly sculptured body. All three knew nothing about their biological parents and for her brother and sister it had never been an issue but for Stella it had always been the elephant in the room, she knew she was different, she knew there was something missing. It was like she was out of place, a visitor in the wrong place at the wrong time. She’d been secretly researching for years and that’s what had brought her to Scotland this summer.

With the room empty again, Stella was able to fight against the fog that was weaving through her brain. She could remember the tour to the castle by the Loch, the need to go inside, the need to touch the stones that lay abandoned over the centuries. She had felt at home but didn’t know why. She’d never been to Scotland in her life but there was something so familiar so comforting about the place. Yet some deep sorrow that seemed to wrap around her very soul and she couldn’t stop the rattle of her teeth or the tears that suddenly filled her eyes. The rain had come almost immediately as the clouds had darkened and followed her inside. She tried to shield herself against the heavy bursts that quickly soaked through her clothes. Then she lost her footing and everything went black.

Suddenly she was flying through the sky like a bird, over the mountains and into the clouds. She jerked awake not knowing where she was and sat forward grabbing a strong steady arm. Her breath caught in her chest as she saw the mist clearing. The castle was whole again, its stone bastions rising majestically from its foundations. Then a godlike silhouette appeared against the shifting mist, his long golden hair rippled like ribbons and his kilt wavered lightly in the breeze. She wasn’t afraid. She let her eyes roam over the features of his face, she knew who he was. A muscle clenched in his jaw

Stella sat rapt, stricken by the need to hear him speak.  He moved closer,

“You have much to learn about the world of the Fairies lass”

He leaned in and gently touched his mouth to hers. It felt right, it felt comforting, and for reasons she didn’t understand it made sense.

“Aye ye were cursed by the Fairy Queen my bonny lass” his heavy Gaelic brogue sang a sweet familiar melody that instantly filled her heart.

“But I promised I’d wait an eternity for ye my love, aye I knew you’d come back to me”

Then the rain had softened and the sky gave off an eerie pink glow. Stella felt the tension rising in her head, heard his voice growing fainter as the darkness took hold again.

“No, No, I have to go back” she screamed as the hospital room came back into focus.

A nurse came running back in flicking switches on and off the machines at the side of the bed.

“It’s alright Miss, just a nightmare” she said adjusting the pillows behind Stella’s head.

“They brought you in yesterday half dead love, you need to get your strength back” she continued settling the bedding.

“What on earth were you doing up at those ruins, especially in that storm?”

Stella listened, but didn’t speak.

The nurse carried on talking, oblivious to the lack of response from her patient. She told Stella how the ruins were said to be haunted. That an evil queen had cursed a wild highland warrior to wander alone through eternity searching for his lost love.

“Some folks say she’ll come back again one day, and bring the heather back to the Loch”

“Aye, we Scottish love our stories” giggled the nurse as she left the room.

Stella lifted the blanket from her leg, and looked down. The tiny tattoo on her ankle seemed suddenly brighter and the vivid purple of the heather seemed to take on an almost magical hue.

Stella closed her eyes and whispered “Yes, it was only yesterday”.

About helenmidgley

Helen Midgley likes to think of herself as a cross between Dawn French and Kate Moss. She has been in the witness protection programme for a number of years and once lived in Brighton as a bearded mechanic called Dave! Her current incarnation is as a part-time Journalism & Media tutor at a small FE College in Yorkshire. She has survived cancer, dandruff and athlete’s foot and has a penchant for black humour and red wine.

9 comments on “Yesterday

  1. Love these baroque romance tales. Maybe cause my grandparents were Scots

  2. Great piece. Where was the photo taken? Perthshire…Stirlingshire…it looks like the ruined castle near Killin.

  3. Really enjoyed this story, Helen. A lovely daydreamy romance, and I’m hoping Stella makes it back to the castle 😉

  4. Love this. Your prose is so crisp and tight, but lush and descriptive. Good balance.

  5. I loved this, Helen. I hope she makes it back – that warrior sounds lovely! 🙂

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