Sunday, 28 October 2012


1st October

Hi, my name is Albie and you are my creative writing notebook. I started the course today and I have been told to write down all my thoughts and ideas in my notebook. Apparently the more I write the better I shall become.

As I am supposed to get three pages out each day I shall tell you a little about myself. I am Albie and I have been married to Shelia for thirty five years next May, if we make it that far! No, that's not fair; we don't really see much of each other so we don't have time to fall out. She is currently in her study doing yet another of her Open University courses and since I retired six months ago all I have done is get under her feet. She finally lost her temper with me about a month ago. Apparently after thirty five years of running the house she has a system and my helping was disrupting that system. Shelia has done all-sorts of courses over the years; she would be amazing in a pub quiz, so she suggested a creative writing course. I always say I could do better than some of the rubbish out there, so now was the time to prove it.

15th October

Just had our first tutorial and it was amazing. There are so many levels of skill in the people in the group. I am somewhere in the middle, so not as good as I thought but not the worst. One woman has already been published, so I am not really sure why she's bothering. I suppose we can always keep improving. On the other end of the scale Mr Garcia doesn't seem able to speak English, never mind write it. But I suppose as long as he's happy. After all the point is to write as well as you can, not to make millions.

I tried to tell Shelia about it, but she's shut away in her study again. We don't really spend any time together anymore.

We had a whirlwind romance and were married within the year. We travelled to some really exotic places when we were young; Egypt, Cambodia, Iceland, Brazil to name but a few. We had never tried for children but equally we had not consciously decided not to. Shelia was forty-two when she got pregnant and all through the pregnancy we were extra careful due to Shelia's age. Everything was going fine until Shelia went into labour two months early. Dusty Rose was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, her little body perfectly formed on the outside but unfortunately not on the inside. After that I threw myself into my work and Shelia locked herself away. Now through her courses she has some virtual friends but she doesn't leave the house anymore.

 30th October

I have joined an online creative writing group that post stories once a month. I don't think I'm ready to write a story this month but I have read some of theirs and they are so well written. Behind these funny avatars and user ids must be some published authors, they are so good.

30th November

I have posted my story. It's based upon my travels with Shelia before ... well you know. Let's see what people think.

 7th December

I got some votes! In the group, Housewife65, said how wonderful the imagery was and how it reminded her of travels with her husband when they were young. Her story was about a husband and wife who have grown apart over the years. It really made me think I should try harder with Shelia.

 15th December

I have spent a lot of time emailing Housewife65 since the last story. She really seems to understand. We have so much in common. I feel like I have known her all my life.

 The theme for this month's story is about loss and I want to write about Dusty, but I just don't know how. It's not just the loss of Dusty but the loss of Shelia as well. We both locked ourselves away and didn't even let each other in. I should have held her, I should have told her I loved her and it wasn't her fault, I should have gone through it with her. I couldn't, I was too absorbed by my own grief. I went out and got drunk. How sensible was that? I threw myself into my work determined never to experience those feelings of loss again. Now I sit here writing these feeling out and I realise how lonely I am and the one person who can understand I pushed away a long time ago.

 30th December

Shelia is locked away in her room thank god. I have just read through my story and I wailed like a baby, only my baby never got to cry.
That's it I have posted the story.

Suddenly I can hear a strange noise. It sounds like crying. A gentle tap on the study door. I get up and there is Shelia, tears flooding down her cheeks and then it all makes sense. I take her in my arms and hold her close. She is Housewife65. Maybe there is hope for us after all.


Sunday, 7 October 2012

Rapunzel's near miss

From my room in the tower I could see him riding towards the castle.

'Shit', I needed to get to the Black Knight quick.

I guessed I had about twenty minutes until he got to the moat and possibly another thirty minutes after that before he could climb the tower to rescue me. I needed all that time and more so I had to move fast. I ran down the tower stairs and banged on the gong in the hallway. I was suddenly surrounded by a motley gang of dwarves, elves, trolls and the Black Knight.

'Okay guys, this is not a drill. Prince Charming is on his way so we need to make the castle secure. I mustered my troops as I had needed to do many times before. 'Dwarves get the drawbridge up and fortify the moat, elves and trolls on the battlements. Elves get ready with your bows and arrows and Trolls get started on boiling up that oil. Only remember, try not to hurt him. He is just the latest in a long line of idiot Princes' sent by my Father.'

Okay Rapunzel what about me?' called the Black Knight.

'Up to the tower with the fake hair, if he makes it past this lot haul him up and keep him trapped there as long as you can.'

'Right', I turned to address the whole team, 'Action stations everyone and remember the freedom of your future Queen depends upon you all.'

I rushed down into the dungeons and quickly donning a monk's robe I pulled the torch holder which released the secret passageway. The underground tunnels would lead me under the moat and out into the woods at the back of the castle.

By the time I left the tunnels the fighting was well underway but there was still no time to lose. I collect a horse that was always kept ready at the exit to the tunnels and rode solidly for two days.

Finally I came across small cottage deep in the heart of the woods. I tied up my horse and removing my disguise carefully entered the little house. Inside there was no-one home but everything was about a third of the size you would expect it to be. Round the dining table were seven chairs and on the drainer were seven bowls and seven spoons obviously left to dry after supper. I was exhausted and the sun was setting so I went to the bedroom to find seven small beds all in a neat row. I lay down across three of the beds and fell quickly into a dreamless sleep.

I awoke the next morning with the sun warming my face and seven strange little men all staring at me.

'Who are you?' asked the grumpy looking one.

Thinking fast I knew my last alias had been burnt but luckily I always had at least two other identities to fall back on.

'I'm Snow White. I am so glad you are here. Please help me.' The little girl lost act always worked in these situations. My step mother is trying to kill me. I have been on the run for two days and I just needed somewhere to rest.'

Of the seven little men at least four already looked convinced and two of the others wouldn't need much more work. It was just the grumpy one I would have trouble with.

I knew if I could convince them to let me stay I would have a good few months before father's spies worked out where I was and he sent another Prince to "rescue" me. Maybe this time father would get the hint and leave me to live the peaceful life I craved. But then again maybe not.

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