Keep Pencils Hidden
I do declare.
How dare they.
Those people who borrow books from the library. Despoil them while they read. Are they. Bored. A closet writer wanting to escape.
Each time I borrow a book the pages have been marked by previous readers with their initials. At the beginning. Or at the end. Page numbers have been circled. Or underlined. A comment about the story written at the end.
There are other readers who edit the story by crossing out words. A word placed in the wrong place. Probably put there during the print set up. Or by the author rushing to meet a deadline. Didn't have time to check. Or the publisher didn't check the manuscript for errors.
May be those closet writers could join one of the local writing clubs. Write poetry. Or memoirs writing. Begin their own stories to see how difficult the work can be. How many hours the author of the work puts in to write a novel consisting of over one hundred thousand words.
Leave the books alone. By scribbling on the work you are spoiling the book for other readers. Taking away their enjoyment of the story. You are also desecrating an author's work. Keep your pencils out of reach when reading a library book.
In The Park
Angie positioned on the bench in the park, watched the double handful of gosling waddle behind their mother toward the edge of the lake to go for a swim. This was the peaceful hour of the early morning. To swim among the reeds to forage for their breakfast.
Alexander. Wrapped warmly in a rug sat in his pram. He chuckled. Clapped his hands. Pleasure sparkled from his bronze coloured eyes. His pleasure turned to pain when the gosling disappeared from his vision. Tears dribbled down his toffee coloured cheeks. Angie leaned forward to lift him from the pram to console him. She wiped away his tears with the edge of the rug.
Frank sat on the ground beneath a huge tree watching all the early morning people commune with nature. He doubled over with pain in his gut. Pain from the cancer in his body was like a tapeworm making its way through the cells turning his brain to mush. Frank wished the end would hurry so there was no more suffering in his life. He tried to focus his mind to overcome the havoc cancer caused his body. He leaned back against the tree his thoughts returning to the past when his body had been clear from pain. Free of cancer.
Cam. Not wanting to see his father suffer through another day, armed with a battery of high powered solicitors waving writs, marched up the steps of the family home. A couple of policemen were with them to make sure not one of the group took the matter of the law into their own hands to make Frank go into hospital for treatment. Cam paced the porch between knocks on the door while he waited for his father to come to the door.
Trinkle. Frank's other son didn't possess a legal mind. He lived by his wit. He'd advised his father to go out before the troops arrived to badger him into changing his mind. With his mind on other projects, Trinkle, was never sure where he was suppose to be. Or what he should be doing. He left the house not long after his father leaving Cam to cool his heels.
Wind gushed in from the bay. Sails whipped on the masts of the ships. Angie listened to the singing noise caused by the wind lulling her for a moment. The moment of silence was broken by a loud noise.
The noise approached the park The sound rose in volume from the whining noise of a motor bike. Chuck revved the engine of the motor bike to jump the gutter on the edge of the street to reach the park. He didn't know why he'd picked the park to release his pent-up emotions. In agony of the words Cole had used, Chuck had to admit his friend had used hard love to explain how he saw the problem. His boss at the science lab had voiced the same opinion. Now. The Day of Reckoning had come. He had put this in action several months ago. His boss had forced him to take a very long holiday. Everyone had warned him about, burnout. He hadn't listened. He thought he knew what was best for him.
Chuck didn't know his fatal decision would end like that. What had he done wrong. But that was the way his life would be from now on. The memory of what had happened would stay with him forever.
The lack lustre voice of dull, old Seaforth, glided into their minds like a tide of slow moving molasses. There he stood on his soapbox droning on about drugs. In verse. To listen to his version about love no one would attempt to fall in love. The world was a horrible place to live according to his expressions of love. Death. War. Everyone were sinners sucking all the energy from life. Seaforth's glazed eyes told their own story. He was stoned out of his mind taking all the colour from the universe.
Every where was dark. Darkness. Seaforth lived in a black hole. To him. He had no option but to sink further in the stinking mire till his life ended. He'd then be at peace. He'd no longer have to try to surface above a dead man walking.
Angie stiffened imperceptibly at the words spoken by this man. He didn't witness this because his sight didn't see much further than the end of his nose. She felt sorry for him. She prayed another mother wouldn't have to listen to this man sprout words in the future. Her son, Alexander, she hoped, would travel along a different brighter path.
Lily made her way across the path. No make-up. Only strong black, long lines where her eyebrows once had been. Her back ridged. Her face stern. Her body moved gracefully telling of better days. Lily's countenance cold but quite beautiful even without make-up. She was a complicated person. Always busy searching for objects to make her deserted tunnel a home. Was needy for money to pay for her food, and clothes. She presented more like a onion than a banana. She wore many layers of clothes so no one could steal them. Her personality also like an onion but she clammed up tight when people asked about her past.
Finn, lay on the grass. He hadn't been home. His stomach rumbled to reminding him he hadn't eaten since last evening. He had waited in the lounge room for Joyce, a laden platter of fruit, and cheese, arrived to be placed on the coffee table. Before his sweet orange-coloured tea had a chance to cool he'd set to nibbling on the food. His mind else where. On Joyce in the shower. Finn imagined her smoothing fragrant soap over her body. The froth, and bubble, clinging to her skin. He had wanted to be with her in the shower standing naked beneath the flow of the water. His hands moving over her slippery curves. Thinking in this vain, Finn remembered the dark-eyed gypsies he had watched dancing around the camp fires in Romania. His hands burned with want along with the rest of his body parts. He'd been bitterly disappointed. And frustrated. Their night didn't end to his expectations. She came from the shower to tell him to leave. She showed him to the door. Wished him a good night before she closed the door.
He looked introspectively into his mind to find the reason why his night out with the luscious, hot, Joyce, didn't go to plan.
“Edward. Are you listening,” Finn grumbled to his friend who sat beside him. “What did I do wrong? She brushed me off like last week's breadcrumbs stuck to her jumper.”
“That's women for you, my friend. I've learned to expect nothing but the unexpected. That way. You don't take their refusal to heart when the door is slammed in your face.”
“I think I'll pass in the future. Women don't know what they want. They have you panting. Tonguing. Then they cut you off at the knees.”
“I watched what happened to my father,” moaned Edward. “The poor bugger. The light went out of his life when mum walked out on us. He drank whiskey day, and night, to try to forget. But still a hazy vision of mum floated beyond his reach.”
“How come we ended the night in the park?” Finn sat, to look around.
“I always come here when I want to fudge out. Look to see who may be worse off then me. I haven't seen the woman with the baby here before today. Wonder who she is.”
Angie wore a dress the same colour blue of her eyes. This dress reminded her of the one her father had brought home for her from San Francisco. She had taken her son to visit his grandfather for the first time. Her father had disowned her when she had fallen pregnant. He refused to let either of them enter his home this morning.
She bundled Alexander into the pram. She stood to walk from the park. She had waited long enough for her father to change his mind.
“Angie.” Finn looked puzzled.
“Who is Angie? Where is she?” Edward searched for a beautiful, young woman.
Finn stood. “Angie,” he called louder. He walked faster to catch up with her. “Angie.”
Angie stopped walking believing her father had changed his mind. She looked into Finn's puzzled face.
“Finn.” She turned the pram away from Finn. Shocked to see him. Angie didn't believe she'd ever set her eyes on him ever, again. Except in the features of her son.
“I thought I recognised you. Are you babysitting?”
“No. This is my full tine job.”
“You've become a, nanny?”
“No. I've become a mother.” She swung the pram to face her son toward Finn. “Meet Alexander. Our son.”
Finn stood gasping like a fish out of water. He looked at the son he didn't know about.