Prologue: Discovering Home

So my attempt at NaNoWriMo 2015 was a bit on the Go Slow. Life got in the way. But I intend to finish the story I started.  So far I’m calling it, Discovering Home, but that’s its working title and may change.

The longest continuous piece I had written before NANoWriMo was only 1200 words and I beat that on my first NaNo day with 1696 words. But I hadn’t actually expected to hit the 50,000-word mark on my first attempt. I feel like I’m ok with beginning and ends, but struggle with the middles. It’s probably why I love writing the Friday Fictioneers 100 word stories, there isn’t room for middle fluff. Next year I will definitely try to plan for my book, rather then just seeing what happens like this year.

I decided to get myself motivated again I’d share a little bit of my work in progress.

Disco Home CollageBlurb (thus far): Joe is a young woman trying to decipher the secrets of her family history after her grandmother mysteriously disappears.

A fictional story about family with a romantic (maybe) and paranormal (definitely) twist.

* * *   Prologue   * * *

My Grandmother’s house only had two bedrooms, but those two bed rooms held a lot of secrets. So many secrets that I believe that still don’t know them all. But I’m getting there. For the past six months I’ve been reading through my grandmother’s diaries. She wrote in a diary every day. There is a half-finished entry from the day she disappeared. It reads “the trees are quiet and look still, but I can feel something moving, hiding in their branches. I think it’s about time I told Josephine about th…” and that’s where it finishes.

Finding the diary open and my Grammy Mac missing has prompted me to sift through her private diaries. A part of me keeps expecting her to walk into the bedroom and scold me like when I was five and caught going through her things. But she never does. And the longer she’s gone, the more I wish she would.

I always thought my grandmother and I were close, she practically raised me. But in reading her Diaries I realise there was so much more to her. So much more I wish she had shared. My dad went AWOL when he found out my mother was pregnant with me and my mother chose the voices in her head over me the day she drove of off the Newton Street jetty.

My grandmother was born Martha Josephine Fionnula Mac a’Bhaird, yeah it’s a mouthful. She was born in 1938 in Glasgow, Scotland. But grew up in the small town a Cranford away up in the snowy mountains of New South wales, Australia. She was raised by three aunts, they brought her over from Scotland when she was only seven years old. I’d never heard her speak of her mother or father. I wished I’d asked more, but I always felt uncomfortable bringing it up.

I am lost. I am struggling without her here. Even with the age difference between us she was always my best friend. I stare out of her window and glare at those trees. Oh how I wish they could tell me something, anything, about where my Grammy has gone.

Today is the 25th of December 2005, Christmas Day and it’s my 18th birthday. Six months Grammy’s been gone. Six months since I’ve slept or eaten properly. Endless reading of yellowed pages and elegant handwritten script. I can’t even remember the last time I left the house or showered. I don’t smell too bad, so I’m guessing it’s only a few days. I know this isn’t how she’d want me to live.

I’ve made the decision to move all the furniture and Grammy’s personal items into a storage unit. I intend on selling Grammy’s house. My boss at the local newsagents was really kind and understanding, it took her two months of me not showing up to work to fire me. There really isn’t anything left for me here.

I can’t really explain how I feel; I know it’s not natural. I understand grief and depression, but this is something more, it’s like I can’t physically do anything but obsessively read through the diary’s. Sometimes I think I can feel a presence in the trees, but then I realise I haven’t slept for thirty plus hours and I am just sleep deprived.

© Sarah Fairbairn

Patrick: Friday Fictioneers 100 word story challenge

Patrick had tried so hard to keep his father’s shop running, but with a baby on the way and the closing of the local mine most of the towns folk had moved away taking their cars and need for mechanical services along with them.

Patrick had a mate over in Bergenfield who’d got him some short term labouring work; it would do until the money came through from selling his home and his father’s shop. He planned to start fresh in a new expanding town. He had a good woman behind him and was confident they would make it through.

Claire Fuller (7)PHOTO PROMPT – Copyright – Claire Fuller

Friday Fictioneers is a challenge set by Rochelle Fields where writers around the world create 100 word stories inspired by the one image. For more information see: http://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/21-november-2014/

I Love you anyway Luigi

During the lead up to my son’s birth I was trying to put together a family tree book for him and what followed was destroying my father’s belief that he had Italian heritage, sorry daddy.

My father picked up the name Luigi in his younger days because he looked like a wog. He was rather proud of this and so was I. I love Italian culture and thought it rather nice to have some Italian heritage.

Now my father is a short, active, quiet (unless under the influence of rum or red wine) and rather fit young looking 55 year old. It is really only in the last five years that he started to show his age and get some grey hair etc. When people used to pick on him saying he dyed his hair, he always used the line that it was his Italian blood. Now his vitality IS definitely in his blood, his mother now 85 is still globetrotting and in my memory has only had the one grey patch of hair nearly my entire life and no neither of them have ever dyed their hair. If I’m lucky I’ll be the same.

Now I had always been told by my father that his grandfather was Italian, so when doing my sons family tree I dug deeper. I sat down and asked my father where he got the idea his grandfather was Italian from and he told me a story which is what he believed to be true; that his Grandmother had got up to some mischief with a sexy Italian and thus his mother was born. The sexy Italian then got shipped back to Italy for shaming his family etc. etc. A lovely and touching story, I mean who wouldn’t want to have a fling with a sexy Italian. Now my dad’s story says that the Italians had a store and his grandmother worked there, nope no they didn’t no Italians had a store anywhere near, there is no record of Italians in the town in which his mother came from, on record there’s only French entrepreneurs, Englishmen and aborigines before the time of his mother’s birth.

Now the story of his Grandmother falling madly in love with a sexy dark grease ball and conceiving a child, then the sexy stud being forced to leave his beloved and return home never to see her again is wonderful stuff, someone spat him a rather good yarn as a kid and he soaked it up. I still wonder who told him that story, maybe he asked his grandmother one day why he didn’t have a grandfather and maybe it was his grandmother being cheeky that told him the story – he is rather vague in the memory department as to where he picked up the story from. I quizzed one of his sisters and she’d never heard it before but thought it was rather amusing.

My father is one of my favourite people on earth and I love him to bits. I didn’t want to break his heart and tell him after digging I had found out whom his grandfather really was and that he was plain and had no awesome wog-ness.

Now knowing the truth I’d just go with that back in 1928 my Great Grandmother wanted a baby, so she had herself one and that baby, MY grandmother, grew up to be one of the most amazing women I know.

Actually all the women in my dad’s family are kick arse independent awesome awesome beautiful powerful women. I grew up as a little girl with extremely strong females in my life on both my mother’s and father’s sides. Both of my grandmothers are amazing inspiring powerful women with amazing strength. Now this did instil in me that I can do anything (which is good) but that I don’t need anything from anybody and that no one needs to help me (not so good and gets me into strife from time to time) but never the less GIRL POWER – wait this went from being about my dad to girl power, hmmm well I don’t think he’d mind.

Remember to smile people, it makes you live longer!!!!