…holiday writechain…

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Oh it has been ever so long since I’ve had a good run at my writing! Over the holidays, I felt like I was full of stories but also didn’t have enough time to sit and write them all out. And so I decided to resurrect my old friend, the holiday write chain.

I decided instead of a set number of words, I would set my target at two pages a day. I find I often do better with my first drafts when I can let them tip out of my brain and run down my arm and out onto a page, instead of typing, and handwritten pages, very inconveniently, do not come with a word count function. So pages it was.

For the most part, I worked on my main project, but part way through, I had a conversation about a book we read for our long distance book club last year. It was far from my favourite read, and one particular part stuck with me, in which the protagonist took a puppy away from a deaf girl. I have very many feelings about this, obviously, since I’m still hung up on it, and in the end I said “maybe I just need to write it out”, and of course, those I choose to surround myself with are horrific enablers, and next minute, all my feels were on the page. Now I’m tempted to flashfic my response to all the books in the next round of our book club…

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46083870494_031dcaee34_z{photo by Alex Beattie via Flickr – used under creative commons license}

All around me. Legs. Everywhere. I see┬áknees. Bare knees. It is so hot that everyone is wearing the shortest shorts they have. I feel trapped. The legs around me feel like bars on a window. Or a fence. Mummy holds my hand tight. I squeeze back tighter. Crowds scare me. What if I get lost? I can’t call for help. I can’t ask the nearest person to find my mummy. I won’t hear mummy calling for me.

It’s hot in here. Too hot. I can’t breathe. My eyes go spotty. I squeeze mummy’s hand. I tug her arm. I need to get out. She looks at me & scoops me up. She pushes through the crowd. The people get worse and then they are all gone. The air moves here. Mummy sits us on a bench and tucks my face against her chest. She sings me my favourite song. I can’t hear the words but she taps my back in time to the rhythm and I feel the vibrations. My breathing slows. There is another girl. She has a puppy. I slide off mummy’s lap to pat it. It licks me. I can’t hear what the girl is saying. I cuddle the puppy and look at mummy to show her how cute she is. Mummy looks at me and the puppy. I watch the girl carefully. Mummy doesn’t know, but I’m teaching myself to lip read. I’m pretty sure the girl just said “give away”. Yes. “Can’t keep”. Could I be right?

I keep looking at mummy. She has her “no” face on. I look away and cuddle the puppy. I wish I could have her always. I feel safe here with the puppy. Mummy touches my shoulder. She doesn’t have her no face on any more. But she also doesn’t have her yes face on. I try to put on my best please face. It works, I think, because mummy says something to the girl and we are walking away and the puppy is coming with us.

I’m not even scared of the people any more. I can’t be. I have a puppy and puppies don’t know people so I have to be brave for the puppy so she knows it’s ok to be with people.

The knees don’t feel like a cage now. They are a game now. I am going to name my puppy Tallulah. When I was little my favourite books were Maisy Mouse and I have always thought Tallulah sounded like a very grand name and even now I am a big girl I still think it is very nice so that’s what I think I will name my puppy. And Tallulah and I are going to explorers and we are lost in a knee forest and that will be our game. To find our way out of the forest.

We have just spotted our next move when mummy stops. My hand tugs in hers when I keep moving and she doesn’t. Mummy is talking to a lady. The lady is looking at Tallulah. I do not like the face she has on. I can’t quite tell what it says but it gives me worried tummy. Mummy looks at me, and back to the lady. The lady points back to where we found Tallulah. Mummy has her thinking face on. She looks at Tallulah and then at me. The lady talks very fast and waves her hands about at the same time.

Mummy reaches down and takes Tallulah from me. I thought she wanted a cuddle so I let her go. But then mummy gave Tallulah to the lady and the lady walked off with my Tallulah. I wanted to scream but I couldn’t scream so I sat on the ground and cried. Mummy picked me up and bought me fairy floss but I didn’t want to eat it. She bought me a toy so I threw it n the ground. I didn’t want fairy floss or a toy. I wanted Tallulah. Tallulah made me feel safe. I be brave for Tallulah even when I didn’t feel brave myself.

But mummy let the lady take Tallulah and I couldn’t stop crying. Mummy made my favourite dinner but I didn’t eat it and then she put me to bed and tried to cuddle me and sing to me. I pretended to sleep so she would stop and then she did and she left and then I lay awake.

How could I sleep, now that I knew my mummy wouldn’t help me to feel safe in a world that doesn’t understand me?

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