I’ve just reached the end of the first year of a Foundation Art degree in Textiles Practice at Bradford School of Art – long name for something wonderfully creative! It’s been a struggle at times, with a part time job and family demands to fit in alongside the course, but I’ve got through by the skin of my teeth. I now have a break until September, but I’m still going to be creating art – there’s a summer project for college (fairly low-key), I want to create art for ME, and I feel the need to write again.
Speaking of writing, I entered a competition at Kirklees College where I’m also a student (part of a group for parents) and won second prize – total surprise as I did it simply for the experience! Here’s my entry if you fancy a read – please do feed back in the comments, would love to hear what you think.
River’s hands shook as she locked the car door, fingers suddenly unable to manipulate the key. Fear sat heavy in her stomach like a pound of lead, making her feet drag as she slowly opened the gate to the long path that snaked towards the old house.
She looked at her watch at the exact moment that her phone buzzed and vibrated with a text message. The phone fell from her startled fingers. Swearing at her own clumsiness, she picked up her phone and saw, “Where are you? We’re waiting! xx” followed by a string of smiles and heart emojis.
River sighed – almost a sob – and forced herself down the path to the door. Her mind was in spectacular overdrive, screaming at her to run away, warning her there’d be no acceptance here, just like at home, telling her to disappear without trace likes many other times: rejection was to be hers, always.
But hope always keeps a fierce, tiny fire burning inside River – maybe THIS time it would be alright, perhaps THESE people would turn out to be her tribe, finally…
She stood at the door, ancient wood creaking as it warmed in the late spring sunshine, the smell of wild lavender, rosemary, and mint wafting towards her from the madly, deliciously fragrant border.
About to let her dæmons win, she had just turned to retreat towards the gate when the door was flung open and Elspeth hurtled towards her in sheer delight, squealing about River’s new haircut, and how her parents were DYING to meet her, darling…!
Allowing Elspeth to drag her inside, River was suddenly picked up like a child by a huge bear of a man with eyes identical to Elspeth’s – he hugged her tightly, with a hint of tears in his gorgeous green eyes, and pecked her cheek.
Barely had she drawn back in the breath he’d squashed out of her than Elspeth’s mum swept River into HER arms, clouds of flowery perfume accompanying each movement.
Wide-eyed with shock, River gawped at the couple – so different from her stiff, unyielding parents, clinically cold in their judgement of her, and of who she was.
Elspeth’s parents were excited to meet her – yes, the River who’d been cut off by her family for the supposed sin of changing her name and coming out at the grand old age of 30. River, who’d been rejected by those who should have accepted all her differences, now stood in the embrace of her fiancée and her delighted, accepting parents. There was an older brother, who kept grinning and ruffling her hair like he was HER brother, and a younger sister who demanded to know where River had got her boots. Last, but not least, the most beautiful black cat with startling blue eyes – the double of her beloved Shadow she’d had to leave when her parents rejected her for the last time – wound itself around her ankles, purring loudly.
For the first time ever, she felt truly at home, accepted for herself, and part of a family.
The rules stated that the story had to be under 600 words, so I had to edit my original – prompted by an idea during one of Juliet’s writing club sessions. I’ve always loved writing, it’s given me a creative outlet for years when I felt I ‘couldn’t’ paint or draw, but I’ve gained confidence in myself through Juliet’s classes. If you’re curious about doing some writing, pop over to her website – here – for details.
Why not have a go at something creative, something you might not usually consider, stretch yourself a bit? You may be surprised at what happens, or maybe it sparks off something and takes you down an unexpected route, the ‘road less travelled’ and all that delicious uncertainty?! Let me know in the comments, or pop over to my Instagram account or Facebook page?