All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…


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Alastair’s Photo Fiction: I wonder what I should be like then?

Many years and lifetimes ago I was a prolific and once-published writer of fiction. Today, I am but a man who struggles to remember what it was like to write and create, let alone allow himself the pleasure of doing so.

Recently, the quite magnificent Alastair of Alastair’s Blog began a new blogging project in which every week he publishes one of his own photographs as a prompt for short fiction. In the hope it will cause my dormant writing desires to resurface, I have decided to play along.

I wonder what I should be like then?
~ by Addy ~

Any glass of mysterious translucent liquid that came with its own neatly hand-written card instructing ‘drink me’ should be approached with caution. Or at least that’s what Alice had taught him when he was younger.

When he had decided on this course of action, he had not expected to remember the smell of his mother’s eucalypt hand lotion as they turned the pages of his favourite book.

When he’d exchanged his hard-earned money, he’d not expected to remember the passionate night of life making that followed his girlfriend putting on an Alice costume.

When he’d signed the contract admonishing the company of any possible side-effects, he had not expected to remember his daughter’s giggles as he shared with her his Wonderland for the first, and only, time.

As his trembling fingers curled around the glass every mistake, regret, cock-up and calamity flashed before his eyes. Drink me…the card accompanying the glass said…and you will forget everything.

As the glass touched his lips, all he could see were her wide green eyes, glistening from hours of laughter and smiles. A tear trickled down his cheek.

“But if I forget you,” he whispered, “I wonder what I should be like then?”

[Word Count: 200]

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[Friday Flash] What Once Was Lost

As an attempt to get me writing again I’ve decided to undertake the #FridayFlash meme. The rules are simple, you write a piece of fiction of around about 1000 words and then post it on a Friday. Find out more about #FridayFlash here.

This week, I’m slightly cheating. My recent issues have dried up my creativity, so to inspire myself, I’m posting a piece I wrote many years and lifetimes ago. A story about a young girl who went on a quest to find her missing kitten. This is how it began.

WHAT ONCE WAS LOST

“Luna? Where are you Luna?”

Madeline slumped down on the wet grass, burying her head in her hands as salty tears began to swell in the corners of her eyes. Where had her daft kitten gotten to this time?

She’d searched all of her usual hiding places; under the stairs, cuddled up in the warm linen basket, behind the shed amidst the daises and dandelions. Luna loved eating the dandelions, no matter how many times she was told not to. Madeline had even tried them once whilst Luna sat curled up in her lap to see what all the fuss was about – she hadn’t been impressed.

“What’s wrong pet?” said the kind voice of Mr Gardener.

“Luna’s gone,” Maddy sobbed.

“Again?” Mr Gardener tried to not laugh. That daft wee kitten was always disappearing on grand adventures but no matter what had always managed to find her way home by tea time. “I’m sure she’ll be back soon – no doubt she’s out on an adventure to save the Queen of Cats,”

“But…I…” A tear dribbled down Madeline’s chin and landed on her knee. “I want to help save the queen of cats too,”

“Aww pet, I’m sure you do. A wee lass like you has the makings of an excellent adventurer, but only fellow cats can save the Queen of Cats. How about you go put a couple of kippers in the pan and just you watch your wee kitten’ll be back before they’ve finished frying.”

“Really?”

“That I’m sure of.”

Madeline looked up at her kindly neighbour and brushed the tears from her eyes. She tried to smile but succeeded only in making it look like she was about to sneeze. “Thank you Mr Gardener. I’m sure you’re right,”

Mr Gardener tipped his hat and walked away chuckling to himself as Maddy skipped toward the kitchen.

Once inside, her mother helped her prepare the kippers. The little girl licking her lips as she watched them dance in the sea of fresh butter. Maybe she should just eat them herself? But then she thought once more of her scruffy little kitten and felt so guilty about wanting to eat her friend’s dinner that she went and sat in the corner of the kitchen and refused to speak to her mum until the kippers were steaming on a plate.

As soon as they were an excited Maddy took the plate and placed it on the back porch. She sat right beside them until the concrete became too uncomfortable for her little legs so decided to curl up on the cushions of the swinging chair. It wasn’t long before she was drifting off to sleep, awakened only by her father who carried her to bed. Through bleary eyes Maddy saw that the kippers were still where she had left them – and Luna was no-where to be seen. She promised herself never to believe what Mr Gardener said ever ever again.

She awoke at the crack of dawn and excitedly ran down the stairs from her room. She darted through the kitchen and into the lounge room to see if Luna was curled up on the beanbag. She wasn’t. Running toward the back garden her face fell as she saw the two kippers untouched on the patio outside. Where was she? She stamped her foot on the floor and started to cry.

“Oh, Luna! Where have you gotten to?”

All through school that morning Madeline couldn’t concentrate. She couldn’t work out the maths problems she was given because she was thinking about Luna. In art all she could draw was her little black kitten with a floppy ear. During recess and lunch she scoured the school playground in-case Luna had decided to come and find her at school. But Luna was no-where to be found.

Half way through lunch she started to cry again, and it took Miss Roberts several minutes to get Maddy to talk about why she was crying, and twice as long to calm her down. For the rest of the afternoon Madeline said nothing. When home-time came she walked home looking in every bush and behind every tree to see if Luna was playing some epic game of hide and go seek with her. If she was, then Luna was the most amazing hider Madeline had ever seen.

Arriving home, Madeline sat and ate her blackberry jam sandwich in the garden keeping an eye out for Luna. When the sun started to set and the stars blinked out of their slumber her mum appeared and gave her daughter a big cuddle. They sat together whilst Madeline cried into her mother’s lap. She was sure now that Luna had deserted her and would never be back.

What she had done wrong? Had she given her friend too many hugs and kisses? Were her hugs and kisses not good enough? Maybe Luna had found someone who made better kippers, or didn’t roll around so much in her sleep. That must really annoy her, having to move or be squashed whenever they slept together. But Madeline loved sleeping with Luna, having the little animal all curled up on her belly, purring softly, she loved it so, she loved Luna so. But maybe Luna didn’t love Madeline any more. Maybe Luna hated Madeline so much that she was happy just to run away and never see her again.

The thought of Madeline not seeing Luna ever ever again sent her shaking into such a fit of tears and sobs that her mother refused to leave her side until she had drifted off to sleep.

When Madeline awoke the next morning she didn’t even bother getting out of bed. What was the point? Luna wouldn’t be anywhere. That stupid cat! She kicked her feet under the covers. How dare she run away and make someone worry so much? She was so angry with that kitten that if she were to ever return Madeline was just going to ignore her. No kippers. No cuddles. No kisses. Nope!

How could she though? How could she just ignore her beautiful little kitten, whenever she looked into those deep green eyes Madeline’s heart melted. She wanted to take Luna into her arms and never ever ever let her go.

Lying there watching the sun glint through the gap in her curtains Madeline decided that if Luna were to ever be found, then she would have to go on an adventure.

Maddy climbed out of bed and slid over to her cupboard. Hidden in a box at the bottom was a small notebook that her mum had given her for her birthday. She grabbed this, some crayons and threw herself onto her bed. On the crisp white paper she drew the best picture of Luna that she could, making sure to capture Luna’s sparkling green eyes and floppy left ear. She wrote the kitten’s name neatly across the bottom, and then wrote L O S S E D across the top. She tore the page from the pad and left it on the bed whilst she dressed into her blue denim dungarees and long sleeve orange top.

Fully dressed she walked downstairs and announced to her mother she was going on a queft to find Luna. Madeline took a stool and reached into the cupboard, her mother watching with a smile as she grabbed the pot of blackberry jam. The heavy jar fumbled in her tiny fingers and was caught by her mother. Together they made a blackberry sandwich for Madeline and two kippers for Luna. The sandwich was placed in a paper bag, the kippers wrapped in foil, and then both parcels placed neatly into Madeline’s red lunch box.

Upstairs, Madeline emptied the contents of her school bag onto the floor and put her lunchbox inside. She threw in Cuddles – her toy bear – as well as her notepad, crayons, red jumper and sunglasses. She pulled her black hat from the cupboard and placed it over her long dark hair. The last thing she put on was her soft red jacket, because she knew Luna liked snuggling up to that the most. She looked at herself up and down in the mirror.

There was something missing.

She darted to the cupboard and pulled out her frog umbrella. Returning to the mirror she looked at herself and smiled.

“I’m a real adventurer now! All good adventurers have a walking stick.”

She picked up the picture she had drawn of Luna and folded it neatly into her jacket pocket. Now she was a real adventurer, Madeline was sure she would find Luna before lunchtime.

How hard could it be to find a kitten anyway?