Saturday, 2 October 2010

Bad News blogfest - They're People Too! blogfest below this one.


Okay, two blogfests in a day! I hope you'll read both.
This is a possible ending to a story I published for the Secrets blogfest. If you want, you can read it here. Some commenters hoped my lady wasn’t going to die. Hmm. What do you think? Did she?

I apologise for the formatting. It had a mind of its own and I couldn't change it without a lot of fiddling, so I hope you don't mind the set out, grr...

She remembered that night with a terrible remembering.
The phone call had woken her in the middle of the night. It had been Frank Mangin, Jack’s boss.
‘I’m sorry, Mrs Sandilands, I have bad news.’ He’d hesitated. ‘Jack has had a heart attack. It was sudden. There was nothing anyone could have done. I’m sorry.’
Her face had frozen solid in that instant…she couldn’t speak…she’d dropped onto the bed where she’d laid, suspended in time…
Frank had droned on. She’d heard his words coming from somewhere…
‘It happened just as we were tidying up the paperwork. He wasn’t alone.’
That had been something, Charlotte had thought at the time. No one should die alone.
‘Are you there Mrs Sandilands?’
Charlotte had tried to speak. The poor man had sounded so worried. But her throat just wouldn’t work.
‘Could I ring someone for you? Someone you’d like to come around?’
That was the last thing Charlotte had wanted. She and Jack had been tight. Neither had any family. Always just the two of them. Enough. A plethora of richness.
‘Uh, no,’ she’d groaned, ‘I’ll be fine. I’ll just sit up. Please give me a moment.’ She remembered lurching from side to side, but there had appeared to be a weight pinning her down. Her hands had refused to work. The cordless phone had thudded onto the floor with such a loud clunk that it had restored some of her wits.

Frank had sounded alarmed. ‘Are you all right, Mrs Sandilands?’

She recalled how tinny Frank’s voice had sounded, how panicky, disembodied, or that might have been her.

‘Are you sure I can’t ring someone?’ he’d begged.

‘No, no, NO!’ Her world had exploded, sending fragments scattering throughout her head. She was shattered into tiny pieces. How could anyone help put her back together?
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
…She’d begun to chant and rock her head from side to side…
…Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
Tears burst from her eyes…little pearl droplets that felt like ice.

She could tell Frank was beside himself with worry as she continued her childish, watery chant, blocking her ears, retreating to the carefree days of her childhood, oh, so many years ago...
All the king’s horses
Mrs Sandilands?
…All the king’s men
There was just one more thing I have to tell you.’ Frank had continued at the end of that dreadful conversation. The poor man had been so nervous. ‘Jack had a message for you. He whispered it just as he, er, was, er, passing.’
…Couldn’t put Humpty

‘What?’ she’d croaked, when he didn’t go on. ‘What did he say?’

‘He said, and I wrote it down straight away so I’d get it right. I knew it would be important to you.’
‘Go on, go on,’ she’d urged, impatient now. Her heart was skittering all over the place. She would have something to hang on to...thank you Lord.
‘He said ‘Tell Charlie to come to the shack.’’
‘Are you sure?’ she’d asked.
‘Yes, I’m sure. I thought it was strange because I know your home at Gulliriviere is long gone. I couldn’t figure it out, but that’s the message.’
‘Thank you Frank. You have no idea how important that message is to me.’ 
Her voice had trembled with emotion, emotion that had hit her already fragmented head with another blow, but she'd felt the first glimmer of hope.
If Jack wanted her at the shack, then to the shack she would go…
She could smell the sweet fragrance of the red roses whirling around her. She ran through the tall grasses, trailing her hands over the white silky flowers. The creek was just ahead, just beyond the white houses. She could hear the gentle lapping of purest water. She longed to touch it.
Ah, there it is!

The stand of weeping willows stood as they had before time, their lush tendrils like dishevelled hair caressed the water as it flowed by, gently, gently.
Then—she saw him—there he was—her Jack, dancing through the weeping willows, moving aside the graceful drapery of elegant foliage as he passed through.
Throwing aside the last green veil, he hurried towards her on angel’s feet, arms outstretched, welcoming her home.
They were together again.


Hope you liked it. Please drop me a comment then read more Bad News stories here.



  1. Yeah I liked it. Such vivid pain.

    Neat twist to the end.


  2. Hi,

    Vivid descriptions, and one could feel her pain, yet there was something else I couldn't quite pin down. Disconcerting!


  3. Goodness, you always have so many interesting things on your blog. Very impressed!

  4. Loved it! Nicely done lady, and I do like that they were reunited in the end.

  5. L'Aussie, your evocative, pain-laced entry reminded of Stephen King's LISLEY'S STORY. See? You have the touch of genius to your work. Roland

  6. Lovely entry! And great ending:)

  7. This story does provide a vivid image for the reader. It reminds me of a story my friend wanted to do for drama on speech team, with how the ending isn't concrete yet makes the reader wonder. Well done.

  8. Great, flowing narrative you've got there (I also love your pics). Love it!


  9. Wow two blogfests at once! I only had time for one this week (The Mash-Up Blogfest)

    The descriptions in this piece are great- very real

  10. Francine: Thanks. I'm sorry I disconcerted you. Amazing how we all get different messages from a piece of writing..:)

    HelenMHunt: To impress you is a mighty compliment. You impress me more, as the song goes..:)

    Talei: I'm glad you like the ending. So do I..:)

    Roland: Ha ha, well I haven't read much Stephen King, my bad, but I definitely haven't read Lisley's Story, but now I must. Even to be likened to a whiff of the genius is too heady for moi..:)

    Erica: Thanks..:)

    Dawn: Thanks..:)

    Tessa: Yes, I love the pics too..:)

    eeleenlee: Yes, I've read a few MashUps. Great idea..:)

  11. I loved your story...sweet, poignant, bad news with a happy ending.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  12. Okay, sad. Very moving and I'm touched how close the two are. Great ending, you have to wonder what she did to get to where he was. Loved it! :D

  13. Brenda,well that's the part I cut out. Maybe another time..:)

  14. That was a kind of a "I've got some bad news and I've got some good news" story.

    Tossing It Out

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. Ooooh wow I liked how you mixed 'bad news' with positive emotion at the end. Loved it.

  17. Arlee and Writers Block: Thanks..:)

  18. Oh, I could feel her pain and I loved that you included the Humpty Dumpty...what a vivid flavor it adds! A great idea.

    I also loved the ending, an unexpected twist.

  19. Thanks Words Crafter: You're the first to mention Humpty Dumpty. I thought he was important as he gets the last two words..:)

  20. Thanks for visiting my blog, loved this piece; very intriguing and I thought the Humpty Dumpty connection from broken to together again was very clever.

    PS thanks for your good wishes and all the best to your hubby with his skin on Friday :)

  21. I’ve been following and enjoying your blog for a while now and would like to invite you to visit and perhaps follow me back. Sorry I took so long for the invitation.

  22. Teddyree: Thanks for visiting and for the good wishes..:)

    covnitkepri1: I'll call..:)

    Holly: Thanks..:)

  23. Teddyree: Thanks for visiting and for the good wishes..:)

    covnitkepri1: I'll call..:)

    Holly: Thanks..:)


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