- The Dorothy Must Die series by Danielle Paige
- Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks
- A Step Closer to Falling by Cammie Mcgovern
- Disablity in Theatre
Cannot wait to see what challanges I have ahead in 2017… Stay tuned.
A Mother’s Hidden Heartache
A short soap opera.
5 Ffald road
Scene One: The Dress
Molly: (Internal monologue) I remember the day when a dress, a tear falling and a little box changed my life. All this had been unearthed because my beloved dad had just died and our vast house here in Sussex was being sold because my mother wanted a new ‘minimal’ style of house now that my father had died. I don’t think I ever saw my mum cry over my father but then again doing that in her day was ‘unexceptable’.. mind you, she is a cold bitch. She’s thrown out nearly all my dad’s stuff but I did rescue my dad’s snuff cigar box. He’d have a cigar when we’d have us time at six pm in the evening when we had ‘us’ time. My dad was the only person who really cared, loved and encouraged me well, him and our cook Ida. My mum seemed and still seems to resent me… well, now I know why and it was thanks to the that day in the attic…
Flashbackk to the other day when Attic door creaking open and somebody rummaging through boxes.
Molly: (Muttering) Golf clubs? sell. Old books? donate to the library. What’s this? ( unzipped suit carrier) Oh my lord! It’s my bridesmaids dress from cousin Sophie’s wedding. Why the hell would mum keep this frilly monstrosity? It looks like a flamingo died for this! (Calls to her mother.) Mum! I’ve found my old bridesmaids dress! What do you want to do with it?
Violet: (snobby voice) Bring it down please Margaret, I obviously can’t see it when you are up in the Attic can I?
Molly: (sighs) I can’t do anything right can I?
Climbs down ladder
Molly: Here we are mum.
Violet: Really Margaret, I do hate that name, please call me
Mother. Now let’s see what we have here?
Voilet unzips the suit carrier
Violet: (Softly) Oh.
Molly: What’s wrong Mu-, Mother? The thing is I remember dripping ice cream down it’s front and the ribbon isn’t torn around the waist anymore..
Truth be told, Violet was a bit taken back seeing this dress again. Memories flashed through her mind at lightening speed so she could not hold on to them. The dress had been perfectly preserved in it’s carrier and yet it had been stuffed away in a dusty attic, it had only been worn for half a day. If you looked very closely at violet Cleeveland’s face, you could see a tiny tear in the corner of her eye.
Violet (Come’s back to the present, talks quickly) I took it to a specialist dressmakers it was too much of an expensive dress to ruin and not wear again. You should have been more careful.
Molly: To be fair, I was six mum and I never wore it again. I’ll just donate it to the creche’s dressing box. A very hideous dress will be a four year old’s dream dress.
Narrator: Violet snatches up the dress, her face is pale.
Violet: No!I want to keep it Margaret!
Molly: But Mot-
Violet: (Anger and her fears come to boil) Don’t question me Margaret! Just do as you are told for once and not go against me! (quietens her voice) Now please go and sort out the attic! the movers will be here in an hour and this moving business is stressful enough without you questioning me about every item up there! Didn’t your father ever teach you in that big library of his and how many hours you spent in there that ‘curiosty killed the cat?’
Molly: (Internal monologue) When she’s like this I just nod and try not to show that she’s making me feel like I am five again.
Violet: (Stern) Good. Now don’t go looking for trouble where there is none. Now please hurry up and finish the attic.
Molly exists/Footsteps leading away and the door shutting / Carrier being zipped up.
Molly: (Internal monologue) Now, I know I shouldn’t have, but something made me open that door and peer in. I saw my mum stroking the collar of the dress the way a ‘normal mother’ might comfort a child during an upset or fever. She then pressed the material to her cheek and I saw a tear fall. I knew something was up because as I told you my mother is from the ‘Stiff upper lip’ generation so for her to cry over something so trivial as an outdated bridesmaid dress, I knew something was wrong. But what?
I couldn’t put my finger on it so rather than face a lecture off of mother for listening at doors or even worse in her book, being idle I returned to finish sorting the attic. Little did I know it would turn up dusty old jackets and mothballs no, this was tsunami crammed in a small box.
attic door opening.
Violet: (Internal monolouge) God it’s dusty up here! I get it that my mum is ‘grieving in her own way’ but would it kill her to lift a finger?! wait a minute, there’s a wooden trunk with the name ‘Rosie’ in gold lettering? Who the hell is Rosie?! I wanted to look inside as it was so intriguing. Does this Rosie have something to do with the dress? (exhales) Now I know mum told me not to go snooping but bugger it! if I’m the curious cat then I’ve only got eight lives left!
SFX; Trunk being dragged towards her.
Molly: (Sounding exasperated) Bugger it’s locked… wait a minute! Molly pulls a pin from her hair and thrusts it in the lock. The trunk springs open.
Molly: (Sounding triumphant) Aha!
Molly leaves through it’s contents, so far it’s just a lot of papers her father’s signed. At the bottom is a brown file and when Molly opens it photos of an unsmiling girl spill on to her lap.
Molly (reads aloud) ‘Rosie aged two dated 11th of the 11th 72, still no improvement’. Hey! That’s my dad’s handwriting! Was Rosie a child he once saved at the hospital? If so why would he keep a trunk?
Narrator: Molly delved amongst the paraphernalia again, swamped in words like ‘palsy’ and ‘remedial’ and brought out a faded birth certficate. Molly was astounded.
Molly: ‘Rosland Elizabeth Cleveland born on May 12th 1970 to parents… (Molly breaks off and tries to keep composure in her voice.) Violet Cleveland and Arthur Wallace. (Internal monologue) Wait, so this makes her my… my half sister. So my mother had an affair- (Rustles through papers) and my father knew, signing for this Rosie to be taken to Rookwood House. Why?! I’m so confused! My mother is a bitch for breaking poor daddies heart! Why did they send that little girl away.. my sister. MY Sister!
Gabbing the file and flinging the attic door back, she stormed down stairs like a bolt of lightning that had been set free from it’s confinements to confront her mother and to get the truth.
SFX: Some forties music is blasting from a tiny boombox. MOLLY STORMS IN.
Molly: Mum I want a word.
Violet; Margaret it’s mother and don’t speak to me in such a tone! Why do you have to be so impaient? I needed to get the house at least in a liveable state before the movers get here in –
Narrator: Molly’s mother glances at her wrist watch and still furiously scrubs the skirting boards as if to be trying to rid of stain only visible to her eye.
Violet: – Half an hour.
Molly: Now I knew I shouldn’t have but the anger was reaching it’s boiling point so I thrust the birth certificate under her nose.
WHAT’S THIS?! ALL THOSE TIMES I CRIED MYSELF TO SLEEP BECAUSE I WAS LONELY AND NOW I HAVE SISTER?! WORSE THAN THAT YOU HAD AN AFFAIR AND THEN SENT HER AWAY AS IF SHE NEVER EXSISTED?!
Violet: NO! IT WAS NOTHING LIKE THAT! YOU HUSH YOUR MOUTH YOUNG LADY! VOILET STRIKES MOLLY
Molly: Then tell me the truth! HELP ME UNDERSTAND!
Violet is sobbing whole heartedly on the floor. Molly standing over her. If you listened well enough you could hear her heart that she patched up all those years ago, break again.
Violet: I came to your daddy in 1971. I had just had your sister Rose and mother’s intuition told me something was wrong with her. She was beautiful but she was floppy and cried when she was fed. I was married to Arthur Wallace for a year but taking care of Rosie was taking it’s toll on us.
Molly: Oh poor you. Then what happened if you were manrried to that Wallace bloke then how did you marry daddy?
Violet; You have to understand something. I’m sorry to say this but your daddy wasn’t an Ange-
Molly: No! You’re lying! he was the kindest man ever, it’s YOU who is no Angel.
SFX: Dramtic music reaching it’s climax almost like a pulsing heart.
Violet: HE WAS MY BROTHER! (sobs) HE WAS MY BROTHER! EVER SINCE I WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD HE’D TOUCH ME AND MAKE OUT TO MAMA THAT IT WAS ‘FRIENDLY FIGHTING!’ HE WAS JEALOUS OF ME MARRYING ARTHUR BECAUSE HE COULDN’T HAVE WHAT HE WANTED ME! HE HAD THE DEVIL IN HIM AND URGES THAT HE CHOSE NOT TO CONTROL!
Molly: (Quivers) What?! So how does all this tie in with Rosie?!
Violet: He told me that if I married him that he would see that Rosie got the best treatment available, myself and Arthur saw that as our only option. INSTEAD THAT BASTARD TOOK MY BABY AND SIGNED AWAY MY RIGHTS TO SEE HER! (sniffles) I saw her once when she was eight. I took a replica of the bridesmaids dress and they told me I couldn’t give it to her because of house rules! I couldn’t even hug my own child for fear it would ‘excite’ her! She was left slumped in a chair, her hands gloved so she couldn’t use them. Rosie didn’t even recognise me!
Molly: So you resented me because of something my father did? – Sorry my uncle?!
Violet: No my love, I never resented you! Yes you were a painful reminder of what Rosie couldn’t do. But I hated the way you’r father had control over me. Each time when I couldn’t give him a child he’d beat me. And when I finally gave him you, I was jealous of how he took away my child.
Molly: I want to meet her. By the way, that’s no excuse for depriving me of your love. Do you not know how that effected me?!
Violet: (Deadpan) you can’t. when I lost my second baby when you were 11, your father ordered Rosie to be moved. He never told me where she was.
Molly: And this was all legal? Why didn’t you go to the police?!
Violet: How could I? He could easily turn against me what with him being an ‘upstanding citizen’.
Molly: Oh… Mum, I’m so sorry.
Both women look at each other, soaking up information. Molly crouches down and takes her mothers hand. Slowly the bond between them mending.
Molly: Mum, we’ll go to the police, get justice for Rosie and the other patients, We’ll find her. HE’S gone. He can’t hurt you anymore.
Violet: Yes. Let’s go. Gathers up her skirts and dusts herself down.
Molly: What about the movers?
Violet: I. Want. to. Go.
Gathering up what was left of her past violet and Molly went forward to forge a future together out of these demons. A mother’s heartache that had been hidden for years now turned into a fight for justice.
As you all know I want to the hairdressers (before having to jumpstart my car) yesterday and I spent three hours getting my hair done and being pampered the only thing is it my back to be at the basins and to be in my wheelchair for so long. The result? I’m beautiful but, fuck me I hurt.
So today I haven’t even gotten dressed and basically did book promotion from my iPad in between naps and food. Does anyone not eat proper meals when flaring? All I want is seeded toast, bananas and green apple and yogurt,
Before you ask yes I will be taking it I will be taking a diazepam tomorrow to try and reset my body. I don’t even know if I’ll stay awake for Call The Midwife. In my chronic fatigue case I managed to spend £27 on kindle bags so at least I’ll have a lot of books to keep me occupied for a couple of days.
The proof copies of my book came for Carefree and Consequence, they look awesome. If you haven’t got your digital copy or paperback there is a link in my blog that will take you there. I always appreciate reviews however small.
I hope my fellow spoonies are okay?
Looking forward to setting up my author bank account for my royalties tomorrow I’m doing taxes with my grandparents. I want everything to be a bit bored so I’m saving every seat related to writing whether that be computer software or stationery. I was surprised at how much you can claim back on expenses.
PS I also applied for a flat in Talbot Green today.. wish me luck!
Lots of love
so yesterday I had a wheelchair fitting. I was not letting the bloke leave until everything t was perfect. I’m also upgrading to a salsa quickie mini, plus shoulder straps so my spine stays upright.
I can’t wait, with the chair I have, I leave the house once a week.
I can’t wait to go back to bingo and spent two hours in Waterstones just browsing the bookshelves. It’s silly the little things you take for granted. I can’t wait to have my independence back and finally go places on my own for example, hour excursions to the shopping centre will simply people watching and eating ice cream at the beach on a sunny day
Can’t wait till it comes don’t worry they’ll be plenty of pictures on my Instagram for you to see:-)
Until then I’m promoting carefree in consequence which you can get on my blog and there are links for my various social media. My library is even considering let me do a book signing. I also have a local independent bookstore interested all I have to do is send them a copy of the book and sign the contract.
I hope you enjoy it and I hope the paperback quality is its absolute best because that’s what I want my readers. It would be really nice if you could leave me a review on Amazon as well ❤️
My back has been bad this week, I couldn’t bend or twist. By Tuesday I can’t take it anymore so the doctor prescribes me Diazepam, it’s eased off a little now but the cold weather isn’t helping.
I’m still backed up like a New York sewer…. ugh it’s a catch 22 with meds!!
I’ve started working on freelancing/proofreading and I’m enjoying it. I ❤️ the feedback on my blog!!
Don’t forget you can message me any time if, you’d like me to give my opinion on a certain topic… but for now, I must nap.
I am also happy to report that I’ve sold 13 copies of my book so far, I’m told that because I don’t have a huge profile or following that it’s pretty good going!! Don’t forget to buy your copy too. Just head to the page on my blog. Don’t forget that I’ll be doing an interview with Spoonie Association very soon.
Cannot wait to have my wheelchair assessment next Friday and talk to my social worker about reinstating my night care and living independently.
Close to my heart
“Bloomin’ heck Nan, you’ve got enough in this place to keep Antiques Roadshow going for months!” Katie, Vera’s granddaughter gave a little laugh as she carefully wrapped yet another floral plate in bubble wrap that was in Vera and her late husband’s bedroom. Today was moving day for Vera. With Jack gone and the price of living rises whilst pensions meagre as they were, were cut even more and each day the stairs became a little more difficult to climb as Vera’s arthritis was getting worse, Vera had decided now was the time to move into sheltered accommodation which meant Vera had help with the basics but still clung on to her independence. Vera couldn’t help feeling a little misty eyed as she thought of all the wonderful memories.
Vera was just hoovering her once plush but now tattered hallway carpet when she heads a thud. ‘I hope that girl hasn’t broken one of my perfume bottles, as much as she loved Katie, she could be clumsy at times’. Vera thought to herself as she headed back to the almost bare bedroom. She was momentarily shocked like someone had doused her in ice as she stood in the doorway and watched Katie carefully arranging her precious costume jewellery back into the wooden mahogany box. That wasn’t the problem. Her eyes were fixed on the now grey booties and the small ring box that lay open on its side open, its contents lay on the rug. “Oh that’s so sweet Nan, you kept some of Dad’s baby things” Katie fingered the grey bootie. Vera was like a whirlwind and snatched up the booties and scooping the precious contents and its box into her arms before Katie could say a word, she looked confused whilst Vera’s eyes flashed with anger.
“Please, you must never ever touch these things again!” Vera’s voice was usually scolding. It shocked Katie.
“Sorry nan I didn’t realise -”
“No, you never do. Somethings I like to keep private, my personal treasures just for me and no one else!” Vera sat on her bed cradling her treasures now sombre. Katie knelt in front of her nan and took her hands. “But it’s only just dad’s baby things,” She sighed softly.
“That’s just it though their not his.” She couldn’t keep this from Katie as she knew she’d keep prodding or worse tell her father then Pandora’s box will definitely be opened. The seconds ticked by before Vera spoke again, the air thick with tension, the clouds now casting a dark shadow across the room. “Katie, if I tell you this, you mustn’t tell anyone else till I’m ready okay? Not even pop or your Dad knew. Katie felt torn, privileged that she was being trusted so much and then keeping secrets. Katie nodded. Vera smiled as she tucked a stray hair behind Katie’s hair, the luscious blonde locks so familiar.
“Your father, he had a brother.” Katie was confused, her dad was an only child. She began to object but Vera ploughed on. “It’s just as clear as yesterday…”
Vera crossed the street towards the forbidding hospital with its grey brick and windows with iron bars. She didn’t want to do this, she had no choice. She looked down at the sleeping bundle in her arms before hesitantly crossing the road and knocking on the heavy oak door. The sky was black, the rain poured down as the sky split in two like Vera’s heart.
They were greeted by a rather formidable looking nurse with a sharp face, dark eyes and a stern demeanour. She peered at the bundle in her arms before speaking, “Mrs Tanner, I presume? Welcome to Oakmont Hospital. Vera muttered a small thank you as the nurse stepped aside and let her in.
“I can assure you, you’re making the right choice, this way,” said the nurse as she took the jerking and whimpering bundle from Vera’s arms and lead them down a passageway. The doors and windows were all padlocked, vacant-looking souls slumped in wheelchairs sitting listlessly. This was a hospital for the spastics and retarded.
The nurse led her into what was presumably her office before sitting down and unwrapping the bundle revealing a small puny body with stiff jerking limbs and big doleful eyes. As if the poor thing knew what was happening he let out a groan.
“What’s his name?”
“Michael Tanner Matron”
She noted this down on a file.
“It says here he’s aged two and cannot speak apart from groaning, unable to walk, feed himself and has no bowel control, is that right?”
Vera merely nodded, the urge to ran with her baby was strong. To hell what everyone thinks! To hell with her husband who couldn’t bring himself to call their son by his name, never mind say goodbye! Vera wished things to be different.
“Right, well that all seems to be in order. Follow me please” The nurse asked whisking her darling Michael down the corridor.
She came to award and stopped. She opened the door where the stench of urine was overpowering. The hall was sparse with thirty cots made of iron with thin mattresses and one nurse between them all. Now the the the girl was rocking back and forth, another eating the contents of his own mess, a large teenage boy in a wheelchair was screaming and banging his head with his hand.
“The children here, receive the best therapy in the country, fed three times a day, bathed once a week and have plenty of recreational activities.” The Nurse said briskly.
Vera went to stroke Michaels head but the nurse stopped her. “We don’t encourage pandering her Mrs Tanner.” Before she knew what was happening she was propelled out of the ward and back down towards the door. “You’ll receive a letter once a year on his progress. “I promise you, Mrs Tanner, Michael will be alright. Try and forget this incident and live a happy life.” With that she the front door was shut in her face, The cries and images from the ward burned in her memory. Vera didn’t stop crying for a whole month and after that, her first husband left as he couldn’t cope with her ‘hysterics’.
“He died last year of pneumonia and they didn’t let me attend the funeral. If I’d have known the cruelty he would endure I would never have let him stay. But, in those days it was the husband who wore the trousers and Harry couldn’t bear to raise a.. cripple.. ‘it was for the best.'” Vera sobbed.
Katie was crying too and whilst she wanted to comfort her nan she didn’t know what to say, so they sat in silence and Katie swore she heard her nan’s heartbreaking a bit more.
Later that night when Katie left she asked her Gran if she could borrow the photo of her uncle. She handed it over with glistening eyes and her lip quivered, “be careful”.
A week later when her Gran had moved into her apartment Katie presented her with the tiny photo and a wrapped present. She smiles as her Gran grappled with the ornate bow. Her grandmother gasped as the paper fell away. It was a large canvas of her beautiful boy. “Now he doesn’t have to be hidden away again.” She said as she hung it above the fireplace. For once in her life, her grandmother was left speechless. But the surprises weren’t over yet.
Katie‘s grandmother was puzzled as to why they were at the allotment. She looked at Katie prompted to explain cupboard Katie just gestured food for me. They came to his pitching she was confused as to why there was a snowdrop plant to be buried in the ground and her son, his wife and the vicar were standing around it.
“Its time for my uncle to be honoured properly.” Her gran’s eyes welled with tears, Katie knew she had to explain things to her dad but, now it was time to acknowledge her first born’s existence. The family gathered around as the vicar began saying prayers whilst Katie shovelled the snowdrop into the ground. These flowers were survivors and it suited her uncle to a T. The December wind was bitter and the clouds grey but, it’s as if her uncle was watching as the winter sun broke through the clouds and bathed her family in a halo of light.