Unless I have miscalculated, this is my 200th post. The Passing Place is nearly a year old and still going strong - my last blog only lasted eight months, or ten if you count the first two months where I didn't post at all. Anyway, to mark the occasion I've decided to share some of my creative writing with you. I'm not ready to share any of my novel yet, although I definitely plan on posting a teaser when I have completed a draft I am happy with. Instead, I am going to post a short story I wrote about two years ago, although I gave it a thorough edit yesterday to ensure it was at a presentable standard. I titled the story Angel Tread after one of my favourite songs and, as a more appropriate title hasn't come up, it's stuck. Although it is a short story, I am going to post it in installments. I hope you enjoy it!
His name was Dewey and he hated it. It was just typical of his mother to give him the sort of name that you would give a cartoon character, so he thought. Vivien, on the other hand, thought his name was cute.
‘That’s my whole point!’ He said.
‘Oh, come on,’ she teased. ‘It’s not that bad. Surely it’s a whole lot better than Egbert, or something along those lines.’
He had to agree with that but it didn’t make him feel anymore kindly towards his name. ‘It’s twee,’ he said. ‘Not even you can deny that.’
Vivien also hated her name. ‘What’s wrong with Vivien?’ He asked, when she first admitted this.
‘It’s not the name itself,’ she tried to explain. ‘It’s just the way my mother used to bark it whenever I did something bad. I always knew when I was in trouble!’
Mothers again, Dewey thought. But then, unlike Vivien, his father had been absent throughout his upbringing. In fact, as far as he knew, his father knew nothing of his existence. At least this was what his mother let him assume. She was strangely unforthcoming on the subject, and whenever Dewey had pestered her with questions, all she would say was that his father had never had ‘an active role in his upbringing’. As if that wasn’t stating the obvious! Dewey often wondered if, had he grown up with a paternal figure in his life, things would have been different, including his name.
It wasn’t that Courtney hadn’t been a good mother. Dewey was close to his mother and thought very highly of her. It was just that he had always felt the absence of a male role model in his life, particularly when he hit his teens. There were times in his life when he felt that his father had not only a right but a duty to be there. Today being one of them, he thought as he stood at the front of the church, watching his well dressed acquaintances file into pews, waiting expectantly. Today was the day that his father should be standing by his side.
As a boy he had often sat in his room for long moments, his hands empty and his body tense with anticipation. Whenever the phone or doorbell rang he would fall apart, convinced that this was the life-altering moment he’d been waiting for, although it never was. Now, for the first time in many years, he felt that familiar stir of expectation, and his eyes fell resolutely on the door directly ahead. Surely he would come today... He felt certain, forgetting all the time he had spent as a boy waiting in futility. He did not know what he would say to him. During his teens he had envisaged a hot blooded confrontation, and prepared many anger-fuelled speeches concerning his father’s neglect. Yet these, along with his resentment, were long forgotten. He knew when he saw his father, words would fail them both. They would shake hands, and nod, and smile. There would be time to talk later.
He felt he was being watched, and when he looked around his eyes found those of his mother, who was smiling at him. He smiled and she gave him a cheesy thumbs-up, which he returned, just as his attention was caught by movement ahead. A tremor seized him and he gritted his teeth, struggling to regain his composure. A figure in grey began to emerge from the porch and Dewey could not deny his disappointment when he recognised the man. The spectators rose respectfully in their pews, as Vivien and her father walked down the aisle to the front of the church where he was waiting, seemingly for her and her only.
[To be continued...]
© Kess 04-07-2008