STRUGGLE BACK TO DISCIPLINE
Reminder: Free short story – see below “A Pearl for Your Enjoyment”
I find discipline is the prime ingredient when writing: be it a novel, a short story for my writing groups, or when penning a piece of poetry. After two weeks of travelling, meeting old friends, and making new friends, with little structure in my days, I have discovered discipline is an elusive element as difficult as a barramundi to drag back into the boat.
Current Weather and Tides
As I prowl through the photos taken on the recent book tour (and as usual, knowing myself, there are not as many as there should be) I am reminded of some very happy times. Thank you to everyone who made the trip so enjoyable.
Keep safe, Keep smiling, Keep reading, Keep writing.
A Pearl for your Enjoyment
(I thought I might write a series of short stories sparked by my travels and here is the first at hand.)
Bushie Hits the Highrise.
Anxiety blended with excitement within her chest. Her heart threatened to burst through her rib cage. Elizabeth would have loved to open her window and allow the wind to whistle through her newly-washed, fly-a-way, silver hair springing up in all directions over her head, but that may have been impolite. Flicking white lines beside the vehicle mesmerized her as the car hurtled along the highway towards the city airport.
In a few short hours, the forest of green trees became a forest of road signs: large, small and in between, tall, short and dominant, bright, faded, sharp, and to the point. Elizabeth cringed as numerous cars, trucks and motorcycles replaced the flicking white lines. Her nerves settled somewhat at the confidence of their driver as he threaded his way through the winding streets. The noise of large planes arriving and leaving the airport penetrated the airconditioned vehicle in which they travelled. She took this as an indication they were approaching their destination.
Eventually, the car stopped and the engine silenced. With her feet settled on solid bitumen, Elizabeth turned to examine the Airport Hotel on her right – their first overnight stop on their big adventure. Pain settled in her neck as she twisted her head up and up and up taking in the tall building of uncountable levels. On their left, a short distance away was a huge car park also made up of many levels.
The roar of aeroplanes and traffic shifted to the sound of prattling voices of guests lined up to sign in as Elizabeth trundled into the foyer with her two suitcases, each containing samples of her books, a few clothes, plus a toothbrush, and clean knickers. Reports of the horrors of luggage going missing filtered through to the bush on more than one occasion. Beside her weighty handbag hanging from her neck, the strap of which almost squashed her larynx, a heavy knapsack with a computer and its accessories tested the quality of her spine. For the umpteenth time, she wondered if it was essential to carry her computer. Maybe she should consider looking for a smaller, lighter means of keeping up to date with her business communications. This flashing thought was familiar. It had visited her on more than one occasion in recent times but to date received short shift. The thought of stressing over new technology left her cold.
The automatic double-glazed glass doors shut behind her with barely a click. Fear rattled the chains of a mindless phobia within her head at the thought of all those layers of cement above. Tall buildings full of people become rat traps when a fire takes hold or the structure begins to crumble. Telling herself the chances of such events were negligible in Australia did little to calm her nerves.
A wide smile on the face behind the desk moved up and down with the words of instruction issued but nothing seemed to translate within Elizabeth’s head. Her friend Carol received the small green card offered and the pair entered one of the lifts waiting patiently on the ground floor.
Once again, the chains of phobia fear rattled within Elizabeth as they stepped inside. Mentally she stomped down upon it allowing her mind to savour the six square feet in which they stood alone – think peace – a short-lived peace. Despite numerous efforts by Carol, the lift refused to budge. Eventually, they found the instruction saying ‘tap the card’ and then press the button. By good luck, if not by good management, the ladies found their floor and their room.
Pleasure replaced the dormant fear as Elizabeth discovered what appeared to be a clean and tidy room with an open view out onto the high-rise car park noticed earlier. The trip to the restaurant for the evening meal proved another world of discovery as the pair learnt to utilize their magic card to turn lights on and off in the room, to unlock the door and exit, and to relock the door.
As they came to the end of a tasty meal their shoulders sagged and their eyes drooped. Thoughts of a shower, a read and a peaceful journey into dreamland beckoned. But this was to prove an impossible dream.
First to the bathroom, Elizabeth soon learnt that unless the shower was turned on very low the water gushed out through the doorless recess and saturated the bathmat. Not a shelf nor hook was in sight on which to place one’s clean clothes or hang the wet towels. Elizabeth pondered the thought of her clean clothes left on top of a toilet seat and improvised in other ways. Stress levels were on the rise.
Carol’s grumbles from the room drew Elizabeth’s attention from her own dilemma.
“There’s no nightlight to read by. I’ve searched everywhere.” She waved a hotel advertisement flyer back and forth like an elite athlete leading the team into the stadium. “This says we have natural lighting.” Her angry fingers stabbed at the fast-fading light of early evening through the wide window. Lights on each level of the high-rise car park lit it up like a Christmas tree.
We settled on a chat.
The girls from the bush had arrived.
To Be Continued