Linda, Wednesday…

Sorry that we missed a day yesterday! I wonder what you think of Linda…

I found the Rose and Crown too smoky.

Pushing open the door, I remembered Brian had thick, blond hair, a crew cut back then, dark blue eyes. Making my way to the bar, trying to look without swivelling my head too much. Wouldn’t want anyone to think I was about to spew pea soup across the bar or speak in tongues.

It was the eyes I noticed at the corner table. I sat opposite Brian, holding out my hand. He stood, shaking my proffered hand.

‘I’m glad you came.’

The blond hair had vanished, a shiny dome in its place. That makes it sound as if he was doing an impression of St Paul’s. I remembered the whispering gallery when mum took me. I wondered what thoughts were running around inside that dome that will never get said that evening.

He ordered drinks, reminiscing about the old times. The past doesn’t interest me. I could feel boredom creeping over me like unwanted ivy.

About an hour in, I made my excuses. ‘I have a big lunch meeting tomorrow; I need my shut eye. Been nice catching up.’

I stopped myself from saying we should do it again. He stood; I could feel him watching as I left.

It wasn’t exactly a lie. I do have a meeting my boss wouldn’t want messed up.

On my way home, I scolded myself a little. I could have given Brian more time.

I didn’t have to be in work that morning, the boss wanted me fresh for the meeting with Peter Westwood. I chose to wear my pencil skirt, long sleeved pale blue blouse, three buttons undone, showing just enough cleavage. If his eyes drop below my face, I will know something about him. A gentleman never lets you notice his eyes wandering. He is practised, he can do it without staring. This one knew the rules. Not once did I see his eyes wander. Deep brown, like chocolate buttons. Thick black hair with a slight kink trying to be a wave.

He is polite, stood shaking my hand, letting me sit before he did. His voice is deep. Not down in your boots deep, just enough to be sexy. Which I very much found him to be. ‘Would you like to order? I have to admit I am ravenous.’

He spoke naturally, which put me at ease.

We spoke while eating, which surprised me. I had to admit his book idea didn’t go down well with me. A teenage story of murder come whodunnit with a prize, if you entered of a replica of a jewelled dagger.

Knives and guns are all wrong, I told him. I couldn’t in all consciousness work with his ideas. I wondered what my boss would say if he was standing right behind me. I could almost hear him screaming between clenched teeth.

‘Maybe it could be a magical mystery tour around London where the reader could track the perpetrator, and the winner could have lunch with you.’

He must have liked the idea, for he stopped chewing, took a swig of his white wine. ‘That a much better idea. I could run them all over London, then back to Mayfair to the Silver Spoon.’

Before leaving, he gave me his card and his ideas for the sketches he wanted in the book. A young man with a book and pencil in his hand, roaming through London, hoping to win a lunch date with his favourite author.

He offered me a lift back to work.

I told him I was working from home today.

‘Home it is then.’

He sat in the back with me, my skirt riding up more than I would normally like. This time I didn’t tug it down. I couldn’t tell if he noticed the amount of leg on show. ‘Ask your driver to turn left here. I’m the one with the monkey puzzle tree out front.’

Turning to face me, he asked if he could come in for coffee. ‘I think there is more we can do.’

I will let you know tomorrow what he had in mind…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Fandango’s Story Starter #14…

Fandango’s Story Starter #14

This week’s Story Starter teaser is:

I heard the music as I entered the room, but all that was there…

… was a faint outline, a mist of what used to be. An orchestra so fine, I sat to listen, thinking it a shame if they should ever find their way home through the veil. Music like that should never be lost. Would that I could bring young musicians in to learn, without fear of the ghosts.

As the thought vanished, I realised as a music teacher, I might be the only one who can hear them. Would they stay for me, let me teach this music on their behalf?

The music built to a crescendo which I took to mean yes.

The next day, I moved the music class to the new room. I asked the class to sit and listen. Three students said they could hear an orchestra; one they could listen to for days. That was good enough for me.

Let the music live on…

© Anita Dawes 2021

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Linda: looking for love…

I have a small star shaped scar on my forearm.

I have been told over the years by many psychics, it’s a deliberate stabbing from a former life. Now, unless they are all reading from the same handbooks for psychics, I have to wonder.

I wish it wasn’t three in the morning, staring at a light spot on my ceiling where the curtains have been disturbed. The empty space beside me, a reminder of being alone. I turn 33 tomorrow. Colleagues at work tell me there is still time to find the one I am so fussy to find.

With luck I may get a few hours sleep. I turn over and try.

Nightmares bleed into morning, I know, because I am screaming.

The nightmare told me I had planted the seed of my own destruction, minutes before conception. I can only hope it’s a long way off.

Standing in front of my hall mirror, I can see I need a do over. My mousy brown hair turning grey, making my eyes look too dark, almost as if I am trying to haunt someone. The rest of me is not so bad. Five foot six, full lips, small nose. My figure is much the same as when I was in my twenties. I don’t tend to pile on the weight, nine stone is comfortable for me.

This morning I will cycle to work, as I feel the need for danger.

The ride to work went better than usual, only one angry driver with his hand on the horn, a face the colour of a beetroot. Poor man, I hope he calms down soon, I wouldn’t want him to blow a gasket.

Today, I cheated. I zipped down the bus lane getting into work ten minutes early in time for coffee. We are not a big publisher, I am an illustrator working until two in the afternoon, then I work from home if I feel like it.

Terence is in early, a good egg, does all the fetching and carrying. Wouldn’t think there is much of that would you, well there is always reams of paper that need cutting. Maggie takes care of the phone and Tom comes in two days a week. The boss sits behind his big glass door, the need to see him slim, as things don’t go wrong that often. Terry, our other illustrator comes in about ten, works until five and doesn’t like to work from home.

I remember to make an appointment for my hair, a birthday gift from me to me. I wonder if it will make me look and feel different, maybe the dream world won’t recognise me and give me better dreams and no nightmares.

My hair appointment all booked for 2.30 on Tuesday.

Waiting for me on my desk, I find the three children’s books which I knew about, plus a folder about a new client that wants to meet with me. “Wednesday lunch, bring your pad and pencil to the Silver Spoon on the corner of the street.”  Peter Westwood, his name didn’t ring bells.

The rest of my day flew by. I decide to try not to upset any motorists on the way home. I stop off at a Spar to find something for my tea, where I also pick up a book. Pretty Baby, by Mary Kubica. I will let you know how that goes when I have read it.

Safe inside my home, I finish off the work I brought with me. Make tea, take a shower and settle down with the book…

See you tomorrow…

© Anita Dawes 2021

The First Thing you See…

Todays screensaver

The First Thing You See…

There has long been a standing joke in our house, that it is impossible for me to leave anything alone.

Never satisfied, that’s me.

They just don’t understand. I constantly wonder if a creation, doesn’t matter what it is, could be better. It’s not really my fault if something inside of me instinctively seems to detect less than perfection in almost everything I do.

This habit, unfortunately, does include people, but on this occasion, I am talking about those things I can possibly improve!

If you have followed my trail at all, you will probably know all about the countless changes I keep making in my endeavours to create the perfect book/cover/blurb.

Again, not my fault if these improvements present themselves to me. I have never been one of those ‘that will do’ people, and my antics drive me just as insane as anyone watching.

But there is one thing I constantly change and I love doing it. Not because I am looking for perfection mind you, but simply because I can.  And as it is a constant source of inspiration, it is well worth the bother. I am talking about the screensaver on my PC.

I found this site on the web called ‘WallpapersEveryday’ that allows you to change your screensaver image every five minutes if you wish. You can even have a slideshow of all your favourites, but these tend to make me giddy.

They have thousands of images, something for everybody, and I have found some truly beautiful images on there to inspire me. Like this one!

I firmly believe that one of the first things you see every morning should be beautiful and inspiring… No peeking in the mirror then!

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend, and see you on Monday!