Monday, 19 January 2009

Portrait Of Words #5

Jeff (A Word in Edgewise) has started up this monthly challenge, derived from a previous challenge from R.E.H.'s "Picture Fiction Challenge".
The object is to:

Write a story of any length or style. Long or short, comedy or tragedy, fact or fiction, etc,etc... it's up to you.

Use each of the picture representations in your story. (one from the wild card options)

Here's my story:

“Just hold my shopper would you Jack, whilst I nip into the post office and pick up the mail for the hotel” said Mary. Jack felt a fool but he did what Mary asked. Jack thought her job as manageress at the countryside hotel was too much of a challenge and the strain was beginning to show.

The truth was, Mary thoroughly enjoyed her job at the hotel. It was really upmarket, catering for the country set who still participated in fox hunting, had their own horses and arrived for dinner in their carriages. Mary had really come up in the world from her poor beginnings as the daughter of a fairground worker.    Jack dropped Mary off at the hotel telling her “I’ll pick you up later.”

In her office Mary sifted through the mail stopping at an envelope addressed to Mary Leach, which was her maiden name. Taking the letter opener she sliced open the envelope. A cold hand gripped her heart as she read the contents.

Her past had caught up with her.

Twenty-five years ago she had walked away from the fairground, her parents and her baby boy, who had been conceived from her relationship with Michael, the boy who helped run the Carousel with her father. She and Michael were in love but her father said they were too young at fourteen to know what love was. Michael and his family had left the fair and Mary’s baby had been taken away at birth, the only reminder she had of Michael was the rose bush he had planted outside her parent’s caravan. Mary missed Michael so much but no-one seemed to know where he and his family had gone.
As soon as Mary reached her sixteenth birthday she packed her bag and left, vowing to find Michael. For a few years every time a fair came to town she would go and ride the carousel hoping that maybe, just maybe, Michael would be there. Eventually she gave up looking and created a more acceptable past for herself. Finding work was easy for Mary, she was pretty and a hard worker, she started off as a chambermaid and worked her way up gradually to Manageress, through a series of hotels around the country.

Eventually she met Jack and they married. Jack knew about Mary’s family and what had happened to her at such a tender age but it wasn’t something she broadcast to all and sundry, it didn’t quite fit with her position now.

Going back to the letter Mary couldn’t believe what she was reading, somehow Michael had found her and was coming to visit – today!
Suddenly the telephone rang.

“There’s someone at the front desk looking for you Mary, says he’s a friend” said the receptionist.
Stepping out of her office Mary recognised Michael straight away.

Michael held out his hand “Good to see you Mary, how have you been?”

“Hello Michael, won’t you come into my office?”

Michael explained he had never wanted to leave her but his family had insisted and like her, as soon as he was old enough, he had started to look for her, just as she had looked for him.

“I have something for you Mary” said Michael. He reached into a bag and pulled out a pot containing a rose, which was identical to the one he had planted for her all those years ago, and an envelope which he passed to her.
“Open the envelope” he insisted.

Once again Mary took the letter opener and sliced the envelope, inside was a photograph of a line of Coldstream Guards.

“I don’t understand Michael, what’s this?” asked Mary.

“The second soldier from the left in the photograph is our son Mary. My family brought him up and I thought you might like to know just how well he turned out!”


Elaine said...

Oh! That was lovely, Ak. I almost had tears!

Eel Wind said...

I wonder what's Mary's reaction after all these years, not knowing that she has a son! :)

Emmie said...

i loved it your amazing ake :)

Gledwood said...


Jeff B said...

Hearing of her son's accomplishment as a guard sent a shiver up my spine. Very endearing.

G-Man said...

Ake...This was WONDERFUL! Thank You for sharing...G

Contest Chris said...

You are a exceptional writer!

Akelamalu said...

Aw you're a big softee Laney xx

Pride and amazement I would imagine Eel Wind :)

Aw thanks Emmie :)

Was that a smile Gleds? ;)

Glad you liked it Jeff :)

I'm so pleased you enjoyed it G-man x

Why thank you Chris, how kind you are. :)

Maggie May said...

What a coincidence that we wrote similar types of things. I was going to let my character have a secret child and changed my mind at the last minute.
Enjoyed reading this very much.

Akelamalu said...

Yes I notice the similaries too Maggie - great minds think alike eh? :)

BJ Roan said...

Oh how romantic! Loved it, especially the happy ending.

bettygram said...

I want to know more. Would she meet her son?

bettygram said...

I want to know more. Would she meet her son?

Finding Pam said...

Akelamula, such a tender story. I am so happy that Michael found Mary and she found out about their son. Very touching indeed.

Spiky Zora Jones said...

WOW...You are wonderful at this.

It's a tragic story though but at the same time...filled with a happiness.

Thanks was wonderful to read.


Linda said...

Excellent as always! Excellent, excellent, excellent!

Mel said...


What a touching ending...well done, ma'am!

Bankerchick said...

What a great story, you are very talented.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Fab story. Happy ending. Why do I feel tears building in my eyes?

Dr.John said...

Wonderful story. One with a very happy ending.
Excellent writing.

Deb said...

Ake ~ You pulled me right in but please tell me more! Does Mary leave Jack? Does she meet her son? I didn't want the story to end. You are a natural storyteller. Enjoy your day!

Akelamalu said...

So pleased you liked it BJRoan :)

You, the reader, can decide whether or not she meets her son Bettygram :)

I'm pleased they found each other too Pam :)

Why thankyou Spiky, I'm happy you enjoyed it. :)

Aw thanks Linda x

I like a touching ending Mel :)

Many thanks Bankerchick for the compliment. x

Happy endings do sometime bring tears Nick xx

Thankyou Dr. John :)

You can write your own ending Deb, whatever you want to happen can and will. I'm glad you enjoyed it m'dear. x

Robin said...

very, very nice!

Akelamalu said...

Thanks Deb x

Akelamalu said...

Oooh my apologies that should have said Thanks Robin. xxxx

quilly said...

Oh what a wonderful story! Everybody had a happy ending!

Akelamalu said...

So pleased you enjoyed it quilly :)

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Oh, what a lovely story, Akelamalu! I love coming to your blog to read these.

happily retired gal said...

You do know how to tell a story ... and I love a happy ending ;--)
Hugs and blessings,

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...