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Thread: My newborn

  1. #1
    Debbi Voisey

    My newborn

    Members only forum seems slow, so I am re-posting here....

    Okay, while I wait to see if my firstborn is a hit with anyone out there, I have finally moved on to my latest.

    Does this intrigue you (would you read on), or send you into a coma?

    Thanks, folks.


    Opening one eye meant she could see the top of his thigh and the curve of buttock (white against nutty brown) as it disappeared into dark blue swim shorts. If she closed that eye again, everything disappeared into a burst of bright orange eyelid, and she supposed that out of decency she should really keep it closed, but it was hard, so hard, not to look. She had never seen the thigh before, but she had imagined it. Many times.

    Beyond the thigh, sunlight spattered the turquoise pool with patches of silver/white, and heat haze shimmered up from the pale biscuit tiles under and around the sun loungers. Her ears rang with the sound of insects and birds, the gurgle of the pool, and that faint “ssshhhh” noise she always heard when the sun was hot and her skin tingling under its touch.

    Lying there, it was easy to forget that the thigh and buttock she was looking at belonged to the boy who had broken her heart. The boy who had rejected her.

    And he didn’t recognise her. Because now he was a man, and maybe somewhere inside he had the faint memory of a day in the mists of time when a young, overweight girl with braces on her teeth and blatant, painful hope in her eyes had courted him clumsily. Childishly. Maybe his subconscious self remembered the awkward conversations, the accidental touches that detonated explosions in her that he never saw, never heard.

    Maybe. But not likely.

    She had been in his company a hundred times – maybe a few more, more likely quite a few less – but never in his heart, and never on his radar.

    Not even that day on the beach, out at Killiney, when the wind had ruffled his sandy hair and made him look like a Prince in a fairy tale who was ready to jump astride a white horse; a modern Prince with his black, zip up leather jacket and faded levis. And his pouty mouth – wet with beer – had been spouting off about something nineteen to the dozen.

    She didn’t know why he had seemed nervous, or why he had felt the need, at 17, to nick a can of his dad’s beer and try to get drunk. She only knew that for the time being at least, he had been talking to her, and she had felt an intimacy with him that she knew at the time was fake, but that she was willing to cling onto. Like a balloon you know you will let go of eventually, but not now, not yet…just a few moments more.

    He had looked at her. Spoken to her. Touched her, even, very briefly, in a weird and fumbly way. It had made her feel strangely adult and at the same time still like a child. And sad in ways she could never explain.

    Afterwards he had lit a cigarette, and checked behind them to see that no one had seen, and inside, in her heart, she had let go of the balloon and watched with misty eyes as it soared off high above the bay, buffeted by the wind and the breath of her emotions.

    By the time the others had caught up with them (her brother and the rest of his gang), and the high jinx began – teenagers racing around the beach, throwing alien-looking seaweed and skimming white pebbles across the slate-grey sea – the moment had disappeared, whatever that moment had been. The connection was lost, and her blip had left his radar screen once again.

    She saw him exactly two more times after that.

    And then one day she overheard her brother on the phone telling one of the lads that their friend – the main man - had left Dublin, and in his hushed tones was a secret she wasn’t sure she wanted to hear.

    But she asked: “Daniel has gone? Where?”, feeling her heart weighted with grief, and puzzlement, and the memory of Killiney beach, and boozy breath, and something else she couldn’t fathom.

    And her brother ruffled her hair and said: “Daniel, is it? You little tyke. Go on with you out to play, and don’t pay grown up things no mind.”

    That had stung. Like he thought she was too young to feel anything, too young to know anything. And she could never have called him Danno, like the others did. Daniel was a Prince’s name, a hero’s name, and to her had a poetry and beauty too precious to shorten.

    And the years past, and Dublin life went on. Her brother said the name “Danno” less and less, and any news he had was talked about in whispers.

    And eventually he stopped mentioning him at all, and as all 9 year olds do, she grew up, and went to dances, and swimming at the beach, and made lots of friends. And Daniel became a distant memory, a face that only came now in the depth of dreams. Murky dreams, of hot breath in her hair, smelling of beer. Of hands, cold in the coast breeze.
    And then, she stopped thinking of him completely.

    Until London, 20 years later. Until it all came crashing back.

  2. #2
    Amy Lou
    Hi Debbie - I've been meaning to respond to this for several days, glad I'm getting the chance to do so now. I'm not a professional writer, just trying like everyone else. But I loved it!!!! Seriously. I was sucked right in and my heart holds sympathy for your mc. I feel her pain. Your descriptions are beautiful, all of it. So there's my 2cents. I did see a critique about making this not a flash back, and that might work, there are some really talented writers on here with excellent advice. But as it is, I would love to read on.
    Good luck and thanks for posting! Look forward to reading more of your work.

  3. #3
    Debbi Voisey
    Thanks for your kind words Amy Lou

    You don't necessarily need to be an expert critic or technically minded to say what you think of a book. Often we lack the technical stuff but have an instinct (hopefully) for what is right. And certainly, everyone is different and likes different styles.

    I know I need to work on this a bit. For me. But I am pleased that you love it. You are too kind.

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