So I don’t have a poem today, it didn’t happen, but instead here’s a fiction idea I’ve been thinking about. It’s very rough around the edges and still in idea stage really, I haven’t even edited this properly so please excuse the sloppy grammar! 😁 I’ve modelled it on the style of say, l. M. Montgomery, Francis Hodgson Burnett etc, but in an Australian setting because I love their work. I’ve not done much fictional writing, so I’m sure I have lots to improve on, and if you care to read, constructive criticism is very welcome!
When I met the three ladies I thought that there could not possibly be any three people less similar than them. Amelia was short and dumpy, her gaze reminded one of a jersey cow, whereas Vera was thin and angular, her glasses perpetually perched on her thin nose. Miss Magdalene was neither too fat nor too skinny, and she had the friendliest eyes I had ever seen. You were just drawn into them eyes and then she smiled at me and I felt like she was an old friend.
We all stood there for a while after they had called me inside their house, the three of them were looking g at me and I was looking g at the three of them. I get really mad at adults who look you over critically, lookin for dirty hands or uncombed hair, torn dresses etc. But none of them looked at me like that, they just looked straight at me, as if to see what I was, me as a person. None of them seemed to mind my frank stare either, they seemed to take it for what it were, no rudeness did I intend, but they were the most interesting people I’d ever seen.
“What do they call you?” asked Vera briskly
“Windy.” I admitted sulkily for I didn’t like my name.
“Is that your full name child?”
“My full name,” I said reluctantly “is Windsong.”
“Good name! I feel there must be a good story to it! Come let’s have it” Vera leaned forward and the other two ladies nodded.
“Yes” said Magdalene “please tell us”
It was that please that undid me, I had previously sworn never to tell anyone, although the story was common enough knowledge. But if I didn’t tell them, because they never went anywhere or saw anyone as far as I knew, they’d never hear it from any other source. However their keen interest made me sort of want to tell.
“Did your mother chose it?” asked Miss Amelia with a sentimental sigh “it’s so beautiful”
“Well no, it was more my father but he didn’t really either, I mean not on purpose, you see he’s always been… ” I deliberated over what he had been,”softer than ma. Ma is strong, she’s not afraid of anything. When she was pregnant with me and they went to birthing classes at the hospital ma was fine and composed but Dad had to leave the room. So when the time came and they had to go to the hospital to have me, Dad sort of completely lost it. I think mum had to drive the car in the middle of contractions and everything.”
“A determined woman.” Miss Vera nodded.
“Yes she was going fine through having me, she is very strong, but it took about 12 hrs all up and Dad was a blubbering mess at the end of it. The kids tease me about him sometimes but I don’t think it’s overly bad to be soft, is it?”
” of course not,”said Miss Amelia “a sentimental nature is something very rare, and beautiful.”
I thought about whether dad was beautiful or not and I couldnt decide. I knew he probably wouldn’t want to be called beautiful.
“Anyway,” I continued “in about 12 hrs when I was out, they took me to Dad first, all wrapped up in a blue blanket, I reckon that’s what confused him. So he was blubbering something awful to see me, and the nurse asked what he wanted me to be called and he said Winston, after Churchill you know. He’s always admired him, but the nurse misheard and thought he said Windsong, so she went and wrote that down.”
The three ladies laughed heartedly when I finished the story and at first I started to retreat into a little bit of a shell, but then Miss Magdalene said,
“Bravo! With such a story and such a knack of telling it you could be anything at all! But your poor father, did he ever get a Winston?” and she started laughing again.
I, who had never had the least inclination to laugh at the story of how I got my name, suddenly began to be struck with how ridiculous it really was, and started to laugh louder than any if them. In that moment the three ladies gave me their first gift, a true sense of humour.
After the laughter had subsided I said,
“as a matter of fact he did have a Winston, miss Magdalene, my younger brother.”
“your family sounds most interesting” said miss Magdalene “by and by you must tell us all about them.”
“indeed it promises to be quite the story.” said Miss Vera shaking the last of the laughter tears put of her eyes “but for now, business. How fast can you write?”
“pretty fast ma’am, it never troubles me to keep up with the teacher at school when she speaks, but she has to repeat it for all the rest of the children.”
“do you know shorthand at all?”
“well we will teach it to you by and by, but for the moment your present skills will be enough. Did your mother tell you what it is we are working on?”
“no, she just said that you ladies needed me to do some writing, it was Margo who said…” I broke off, realising that what Margo said had not been very pleasant.
“Yes? What did Margo say?” asked Vera, her eyebrow going straight up.
“i highly doubt that” said Vera with a small grin. “no matter. I will tell you what we are doing, so you can have some idea. It is a Book!” you could hear the capital letter when she said it.
“Really ma’am?” I said politely “what is is about?”
“Australian animals, plants and other creatures; their different habits and personalities, an entirely new look at these based solely on personal opinion and some misinformation!” Vera finished on a triumphant note with a flourish, and I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to applaud.
“That sounds real good, ma’am.” I said, although I had no idea what on earth the book was going to be about at all.
“The title needs a little work I think.” said miss Magdalene kindly, looking at my confused expression “but as you write for us you’ll get to see the kind of thing we mean and maybe you’ll have so, even good ideas you can add.”
“Come on, let’s get to work.” said Vera in her normal brisk manner.
So there you go. Congratulations for reading this far if you did! If you want to know the rest of this story, let me know!