Weekly Writing Challenge: Leftovers – How it all began

Tell us about something — an object, a memory, a story — you haven’t touched in a while.


The asparagus peelings, leftover when preparing a dish of asparagus.

Many years ago, forty-five to be exact, I had a bump: number one son was on the way. Due to my proportions, my working life was paused for a year and I was not in the mood for heavy duty work. Suddenly I had an idea. I do not know where it originated, it was there. I thought up a story about a fish. My only relationship to fish at the time was an eating relationship. I cooked fish and it was a weekly meal. For some strange reason I began to think about the fish that escaped. I gave him the name Rocky. He was a goldfish.

At this time computers were not household gadgets. Mr. Swiss would bring one home now and again from work. I remember it was an IBM, one of the first, and we all had a little fun with it, but it was nothing to be compared with today’s laptops.

We had an electric typewriter which was rarely used; bought at the local supermarket for a reasonable price. I found the machine at home together with some paper and placed it on the table. First of all I wiped the layer of dust from the cover. It was in a compact box. I removed the lid and plugged it into the electricity supply and it was alive. It summed and breathed and sat waiting for my first movement. I began to write. My fishy ideas were formed into words and I wrote and wrote and wrote. I formed a real fishy world. Rocky escaped from the bowl whilst it was being cleaned and took a dive into the sink. He was free and landed in the watery world where all the waste lands when the sink is emptied.

He met other fishy friends, he found a girlfriend and I was in my own little world. Now and again the bump made itself noticeable, little feet kicking and attacks of indigestion. It was growing and telling me only a month to go. I hurried with my story and one day it was finished before the bump arrived. I was always very good at beginnings, but not so good with finishings. This time I had written a complete story. I know I was not the J.K.Rowling of the 1960’s (it was 1969) but I felt a little proud feeling of ending something I had begun.

My husband asked what I was writing on the typewriter. I confessed and he read my story. He said I should read it through for corrections, which I did, feeling very professional. My husband sent it to a magazine in London for printing: not my idea, but he found why not? Naturally it was not my breakthrough, it was rejected and with time I was too occupied with changing diapers and feeding a baby that cried for more when hungry. I also had two step-children to take care of and I gave up my idea of becoming a writer. The pages disappeared somewhere. There was another unfinished story about Sam Squirrel discovers the world, at least his world.

I will now fast forward in time. In the meanwhile the computer had become a household appliance, although not yet movable. The laptop had not yet arrived, but the fixed version with a large box on the floor was taking up room under the desk. Bill Gates had discovered another sort of windows and a little later I discovered blogging. I remember the first time I heard the word and asked Mr. Swiss (my husband) “What is a Blog”. He did not really know, but said some writing on the computer. I began my search for blog and found it. There were not so many platforms available, but I found one. What to write: I had no idea. I decided it was something like a diary, but did not want to diverge to many private moments of my life. I remembered my Rocky story. Where was it?

“Mr. Swiss, do you know where my Rocky story is.”

“Yes, of course (he is Swiss – they are very well organised). I put it in a folder with some other stuff you wrote in the celler.”

So Mr. Swiss, being Swiss, went to the celler and naturally found it, still in the large folder with all my writing attempts, the Rocky story being amongst them. By now the kids were all at school during the day and in a spare moment I typed it into the computer and uploaded it on a blogging site. I even found some suitable illustrations on the web. Today after completing a Web assistant course, I would probably adapt my own photos to the story, but this was some time ago and html and css were not in my vocabulary.

My first blogging site closed down, the second blogging site I found also closed and now I am in WordPress and Rocky is still here, as well as Sam the Squirrel which I had completed in the meanwhile. In the meanwhile I removed the illustrations.

Here they are:
The Adventures of Rocky the Fish
Sam Squirrel discovers the world

I still have the orginal transcripts written on our old electric typewriter. I suppose the crude beginnings of my blogging hobby. At least it is a quiet hobby and now I have my own (third) laptop to write my creations.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Leftovers – How it all began

Daily Prompt: Reviving Bricks and other things being revived.

You just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it?

Romford Cemetery

“This is it, needs a few repairs but we were sure it was your style.”

I looked at the guy with wearing the the WordPress t-shirt again. Did I see a red line of blood dripping onto a grave stone at the entrance? No, it was just my imagination.

“It is very nice of WordPress to give me a mansion, but I would have preferred a t-shirt. Why are there so many gravestones at the entrance?”

“No problem Mrs. Angloswiss, they were left behind by the last owner. He said he liked being near his ancestors.”

“Where is the owner now?”

“He said something about inheriting a castle from his great grand-daddy somewhere in Transylvannia. He could not afford the upkeep of two stately homes, so he asked WordPress to donate this one to a deserving blogger, and we immediately thought of you. I have to fly off go now, here are the keys and have fun. Oh, the previous owner said not bother with the cellar, it would be too cold and damp to do anything with.”

There was a clap of thunder, lightning which illuminated the complete building and the WordPress man was gone. Did I hear a peel of strange laughter in the distance? The WordPress public relations department seem to go a bit too far sometimes.

I noticed there was a sweet black cat that seemed to be guarding the entrance to the house. He looked at me and licked his lips. I was sure he liked me, I have a way with cats. I entered my new home and was greeted with a musty smell coming from the cellar. Someone left the cellar door open. I peered down the stairs, but it was very dark. Suddenly flaming torches attached to the wall ignited. Did I light them, no, I did not. Perhaps there is some sort of remote control thing here: Seems to be quite modern after all. Who knows?

This is ideal, a wine cellar with rows of bottles containing red wine and they are labelled. I took one in my hand and dusted the cobwebs away. “Lady Morticia, Bood group A+, 1900” was written on the label. I had a look at the other bottles, each was marked with a name, a blood group and a date. I decided to try a bottle of Lord Mordred Group RhD+, 1825. Old and rare wine is always good with a slice of rare steak.

As I removed the bottle from the rack, I again heard a maniacal laugh. These things seem to be quite in at the moment with WordPress. I ascended the stairs to the banqueting room. It was quite a nice room, various animal heads hanging on the walls each showing their long white teeth. They were even named: “Canis Lupus vampirus, killed Carpathians 1800 RIP”. How nice, the previous owner must have loved his pets to have kept them in memory in this way.

I decided there would be some dusting and hoovering to do. Not every day you inherit such a unique building. I was so tired; I could have dropped dead in the real sense of the word. I heard a sharp meow and the cat that was guarding the entrance to the building was leading the way so I followed. We arrived in the bedroom. I was surprised; it was as if I was expected. The bed was ready: black satin sheets with a contrasting blood red cover. The cat jumped onto the bed and I followed. The cat lay down next to me purring and began to lick my hand. I was soon asleep, deep in the land of dreams. I even dreamt of Transylvannia, a nice castle in the Carpathians and being welcomed at the door buy a cat resembling my bed companion. The cat changed into a guy wearing a WordPress t-shirt and beckoned with his sharp fingernails to come closer. He wrapped his arms around me and I knew I had found the man of my dreams. Yes, they were strange dreams. Now and again I felt something like pin prick on my neck, but it was probably getting used to satin sheets. I had never slept in satin before.

The next morning I awoke I did not awake. I slept on until the next evening when I awoke feeling tired and hungry. The cat was still lying on the bed, he turned and looked at me with his red eyes (red eyes?) and took me in his arms, showing two sharp teeth. I heard a wolf howl in the distance and we flew off together. I forget to mention, the cat changed into that many of my dreams with the WordPress t-shirt from the night before. Yet again another publicity stunt.

This was great I had everything. I soon moved down to the celler where my new boyfriend had prepared a comfortable coffin, lined with red silk of course. My hunger was stilled. There were enough bottles on the wine rack in the cellar and otherwise, we dined out together of course. Thank you WordPress, what a lovely surprise this turned out to be.

Daily Prompt: Reviving Bricks and other things being revived