In my spare time I...

>> Jan 3, 2010

Question four of the five things about me quiz was

In my spare time I:
a. write erotic stories for adult magazines
b.  am a practising witch and put spells on all those that don't leave comments on my blog
c. ha ha ha, spare time?

And I kind of copped out with this one.  I know you were all routing for it to be a. erotic stories but that's not the answer, I'm afraid.  It is c. ha ha ha, spare item?  Alluding to the fact that I am a full time mother of two manic preschoolers set on causing havoc wherever they go, and it takes all the time I have just to keep them from killing themselves or anyone else.

But that's just not true. I have plenty of free time.

Like when they are busily tearing up another room and I opt for the hear no evil, see no evil branch of parenting.  Or when I sit them with a cup of juice and a biscuit in front of the Disney Channel with the explicit instructions of sitting still.  Or dump them on their grandparents for the day.  Or send them outside to play in subzero temperatures just to get a moments peace.

Loads of time.

What I do with this time, other than spend too much of it on the internet, is write.

I am around 80,000 words into my first novel, a work of fiction about how an abused young woman's world is turned upside down when her abuser, her father, comes back into her and her daughter's lives.  And because I feel bad for giving you an fairly dull answer when there was one potentially much more interesting to be had I shall share a snippet from the opening chapter with you now.  First draft, unedited.
"Emily Jane Travis, get your little behind down these stairs right now!"  Rebecca yelled up at her daughter.  "Come on, do you want to go to this fete today or not?"  She turned her back to the stairs and leant against the cool wooden banister that came directly down into the living room and closed her eyes.  "Because really it's ok with me if you don't." She added quietly trying not to think about how busy and crowded it was going to be.

She opened her eyes and looked out of the window at the black rolling clouds and trees being blown sideways in the wind, scattering their leaves in the air like confetti.  She was probably the only one in the village today hoping for rain.  She had promised her four year old they would go if she could keep her room tidy for a week, and a promise was a promise, but it would be so much easier if no-one else was there.
Don't think about it.  
She pushed herself off the banister and looked around the living room.  It looked like it had been hit my a tornado.
"Argh!"  She growled in frustration.  She'd only tidyed this room half an hour ago. 
I should have aimed higher and got her to stop throwing her stuff around the whole house not just her bedroom.  
She sighed and picked the sofa cushions up from the floor and straightened them back out on the sofa and found yet another abandoned pair of trousers, this time poking out from beneath the chair.  The ones she had put on her daughter just ten minutes ago.  She bit back the urge to scream and pulled them out from under the chair.  Would that child ever keep her clothes on?
"Emily!  Have you got no pants on again?  Emily?!  Get down here right now and put some clothes on!"  
Rebecca had woken up in a bad mood this morning and it wasn't improving as the day wore on.  It was only 10am.  Damn this fete.  She had hardley slept all night for worrying about it and trying to come up with ways to manage the crowds and give her daughter a fun day out.  She was glad Esther had agreed to meet her and help, but she wasn't sure it was going to be enough.
"Emily!" she yelled again, really yelling this time, her temper getting the better of her.  "If you dont get downstairs in the next five seconds we're not going to the fete.  Do you hear me, missy?  I'm not joking"
She stood at the bottom of the stairs looking up, listening.  Teeth gritted.  Nothing.  "Emily, I mean it!  If you make me come up there young lady..." she stood still listening some more.  Still nothing.
Nothing at all.  Not even the sounds of her playing or moving around.
Dead silence. 
Her heart leapt into her throat. 
"Em?  Em darling, are you up there?"  Taking the stairs two at a time, she hit the landing running and rounded the corner too fast slamming into the wall with her shoulder.  She didn't feel a thing.  She pushed herself of the wall and an straight into the closed door to Emily's bedroom. 
"Em?"
Silence.
Panic seized her throat.  She couldn't get a proper grip on the knob.  It was one of those stupid round ones and her hand kept slipping off.
"Emily!"
Seconds passed before she could get a hold of her herself or the handle.  Seconds during which a thousand senarios involving her daughter hanging from something in her room, electrocuted, drowned in the toilet, fallen out of a window, and that one worse than all the others, the one that woke her up several nights a week in a cold sweat; snatched, kidnapped, taking by someone to have terrible, unspeakable horrors done to her.
She couldn't breath.
The handle finally turned and the door opened.  She pulled it so hard it left a dent in the wall and almost fell into the room.  One glance told her the tiny box room was empty.  Vomit rose in her throat.  "Em!"   
She lunged across the room to pull the wardrobe doors open, clothes and hangers flying off the rail as she pulled them out of the way to check behind them.  Empty.   No time to bend down, she ripped the duvet and matress from the bed, nothing but dust and bits of lego.
"Oh God.  Emily!"
Where the hells is she?  She ran out onto the landing again slamming open each door in turn  Airing cupboard. No.  Bathroom.  No.  Her own bedroom.  Nothing.  She ducked under her bed.  Nothing.  Checked her own wardrobe.  No.  She tried to force her brain to think logicaly as she thundered back down the stairs, taking them 4 or 5 at a time. 
When had she seen her last?  When she put her clothes on in the living room, she was asking for an ice cream.  An image of her trapped in the chest freezer sent her dashing to the kitchen.  Not in the freezer.  She open all the cupboards.  And the fridge.  No Emily.  Standing in the middle of the kitchen floor, eyes wild with fear and hands shaking she took a deep breath trying to think.  Trying not to complelty lose it.  That wasn't going to help. 
No matter how much she told herself that, she couldnt get a grip on her brain. 
Where the hell is she?
Her heart was hammering in her chest.  She fought her body to stay still, all it wanted to do was run around, her mouth wanting only to scream her daughters name.  She couldn't let herslef lose it.  she had to keep some control.
Her breathing was ragged and uneven.
"She's not inside.  Outside.  She must be outside."  the panic was milimeters from seizing her entire body.  If she was outside it meant anyone could have got her.  She was never allowed outside, not alone.  Ever. 
She charged out of the backdoor, their small back yard still tídy and orderly.  And empty. 
"Oh God no.  No!" 
She couldn't make her legs run fast enough, she flew back in the house, through the lounge and to the front door. 
"Please, please, please, please."
She fumbled with the lock on the door.  It took her petrified brain a few attempts at opening it before she realised it was unlocked.  Unlocked! 
Oh my God.  Emily!  Emily!  She pulled it open, tears falling down her face, her heart pounding, and threw herself through it into the front yard stumbling down the step and falling to her knees. 
On her hands and knees she looked up.  There she was! 
Emily! 
On her hands and knees, little bare bottom sticking out of her tutu skirt, digging in the dirt.
"Mummy!" she cried looking up at her grinning.  "Look mummy!  Worms!"
"Emily."  She whispered smiling and crying at the same time. 
Still on her hands and knees, her body shaking in relief, she hung her head and let her long hair fall over her head and hide her face. 
"Emily." 
She took a few deep breaths, wiped her face with one hand and sat back, her legs bent underneath her.  "Here you are, darling."
"Yes mummy.  I'm in the garden."  she said looking very pleased with herself. " I found worms.  Worms for the fish.  Look mummy."

If you've missed the other answers to this quiz you can find them here:
One
Two
Three

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