#tuesdayuseitinasentence: Our only home now

 

Tank caterpillar tracks

Image: Pixabay

‘What does invade mean?’

Karen is standing in the doorway, Mister Ted hanging limp and threadbare from her fist. Her feet are bare, toes curled against the cold tiles.

She must have overheard us. I feel David shoot me a look, but I won’t catch his eye. Our daughter might only be four but she can pick out Mummy and Daddy stress as easily as she can snatch raisins from a box.

Keeping my eyes fixed on her, I force a smile. ‘What are you doing out of bed pickle?’ There’s a catch of anxiety in my voice and I hope she’s too sleepy to hear it.

‘I heard a bang,’ she says. ‘Someone’s popping balloons.’

It’s her only frame of reference for the sounds cutting the night. Her birthday picnic in the garden. Balloons bursting in the hot sun. I made a cake – a chocolate caterpillar with blue Smartie eyes. We had strawberry jelly, tuna sandwiches. Where will we be for her fifth birthday? I look around at the hastily packed cases, cardboard boxes stuffed with cans and packets of dried food.

Our home, no longer our home.

‘You never answered.’ Her tone is accusing, tetchy tired.

A pain radiates from the centre of my chest, its spokes touching every point of me. How are we going to do this?

‘Invade?’ I say as brightly as I can manage. ‘Well, I’ll tell you what. I’ll explain what it means if you can get dressed for me in double quick time.’

Karen reaches a hand up to mine. The fingers are warm, the thumb damp from sucking.

She is our only home now.

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Written for My Loving Wife’s #tuesdayuseitinasentence. See the word – this week it’s INVADE – and use it in a sentence or post. See here for full Ts and Cs.

13 thoughts on “#tuesdayuseitinasentence: Our only home now

    1. Thank you so much Chris. I feel I owe you an apology for not commenting more recently. My writing time has been taken up with a novel I’m trying to get finished and submitting to agents. It’s left me little time to read and comment on other blogs. I do hope your writing course is going well and all the best, Lynn

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      1. No apologies needed, Lynn, I don’t post comments because I expect a reply back, only if I’m moved to words by the quality of the writing or through offering an opinion on the content of the post.

        I’ve missed several of your offerings recently because of day-to-day distractions so I’m also concerned that you don’t think you’ve been abandoned or snubbed! As for me, I’ll write however few ‘likes’ or comments I get (though a few are always nice to receive!) because like you I have to write!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is hard fitting it all in, isn’t it? I love being part of the WP community and have ‘met’ some great people here. But I was allowing it to rule my writing time and producing little else but blog posts every week. And as the reason I started the blog was to promote my writing, I felt I had to give myself a good talking to and knuckle down to some ‘serious’ writing. Just a shame a day isn’t 48 hours instead of 24! Glad to hear you’re being productive off screen – fantastic. You working on anything in particular at present?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Totally thumbs-up what you say! As for me, some homework for creative writing classes on the theme of Autobiography but mostly non-literary stuff: slow hard-landscaping of the garden (with professional help!), family ‘stuff’, lots of piano stuff (accompanying for choir rehearsals plus piano practice for accompanying instrumentalists for two major eisteddfods and a music diploma, not to mention singing in two choirs) so you can see that, despite retirement, there’s no peace for the wicked — and less time for blogging!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Wow – you are busy! And Eisteddfod performances coming up too – fantastic. You have a fully rounded retirement going on there – activity for body and mind :). Hope it all goes well.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Made me cry – I cry easily when I think of some of the realities of life, and wherever this came from, it’s a reality for far too many people across the globe. My niece is volunteering in a refugee camp in Greece. She came home for a few days, and I saw her last night. She goes back on Friday.
    Beautifully done, Lynn, as always.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bless your niece. What an amazing person she must be – and what awful things she must have seen during her time in the camp. Yes, sadly, all too real for many people and how lucky we are in this country to have avoided such horrors on our own soil for such a long time. Thank you so much for reading, Jane. I hope your niece travels safely

      Liked by 1 person

      1. She doesn’t have a lot of time for thinking about her own safety – but even when she got mugged at knife-point in South America she came away unharmed, and wasn’t even traumatised. This is the niece I lived and worked with in a woodland in Sussex a couple of years ago. She’s a remarkable young woman 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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