Mother of Thousands

As I mentioned a short while back, the very talented writer, Walt Walker hosts a Waltoween, creepy fiction festival through October and today, it was my turn! So pop along to Walt’s blog to read my story, Mother of Thousands and why not check out the rest of this month’s stories while you’re there. Thanks, Walt

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The next Waltoween guest post is from Lynn Love, a very talented writer who has been featured on WordPress Discover. Her flash fiction is superb, so make sure you pay her a visit at her blog, Word Shamble. And please let her know you were here to enjoy this story by clicking ‘like’ and leaving a comment below! 

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26 thoughts on “Mother of Thousands

    1. Thank you so much Crispina! The house was my Nan’s how I remember it from the late seventies/early eighties, which was basically unchanged since the 40s. The cyclamen are hers, the back garden with its runner beans, the marbles that my brother and I played crouched on the lino. I can still smell the place, still feel how cosy that kitchen was – no spooks though! Thank you so much for reading

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      1. Oh, mwmory’s of grandma’s house. How vivid thry are. The place my grandparents had before I was seven, had no running water, I remember helping to fetch water from the well at the end of the garden. The place they moved was a great improvemen: it had a standing water tap in the front garden! Meanwhile, my other set of grandparents had a smart modern bungalow and a garden with strawberries, raspberries and gooseberries, and lily of the valley beneath the kitchen window.

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      2. Ah, one set of grandparents sound much better off than the other! I remember the ornaments in my nan’s garden, hidden among the runner beans and flowers – a stone frog, a heron, a cat I think. I think of that garden often because that’s where she died, very suddenly, putting breadcrumbs out for the birds, in view of all her cyclamen plants. Not the worst way to go I think. Have you ever incorporated your memories of your grandparents into a story?

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      3. Sometimes, like the memory of the well. Candles to bed. They were my maternal grandparents; daughter of a teacher, and a horse-breeder/trainer/dealer (who drank, and gambled). I spent less time with the paternal set, despite they lived but a village apart. Yea, I think it’s the general rural setting that stays most with me. I included parts of it in my first posted story, Neve (time-slip, one of the Asaric series)

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      4. So recent, yet it feels timeless, that idea of wells and candles to bed. Mind you, I remember that through the Winter of Discontent – a lot of candles! I distinctly remember frost on the inside of the window pane when I was a kid, the feather patterns it formed, scratching the powder away with my fingernail – attic bedroom, no central heating. Makes me sound like I grew up under Queen Victoria!

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      5. I often think similar when I say of my grandparents. It’s just they lived in a rural area that hadn’t yet received the modern hand. I loved that village. Summer holidays I’d help on the farm, stacking stocks and riding back to the stackyard atop the loaded horse-drawn wagon. There was a tractor on the farm. I clearly remember my attempt to drive it. And the smash into the flint-rubble wall that bounded the stackyard. Oops!

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      6. I was 12 years old! Truly, that farmer just would not move with the times. At Easter, when his livestock were still in the barn, I’d hand-crank the worzel-grinder and feed the cows.

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      7. Haha! Shows how slowly things have always changed in some areas, though. I remember going to the Pitt Rivers museum and seeing all these folk magic objects – shrivelled apples with nails driven in them, bits of hair and so on – items that were supposed to place a curse on people. Most were from the late 19th C/Early 20th. When we had steam power, were past the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, when the First World War was almost in view. Time passes slowly in the countryside! 🙂

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      8. I think that’s something city dwellers don’t understand. I’m gueesing it’s due in some way to means of communication. If fashions, discoveries and new philosophies were slow to reach the rural regions (which we know they were), then the demise of old customs would be equally slow. A suggestion.

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      9. Oh, no, I get it. Especially before mass communication, when people were so much more cut off from the cities, global trends and news and culture than they are now. And Victorian/Edwardian country peoples’ lives had changed very little from their parents and grandparents lives, the train network reached the rural areas much later than conurbations – if at all. It’s just fascinating how there could be – still are – so many different ‘worlds’ existing on the same, small planet at the same moment in time.

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      10. Indeed. And even more so when they can exist within the same country, or landmass. We talk of a global community, but it’s more a communtity of the few, than of all.

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  1. Love the story – I was reminded of one of Hillaire Belloc’s Cautionary Rhymes:

    Billy, in one of his bright new sashes
    fell in the fire and was burnt to ashes.
    Now although the room grows chilly
    I haven’t the heart to poke poor Billy.

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    1. Wow! I love that! That’s so macabre. And you’re absolutely right, that was where I was going. Mum has taken in all the spirits of the poor children lost in the Blitz and later bombings. So, nothing to be scared of at all, really … Thank you so much for reading and for sharing the Belloc rhyme – wonderful stuff

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      1. Ah, my husband is a huge Spike fan! Has read all his war diaries, watched as many Qs as he can lay his hands on. There’s one truly silly sketch where Spike is dressed as a Valkyrie, blowing raspberries along to an old (possibly 30s?) tune. We’ve watched that as a family and just his expressions make us laugh every time!

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