Horse Video and 'The Binder': a Story!
This picture is of a large cactus in Arizona.
The cactus doesn't feature in my story, but Arizona plays a (small) role.
As is quite often the case, I wrote this story for an Uxbridge Writers' Circle Word Challenge and had to use the words that are shown in italics.
They are: spectacles; lithe; lingering; tea; binder; torrid; eternal; creation.
It's fascinating to me how wildly different the stories are among our members!
What would you have written?
By the way, the man's explanation of what happened in his youth is based on something I was told, including the parents' reactions. I don't remember who or any details, but the gist of it must have stuck in my mind. Children may have a hard time being believed in these kinds of circumstances.
As most of you know, we now part-own a young thoroughbred called Mimi. She's currently being 'broken in' with TLC by John Mcinerney. We visited recently and were amazed that she's already being ridden. John has a magical touch! We saw her being ridden for only the fifth time in her life. Remember, she's only a yearling!
I have posted a very short video under the story to give you an idea of how she's doing.
Here's the short story:
Brandon and I are sitting opposite one another at a small round table, but we're each facing the garden. We're surrounded by the bursting sounds of spring and the vibrant green of new shoots.
My husband's spectacles are poised on the end of his nose as he reads the newspaper. I'm leafing through a binder while contemplating when to raise the subject of a trip to England again. I've printed off information on flights, hotels, and car rentals, as well as directions.
Brandon hasn't been back since he emigrated with his parents to Canada thirty years ago. But I'm curious and want to see where he was raised and meet some of his English relatives.
His eyes shift from the page to the mug of tea sitting on the wobbly table.
"Brandon," I say, to get his attention. He notices the binder and sighs while turning the page, flapping the newspaper as if he's wrestling with it. He leaves the mug untouched.
"Brandon, I've collected some information on flights and places we could stay."
"I'm not interested." He pushes his spectacles up his nose half an inch and loses a couple of pages in the process. "Blast. I'm not interested, Moira. You'll have to go by yourself."
"Brandon, you know I want to see where you were born and to meet some of your relatives there."
"Not interested. If you really must go somewhere, Arizona sounds promising. A couple of my colleagues have bought houses down there. They say there's good golfing."
"It's so torrid there. I think it's all desert, isn't it? Anyway, that's not the point. I want to go to England. Nowhere else can substitute." I get no response. I'm lingering but don't have a plan. There must be a reason why Brandon so vehemently states he doesn't want to return. It doesn't make sense.
"Brandon, I'm going to be an eternal pain in the neck about this England trip unless you tell me why you don't want to go."
He slaps the paper on his knees, and his hazel eyes darken. He looks at me with an intensity I've not experienced before. I imagine a lithe version of me sliding under the table and disappearing from his gaze.
"So, you really want to know?"
"Yes, of course I do." My voice trembles a little. "We're married. We should share things."
"Some things are best left unshared as far as I'm concerned." His voice is somber and his face has paled. He folds up the newspaper and tosses it onto the table. "Remember, you asked me."
"When I was a boy, I was in the church choir. I don't think I'll ever be able to share the details, so you'll have to live with the short version. The priest took a liking to me and it wasn't good for me. I eventually told my parents. They didn't believe me. They told me I was a disgusting liar and that no priest would ever do such things. But another boy was in the same boat and one day he talked to me. I'm not sure what brought that on. His parents had beaten him because they thought he was a sinful liar, and his stories were an evil creation. I told him to tell his parents to call my parents. And it worked. And then my parents were so distraught about the whole thing that they wanted to leave. In short, they lost their faith, their jobs, and their home, but they said that we had each other and we should make a new life. They asked me where I'd like to go and I said Canada. I didn't know anything about this country, but the Rocky Mountains sounded like fun. We ended up in Ontario, with no mountains, but that's okay."
"What happened to the other boy?"
"I heard a few years later that he'd committed suicide despite his family trying to get him help. The scars were too deep perhaps."
I close the binder. "So, where shall we stay in Arizona?"
Vicky Earle Copyright 2023
Mimi at School