Sunday, 31 July 2011

Series: Part 6

The story of Mary Clarke, Part 6

- You don´t recognize me, do you?
- Of course I do! You´re ... You´re ...
And suddenly it hit her, although she could still hardly believe it.
- You´re Peter Pratt!
She barely managed not to call him by his popular school nickname which naturally had been the oh so funny PeePee.
- Peter!
- Mary. It really is a surprise. What in the devils name are you doing here?
Mary looked around, as if she was wondering the same thing.
- Your father invited me, she said and tried to explain how they had met in the shop, how he had recognized her and finally asked her to tea. She only left out the bit about the bananas as it suddenly made her blush.
- Do you live here as well? she asked curiously.
- No, not here exactly. A couple of blocks down the street. Only I forgot my mobile phone. It should be here somewhere.
He began looking around in the obvious places but couldn´t find it. Mr Pratt seemed restless and finally pulled out his own phone and dialed a number.
- I´m calling you so you can locate your phone.
A second later, La Marseillaise began to blare in the flat.
- Dad! Have you been changing my ringtone again?
- That rap music you had on last time was uncivilized, Mr Pratt muttered.
Peter grunted something and walked closer to Mary who had decided to stay out of the whole treasure hunt.
- I´m sorry, he said.
- Oh, no worries, Mary answered.
- No, I mean, I´m sorry but I think you´re sitting on my phone.
- Oh!
Mary rushed up and sure enough, the music sounded even louder now that her comfortable frame didn´t dampen it. Peter rummaged around under the seat cushion of the armchair and finally managed to resurface his phone.
- Voilá! Mr Pratt shouted.
- Brilliant, Peter exclaimed as the final bars of the French national anthem came to an end.
- Oh wow, what a spread.
He had suddenly seen the cakes and sandwiches on the coffee table.
- I´m terribly hungry, he said and looked at his father. I wouldn´t mind eating something before my shift begins.
- Alright, alright. Sit down and have a bite. But at least take of your shoes, you´re getting mud all over the carpet. And put on some slippers!
Mary wanted to laugh when Peter, in full police uniform, shuffled his way back to the sofa with a pair of red, dotted slippers on his feet.
He really was kind of cute ...

Friday, 29 July 2011

Still going strong

Summer isn´t over yet!

Today I spent a few hours at an outdoor café reading and writing. It can´t get much better than that.

Afterwards, walking towards downtown, I passed this fisherman. He must certainly be eager with at least 6 fishing rods!

Digging through my photos I also found a pic from earlier this summer when I spent a day at the beach with a friend. Look! I´m almost seethrough!

Hopefully there will be more beautiful days before winter comes. (That doesn´t mean it has be 27 degrees though.)


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Serial: Part 5

The story of Mary Clarke, part 5

- Oh, it´s you. What is it?
- I forgot something. I´ll only be a second.
Mr Pratt stepped aside and let the visitor in. Mary nearly choked on the cake. It really was a policeman!

Dressed in blue uniform and a black belt with all kinds of gadgets on it, he looked around the living room for whatever he had forgotten. Why had he visited Mr Pratt in the first place? Mary wondered. Maybe there really was something sinister going on.

The policeman finally noticed Mary. He looked shocked, like she was the last thing he had expected to find.
Should I give him some kind of secret signal, she thought. Something he would recognize as a plead for help. But then again, what had Mr Pratt actually done wrong, except fed her already widening waistline delicious cakes?

- Mary, the policeman stammered. The initial pale colour of shock had been replaced by the burning red of embarrassment. He looked quickly at Mr Pratt and then back at the tea guest.
- What a surprise.

- Yes, Mary said, not knowing what to do. The face of the policeman had suddenly become mildly familiar, but she couldn´t place it. She had never been involved with the police, she didn´t have adventures like that, but maybe he had come into the flower shop some time, to buy flowers for his girlfriend or wife. He was kind of handsome, she couldn´t help thinking and involuntarily glanced at his ring fingers, both to be on the safe side.

He took a few nervous steps to the right, then back to the left and grinned sheepishly. As he moved, the dark curly hair bobbed in an amusing way. There was something in that bob that gave Mary a startle. It couldn´t be? Could it? No. Really?

- You don´t recognize me, do you?

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

One week left

Hey ho! It´s a challenge to blog during a sunny summer like this one, you just want to be outside and enjoy the weather! I´ve also been traveling around the country a bit, meeting family and friends, so the blog has been slightly neglected. But I guess you´re also busy doing fun stuff during the summer months and can´t really be bothered with blogs so no harm done! (Yes?)

It´s now the final week of July and my last week of vacation. On the first of August the uni opens its door again and I will be back working on my thesis. There might also be other work related things in August so I should really use this last week to rest. But I can´t help feeling restless! Maybe that´s good? I do need some proper routine in my life, otherwise I get too lazy. I want to do things, be productive, but end up doing nothing much and then scold myself for waisting time. Oh well, I´m sure I´ll be longing for lazy days in the next few months.

Next installment of the story will be up soon!


Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Serial Part: 4

The story of Mary Clarke

He must have been waiting for her by the door. Mary had barely touched the buzzer before they stood face to face on the threshold.

- Bonjour! Bienvenue! Mr Pratt ushered her in and closed the door behind them.
- Do take your clothes off.
- Pardon? Mary looked at him in disbelief. Despite all the rumors, she had never thought he would be so straight forward. Or what part of afternoon tea had she misunderstood?
- Behind you is a hanger for your jacket. I would hurry up before the rest gets wet as well. It really is pouring outside, isn´t it? And please leave your boots by the door. There are slippers in that basket if your feet are cold.
- Uhm, thank you.
The sharp whistle of the kettle interrupted and Mr Pratt hurried into the kitchen to make the tea.

Mr Pratt wasn´t from France, but he truly loved all things French. There was an Eiffel Tower lampshade, an Eiffel Tower paper weight, a matching pair of Eiffel Tower candlesticks and an Eiffel Tower toilet paper holder, which Mary would see later. Three black berets hang neatly by the front door and on an ornate side table, behind the sofa, there was a collection of beautifully made miniature Notre Dames.

- Voilá. Come and sit down, dear.
Mr Pratt carried a large tray with a teapot and cups and plates with delicious looking cakes. He laid everything out on the round coffee table and poured the tea.
- Milk?
- Please.
He finally sat down on the sofa and looked curiously at Mary. She felt her cheeks burn and hurriedly took a piece of chocolate cake. This was the part when she would say her pleasantries and then excuse herself as soon as possible. But instead she couldn´t say a word and felt the exquisite mouthful of cake grow as she chewed feverishly.
- So you live close by?
- Yes.
- Studied here?
- Yes.
- Found a job you enjoy, no?
- Yes.
Well, that was actually a lie, she wasn´t completely content with her work at the flower shop, but it had to be enough for the time being.
- I´m hoping to open my own flower shop one day, she blurted out, mainly to comfort herself.
- Ah! That´s wonderful. Lovely. There is always room for flowers in your life, don´t you think?
- Yes. Mary feared that the mentioning of flowers would somehow lead to a conversation about romance but before she could find a diversion, the buzzer shook the flat.
- Merde. I hate that bloody thing. Mr Pratt got up to answer the door.
Oh god, who could it be? Maybe it was a pack of police dogs, having picked up the scent of desperation.
Pratt opened. Mary leaned slightly forward to see who the visitor was. First she couldn´t believe her eyes ...

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Serial: Part 3

The story of Mary Clarke, 3

Why did I do that?
Mary squirmed underneath the duvet, feeling increasingly nauseous. Why hadn´t she lied? Why hadn´t she made up some silly story about meeting friends or going to Africa with the Red Cross? He wouldn´t have known!

She stumbled out of bed and to the other side of her studio flat. She made herself toast and coffee and sat down by the small kitchen table. Her Sunday was already ruined. She had actually been looking forward to the afternoon re-run of Wipeout USA. It allowed her, even for the briefest moment, to feel superior. She might be lonely, but at least she wasn´t that desperate for attention.

It´s funny, she thought as she peeled of the crust of the toast, eating first the crust and then the butter dripping middle. My life isn´t so much a pointless game show, but a sly thriller. My friends have slowly, almost willingly been kidnapped by husbands, and babies, and eternal house projects in the country side that promise the utmost sustainable and relaxed way of living. But for some reason, the kidnappers do not want me.

I could develop a sinister disease, Mary pondered as she buttoned the two front buttons of her cardigan and opted for a not so much nude as transparent make up. What could one get in ... She looked at the clock above the front door. 14.15. ... 45 minutes?
A whole list of ailments came to mind, many of them distinct, but no, she couldn´t. If she fibbed now, she would most certainly come down with something nasty the next time she had an enjoyable plan.

I´ll just get it over with, as quick as possible, she told herself and pulled on her rubber boots, as it was raining heavily outside. I´ll have my cup of tea, say a few pleasantries and then run out door and join the witness protection program.

She stepped outside and headed for Pratt´s house.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Serial: Part 2

The Story of Mary Clarke

... He extended his arms towards her.
- Bonjour! Mary!
He kissed her two times, once on each cheek, and then a third for good measure.
Mon Dieu. Mr Pratt.
Mary felt flustered. Mr Pratt, her old high school French teacher who had been no more French than his students but insisted on wearing a black beret and throwing in random French words in every conversation with a rather thick English accent.
- You are holding a banana, he said.
Mary looked down at the fruit in her hand and hastily put it away.
I have now gone off bananas for ever, she thought and felt her face burn with embarrassment.
Mr Pratt wasn´t just any French teacher. There had been wicked rumors about him all through high school. He liked the girls a bit too much, it was said. Girls of many ages. Nothing was ever proven but the stories flourished in the corridors about improper insinuations and long, encouraging pats that bordered on the indecent.
- You are in my shop, Mary said stupidly.
- So I am. And what a pleasant surprise to find one of my favourite students here. Magnifique!
Mary felt him eyeing her up and down. The brown hair was the same, and the dark green eyes, but she had put on a few kilos and thin lines had begun to appear in her 32 year old face.
- Magnifique, he muttered again. Then his little black moustache twitched.
- You must come to tea, he said. I have bought a flat next door, and it must become a place for friendly teas. Tomorrow. You will come tomorrow. No?
Mon Dieu.
Mary panicked. She couldn´t come up with a single proper excuse. She had nothing planned for her Sunday afternoon. She never did. There was nothing she could say.
She looked at him, now 14 years older, but he was still the same.
- I ...

What happens next? Help me choose!

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Serial: Part 1

Hello readers!

I´ve decided to write a serial on my blog. There is no plan or goal. The story might become completely pointless, banal, serious or melodramatic. All I know is, I don´t know more than you do until I write the next installment. Now if you want to help me with the plot, please write me a comment and I´ll consider your idea. Anything can happen!

Okay, here we go!

The Story of Mary Clarke

It was a rainy Saturday morning and Mary Clarke went to the shop to buy some bananas. She wasn´t particularly fond of bananas, but this morning she had decided she needed some.

She stood by the fruit counter and looked at the oblong fruit. It was a difficult choice to make. The green bananas always gave her gas. The spotty, brown ones tasted too sweet and smelled. She could always buy the perfectly yellow ones, but by the time she got home, and finally fancied a banana, they would probably also be smelly and brown. Then again, if she bought the green ones, with the intention of letting them ripen, she would most certainly crave a banana at once.

All this Mary Clarke pondered when someone tapped her on the shoulder. She slowly turned around, banana in hand, and looked at the man. He ...



Friday, 1 July 2011

Dress, vocals, sleeping bag? Check! (?)

Another warm day. I went to the beach but only staid for a little while. I don´t want to be bright red tomorrow at my friend´s wedding.

I´m singing a duetto in the church with another friend. I don´t mind it, in theory I think it´s going to be fun, but this time I´m slightly unsure about my part. I sometimes wish I wasn´t an alto, but a soprano who usually gets to sing the melody. Oh well, it´ll work out somehow ...

Now I have to pack my stuff for tomorrow. We´re actually camping out at the wedding site so sleeping bags are needed.

Fingers crossed that I don´t ruin the song, and that I still fit into the dress I bought in LA!