Visit Alison's Blog to read her articles. I particulary enjoyed the challenge to include all the following words into a story. The words were
Note, Train, Vineyard, Watch, Matriarch,
Sports car, Beer, Taxi, Regret, Homeless
and this is what I wrote. Read the article and other stories here
A Journey of Hope
It had been the usual hectic week, only now on the train home for the weekend, did I find time to open my post. The week had got away from me, lurching by taxi from one meeting to another, to finalise the launch of my clients’ TV series. The matriarch of the production had flexed her diva muscles, refusing to meet and greet with an influential journalist whom “she didn’t like the look of”. I’d regretted my inexperience and struggled with persuasive reasoning. She finally relinquished her self importance long enough to surrender to my insincere flattery.
My head was still throbbing from the excess of beer and champagne that I had initially shunned and eventually clamoured for as my body relaxed into the launch party last night. My head soon lost control to the giddy relief the free bar had brought. I looked up from the repetitive correspondence and glanced out at the regimented lines of grapevines. The Kent countryside still seemed an unlikely producer of wine, surely wine came from the sunny mysticism of French vineyards.
I glanced at my watch, yearning for my station to be the next stop but realising there was another five to endure. Mindlessly I opened the next envelope, the “Personal” mark top left, obscured by my inattentiveness. The handwriting jumped up and clouted me hard. This note had my absolute attention.
My daughter was alive. She wanted to come home. She was alive.
Two whole years of wondering at an end. I imagined her smile, her soft hair as I hugged her. I started to read through the tears. The prized boyfriend long gone leaving her homeless on the very streets I whizzed along to meetings. I never noticed what lay on the pavements from the comfort of the black cab. She wanted to come home; she wanted to be our daughter again. I could barely breathe as joyous relief escaped from every pore. I would go home, tell Miranda and we would go and collect her together. I almost missed my stop. Suddenly my brain registered my sports car in the spot I had left it on Monday. I got off the train, realising the return train to London was approaching on the opposite platform. I couldn’t wait any longer. I ran over the bridge, puffing hard as I jumped on.
I had to find her now, no time to collect Miranda. The letter was dated Tuesday. She wanted her Dad to collect her. I knew she would still be there waiting for me. I yearned there would be no regret.