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Sample `Bad Blood` http://www.lulu.com/lindacorby

by Tarbra 

Posted: 12 October 2003
Word Count: 1623
Summary: A bit of me for you!

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Pneumatic Drill.
(Copyright reserved) By Linda Corby
Tel: 44 01534 747039

I was living at First Tower and in the later stages of pregnancy for Clarissa, the property alongside our flat was being renovated into a garage. We literally had a pneumatic drill going on the gable wall of our bebdroom, so there was no chance of my having any kind of sleep in. They would start work at 7 every morning and go on until 10 at night, so to say I was relieved when we moved to ‘Windy Hill’ would be an understatement.
Windy Hill was in fact a beautiful four bedroomed bungalow. Unfortunately it was in a highly residential area, and the neighbours were mostly senior citizens: The woman who was our direct neighbour was constantly peering through the fencing to see what we were doing, and seemed to have nothing better to do with her time than stick her nose in our business. When I brought Ben my pony, home and gave him the run of the property her eyes nearly popped out of her head. Ben was a lovely pony, he was aged and had arthritis in his joints, especially on his offside foreleg, due to an accident he had before I had him. I used aromatherapy for his arthritis, and he slept in the kitchen on a huge mattress by the radiator as the heat helped him a lot. Ben was 100% house trained, and never did a dirty of any kind in the bungalow. He was more like a giant dog than a pony. Ben could let himself in and out of the bungalow through the half stable like doors in the kitchen, and I think he thought he was human, as he was treated as one of the family.
I shall never forget holding one particular party at Windy Hill, when I made a huge Vodka based punch, I had dished out a load of this punch into champagne type glasses, put them on a massive tray, then asked Brian to carry the tray from the kitchen to the lounge. When Brian got to the kitchen he found the glasses on the tray empty, so he commented on my calling him before I had put the punch into the glasses, I thought I must be going daft in the head, although I felt sure I had already filled them, but couldn’t work out how they could have emptied themselves. I proceeded to refill the glasses, and as Brian and I turned to talk, I looked on in horror as Ben sidled up behind Brian and started supping up the drinks out of the glasses on the tray. Well Ben was quite disgruntled when we stopped him helping himself to the punch. Everyone was warned to watch his or her drinks after that. The following morning Ben was going round all grumpy with an obvious hang over, but suffered no long-term damage.
Brian and I went to the pictures one night, leaving a friend’s daughter who was staying with us in the bungalow, she was thirteen years old at the time. When we got home she was sitting watching a horror film on the television. The young girl was, rigid with terror in her eyes, sitting in her chair with Ben standing behind her breathing down her neck. Ben had come into the lounge through the doors that opened into the garden behind her, and she had felt his breath on her neck and been too scared to turn round. We still laugh to this day about it. I fell about laughing at the time for she was after all a horsy girl, and knew Ben was there Nothing would have got past Ben into that bungalow. He was like a guard dog. Between him and our dogs even Dracula would have legged it, so in fact she was more than safe.
Our nosy neighbour used to stick her head over the fence on regular occasions when she thought we were not looking. On one of these occasions she had a real shock, Ben had been watching her do this for some time. He obviously couldn’t understand why she didn’t give him a pat, as he was a very friendly, loveably little man, so one day when she stuck her head over the fence he just sniffed her hair to say, “Hallo”. She screamed and took off at a rate of knots, behaving as if he’d tried to kill her. I saw it all and thought, ‘silly cow’ and just couldn’t stop laughing. Five minuetes later we had the Centenier on our doorstep, saying she had complained that our pony had savaged her. What I said couldn’t be repeated. The Centenier actually knew Ben. all he could do was to go back, and tell her to keep her head on her side of the fence. As she had to stand on things to get it over the fence in the first place, and Ben wasn’t big enough to put his head over to her side. Ben hadn’t harmed her at all, just messed up her over hair-sprayed, highly backcombed beehive hairdo.
I remember Ben with great affection, he was great fun to be around, gentle as a lamb, and so very loving. Ben was a beautiful Strawberry Roan in colour, he loved to be groomed and pampered. When we were younger we used to play ‘tag’ together at Hampton Lodge. I still miss him in my heart to this day, in fact I just shed a tear in his memory while writing this.
In life the one thing really worth having is true pure unconditional love between any two living creatures, it costs one nothing to give, is priceless to receive, cannot be replaced by anything one can buy, but leaves a hole in one’s soul when taken away for any reason, and remains inside one for all time with a warm pure glow. Sometimes one does not realize how much we hold love inside. One might not even know it is there, until we lose one we love. Then it hits us like a thunder bolt, when all one has left with is the memories which we hold dear, and nothing can replace being able to caress those one has loved.
There are people who can go through life with what I call a cold heart, they can never truly know real love. I have known love on all different levels, but then I have given love out, which for me was a natural thing to do. There are times in ones life when it is hard to give love. One fears the pain of losing those one loves, one fears giving out love, especially when one knows the pain of losing someone and, knows how much it really hurts inside. One can go into self preservation mode when one has loved and lost too much, I know this because I have been there. It is what I call being in the void, it is a cold hard place to be in, one I do not ever want to go back to, although we all go there at some points in our lives, I will always try to live in the light world of love, rather than the dark world of void.
When we were living at Windy Hill I acquired a little Mini Cooper, it had a rotten body, but a brilliant engine. Brian used it for work. You could always hear him coming home with it from way down the road, as it had a very distinctive engine noise, lovely it was,.He came home with it the last time to Windy Hill,.I was sitting at the kitchen table with my friend Cathy Copp when we heard it screaming down the road. As we looked out at the entrance it came in sideways. Spot on it, was, a perfect fit between the gates. The bottom dropped out of the little Mini, and sparks flew everywhere, how it didn’t go up in flames still mystifies me, it stopped directly beneath the kitchen window, and both Cathy and I thought it was going to come into the kitchen, but because we had just drunk a big bottle of nice wine between us we just fell off the chair laughing, and I don’t know how I didn’t wet myself.
Later on that day Brian finished off the Mini bodywork, Reg Le Marquand, who was Cathy’s other half, and a great friend of ours arrived at Windy Hill driving The Ford Company’s (La Motte) breakdown truck, which was a big old D Truck. He reversed in through the gates, promptly taking out the guttering above the kitchen window, trapping my skirt against the wall, Cathy screeched at him to stop, he was horrified, but all Cathy and I could do was laugh. Reg was wonderful , kind hearted gentleman, who was big time softy with children and animals, one of the closest friends I have ever had, or probably will ever have, I loved him like a brother. There was nothing we couldn’t talk to each other about. That sort of closeness is really rare and always to be treasured. Reg and Brian were incredibly close, and they spent many hours together working in the garage. He was the reason Brian and I ended up running a breakdown service. I remember Reg sitting in the garage taking gearboxes apart and putting them together again. To this day I have never seen anyone as talented at doing this as Reg was. I would sit in the garage and watch him with fascination for hours. To coin a phrase I had ‘much respect’ for Reg, would be an understatement.

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Comments by other Members

old friend at 09:40 on 14 October 2003  Report this post
Hello Linda,

There are a number of typos you should deal with. However I can understand how this must be part of a longer piece of work. It is mainly observational with a strong undertone of nostalgia, so I read this as an introduction to the main characters, whose real personalities would be unfolded 'at a later time' together with the main elements of the plot or theme.

I like your style very much; it is pleasant, easy to read and flows well. It does not attempt to tax my brain with over-creative similes or 'hidden associations'.

I would suggest that you could improve the last sentence and also change the 'would be an understatement' wording. You use this at the beginning as well. Let's have more, please.

old friend, Len

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