Indie Author's Advent Calendar
19th of December: Sally Stackhouse
Sally has been lucky enough to find love a second time around and is happily married to her wonderful Dave. Their respective children have all flown the nest and have families of their own, most live within visiting distance but one lives in New Zealand. They are very lucky to have a large, extended family.

Sally works on a freelance basis as an audio typist which allows her free time to indulge in various hobbies, including writing poetry and flash fiction. She likes being creative and has various knitting projects on the go and also indulges in card making. She loves spending time baking especially at Christmas time.

Her beliefs are more spiritual than religious. She finds music very uplifting, leaning towards Country and Western, classical pieces and old fashioned crooners. She loves films especially musicals ranging from Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and Gene Kelly to the modern Strictly Come Dancing TV series.

She also enjoys eating out with a lovely glass of red wine.

To find out more about Sallie visit her on Facebook.

Into the Woods

by Sally Stackhouse

The wind blows through the trees as she steps on the cushioned carpet of bluebells, her hair whips around her face, sticking to her lips with their protective covering of lip salve on them. The breeze lessens as she walks in to the lee of the copse. The air hangs and hovers, a feeling of peace envelopes her, stilling her mind, calming her heart. She becomes one with the earth, grounding herself in to the soil. The smells of the wood, the iron musky odour of moist undergrowth assails her nostrils. She breathes even deeper, ingesting the power of the ancient world.

She touches the gnarled bark of the closest tree. Her palm feels the roughness of the wood, she watches a battle of man against beast, spears are flung; they find their mark grievously wounding the animal. A horde of men dismember the flesh, inner organs a delicacy before they remove the carcass to their womenfolk. The meat will feed the tribe for many days.

She places her other hand round the side of the tree, pressing her body against the girth of the tree, through her outer garments she becomes aware of another scene, this time the birth of a young child and her heart is filled with joy and love. It is a precious boy, long awaited to take his rightful place, in due course, as leader of the clan.

She presses her cheek against the bark, it scratches her, marking her skin. She pulls back, recoiling at the sudden shock of the pain. Where did the peace go?

Stepping back she looks around her. There. Movement at the edge of the wood. The shrill notes of a mobile phone disturbs the air, discordant, dissonance sounds, a baritone voice answers the insistent instrument.

‘I’ve found her. Yes, I’ll bring her back to the car, don’t worry, she’ll be fine.’

Michael steps into the line of her vision, he holds out his hand, encouraging her with a smile to come forward into his embrace.

Jane shakes her head. ‘I’m not ready,’ she whispers, ‘I need more time.’

Michael pulls her gently away, he strokes her arms, strokes her hair, pushes strands behind her ears, kisses her forehead. ‘I’ll stay with you. You know I love you so much my darling. I’ll always love you but you know we need to get back. The doctor is waiting for you.’

Jane nods in acknowledgement. They think she needs help. They think she is going mad, maybe she is but she knows what she feels is true. She does see things. She does feel things. Michael thinks all he has to do is to love her more each day and she will get better.

She knows his love will help her to find peace, she knows she will love him until the end of her days.

Another vision fills her mind. It is too abstract to make any sense. She starts to tell Michael she needs to go back to the tree. He is firm in his hold as he leads her to the car park. He seats her gently and straps her in. The seat belt is strangling her, she desperately pulls the webbed strap becoming more and more agitated.

She wants to go back. She wants to feel calm. She wants to feel peaceful. She wants to feel love surrounding her.

The doctor greets them both at the entrance to the home. He welcomes Jane with his kindly demeanour. He knows how hard this is for her and for Michael. A nurse settles her in her room as Jane curls up into the foetal position on her bed. Michael’s tears flow while he watches his wife succumb to the drugs the medical profession deem necessary to bring her back to an ordinary life.


come back tomorrow for more...

If you like this story, visit Sally on Facebook.


© Sally Stackhouse, 2017ff