Maria’s Stuff: Life is stranger than Fiction Part two

This story might be familiar to some of you already.

 

Amadeo's house

Niall’s legs felt like lead as he walked the short distance to collect his car which he had left parked at the house his sister was minding. Two days of work with only travel time between jobs left him feeling as grey as the sky overhead.

Lost in this hazy greyness he failed to notice the tiny woman until she spoke to him. “Good afternoon.” Her soft voice had an authoritative air to it which made him stop before her.

He noted her pastel pink coat, soft nude coloured shoes and pink hat thinking, she is dressed like the Queen of England. Niall noted the package she carried was square, wrapped in a crimson glossy paper and sitting on top of it a perfectly formed golden bow. He looked around him and couldn’t see how she had arrived at this old house on the top of the hill. He wondered if she was an angel.

“I’ve been invited to tea.” Her crisp words brought a smile to his face.

Niall opened the gate and she, to his surprise, walked through. He followed and they walked towards his car.

“You must work here. Are you the gardener?” She stared at him closely. “I have come to have tea with Lady Louise.”

He wondered in what parallel universe did gardeners wear nifty suits and white shirts. But she reminded him of his grandmother, whom he missed, so he made no caustic comment.

“No, I don’t work here. I left my car with my sister who is minding the house while the owner is away and I have come to collect it. I don’t think there is anyone here.” He waited for her to digest this information.

“So I am at the wrong house. I should try the other big house on the far side.” She said with a nod which sent a ripple waving across her silver hair.

He opened the passenger door intending to leave his jacket on the seat when, to his astonishment she neatly slipped into the seat.

Her blue eyes flashed at him as she said, “That is good you have your car. It won’t take a minute.”

Niall smiled while inside he groaned. He had thirty minutes to get to Dublin for his last appointment, then it would be home for food and sleep. He opened his mouth then thought better of speaking. He shut the door carefully and got into the driver’s seat.

The house in question was a mere four hundred yards away. He drove slower than normal and arrived before the large electronic entrance gate.

“It’s shut.” His passenger said. “I’ll wait.”

Lucky for all concerned the gate opened and he drove through, straight to the front door.

Then without thinking he got out, raced around to the passenger door, opened it and when she alighted Niall gave a slight nod.

With a nod in his direction she sailed sweetly past him carrying her gift.

Niall didn’t linger. Tiredness evaporated as he got back into his seat, gunned the engine and got out of there before he was snared again. “I am not up to dealing with a double dose of silver-haired trouble today.” He said with a sigh of relief as he noted his passenger had gone inside.

****************************

I was reminded of this tale last week.

It was late, I was late.  And worse the automatic gate was playing up. The reason why became apparent when I stopped outside the gate and rolled down the passenger window. A ladies voice wafted in to me “Ah good I thought I was late.”

I frowned wondering if I, yet again, had got my wires crossed. I didn’t remember volunteering to drive an elderly lady anywhere.

So I leant across the seat and peered out the window. No, I didn’t volunteer to drive a stranger anywhere, especially to a committee meeting,  which I guessed was her destination judging from the clipboard and file she carried.

She was talking at a rapid pace. I remembered NIall’s encounter and wondered should I shut my window, lock my doors but her next words caught my attention, “It is kind of you Maureen to offer me a lift.”

“I am sorry I am Maria,  not Maureen. Are you sure you have the right house?”

She looked at me blankly then grimaced. “You are not Maureen”

I overlooked the disdainful look she shot my way. I smiled and agreed.

She didn’t look happy at all. “Where is Maureen?”

“One house over,” I said , thankfully at this point the gates clanged shut and I put my foot to the accelerator and left her to toddle into the house next door.

Like mother like son, I decided.

 

 

Be Careful what you wish for –

Be careful what you wish for, Isabella’s fairy godmother whispered in Isalbella’s ear.

Isabella ignored her because that is what isabella does best –  ignores people.

“Someday,” her best friend Betty said, “someday you will find out what it is like to be ignored.”

Tonight Isabella was having fun, it was the annual harvest festival ball, a fundraiser for a local children’s charity. Most people attending had borrowed or rented their costumes, giving as much as they could towards the charity but not Isabella. She had spent a weeks wage on her designer dress. She delighted in letting those around her know of this fact. Everyone admired her dress, as she expected. Then she noticed the tone the comments of admiration were being delivered in ,like a fond parent would say to a spoilt child, in order to avoid the nasty experience of a tantrum.

You are imagining it, Isabella decided. Concentrate on the ball and looking amazing, like always. So she did, she didn’t help the elderly lady find a chair, she simply pushed past and demanded that the host of the ball dance with her.  He did so with reluctance and plenty of people noticed but not Isabella.

She failed to help Betty when she felt faint due to lack of food and over excitement.Betty had given up her free time to help get the decorations in place. Isabella had been busy getting her hair and make up done.

“Just sit there Betty, you will be fine.”  Isabella commanded.

So Betty sat and promptly slid off the chair cracking her arm off a table in the process.

All of these events were witnessed by Isabella’s fairy godmother Grainne who was usually a patient, loving and forgiving fairy godmother but tonight her patience was wearing thin. She paid a visit to her boss. When she left the office an hour later she was grinning like a child.

When Grainne returned to Isabella’s side she was not surprised to see that everyone, except Isabella ,was feeling sorry and sympathetic towards Betty who was gone to hospital to have her arm x rayed. The conversation was about dreams and wishes. Isabella declared she would wish for time to stay still, because she loved evenings like this, where everyone was in good form and nothing bad was said and everything was simply fabulous and really perfect.

As soon as she uttered the words the world about her shimmered and glowed. People moved about her but failed to hear her speak. She asked for a fresh drink from a passing barman but he merely continued on walking.  This won’t do, Isabella decided.  She tried to move and discovered she couldn’t. She appeared to be stuck.

This is not funny, she thought and tried with all her might to shout, kick or squirm.

All about her the party continued on, the band was replaced by a dj and people danced around her. One or two commented on the very life like statue that sparkled and glowed but no one saw the tormented eyes that shone out at them. No one except Grainne. She wondered when she would be ordered to release Isabella from the spell but hoped it wouldn’t be for a long time because for Grainne that would be simply “fabulous and perfect”.

I know you know

Flash Fiction, What or who do you carry in your car?

I’m driving and my four miss daisy’s are driving me loopy, not crazy, loopy.  This is one step beyond crazy. The reason is they are arguing. Mum is the main instigator of every argument. The fact is they are spirits,  all should be quite happy in the next world but this is our family. Most of us do two things really well, arguing and being contrary.

For many years I was aware of Gran perched on the back shelf of my car, she liked sitting there. Spending her time between knitting and watching the world go by.

Once my mum joined the team all peace ended, everyone had to sit in back. She only landed and she caused a row because my maternal Grandmother Nan’s,  prefers sitting up front beside me. I like that too given her wacky sense of humor, but she is needed to act as chief peacemaker between the other three.  Therefore she has to sit in the middle in the back between Mum, Gran, and Nan’s sister, Byna.

Why Byna landed in my car, no one has the faintest notion but there you go, welcome to my crazy life.

Today’s topic of debate is: angels or butterflies?

Mum insists she would prefer to be an angel because there is more chance of being able to voice an opinion. Gran says, ‘bother, dropped a stitch.”

“You can’t be an angel because you love to fight. You would have the world engaged in another war before you could blink.” Nan’s folds her arms and stares at Mum.

“Well I can’t be a butterfly because I don’t like flying, I get sick.”

Byna sticks her nose in, “you only do that to get attention. Well I’d be a butterfly, they are sweet, like me.” She stares at the others defying them to deny this. They ignore her.

I look in the mirror and try to distract them. “I think they are all sweet and by nature, butterflies and angels do fly and don’t argue so there you go. It doesn’t matter which you are really does it?!

At this point they all round on me demanding, “who the hell asked you?”

And you wonder why there is no permanent man in my life? I could give you four hundred reasons, but the four I’ve mentioned should be enough for you to get the picture.