Three Things Challenge – February Story

MAUD Maud loved Summer, and she really loved when the weather was pleasant enough for the BBQ to come out from its dusty hiding place in the shed. She also enjoyed days like today where she was being super productive all day. However, her enthusiasm was waning as the gadget she had bought that was meant to make getting your BBQ Summer ready was a lot less helpful than she thought and it took far more time than the usual system of cleaning it. Her mind wandered to her most recent trip to Asia, where when she was wandering through the grim exhibits in this little museum, far from home her attention was drawn to a small card in a glass case. It read: “These dominoes are made from the bones of the victims of a campaign of mass murder.” Every item in this museum was connected to the death of innocent people, who were just trying to live their lives in the surrounding jungle. Power and greed had a lot to answer for in this world. Then Mauds mind clicked into a stream of memories from her time in Japan and Australia.

Maud’s Japenese friend, Kaori tried to educate her about Japanese culture. This culminated in an incredibly clumsy and ungraceful attempt in learning some traditional dance moves by the group of friends, the upside was that Kaori and Aya found it hilarious.

As Maud sat on deck waiting for her turn to dive back into the sea to join the other scuba divers, a tentacle of memories brought her back to almost the very same location five years earlier. Things had changed a lot since then, it was almost like thinking about someone else’s story. Her daydream was broken when she heard her name called and she slid backwards into the cool waves of the salty water. Maud realised that the salt water she could taste on her lips was in fact, not the sea, but her own tears. Then she remembered that dramatic and disappointing evening.

Maud was hiding in her car in the furthest corner of the carpark, thankful that it was getting dark, as it meant no one would see her there, on her own, in her car, with the lights off, trying and failing not to cry. They had a massive argument a couple of hours ago, the relationship ending type of an argument. The reason was simple and stupidly cliche, Maud discovered that Billy had been having an affair with her lifelong best friend. Maud had been at her best friends house, singing her now ex-boyfriends praises when she saw his silver-bullet necklace peeping out from under the duvet on her friend’s bed. When her friend saw what Maud was looking at, she said that Billy had been there helping her by chasing a mouse, his necklace must have fallen off without him noticing. Maud pretended to believe her now former friend, kept calm, left and went home to talk to Billy. When Maud asked Billy about the necklace, he lost his temper and accused her of many awful things, including suggesting that she was accusing him and her friend of having an affair and called her all sorts of insulting names. Maud stood watching this stranger before her who up until that moment she thought she knew, and asked a simple question: is it true? Billy paused, went purple, picked up a glass and smashed it against the wall. As Billy pulled himself up to his full height and snorting like a bull, Maud, quietly asked him to go out for a few hours, so that she could pack up her stuff and move out. Billy swallowed, snatched his phone, wallet and keys off the table and marched out of the house, throwing some more insults over his shoulder at Maud as his left. As the door slammed shut, Maud was on her knees picking up the shattered shards of the destroyed glass, thinking to herself that she would now need to pick up the shards of her own life, which like the glass was now irretrievably changed. The apartment was one that Billy had rented before they moved in together, so she knew she would be the one to leave. Maud tried not to think about what Billy and her former friend may have been doing there when she was away on business trips. Her mind kept flashing back to how well Billy and ‘HER’ used to get on, the in-jokes, the hugs, all of it. Maud, at the time, had thought that she was incredibly lucky that her bff and her boyfriend had gotten on so well, as it would make life easier for all concerned if there was no animosity between Billy and ‘HER’. Maud couldn’t even think her former friends’ name at the moment. The betrayal was washing over in tsunami like waves of heartbreak. Thankfully, Maud managed to get her belongings packed and into her car quickly. Maud knew what had happened was a fact, but, she still wanted to believe that she was wrong, that Billy and ‘HER’ had not hurt her like that, that is why she was hiding and watching the door of the building. As she had expected, Billy and ‘HER’ arrived back to the building Maud had so recently moved out of, hand in hand and laughing. Maud knew she needed to see this, she needed more proof that she was a fool. This was the confirmation that Maud didn’t want, but knew she needed. When the door closed behind the two traitors, Maud put her car in gear, peered through boxes of her belongings that were reflected in her rearview mirror, and drove away from the two people outside of her family who meant the most to her in the world. Maud wondered would she be able to reapply for the job transfer that she turned down, and more pressingly, where would she go to now? Normally, she would have gone to her friend’s house, this was no longer ever going to be an option again. As she considered her next step, she deleted all contact details of Billy and ‘HER’ from her phone. If they were not on the phone, they did not exist.

A.B. Sitting in the canteen at work, the waves of different languages and use of language crashed across A.B’s turbulent mind. Though A.B. was pleased to work in a large multinational company as she was able to work with and make friends with people from all over the world and the options for travel were a bonus too. Today, however, she was finding the noise barely tolerable, as she was obsessing about how many times her boyfriend Billy kept accidently calling her by his ex-girlfriends name Maud. Maud and A.B. had not spoken since the day A.B. and Billy had moved in together, which also happened to be the day that Maud had moved out of Billy’s apartment. A.B. didn’t really see what the problem was with Maud, other than the manner in which Maud had found out about Billy and A.B., but, A.b. thought these things happen. Maud was just been overly dramatic, as usual.

MABEL Mabel held on to the laundry line feeling incredibly shaky and ill, her heart was racing and her brain felt woolly. It was at times like this she wished she was someone’s mother or nana, as she wanted someone to call out to, someone to look after her, someone to worry about her, or as the case may be, someone to miss her. Sadly, there would be no one to reminisce about the lovely, silly, crazy things that Mabel did for them. Mabel had no siblings or children, she came close to marriage once, but in the end, she got cold feet and didn’t go through with it. Mabel sometimes saw her former fiance on tv, he was quite famous these days, he was called the peoples Grandad. Mabel knew that the best she could hope for was that the neighbour might become curious as to her lack of activities and might call emergency services. The reality was that her body probably wouldn’t be found for weeks.

As the birds soared and swooped in the sky calling to each other, Mabel slid to the ground, looking up to the sky, thankful that at least her final moments were sunny and warm as opposed to her arrival on earth during the worst storm for years.

MAY May had been enjoying rocking in her rocking chair, as she waited for her roast beef to cook. She just wished that the view was more Sylvian and less traffic and roundabout. Oh well, you can’t have everything. May glanced at the clock on the wall and suddenly realised that she was about to be late, so May started rushing around and ran out of her house, this is how she slipped on the black ice falling forwards putting her hands out to try and protect herself. As May picked herself up from the ground, she noticed that her spectacles had fallen down a drain and that her hands were bloody from the impact with the frozen ground. Oh great, thought May, now I will be even more late for Court.

MAUD, BILLY, A.B. Two friends, Maud and Billy shuffling around together on the platform of the local station were waiting for another person, A.B to join them, A.B was late, as always and there had been no text message or phone call to say sorry and no excuse had been given. After a long while, the two friends wandered off together, muttering and grumbling about their missing companion, A.B.

CANDY Candy thought if only she had been as efficient in everything else in life as she was at drinking Gin, maybe she would not be sitting by herself beside the river, wondering did anybody remember her.

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