Trevor Belshaw Author

Author of Out of Control

Month: April 2020

Unspoken

JESS
‘Darling, I’m home.’
Calvin’s cheery voice wafted across from the front door through the passage and into the open plan lounge/diner where Jessica Mollison was just finishing washing up last night’s dinner plates. She heard the cupboard door in the passage slam shut as Calvin deposited his golf clubs. A few moments later he breezed into the lounge.
‘I made two over par today.’
‘Well done!’ said Jessica with more enthusiasm than she really felt. ‘You’ll hit that level par score before too long.’
Calvin almost purred.
‘That bloody Liam Watt put me off by coughing on the last tee or I might have made it today.’
A look of searing anger appeared across his face. ‘I’ll get my own back next time. Two can play at that game.’
He stood behind Jessica, put his arms around her waist and nuzzled her neck.
‘Perfume?’
‘It’s only a dab,’ said Jessica defensively.
‘What are the rules, my darling?’ Calvin’s voice dropped an octave.
Jessica held her breath.
‘The rules?’
‘I don’t wear perfume unless we’re going out together,’ she replied.
‘That’s my girl.’ Calvin’s hands ran over Jessica’s stomach and up to her breasts. He kneaded them softly.
‘Come on, love, on the sofa, let’s have some fun.’
Jessica broke free and turned to face him.
‘I don’t have time for that, much as I’d like to. I have to go out.’
Calvin stared hard at her, his voice stern.
‘Out? Where is out?’
‘It’s Wednesday, Calvin. I always go to Nana’s on Wednesday. You know I do.’
His face softened.
‘Ah, of course, got to keep on the right side of the old gal eh? She can’t have that much time left and she’s worth a small fortune.’
He patted her on the backside. ‘Go and sow the seeds, my darling. We might get the flat bought for us and a bit to spare.’
Jessica said nothing. She picked up her cardigan and car keys and walked across the lounge.
‘See you in a couple of hours.’
‘Oh, Jess,’ he called.
‘Yes?’
‘Wash off the perfume before you go.’

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

Unspoken Chapter 2

ALICE
The ray of late Autumn sunlight eased its way through a narrow crack in the vertical blind and reflected itself via a polished, metallic likeness of Marylin Monroe, onto the sleeping face of Alice Mollison.
The old woman screwed up her face, blinked a few times, then called to her carer, Gwen, who was busying herself making sandwiches for Alice’s lunch. Gwen called in twice a day; morning, to get Alice out of bed, dressed, watered and fed, and in the evening to get her tea and into her night clothes.
Alice slept in a bed in the corner of the room, the stairs being a mission too far nowadays for the soon to be Centenarian.
Gwen came through from the kitchen.
‘What is it, my lovely?’
‘Can you shut that bloody sunlight off? It’s burning out my corneas.’
Gwen stepped across the room and adjusted the blind.
‘How’s that? We shouldn’t really be complaining about the sun coming out. We’ve had weeks of rain. I’m taking my Gareth out for a walk in the park this afternoon. You don’t know when we’ll see it again. I think—’
‘It felt like a laser beam on my eyelids,’ Alice interrupted. ‘It’s still hot now, here, feel.’
Gwen went back to her sandwich making.
‘Jessica will be here soon, won’t she? It’s Wednesday.’
Alice brightened. Jessica was her great granddaughter, a kindred spirit. She was a clone of Alice when she was that age. She always looked forward to her company. She was bright, engaging, and an aspiring novelist to boot. She read pieces of her work in progress to Alice at least once a week. Sadly, the novel that Jessica knew was inside her had yet to surface. Her laptop was filled with half finished manuscripts, story ideas and plotlines. She liked to be called, Jess, but Alice wouldn’t comply with her request.
‘Jessica is the name on your birth certificate, so Jessica, you remain,’ she had said.
Alice turned to her left and took a small make-up mirror from the drawer in the narrow, walnut, side table. She studied her face intently.
‘Not bad for almost a hundred,’ she mused. She turned her head this way and that. ‘If you can see past the folds of wrinkles and liver spots.’
In her youth, Alice had been a beauty. Everyone said so. Not the filler-assisted beauty of the present day, more of a classic beauty, like the wartime film star, Rita Hayworth with whom she had been favourably compared.
‘Good legs, good bust, nice arse and a face to die for,’ as Ada Blunt, the landlord’s wife of The Old Bull, had once described her. ‘She’ll come down to earth with a bump,’ she had added, as though she was a clairvoyant.
Alice still had a good head of hair, albeit an almost translucent white. It fell to just below the nape of her neck and was swept back at the sides, held in place with hairpins. She patted it into shape and returned the mirror to the drawer.
She sighed. She hated old age and everything it brought with it, even though she had been extremely lucky with her health. There had been no major illnesses, no cancers, no eye problems, not since she had had the laser surgery at least. There had been no hypertension, no real problems with osteoarthritis, and thankfully, best of all, no Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Alice’s mind was sharp as a tack. When she was awake that was. Her ‘forty winks’ were becoming more and more frequent.
She eased herself up in her chair, reached behind and adjusted the two cushions that had become a permanent feature as Gwen returned to the room carrying a plate of sandwiches and a flask of tea.
‘There you go, my lovely. That should see you through to this evening. I’m sure Jessica will get you anything you need in between.’ She pointed to the commode that sat in the corner opposite the bed. ‘Would you like to go before she gets here?’
Alice grimaced. The commode was the thing she despised most about old age. She’d give half of what was left of her life to be able to use a proper flushing toilet. She had a stairlift to get upstairs but no longer had the strength in her legs to get her there, even with her walker.
‘Have you ever seen me on the commode, even once in all the time you’ve been coming here?’ she asked.
‘No, but I just thought I’d ask. Just in case. There’s a first time for everything.’ Gwen replied.
‘I’m neither immobile nor incapable,’ Alice retorted. ‘Even Jessica doesn’t get to see me defecate or urinate. I do have some private moments, few as they are.’ Alice continued as though Gwen hadn’t spoken.
The carer picked up her bag and walked to the lounge door.
‘See you tonight then. I’m off to see old Mr Hathersage now, bless him.’ Ben Hathersage was bedbound. Gwen always added the epithet whenever she spoke about him. ‘Bed bath today.’ She shuddered. ‘That won’t be pleasant, he’s incontinent.’
‘Well, you always seem to want to watch me poo,’ said Alice, with a little glint in her eye.
Gwen turned away. ‘See you later then.’
She stopped and turned as Alice called her name. The old woman smiled a short smile and nodded to the carer. Gwen winked, nodded back in acknowledgement and walked along the passage towards the front door.
‘Cranky old bugger,’ she said, chuckling to herself.
Alice adjusted the cushions again and looked up at the clock. She despised that almost as much as the commode. All too frequently these days, she’d sit and watch it tick her life away as she listened to Classic FM on the new DAB radio that Jessica had bought her for her ninety-ninth.
‘Damn clock. Damn time.’
The clock was saved from further abuse when Gwen suddenly appeared again.

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

Unspoken Chapter 3

ALICE
Jess shifted in her seat and leaned in towards Alice.
‘You can tell me anything, Nana, you know that. I promise not to tell a soul.’
‘I know that, Jessica,’ replied Alice, ‘and I’m sorry it’s you who will have to carry the burden of that secret… well, there are quite a few secrets if I’m honest.’
‘I can handle it, Nana. It can’t be that bad.’
Alice pushed herself back onto the cushions.
‘You’d be surprised at the things that have happened to me, the things I’ve done. I have not led an ordinary life by any standards, Jessica. I’ve had to learn to live with things I still regret and things that I’d do again tomorrow if I had to.’
Jess took hold of Alice’s hand again as she continued.
‘You know, I’m really glad I don’t believe in St Peter, Heaven and Hell, all that malarkey because I would be judged harshly.’
‘Well, you know I don’t believe in all that angelic choir stuff myself, Nana,’ Jessica replied. ‘But I do think there’s something; that spark of life, soul, whatever you want to call it, has to go somewhere. I was reading an article about Quantum Physics the other day and the writer said that they’re on the verge of proving that alternative universes actually exist. There could be millions of them, and that’s where you pass to when you leave this place. There’s also an argument for thousands of dimensions which we could pass through. That’s why some people think they’ve seen ghosts, it’s just a tear in the dimensional wall.’
‘That sounds all right,’ said Alice brightly. ‘But I don’t want to spend the next million years passing through dimensions, universes etc, looking like this.’
Jess chuckled.
‘Oh, Nana, you do make me laugh sometimes.’
‘Good,’ said Alice. ‘Now tell me the real reason you were crying. You had been crying last Sunday too. You can’t fool me with your forced smile. Your eyes give you away, even without the puffiness. I can always tell when you’re unhappy so, come on, out with it.’
Jess let go of Alice’s hand and held hers together as if in prayer.
‘Me and Calvin, we’ve just, well, we’ve got a few issues to sort out. We’re having a lot of fights lately.’
Alice looked hard at her.
‘Fights? Fight’s as in violence? Or is it this American term that’s corrupted our wonderful language. Fights as in arguments?’
Jess hesitated a second too long.
‘Get rid of him, Jess. Don’t tell me it’s a one-off incident. Because they don’t exist. A one-off incident leads to two, three, then it’s a weekly occurrence, then a nightly one. I know you love the man but believe me, for the sake of your own sanity and for the safety of any children to come, get out now. He’s never going to change.’
Jess pulled a face.
‘It’s not like that, really, Nana. He just likes to be the man of the house.’

Continue reading

Please follow and like us:

The Old Soldier

A ten minute poem

The Old Soldier

Captain Tom’s a soldier, and
A modest sort of man
At ninety nine he worked out
A money raising plan

He said I’ll get my walking frame
Do a hundred laps of my yard
Before my hundredth birthday
It shouldn’t be that hard

So Tom set out on his crusade
He hoped to raise a grand
To give to nursing charities
Who need a helping hand

Tom marched up and down his yard
Medals glinting on his chest
The nation took to him to their hearts
And cheered him on his quest

Donations flowed like water
The hundred laps were done
The thousands turned to millions
But old Tom soldiered on

We saluted you, the hero
Of your war campaigns
And now in times of trouble
We salute you once again

God bless you, Tom Moore

Please follow and like us: