The Things That Make Me Happy In Life

There are days when the sky is telling you it’s going to be cold and grey, that you might as well not bother waking up and/or getting dressed. A pyjama day is called for; with lots of feel-good films and delicious honey tea. However you feel these days start to blur into one another and when the sun decides it’s time to shine again you are already stuck in a rut of, well not wanting to do anything.

I myself had fallen into this trap a few weeks ago. It all began when I got a nasty stomach bug, don’t worry I won’t go into the details. I was feeling very poopy about myself as one does and just wanted to stay in bed all day dosed up on tablets and self-pity. It was a horrible bug but just as I saw the end in sight, I went and caught that annoyance that is Fresher’s Flu from my husband. Only now have I started to feel better but I feel at a loss. It has been about two weeks where I have been feeling under the weather and now I have recovered I am lacking the motivation to do anything. Maybe I am still ill? Or maybe I have just gotten so used to doing very little that my brain is on strike and enjoys staying in bed. I like to be active, to always be doing something. As a mother it is hard to sit still when you have a little one around but when Cabbit goes down for his naps I find myself twiddling my thumbs and thinking: “What now?” I have seemingly endless lists of stuff I could be getting on with; writing or finally getting around to finishing that book. But I don’t. My head feels heavy and foggy, I just feel meh.

It’s a frustrating situation to find yourself in and the only person who can get you out of it is yourself. So I found myself asking my husband to look after Cabbit while I had a long relaxing bath, got myself dressed so we could venture out into the world. I am lucky to have such a supportive and understanding husband who allows me to take time out for myself. We hopped into town where Christmas had already started to manifest. Scary! (Queue the rant from my husband; about Christmas not being ‘allowed’ to start until after his birthday in early December).  We browsed some shops were we could pull horrified faces at the sight of reindeer, fat Santa’s and made comments like “It’s only October people!” My husband then treated me to a gorgeous éclair from my favourite bakery, Patisserie Valerie (or as we refer to it, Patisserie Du Lapin) before taking me to one of my favourite shops, LUSH! I got 2 bath bombs; Sex Bomb and Dragons Egg. Beautiful! Thank you hubby!

On the car journey home I got to thinking how a simple walk with the family had completely changed my mood. I felt revived and happy. Not because I had money spent on me; that was a bonus and unexpected surprise. I had been focusing on the things that make me happy in life like going for walks with my family, being silly with the husband and smelling my favourite smells. That was it I thought. That is what I had to try and do if I ever felt unmotivated or just poopy. I had to remember what the things that make me happy in life are, focus on the positives instead of the negatives. It is so easy to think about all the things that are wrong in your life and get depressed but if I make a list or have reminders like photos or smells of things that bring joy to my life, then maybe, just maybe I can get through a bad day. It sounds excruciatingly obvious to do this, but when your state of mind happens upon such a dark place it can often be hard to find that tiny speck of light trying to force its way through a rainy day.

So now when I have a day where I feel like just staying in the comfort of my home or doing very little, I look at photos of my wedding or the first photo of Cabbit and smile. I remember memories when I have never been happier or smell my new/old books. I really wish they made a perfume for that! My husband and I have an ongoing joke that if I am feeling moody I will go to my Lush bag with my bath bombs, smell it and be instantly happy.

I’m off to nibble on malteasers and play Black and White. IT’S SO GOOD! I like being a god muhahahahaha! Evil laugh too much? (Husband just caught me laughing as I type and told me my evil laugh needs work! That it’s too cute!!!!! The OUTRAGE haha)

Cecilia

This is a very short story I wrote a few years back on my creative writing course at university. Thinking of expanding on it. Be warned, this is not a happy story. Any feedback would be much appreciated. Enjoy!

Leo leaned forward to steal another glance at the young beauty before him. Her dark hair was draped over her shoulders like a reticulated python. She flashed him a seductive smile before spitting in his face. Leo didn’t seem to mind this gesture as he took a tissue out of his pocket.  “I see you’re feeling better today Cecilia,” He discarded the tissue while she ground her teeth. “So, where shall we begin?” He smirked before scribbling on his notepad. The day had only just begun.

The first meeting with Cecilia was one Leo would never forget. She had been cowering in the corner sobbing like a child whose favourite toy had been taken away. The wardens where still having trouble forcing her medication down her, she was infamous for her biting. It was by chance that Leo was about as he had mixed up his times once again with Doctor Heart. He knew of Cecilia and what she was capable of, yet he still entered the dragon’s den. To the wardens surprise she let him approach; he could have sworn she was smiling under her mask of hair. He knelt down, took her hand in his and gazed into her eyes, almost hypnotizing her. She was a damaged natural beauty; it was at that moment that he knew there was little chance of her regaining any semblance of sanity. Her eyes said it all. She had jumped overboard long before the ship had hit the iceberg. As he placed the pills into her mouth he felt an affinity with her. She kissed his fingers, leaving saliva on the tips and rolled back into his arms collapsing into a deep sleep. Leo signalled to the wardens that they could leave. As he watched the rise and fall of her chest he felt a longing to breathe her in. She was a lost soul that he wanted to save; he felt it was his duty to take care of her. He whispered with love in his voice.
You don’t need to be afraid anymore

Cecilia had been at Lockwood for five years. She was admitted when she buried her mother neck-deep in the garden. Her mother was still alive when Cecilia started bashing her head in with a spade. The neighbours called the police who turned her over to the mental institution. She had been bored for years here and found entertainment convincing patients to top themselves. The staff disliked her and often drugged her to keep her under control. Now with Doctor Leo’s presence things had become interesting for Cecilia. He was unlike the rest of the doctors, he was shiny and new. He was innocent. Since meeting him she felt the urge to rip his tongue out and use it as a pillow. Yet she had not attempted to carry this through and took her anger out on Doctor Collins who was still recovering in St Lewis’ hospital.
“I hear some of the art equipment has gone missing, paper and pencils.” Cecilia shifted in her seat but kept steady eye contact.“Know anything about it?” But before Leo could ask again she leapt across the table and grabbed the collar of his shirt. She ran a hand through the doctor’s hair before nuzzling his cheek and whispering into his ear.
You’ll never have me” Leo felt compelled to kiss those beautiful chewed lips but instead pushed her to the floor.“Do you love me Doctor?” She didn’t look at him. She only bit her lip.
“Cecilia, I –” But she silenced him with her hand. Never before had he felt so strongly about such a woman. His throat felt dry with fear. At any given moment she could attack and leave him for dead. She moved in fast and kissed him. It was a strange, wet, warm sensation that he didn’t want to end. He shuddered at her cold touch on his cheek and felt her hand ruffle though his thick mane. He wanted to say he loved her and for her to say she loved him, for them to be any two normal people in love. Cecilia opened her mouth to speak but said nothing. Leo swept her unkempt hair out of her face and waited for the words that never came. She pushed him away and laughed. “I think it’s time you left Doctor,” She turned her back on him and waited until he was gone to start crying.

As Leo entered the office the next morning he was greeted with a cold reception.
“Leo? What are you doing here? Did nobody tell you? Allan! Did you not tell him?” Doctor Watts turned to the small man standing beside him. He looked terrified and confused at his boss’s tone.
“Why…err…umm…yes I did. I left a message on his machine?” The piece of paper he was holding was trembling in his hands. Leo could see tears of panic run down the man’s face.
“Is somebody going to tell me what the hell is going on?” Leo took off his coat and hung it in the usual place. The office went silent as Doctor Watts turned Leo away into the corridor. “Jesus! I have something to tell you, it’s about Cecilia.”
“Cecilia?” He felt his heart explode. “Last night she went crazy and attacked one of the security guards, she took his gun and shot herself in the head. She’s dead…” Leo felt cold and light-headed as the words began to seep in. She was dead. Dead. He leaned against the wall and fell to his knees. He couldn’t hold back the tears at the thought of never kissing her again.“She left you a message…” Doctor Watts handed Leo a crumpled piece of paper, he opened the note and saw the words that she had been so frightened to say. The words she loathed with a passion. They were scrawled out in pencil by a hand that was too sacred by the world and the people in it. The words she wished she had said to him at their last meeting.

I love you…

 

The Serpent and the Apple

This is a crime novel I have been working on since my last year at university. I really should get round to finishing it. Anyway, have a read and let me know what you think in the comments. It’s not perfect but then again, nor am I. Enjoy!

Prologue

June 6th 2006

As she rounded the corner with her son, she saw the face of death. His finger flinched on the trigger as he took aim. The bullet pierced her chest like scissors cutting paper. So quick she could feel darkens take over as she fell to her knees, looking down at her shirt she saw an oozing pool of red love which grew bigger by the second. It only took four rounds for the pair to be torn apart. The masked killer lingered before slithering away with his henchman as the woman looked for her son. She found him. His back was to her, his body still. He was gone. She desperately wanted to see his face, crying out in pain she called to him. He was silent. She saw that his half eaten apple had rolled into the gutter and thought that only moments ago he was enjoying life. The blood escaped faster as she struggled to breathe, reaching out her hand towards him she cried out again. The alleyway reeked with rot and decay, a tomb for the forgotten. Human inhabitants were only a few seconds away yet it took a lifetime to reach them. The boy became nothing more than a watercolour painting before her eyes, blurred and beautiful. Then everything went black as she felt herself falling and falling towards a white light. Cold hands and electric shocks tingled over her body as an odour of disinfectant filled her nose. Was this hell? She woke to the sound of her heartbeat. She screamed. She had survived.

 Chapter One

In the dim-lit corner of the café, Eve sat alone smoking a cigarette. She knew the owners well after sorting out a misunderstanding with the authorities a few months back. Her coffee lay untouched and cold. As she drummed her fingers on the table she wondered what was making her client so late, taking another drag she closed her eyes and breathed out slowly. A technique she often used when nervous. The café was half dead and that was how she liked it. Loud noises and constant chatter gave Eve a headache and if anything more, annoyed her. The waiter Polly scattered over to her and flipped out his notebook. Before he could say anything she waved him away and off he flew. As much as she adored the owners, she didn’t think much of their food. A father and son sat two tables away from her laughing. Bags of shopping surrounded their feet; she could tell it had been a productive day. The boy was playing with an action hero doll, making it fly around his father’s head. She smiled as for a moment she felt the sun on her pale skin and heard the crashing of the gentle waves. She remembered that day at the beach, where she taught him to build sand castles and collect shells. For a short period of time she had been happy. Eve didn’t need to look up to recognize the whiney voice that punched her ear.
“Well well, I knew we were destined to be together. And here we are” Eddy stood before her with his hands in his pockets. His faded black suit had a rather large stain down the front. Blood was never easy to wash off once it had settled. He took a comb out of his front pocket and ran it through his greasy blonde hair. Eve laughed to herself as he always reminded her of Miss Piggy; he was nothing more than a complete Muppet.
“I don’t understand. Why did Michael send his clown?” she tapped some ash into her cup.
“Hey, hey I’m no one’s clown. No ones you hear?” his short temper often got him into messy situations. “Anyway he’s on a job, so you get me detective” he said with a stupid grin on his face that revealed his gold tooth. He really was repulsing. Eve’s stomach felt sick as not only was this a waste of time but she felt like an idiot. To even agree to this meeting was absurd as she knew Michael’s character all too well. She would never trust him. “I don’t deal with fuck ups” Eve said trying not to vomit from his presence. “That drug business last year? I thought we had sorted that?” “You have. I haven’t. Where’s my money?” Eve blew smoke into his face as he forced the chair out from under her foot. “I don’t remember asking you to sit down Eddy”
“You haven’t changed a bit have you? Michael was wise to keep you at a distance” He snorted out a laugh through his porky nose and clicked his fingers at the waiter, yelling abuse about the service. Speak for yourself thought Eve; he was still as rude and obnoxious as ever. The father and son where now leaving, tipping the waiter with a smile and a polite thank you. They where too busy gossiping and replacing the dates on the sandwiches with tomorrows to notice this kind gesture. “Tell Michael that when he’s done fucking me about, then we can talk” Eve threw the rest of her cigarette into her coffee and got up to leave. He grabbed her bony arm, the past few years had not been her best. “Oh but I think you will be interested in this job Eve” he said breathing into her face. She pushed him back down into his chair. “I think you will be very interested” Eddy learned back looking smug; he could see the frustration in her eyes. “I’m not. I don’t work for anyone anymore but myself” she wished that Eddy’s large frame would cause the chair to collapse leaving him stuck and helpless like a cow in a cattle grid. She picked up her bag and headed towards the exit. “But this would be for you. Don’t be a fool Eve, I know you miss the old days” there was anger in his voice. She ignored him and reached for the handle. “It’s about your son!” Eve stopped and turned.
“We know who killed him”

 

 

 

 

Duck Love

There you sit
high upon the garden wall
the sun illuminates your ruffled feathers
thick with mud and sticks, how radiant my love is
the breeze asks your permission
for safe passage as you are nestled asleep

how I long to swim
beside you so
our feet webbed as one
dancing together under the stream
barely touching the pebbles below

you are beauty itself
singing its song
you love to raise your beak, into the sky
and quack a soulful tune
you burst the clouds with your rounded song
I love you so my little duckling

By Emma Jane Mackay

The Anchor Around My Neck

It’s hard to explain
this feeling of…doubt?…Fear?…Sadness?
something superior to hatred yet not as tainted
It’s hard to explain
words choke my throat, begging me not to speak
not to let others know
about this anchor around my neck

It’s like its raining indoors and I have no umbrella
there’s a fog or mist of disappointment
nothing is as it seems or feels real
a heavy black screen of being misunderstood
becomes your daily concealment from the truth
the truth that you are suffering
hands bound and mouth taped by that of your own doing

It’s like a friend you once knew
from another life.
their name is of no consequence
they are but a blurred mound of flesh oddly misplaced
it’s all foreign to you, but you don’t care
you don’t make the slightest effort to move your lips,
to waste your words

It’s hard to explain
whatever, this is…
I know that if I leave it too long
I will be lost in my own self-destruction
but maybe…just maybe I will leave it
just for a while, I have become quite attached to
the anchor around my neck

By Emma Jane Mackay