Tuggin’ The Heartstrings

#24 – Breath

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I’m sure my eyes are open but,… No.  Oh god, no!  Please, PLEASE,.. no!  Sadie!!  Sadie, where are you?! I can’t,… the water,… shit,… it’s in my mouth,.. SADIE!  Don’t talk: stay calm, reach out.  God, the water!  So cold, Jesus! I wasn’t driving fast,.. just a deer in the,…

The seatbelt won’t unlatch.  It won’t,…. There she is,… oh God,… I can’t,… water over my eyes,… sinking,… sinking,…

I’m sorry, Sadie.  For so much.  I wish you could hear me.  Don’t go.  Please.

Squeeze my hand.  It’ll be okay.  I’m with you, Sadie.  At least this time,…. I’m here,…

..

(c) Tim Austin 2016

Today’s word, “Breath” was suggested by the magnificent Mel Churcher who’s book, “A Screen Acting Workshop”, is my bible.  Thank you for the word, Mel!  You can buy the book here and follow her on Twitter @MelChurcher.

My very good friend Lorraine (who suggested “Ache”) is running the London Marathon on Saturday – please offer some support for Shelter, her chosen charity by clicking here: https://www.justgiving.com/Lori-Bannerman.

Please continue to suggest words by popping them in the comments or tweeting @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.  Share the story Facebook and Twitter, and come back tomorrow for “Onesie”!

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#17 – Expectation

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Benjamin peered through the window, wide eyes looking out into a star-specked sky.  The boy smiled as he carefully scanned the horizon: tonight he would see Father Christmas.  Outside his door, two figures were kissing in the dark, their giggles muted by the touch of their lips.  They made no sound as they printed a soot-covered shoe to the floor.  They were careful to make no sound as they crept away, hand in hand.  Still Benjamin waited.  And, as his eyelids fluttered closed, he knew,… he just knew,… that tonight he would be the boy who saw Father Christmas.

(c) Tim Austin 2016

Today’s word was suggested by Jemma Cross – Acting Coach, Director and proud Mum-to-be.  You can find her over on Twitter at @JemmaGross.  If you want to donate a word, please pop it in the comments below or tweet it to @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory. 

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Come back tomorrow for “Ooze”!

#16 – Lost

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The teddy bear gazed up, a drip of water splashing against its matted face.  Far above, the world passed by: hundreds of shoes clattering an endless thrum, their shadows flickering through hesitant light as it sank through a metal grating.  Voices echoed from a world of sun, raised in laughter and joyful whispers.  Below, the bear bobbed and twisted in the grey water of the sewer.  The arms that once held it were gone.  The lips that once kissed it were gone.  Only the eyes that beheld it remained, gazing down, tears falling – her last warmth striking against the bear’s fur.

(c) Tim Austin 2016

A bit of a sad ‘un.  Something similar once happened to me.  Still miss that Panda.  Still, if you’ve liked it, please let people know and link it on your social media using the buttons below.

Today’s word was donated by prep school teacher and blogger TinyGrayCells, who’s blog of Classroom Reflections can be found by clicking here.  If you’re a teacher or a parent, I thoroughly recommend it!

Please be sure to follow the blog, my Twitter and the dedicated OneWordOneStory Facebook Page so you never miss a story.  Read more stories by clicking links to the left and keep those words coming in!  Join me tomorrow for “Expectation” 🙂

#13 – Burden

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“No! ” James was angry now. Why did she keep saying that? Why did she keep insisting?  Frail fingers reached for his, grasping: weak like a child.  Her pale grey eyes were begging. “Stop it, Mother.  Please,… just stop.”  A machine whirred and hissed as the old woman struggled to speak.  James closed his eyes, a tear spilling against his cheek.  The forms he clutched crumpled in his fist.  “I never loved you.” Her thin voice was desperate.  James turned and arranged the flowers in the vase.  Without another word, he dropped the ruined forms into the trash.

(c) Tim Austin, 2016.

Enjoy this story?  Please share, re-tweet and pop it on your Social Media.

This story is powerful to me personally for many reasons.  I apologise if it causes any upset in the reading – this is the kind of thing that occasionally swims in my head.  

A massive thank you to Emma Wallace – a kind and very beautiful soul – for suggesting this word.  If you’ve a word that you’d like me to turn into a story, pop it in the comments or tweet it to @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.

Come back tomorrow for “Archive”.

#10 – Rainbow

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The rain melted with Helen’s tears as she looked up into a yawning maw of scorched grey clouds, wheeling and turning in a tempest far above.  Were she able, she would have joined the thronging mass of blackening mists and lost herself to their fury. The green of the grass stretched bright as a challenge to the clouds above and she lay back, torn between worlds.  She waited, water soaking through clothes and shivering her pin-pricked flesh.  And there it was: the sunlight against the clouds – freedom in a prism of colour, her troubles tumbling free in laughter.

(c) Tim Austin 2016

Thanks to the tenacious Emma Rucastle for suggesting the word “Rainbow”.  Emma is a theatre producer and director based up in the North West of England – you can reach her at @elaru on Twitter and at http://www.elartproductions.co.uk/ 

Got a word?  Get in touch!  Pop it in the comments or tweet it to me @timaustin2k using the hashtag #onewordonestory.  Follow, share and get involved!  I can’t do this without you! 

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# 7 – Ache

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Tarmac flew beneath Stephen’s feet, the last mile inching to a stuttering, shuffling end.  He was in hell.  The heat was scorching against his face and his fuzzy owl costume sloshed with sweat.  A ball of pain welled and burned in his chest, his limbs leaden and gummed in treacly fatigue.  But now the finish line was in sight, the roar from the crowd dull and distant in his ears.  There she was: her watery gaze peeking over the top of her cannula, her banner waving over her wheelchair.  Stephen the Owl: Marathon runner, couch potato.  Hero.

(c) Tim Austin 2016

Today’s word, “Ache”, was suggested by the beautiful Lori Bannerman – Performance Poet, Storyteller and Liver of “The Dream”.  You can find out more about her at http://bardicatheatre.com/

I’m always searching out new words to write about: if you have one, put it in the comments or tweet it using the hashtag #onewordonestory.  See you tomorrow for “Orb“.

#3 – All

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I watch as the tube turns red, my blood flowing through, barely feeling the pinching sting of the dirty surgical wound.  I breathe easy – a silky calm sinking into my chest, my spirit rising and drifting through the cloying, frigid void.  There is my body, spread, fading, broken but content beneath me.  My love is at my side, the tube in her arm.  As the red of my blood sinks through her skin, her eyes flutter open. We gaze at each other and she nods a sad smile.  Soon she will be magnificent.

(c) Tim Austin 2016

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 I’m looking for words to write stories on – tweet them using the hashtag #onewordonestory and I’ll credit you right beneath!