bye bye Candy

I think I am going to continue my Candy story elsewhere, it probably isn’t wise to offer it up for sacrifice on this site, since it is going to be such a best seller…

Mwahhh hahhh hahhh…

But seriously. I do want to track it and all but probably this isn’t the best way. Hopefully I will check in though more often than I had been!

Advertisements

Candy part 3

It was a long two weeks waiting for Martha’s mother to finish fixing the gown. Martha would not even acknowledge her in school, never mind answer her furtive questions. Finally, Martha showed up at Candy’s, carrying the same shopping bag she’d left with, and Candy’s eyes flew from the bag to her mother’s face and back.

“I’m sorry, Miss Martha, but Candy can’t play with you anymore.”

“But I …”

“No, I’m sorry, it just hurts Candy’s feelings too much to have you for a friend.”

“What?” Martha’s face grew pale.

Candy gaped at her mother, then back at Martha. Martha’s face turned a fierce red as she started to open her mouth. Candy tried to explain, for her mother’s and for Martha’s sake:

“She … I … I was just upset the other day that she had to go home, Mother. She didn’t do anything wrong. Please come in Martha.”

“I don’t want any more ‘episodes’ …”

“Mother, it was nothing. Martha didn’t do anything.”

Candy’s mother curtly nodded her assent. “You girls keep it quiet. I’m going to lie down for a bit.”

Candy and Martha ran to Candy’s bedroom and shut the door quietly. Candy quickly held her hand out for the bag. Martha gave it to her and crossed her arms. “My mother said she almost couldn’t fix it. And that you shouldn’t be playing with these dresses. They are expensive and …”

But Candy didn’t hear a word. She was holding up the dress and trying to see where it had been torn and repaired. “Where’s the tear?”

“Can’t see it, can you?” Martha said smugly.

“I can’t believe it! I can’t see a thing!” She squealed, then reached over and grabbed Martha in a hug. “Thank you! Thank you so much!”

“You were all worried for nothing.” Martha said, grinning. “I …”

The door to Candy’s bedroom flew open. “What did I tell you girls …” Candy’s mother stood in the doorway. “What on Earth? Where did you get that dress!”

“I …” Candy looked at the floor. “Me and Martha …”

“I knew she was no good for you! You get out of here, young lady, and don’t come back here again!”

“Mother, she … I … It’s not Martha’s fault! I was the one who …”

Candy’s mother ignored her and pointed out the door, glaring at Martha. “I told you to march! You go on home! And Candy is not allowed to play with you any more!”

Martha’s brow furrowed as she directed her gaze at Candy. Then she turned and ran down the stairs and out the front door.

Candy’s mother held her hand out. “Give. Me. The dress. Now!” Candy sheepishly held it out to her mother, who shook out its folds and held it up. “I can’t believe you went up there snooping without permission and nearly damaged this dress beyond repair! You could have soiled it! You will not be allowed out of your room for the next three days after school. And you will write an essay about fooling around with other people’s things!” And you do not. go. into. that. attic. I’ve told you before!”

“But Mom, it was unlocked!”

“I don’t care if it’s locked or unlocked or if there is a marching band and Broadway lights lit up with ‘Come in Candy!’ You do NOT go in there! There are … private things in there. I …”

Suddenly the doorbell rang. Mother’s mouth hung open and her eyes cut toward the door. “You, wait here.” She ran down the stairs. “Martha I told you …”

But it wasn’t Martha. Candy could see from the top of the stairs that it was a man in a suit, holding out a large yellow envelope.

Mother shut the door. “What is it?” Candy asked as she found herself downstairs and next to her mother in 2 seconds flat.

Her mother held the envelope close to her face as she studied the return address, and blanched. “Never you mind. You get upstairs and start working on your homework. And that essay!”

“But what about …”

“I said, ‘Never you mind.’ Now git!”

Candy knew better than to say anymore. She slowly tromped up the stairs, as loudly as she dared, and shut the bedroom door loudly.

***

The next day Candy expected to hear more about the attic, but not a word was spoken. “I won’t be here when you get out of school,” Candy’s mother said as she placed items in her purse and drew lipstick on her lips.

Her mother was usually a T-shirt and jeans kind of person. Never mind lipstick. Today she was wearing a black skirt, and a black and white top that made her look elegant. Her hair was up in some sort of bun, instead of her usual quick ponytail. She wore anxiety around her eyes. Candy felt a little afraid. “Is – is everything okay?”

Her mother smiled sadly. “Your Uncle Charles died. I have to go down to the lawyer’s office and settle some things. I’ll be home by five. You can fix something for your supper if you want.”

“Okayyy … I … I hope it goes all right.” Candy had no point of reference for what to say in this instance.

Uncle Charles – all the kids called him Charlie, no “Uncle” and certainly no “Charles.” He was a fun kind of guy, but for some reason the adults didn’t like him having so much fun with the kids. They always watched him out of the corners of their eyes and drew the kids away when he was laughing. a bit too hard. Like they didn’t trust him. But Candy loved him. She hadn’t been able to see him very often, but she had found him to be a welcome relief from the usual seriousness of the world around her.

“How did he die?”

“I don’t know, Candy, and it’s not for us to ask.” Mother’s lips came tightly together and Candy could see the lines and wrinkles that formed. She’d always thought her mother was the most attractive of all the kids’ mothers at the Open Houses held at school. She’d never considered that her mother might be getting older. Between seeing those lines, and Charlie’s untimely death, it gave Candy pause.

She walked slowly to school and barely nodded at Martha as she walked past. She wondered what she was supposed to feel and was surprised to feel nothing. This was a family member she actually liked! So why didn’t she feel anything? What was wrong with her?

And how did he die?

 

 

Candy chapter 2

HA! I should post this unedited and see how many of you can interpret it. I dictated this on day 2 of Nanowrimo, and it is sometimes funny how the program interprets my “No’the’n speech.” But I will re- interpret for you…

***

A couple of days after Candy’s 10th birthday, Martha was over visiting. They had a pretend tea party, with sugar water, and Vienna fingers. Candy’s mother had to go on a rare trip to the store, and admonished the girls to behave themselves. “Don’t let anyone come into the house,” she said sternly. “Not even family.”

Candy thought that was an odd thing to say, but her mother had never left her alone with a friend before, either, so the thought soon left her head. The girls cleaned up their mess as they had been instructed, and then went to the living room to sit in the Canadian glider rocking chairs. The two of them studied the ceiling as they thought about what to do next. Candy had a few suggestions, like playing cards, or pretend games, but Martha wasn’t interested, and started studying the door, as if she wanted to leave.

“I know. Let’s go up to the attic and poke around,” Candy said at length, surprising herself. Martha looked doubtful. Candy doubled her courage. “No, Martha, seriously, you’ll love it. My mother has some old dresses up there from when she went to the prom in high school. Real old fashioned fancy dresses, with stiff skirts and layers and stuff. They’re beautiful. You”ve never seen anything like them.”

Martha looked a bit interested “Can we try them on?”

“I gue–ess,” Candy said hesitantly. “If we’re careful.” Candy knew instinctively that her mother would not appreciate Candy even knowing they were there, never mind touching them or, God forbid, trying them on. But, she wanted Martha to stay. Needed Martha to stay.

As they crept up the narrow stairway to the attic, Candy smelled the delightful smell of what she thought of as “old.” Old furniture, old clothes, old lamps, old letters, just old “stuff.” Forbidden stuff. As she tried the attic door it occurred to her that this door was usually locked. Maybe this was a trick on her mother’s part, she thought for a moment, trying to catch me at doing something bad. But she ignored that niggling feeling in her belly.

She eased the door open slowly, noticing the dancing dust particles in front of the big round window of the attic. That window was its only light and the only reason that Candy dared to creep up to the attic at all. “They’re over here,” she said to Martha, gesturing toward a big wardrobe across the room.

It gave Candy happy goose bumps when Martha said, almost with awe, “Your attic is so big! Ours is what my dad calls a crawl space. There’s no room for nothing. Here, you have a whole world!” Martha stopped in front of a low, dark brown bureau with an oval-shaped mirror. The outside edges of the mirror were prism-like, distorting the girls’ image. “Dahling…” Martha simpered, primping n front of it and frowning sternly. “Fetch my wrap, would you?” she said to Candy.

“Yes, Madame,” Candy said, wrapping a pretend cloak around her friend. “It’s just lovely.”

“Yes, lovely.” Then she dropped the play-act. “Candy, where are those dresses? I want to try them on.”

“They, um, they’re in here, but …” she stood protectively in front of the wardrobe. “We can’t touch them. We can only look.”

Martha tilted her head at Candy, frowning. “Are you trying to tell me you’ve never touched them?”

“Yes, but … my mother …”

“Your mother, your mother … that’s all I’ve heard all afternoon. Let me see them!” She pushed Candy out of the way.

The wardrobe itself was magical. It reminded Candy of the one in “The Chronicles of Narni” stories, and she cringed at the thought of Martha opening the door. This was her place, her fantasy, her escape. She hadn’t realized what she was doing when she invited Martha. Especially since Martha didn’t seem to realize the import of what they were doing.

“Oh! These are great!” Martha pulled at the skirt of one of the dresses and ripped it from its hanger The hanger swung wildly as the dress came free.

“Careful!” Candy gasped. “Wait! Let me see your hands!”

“My … hands?” Martha held them out, one at a time.

“Rub them on your pant leg. They’re clean but they’re all sweaty.”

Martha shrugged. “If you wish.” She briefly swiped at her thighs, then picked the dress up again. “Here, this one’s yours. I want the red one.”

Candy secretly preferred the pale yellow one Martha had rejected, but none of the gowns should be handled the way Martha was grabbing at them. The red one had a cream-colored bodice covered with a sheer layer of material, and a dark red rose applique on the right bodice. The skirt was of the same dark red color with many layers of chiffon, and again, a layer of sheer material overlay. Martha held it up against herself. “I love it!” She swiftly turned it in her hands and pulled roughly at the zipper until it snagged half way down.

“Wait! Stop it! Be gentle!” she yelled, grabbing at Martha’s hands.

“I’ve got it! Just wait!”

“You’re ripping it!” Candy could barely breathe. “Give it here!” She grabbed the dress and pulled.

“No!” Martha pushed at Candy as she held tightly to the gown.

The dress slowly gave way in their hands, with an almost soundless ripping sound. “Nooooo! Lookit it! It’s ruined!”

“It’s not. It’s fine. See? You can fix it easily.” Martha pushed the edges of the rip together.

Candy’s eyes filled with tears. “No, Martha. Oh man are we gonna get it.”

“We? Your mom can’t punish me.”

“Oh but she will make me pay!”

“No, I will take it home to my mom. She can fix it.”

“We can’t let it out of here! Mom will know!”

“Now, think about it, Candy, would you rather she find it here all fixed, or would you rather she find… this!” and Martha held up the dress.

“Oh my gosh! I don’t know what to do!”

“I’ll tell you what to do. Here. Give me that bag over there.” She balled up the dress and grabbed the bag from Candy. “I’ll take it home to my mother. She can fix it. I’ll bring it back. Easy-peasy.”

Candy nearly hyperventilated, seeing the dress all balled up in Martha’s hands and then stuffed into the bag. But she didn’t know what else to do. “Okay. Okay! Well, we better get you out of here fast.”

The two girls thumped down the stairs and opened the front door. Candy peered left, then right. “Mom! she’s coming!” She pushed Martha out the door. “Run home! Quick, before she sees the dress!”

Martha ran, in the opposite direction of the maroon Pontiac coming down the road. Martha ran up the stairs to the attic to close the wardrobe doors and make sure everything was in place. Thankfully they had not made much of a mess. Candy ran down the stairs to her room. Out of breath, she was sitting on her bed just as her mother came into her bedroom.

“Where’s Martha?”

“She – she had to go home.”

“Oh, I thought she was going to stay the afternoon. So what are you doing in here?”

“I was doing my homework.” Candy looked down at her bed. “I was about to, I mean. Martha just left. Martha just left and I’m about to do my homework.”

Her mother studied her for a moment. “What’s going on here, Candy?”

In the pause that followed, Candy felt her face turn red and a drop of sweat run down the side of her face. “Nothing,” she finally said, too late too late, she chided herself.

“Now, come on now Candy, there is something going on.” Her mother crossed her arms and waited.

“I … I was just upset. That Martha left. I was just upset that Martha left.” Candy’s eyes filled with tears, and then she felt a hopeful relief, that she had landed upon something plausible, and that even the tears might help her story.

She felt her mother’s eyes continue to travel over her face, looking for lies, she supposed, and she would find them, Candy feared. Then her mother sighed. “That’s why it’s no good to have friends. I don’t think you should have her here anymore. Go wash your face. It’s another hour before you have to set the table. Go get your “homework” done.” This last she said with a bit of sarcasm. “You don’t have to make up stories with me, Candy.”

Oh yes I do, Mother, Candy thought, nearly throwing up after her mother shut the bedroom door behind her.

 

Candy Land – working title

I decided on a whim to write for National Novel Writing Month but I haven’t really had time to set it up. I’ll get my 1667 words in for today and say more about this when I have a chance. The purpose is to get 50,000 words written, without editing (much, lol).

***

Candace crunched down in her seat. It was bad every year at about this time, when there was a new class full of students – and just enough of them to remember the humiliation of past years.

Sure enough: “Candace Landrum?”

Before she could announce her presence, several students snickered. “Candy Land, Candy Land,” they said in a singsong voice. Almost as if they had colluded outside the classroom to say it in unison.

“Now class, we’ll have none of that. Candy? Are you present?”

Great. The teacher had already decided to nickname her Candy. As always happened with the new school year. “Here,” she mumbled.

“Candy? Are you here?”

“Candy Land, Candy Land,” the offenders whispered, giggling behind their hands.

At least she had a plan this year. The first time it had happened she had had no idea of the cruelty of children. They had grabbed her when she was walking around the corner of the school and tossed her about from one child to another, singsonging her name, or their adulteration of it, until she had broken away and run home crying.

The second year she’d known better than to move out of sight of the teachers.

The third year, today, she planned to stay in the library until the majority of the kids had gone home. Her mother didn’t know the real reason why Candy wanted to stay and read. She thought Candy just loved books. Well, she did, but there was a reason.

She could escape, both literally and figuratively, from her tormentors.

Books gave her another, more pleasant world, where she could be strong, big, and tough, full of the words that would gain her respect and honor. Not that she believed she deserved that. But because she couldn’t bear her real life.

In more ways than one.

Candy realized that she had missed half of what the teacher had said since she’d finished with the roll call.

“The reports are due on Friday. Now I know most of you don’t like oral reports …”

Oral reports? Candy blanched.

“… but I know that it’s a matter of facing the giants. You get it over with early, you do it more frequently, and by the end of the year you’ll be able to do it without looking at your notes. Your final grade will be partly based on that.”

Oral reports? There was only one thing that she feared more than than the first roll call of school, and that was oral reports.

That is, things she feared at school.

Now home, that was a whole nother story. Home had its own set of things to be afraid of.

After the bell rang, Candy turned to seek out Martha. Martha was her only friend in this class. She caught her just as Martha was about to leave the room.

“Martha! I need some help!”

Martha turned with a stricken face, glancing around the room. “Shh!” she hushed Candy. Martha turned and looked toward the windows.

Candy approached stealthily. “Martha!” Candy whispered. “Why did you shush me?”

“I don’t want them to see …” Martha cleared her throat, then spoke in a normal voice. “They’re gone now.”

“Who?”

“The kids.” Martha’s face turned red. “I don’t want them to see you talking to me.”

“Why!” Candy asked, her eyes wide.

“I don’t … because they will start picking on me next!” Martha looked down at her shiny patent leather shoes.

“But we’re friends! How are we supposed to be friends if we have to whisper and hide?”

Martha shrugged, then looked up at Candy. “What did you need, anyway?”

“I didn’t know what Mrs. Braswell was assigning. I needed to know what she said.”

“Weren’t you listening?”

“No, I … No. I didn’t hear.”

“We’re supposed to write a report of what we did on our summer vacation.”

“You’re kidding, right?” Candy shuddered. “Do we have to tell the truth? Or can we make it up?”

Martha shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess, true. I’m gonna write about our trip to camp.”

“Why didn’t I end up going to camp with you guys, anyway? Didn’t you say your Mom said it was ok for me to come?”

Martha shrugged. “I guess. I don’t know. I guess I forgot.”

“We talked on the phone. Then suddenly I couldn’t reach you anymore. Why didn’t you tell me when it was time to go?”

“I don’t know. Hey, I gotta go. Mom’s gonna worry.” She looked at Candy. “I guess you can walk with me.”

“You guess?” Candy stared at Martha. “What …”

“Come on, let’s hurry.” Martha turned abruptly and walked out of the classroom.

Candy stood and stared after Martha. “I’m just going to …” But Martha was gone. Candy shrugged, feeling so alone. “I thought you were my friend, Martha,” she whispered. Then she sighed and straightened her shoulders. “Guess I’m going to the library after all.” Then she brightened. All those books, so little time. Where should she begin?

***
“You’re late,” Mom said. “Where were you all this time?” Her gaze was sharp.

Candy cringed. “I went to the library. I told …”

“Don’t sass me, young lady! You’re late to set the table!”

“Sorry, Ma’am,” Candy muttered.

“What?”

“Sorry Ma’am!” Candy said in a more clear voice. “How many are we tonight?”

Her mother glared for a moment. “How many are we? Tonight? What are you talking about? We are always four. What do you mean ‘tonight’?”

“I just meant… sorry. Of course. Four.” Candy went to the dining room and opened the cabinet.

“Did you wash your hands??” Her mother cried shrilly from the doorway, her arms crossed.

“No Ma’am. I’m sorry.” She went back through the kitchen doorway, avoiding contact with her mother’s body as she went, cringing as though she expected to get a swat.

She was not disappointed.

But at least her mother’s hand made contact with her bottom this time. One time Mom had reached out and smacked her in the head, causing her ear to smack into the door frame. Then she got scolded for crying out. “That’s what you get!” Her mother had said, after a moment of what appeared to be surprise. Perhaps her mother hadn’t meant to hurt Candy that time. Candy liked to tell herself that. Candy didn’t know whether to blame herself or her mother for her temper. But it was less scary to say it was her own fault.

Much less scary than to think her mother wanted to hurt her.

***

 

Well, that’s only 1119 words (now) – 1121 (now) – lol. I can play that game, just type nonsense til I reach my total. But that’s not the purpose of all this. The purpose is to end up with a publishable novel.

I will either be back tonight to finish, or will add to my total for tomorrow.

Hope you enjoyed!

Bleahhhhhh

So for about a nanosecond my Cymbalta seemed to be working. But I can attribute the blahs to being sick with a cold or “whatever.” Don’t really have much to say except that hopefully I will have much to say when I feel bettah.

P. s. I love you, too

Have I ever publicly proclaimed my predilection for coffee?

How did this happen? I distinctly remember turning up my nose at it, but, when I was in my late teens, my father was having me get up and out by five a.m. to play handball before I went to work at McDonald’s. Out of self defense I forced myself to drink it – how else was I supposed to get through a shift? After a while my adoration grew. I began to love the taste of it, the smell of it, and of course, the effects of it.

But it turned on me. The over-stimulation aggravated my familial tremor (also known as essential tremor). And it definitely exacerbated my anxiety.

But I didn’t care. By the time these symptoms appeared, I was hooked. In other words, I was going to drink it by hook or by crook. (Is that where the expression “hooked” came from?)

Coffee is actually supposed to be good for you, in moderation, and I suppose what I do is moderate (my neurologist doesn’t agree). I drink 2-3, or 4, cups a day. According to Healthline.com, there are 13 different health benefits to drinking coffee. I don’t really care what they are, I just don’t want you to tell me to stop drinking it. My excuse is that I’ve stopped drinking alcohol (1985), smoking pot (1985), smoking cigarettes (2006), chasing boys (only because I can’t run any more), and various other bad habits, I ought to be allowed at least ONE vice.

And don’t mess with my coffee. I just want hot, with cream. None of that flavoured stuff. Although this summer I was introduced to sugar-free-French-vanilla iced coffee at McDonald’s, and it has created a new monster in me. Not only is it good, but it is relatively cheaper than that other stuff out there. MMM hmm hmmmmmm…..

So anyway, that’s enough on that subject.

 

P.S. I Love You

 

I just got done writing a letter to my sister, Carol. Carol does not do email. Texting. Facebook. Anything. If it doesn’t have a stamp on it, she can’t read it.

I remember when I used to love corresponding with different friends. My friend Barbara moved from Falmouth Maine up to Thomaston. Our folks couldn’t drive us back and forth to see each other every day (gasp!), so we wrote.

My friend Valerie went to camp. I couldn’t live without her. We wrote.

When my friend Sabrina moved a whole 20 minutes away I was crushed. To me it was a million miles away. We wrote. I think we even taped our letters on cassette tapes once in a while.

Sheryl moved to Boston for college. We’d been best friends since Junior High School. We wrote.

Beth, my first roommate, moved to North Carolina. We wrote!

It was no big deal to pick up a pen and write. In fact, it was kind of fun to find different papers and pens to write with. And I loved going to the mailbox and finding a “real” letter! To this day I look forward to getting the mail, just in case.

But now it’s a big deal to pick up a pen and write. And I don’t know what happened to change things. I guess electronic communication is so much easier, faster. And you don’t really have to think about it too much. It’s “short attention span theater” at its finest. I still get the same excitement out of receiving a text or an email, or a Facebook message.

But what does one write about in a letter? Think. Think.

Oh there’s the weather. Work. Church. My son. I also go line by line through her letter (if I haven’t misplaced it, since it’s been so long), to see if there are questions or comments I want to address.

And I always try to say something to make her chuckle.

Really, it’s the same stuff you’d say on the phone I guess.

What’s funny is that half the time I’ve just sent her a letter and she calls me. And I’m like, I don’t want to tell you anything! It’s in my letter!

I guess you could say that our letters are pretty mundane.

But where my sister is concerned, they are just our way of saying, “I love you. I’m thinking of you.”

And that is priceless.