Shattered Glass, Memories
Dear Hub buddies,
This is the initial opening chapter of my second novella. I want to learn how to grab the imagination and fluency of a first paragraph and would really like you to comment. Please be truthful. x
The waves rolling, crashing over the shore only fuelled Emily’s desire for freedom, not freedom from her ties and restrictions, but freedom from her memories. She had long realised what an insecure and fragile world it was that she lived in. Feeling lonely and abandoned, she knew nothing but the incomprehensible fear that her past had left her with. Normality was not a word that featured in Emily’s vocabulary; she could never recall normal as being descriptive of her past, or indeed relate it to her present time. She recalled that the house that she lived in was a beautiful turmoil of white washed stone work, crumbling in places, still reminding her of its former glory.
Undulating countryside was the view that she remembered from her childhood, whilst drinking dandelion and burdock pop from a glass while standing in front of the kitchen window. The distant fir trees, standing defiant and proud to the wind were only saplings when she moved into the area. Emily didn’t want to recall her past emotions; they were destructive and negligent of how she felt now. Fretful of losing her composure, and If it hadn’t have been for the bitingly cold water from the surf and the fact that the tide was turning; she may never have regained her senses. Someone was watching over her, and like the turning tide was pushing her back to the safety of the recess of her mind.
It had occurred to Emily, that the present and future were there as an opportunity to grasp and move on and evolve from a chrysalis into a beautiful butterfly; but she lived in the past where the future had no meaning. In fact it was futile to attempt to leave her past behind her. She had no sense of belonging now, only an awareness of surviving as that appeared to be her destiny. She was ‘Emily, the great Survivor’ and those words would be engraved on her headstone when the time came for her to leave this world that she didn’t understand, and pass forward into the light. Hopefully she would pass into a light where all her confusion made sense.
In the distance Emily heard the roll of thunder, deep, growling and imposing and she relished the sight of the lightening. Danger did not faze her, it was her friend, her confidant and she openly embraced it. Emily enjoyed dancing with life, fighting the ambitions of life over death; only then could she recall her childhood to its true extent.
Her fondest memories were all tied to that house. She remembered that the garden was a sanctuary of colours created by loving hands in the most endearing of places. She watched as tall hollyhocks in shades of red and pink caressed the back wall, they seemed to sway with the breeze calling “welcome, welcome” in such a sweet voice as precious as their colours. Delphiniums in stunning blue, played like a symphony of violinists on the stage; and they supported the gallery of lavender, and lupins in astoundingly bright yellow and rustic gold colours. That only left the foyer of violets and primulas, calendula and daisies to enhance the entrance to another escape. She looked around her with horror, “this can’t be right,” what faced her now faded into a totally different view.
Despite the crumbling exterior of the house, and the fact that the garden was an alarming sight of weeds and debris, it had once been a home full of laughter and love, a haven of tranquillity, a welcoming place to escape and feel comforted. The living room was cheerfully decorated in pink and pale green. The two picture windows facing each other allowed a cascade of bright light to enter the room, even the budgie sitting in its cage seemed to be happy and contented in the surroundings of the living room. The dark green leather sofa had been her mother’s pride and joy, and every Sunday afternoon Emily’s mother cleaned the sofa with a mix of vinegar and warm water to make it sparkle. Emily thought, “If only I could sparkle.” Emily’s bedroom was always an adult’s room. Even when she was young everything had its place. No toys could be seen, all her dolls and much loved teddy bears where locked away in cabinets. She was allowed to play with one toy at a time and then she knew to return it before daring to touch another one. But books, that was a different matter entirely. Her mother allowed books, as many books as it took for Emily to sit alone and read, and more importantly not to be demanding of her mother’s attention.; Emily mused to herself that her life belonged on the pages of a book, as it had no bearing amongst the living, or the future, if what her mother had said was to be believed.
Emily stumbled as she walked through the garden, brambles scratched at her legs, nettles grabbed hold of her arms and she shouted out in pain, “Oh my God where am I?” Blind panic took over, darkness descended like a billowing black cloud and the restrictions caused by the brambles made her struggle for freedom. Suddenly, she could hear voices coming closer and a reassuring hand reached out to her. As she opened her eyes to the sunlight she heard a familiar voice say “hush dear Emily, all is as it should be.” The friendly face before her helped her to become free of her restrains, free from the white sheet in which she had become entangled. She breathed a huge sigh of relief as she realised that this was just another normal day beginning in the routine of the nursing home.