Forevermore (Preview)

This is a project I have been working on for NaNoWriMo (2018), not entirely sure where I’m going with it but I have completed the first 50,000 words. Current title for this story is Forevermore, however it may change as the story develops. Feedback appreciated.

 

Dreams. I have dreams that break reality. As a child I believed in fairies. It wasn’t a normal childhood fantasy, they haunted me to the point my parents figured I needed help, nothing worked. As an adult, it’s hard to say you don’t believe in something, when there’s a constant vision of them every day. The fairies aren’t the tiny things people are led to believe, instead they looked like humans with the exception of the unique brilliant design of wings on their backs. Everyone would turn saying, “Blair’s a strange girl.” Only my grandmother would believe me after she found me out in the woodlands when I was a child. I had been following the little lights that were dancing around me. From that day I was forbidden from going in the woods and I hardly ever saw granny again.

It’s because of Granny Malina I was now heading back to my home village in the North of Scotland. My parents, god rest their souls, decided after a heated argument when I was 7, I shouldn’t really see her. She is my fathers’ mother but from what I recall of her, unlike my dad, she has a strong belief of otherworldly things. Pretty sure, if there was a way to become a fairy, Malina would take it in a heartbeat. Her little cottage was always decorated like a fairy princess palace. It’s been 18 years since that whole turn of events. On my 25thbirthday a few weeks ago, like the place was calling me back again, it was discovered granny had terminal cancer.

Happy Birthday, Blair and by the way the only person who did not think you are crazy or have some sort of mental illness is dying. The whole family although small figured it would be better if we could all come together and give her a family orientated final few weeks, heaven knows with how disjointed the family is she needed it.

“For Heavens sake learn how to bloody drive!” I screamed at the guy who had just cut me off on the motorway. My aunt Mysie, who had been looking after me for the past 12 years in the North of England, she nearly had a heart attack when she discovered I wanted to learn how to drive. Probably a good reason, with my red hair the stereotypical anger had to come out somewhere. Turns out I’m a bitch for road rage. My personality might have been one reason. The other reason was I believe she still thought there might be a trigger for overwhelming trauma there.

I mirrored the sign the guy in front of my had just given me as I overtook him again. Ah the human race despite the fact it is throwing it down with rain we still stop to roll down windows and give rude hand gestures.

“It was your fault moron!” I grumbled slapping the steering wheel, I should just be thankful I didn’t crash, my insurance was already at a maximum I could afford after accidentally knocking over my ex-best friend’s scooter when I found out she had been sleeping with the now ex-boyfriend… Like I said road rage, that and they both deserved it.

I’m seeing this get away as a holiday. Maybe a mind opener and something will hit me. Though I have a feeling I need to close my mind. Six psychiatrists later and the fairies still haunt me. In childhood it was put down to an over active imagination and I’ll grow out of it. As soon as I hit sixteen that’s when they started throwing about diagnosis’s like psychosis and schizophrenia. Deep down inside of me I know I’m mentally ok, although according to a few psychiatrists me thinking I don’t have a problem is a sign I have a problem, I tested out a theory with one of them by suggesting that I did have a mental health issue and I was discharged. Turns out, insanity can be classed as sanity these days.  All of them recently agreed though I need to talk about what happened at my parent’s death. That like the police report was a case closed matter. And that’s how I’ll remain on it. I am not expecting this holiday to suddenly hit me with some life altering information. Then I’ll get home and write a best seller and me and J.K Rowling will be laughing it up over Cosmo’s or whatever those British people drink, though in my world give me a pint any day.

The last time I had breached my home village boundary was for the funeral of my parents. Not that there was much left of the bodies… the explosion took care of that. This time it looks like I’ll be leaving after another funeral. I did hope there would be some miracle cure, but I had enough therapy running through me that I knew the reality of things.

Instead of taking one journey I had decided, it would be better for mine and everyone’s lives if I had a stop over in Edinburgh. That way I wouldn’t be too tired from driving and I’d have a day to acclimatise to the Scottish environment again. Also, my family would have chance to get together, gossip and figure out how they were going to keep me from my grandmother and how to keep me hidden the rest of my life. I remember going to Edinburgh as a child before getting moved to England to live with my mother’s sister. Driving through it now, the buildings seem less daunting and scary and the crowds less anxiety provoking. On the other hand, everything in this world as a child was terrifying to me.

From Newcastle to Inverness it, according to Google Maps anyway, it would take five hours to get there. I figured although I am desperate to see Malina again I needed time to sort myself out. And I doubted I could sit in my car for five hours without ending up submitting to the temptations of blaring out Chris Rea’s “Road to Hell,” If it appeared on my playlist.  I pulled into the village near Queensferry. I chose the place I was stopping at, at random and due to the fact, it was close to the bridge I needed to cross in the morning. I shivered at the forest I had passed to get here, damning myself for not doing my research properly. It was bad enough I was going back to a place with a large wood on its doorstep but stopping my first night in a place I didn’t know which also involved a large mass of trees this was asking for trouble.

Dragging my bag out of the car I got the feeling it was a typical village. Everyone knew each other and from the glances the place I was staying at was one of those inns that was there to more say they had one rather than for tourists. The musky smelling reception even had one of those bells, which I took pleasure in ringing profusely, on the ancient wooden desk.

“Can I help?” A bored voice sounded before an old lady appeared from a back room.

“I booked a room?” I had to question it considering I reserved it online and this place looked as if it hadn’t even seen dial up never mind WiFi. She smiled before shocking me and pulling out a Microsoft Surface tablet. Is it wrong to now expect my room to have a jacuzzi bath and a 40-inch TV with Netflix?

“What’s your name lassie?”

I sighed before giving my name, the familiarity of the Scottish accent made me feel warm inside, finally I felt home for the first time in ages.

“Room 4. It’s just up the stairs.”

No surprise, the room didn’t have a 40-inch tv. I think I am just thankful for the basic bath and TV though. I am just praying this place has hot water. I needed a soak. I didn’t exactly leave Mysie on good terms. She was adamant I wasn’t leaving. To which my reply was something along the lines of, I’m 25 and I can take care of myself. Thinking back at it probably not the right thing to say as that now leaves me wondering if I have a home to go back too. She’ll forgive me. Mysie had a memory of a goldfish, in my teenage years I constantly got away with sneaking out and not doing homework. She’d give me a warning and then give the same telling off the next time I did it.

Checking my phone, I noticed Mysie had tried calling fifteen times, the joys of putting my mobile on silent. Switching the volume back on but before I could even reach the zipper on my bag Pink’s Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely) sounded. I forgot I put that as Mysie’s ring tone before I left, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the relevance now. Nonetheless, I answered it figuring one funeral this year was enough. Sympathy went to Mysie, looking after any teenager or young adult never mind me was enough but she also had anxiety issues, close to being on edge of a panic attack most of the time. I think her memory issues has something to do with the amount of times she disassociates.

“I’m still alive Mysie and no need to call the police on missing person just yet.” Real story, I’ve actually been a missing person five times since moving in with her, each time I’ve shown up with in ten hours of reporting.

“Where are you?” The shrill Newcastle voice came down on me.

“Scotland.”

“You’re visiting your grandmother.” She said not asked.

“No. I’m going to look for Nessie.” I replied sarcastically.

“Blair.” Mysie warned.

“I’ll keep you updated, but I have to do this.” I argued, I heard her huff on the other end, she knew especially with me being this far on the journey she couldn’t argue.

“I know you do. Just whatever happens remember I’m here for you.”

“I know you are.”

“Just keep in contact Blair and stay well.”

Falling back on the bed I found out the mattress isn’t going to be brilliant to sleep on. Talking with Mysie, I now felt guilty for leaving but I had to remember granny. She needed me now, even if she hadn’t seen me in about a decade.

After a day in Edinburgh, mostly shopping, I was in dire need of that bath and then bed. Despite the water didn’t get hotter than lukewarm and the bed was definition of uncomfortable, I felt beat. A brass band could march through and either they wouldn’t wake me up or I’d wake up screaming at them where they could shove each of their instruments and even how they could do it.

“Blair.” The female voice sang softly, it was familiar but still left me confused on if I was dreaming or this was real. I remember falling to sleep… I stood in a forest, surrounded by trees and darkness, I didn’t have chance to process my situation as a light suddenly appeared in the distance.

“Blair.” The musical voice came from the luminous presence.

“Hello?” I walked closer.

“Hello.” A curly red-haired woman smiled. She sat on the floor in a floaty green dress, with turquoise wings, patterned almost like a butterfly’s sticking out of her back. I tried to hide the horror. She was the woman who visited me in my dreams in childhood. However, back then I wouldn’t have recognised the similarities. Now I was older, it hit me. The woman looked like me. Only I didn’t have glitter strands running through my hair or obviously have wings.

“Who are you?” I shook, trying to remember what I called her as a child. I never asked her for her name. She was a fairy that’s all my childhood mind could process at the time. Stranger danger doesn’t apply to fairies or Santa.

“I was called Breena.”

“Was?” Oh god, don’t tell me I now see ghosts.

“It’s a long story. You’ll get to know some day.” Breena said still smirking.

“What do you mean?”

“Your grandmother is dying.” She stated, it wasn’t a question.

“How did you know?”

“Things are going to change for you, Blair.”

“You’re not answering any of my questions!” My temper was really getting the best of me, this Breena may look like me but obviously either knew too well or didn’t know at all how to really piss me off.

“I know everything you know. We are linked but only temporarily. There will come a time where I will disappear, and you will know everything I know.”

“But you’re not real.” I’m not sure if that’s me talking or the hundreds of therapists. Breena laughed before replying.

“As I said. Things are going to change.”

Wet. Something was licking my face. What? I doubted the old lady of the inn could handle a dog. And if she had cats I would know. I’d have been sneezing and in hives as soon as I walked through that door. I opened my eyes to find a dog hovering over me. Not just that but I was outside. In a forest.

“Not again.” I groaned, sitting up shoving my hair out of my face. Reason I hate places with forests. This happens. I’d go to sleep at night and wake up in the sunrise hours in some sort of woods.

“Toby what ye found!” A male voice shouted at the slobbering Labrador. “Aren’t ye cold lassie?” An old man appeared dressed in thick layers, I looked down realising I was only in pyjamas. Cursing in my head? Yes, I was.

“I’m fine. Best be getting back.” I tried to put on a Newcastle accent and laugh about it. Hopefully, he’ll come to the conclusion I’m some air-headed tourist on a hen-do or something what’s gone wrong.

“Are ye sure you’re ok?” He said as him and Toby followed me.

“I’m fine. It’s just a prank gone wrong.” Now thinking of it, the old lady at the inn might get some gossip out of this one. My muddy feet trudged back, I had gone deep into the forest, in the end Eric the owner of Toby walked me to the edge. Thankfully he promised not to say a word. I’m pretty sure though he’ll be back to tell his wife, Shona, everything and she’ll be on the next bus into town to tell all of her hair friends, turns out every Friday she has her hair done. Eric talked a lot on this walk. I think I would have preferred the company of the loopy Toby who ran into every mud puddle he could find, at least my head wouldn’t have been pounding as much and I’d have space to think.

Sneaking in through the front door was an epic fail. I could get away with it with Mysie and my parents but when the old lady was sat by the desk which was by the door, it’s sort of hard to get by. She looked up and down at my mud splattered nightwear and her mouth opened in shock. I didn’t justify it with any lie or excuse. Walking by, smiling at her like nothing had happened. She can make up her own story. Once I get cleaned up and changed, I’ll be leaving anyway.

Paying the lady of the inn I left, leaving a larger tip than I wanted, knowing she had to clean up the muddy footprints. I prayed and made a mental note that I was never returning to that village again. They’d have to kill me and drag my body back there, even then I’ll be dead but screaming I don’t wanna go because trust me I am not going to give up that easily.

Back in my car I was safe, I was awake, and I could finally get to thinking. It had been years since I had seen Breena. Before she used to tell me stories of her world, she was apparently a princess and her husband was a knight. As a child it was believable, but now? Fairy princesses don’t exist. If she was human, I’d have taken her words as a warning however, this figure had practically haunted my childhood is possibly the reason numerous times I have woken up in woodlands and the reason my sanity has been continuously questioned. I’m sorry but nope not believing in it. It was a dream and I am just sleepwalking again due to stress of my granny dying.

It is raining again as I hit the twenty-mile mark to Inverness. Something I’d need to get used to over the next few weeks. Though there was the slight problem that I didn’t exactly know where I’d be stopping over the next few weeks or however long I needed to stay. I mean I wanted to stay as long as granny lived but there was no way I could afford a hotel or paying for somewhere to stay. I hoped I could stay on the sofa in my grandmother’s house although it would be something that my family would criticise, financial help hadn’t really come from that side. I’d battled my way through life getting a part time job as soon as I hit sixteen. Mysie battled with enough demons to be taking care of me and listening to me wondering where my next outfit was coming from.

The roads were empty, sort of surprising. On the road as a child, my dad would constantly joke about how people queued up to see Loch Ness and the beauty of Inverness. I say joke… to be honest maybe he wasn’t joking. The place is beautiful. The constant scenery of Loch’s and greenery. If you get past the grey skies and fog, I was now facing. It wasn’t long before I hit the sign of my home village. Nerves started to heighten, the village was surrounded by forestry. One of the reasons I was glad to move away from here was because of that fact. It was harder to find me in a larger forest I spent a huge amount of my childhood being lost in it. I was back here for a reason. In the beginning I didn’t want to leave, the call back here seemed to become quieter as years went on.

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Paintings- We Remember & Symbol (2018)

I did a painting including Poppies last year but as this year symbolises the 100 years since the end of the First World War, I wanted to revisit the flower again. This time I decided to experiment with Modrock and Acrylics, which is something I haven’t used in years…

We Remember (2018)

It took me a while to think of a name for this one, in the end I decided on calling it “We Remember,” Because with the poppy we remember the fallen but I wanted to show that we need to remember them everywhere, even in the most peaceful and beautiful places, because the war affected everyone and everything.

We Remember (2018)

Poppies (2018)

This was another experiment with Modrock, I wanted to see if a solid 3-D poppy would work, I wanted to create one what wasn’t frail something that symbolised the hard attitude that many people had towards the war, because on the outside people had to keep this, “Keep Calm and Carry on,” Stance, they couldn’t show to whither easily like a real flower. Having just one Poppy however, wasn’t right. We stuck together through this war and were tied by the vines and although things were tough we helped each other.

Poppies 2018