Sounds of life

{sounds right now}
my brother playing the piano
celtic women singing old ballads on spotify
the violin accompanying them
the tapping of my fingers on the keyboard
a cough from the other room
footsteps on the staircase

{sounds on a train}
the train announcements in the roboty, nasally voice
the guy on the phone with his buddy
the lady on the phone with her husband
the teenage girls gossiping about their teachers at school
doors opening with hisses and cracks
a sigh, a sneeze, a cough
and then the small crackle of a page turn in the middle of an exciting novel

{sounds in a quiet exam room}
the teacher walking around; her heels clicking the floor like an execution drum
little stifled coughs
creaking door handles opened by latecomers
groups of boys joking on the hallway; booming laughter
the determined sound of pen on paper
the sighs of those who know they'll fail

{sounds in a forest}
stones and twigs crunching and snapping underneath sturdy boots or flying bike wheels
Sunday afternoon conversations
the hum of a song
which is drowned in the mass of bird whistling; bird chirping
the scuffling sound of dead leaves being hurled to corners
by the gentle whoosh of the winds
the croaking of dark clouds
then... the pitter patter of light raindrops sprinkling the trees

{sounds at youth group}
the crackling of a bonfire
guitar chords and worship songs like King of Kings and Good Good Father
encouragement and prayer
"It's good to see you"s during hugs
high fives
buzz of teenagers stumbling indoors, playing table football, talking about the week
the crunch of crisps, the fizz of coke and the crumble of cake
oh and laughter; always

I'm thankful for my ears right now. :-)


8 Mini Stories

Hello readers. I hope you are well on this rainy, haily (if that's not a word now it is :-P), dark, autumn day here in Belgium. I feel like some creative writing challenge, so I'm going to challenge myself and write tiny mini stories based on pictures I found on pinterest. Stories don't have to be long; you can often fit a whole story in just a few words. They're stories. Mini stories. Hope you like them.

Mini Story 1

Her name was Millie and she was my sister. She died when I was seven; she was seventeen. She died falling off her motorbike when she was on holiday with her boyfriend and his sister. She died wearing her favourite summer frock; the white one Mama didn't like her to wear because it was see through if the sun shone from behind her. Mama cried when she died; Daddy sobbed and sobbed. My brother ran away from home for a week because he didn't want me to see him cry. I went to Millie's bedroom and I hugged her pillowcase. It was green with purple flowers. I took it to my bedroom and slept with it.

Mini Story 2

"Why, Sarah, why," Jonie asked. Only, she didn't really ask it. She said it, like she wasn't expecting a solid answer.

"Why what?"

"Why do you want to sit down and eat with me? Why did you buy me food? I literally took your boyfriend away from you."

"I didn't own him," Sarah said. "And it's just chips."

Jonie smiled her beautiful smile. "Chips are good, though."

"And so is Jonathan," Sarah nodded. "I am not blaming you for wanting him. Besides, he prefers you. That is not your fault either."

Suddenly Jonie hated Jonathan for leaving this sweet girl to be with her.

Mini Story 3

Mama always told me I shouldn't pass notes to people in school, but when someone passes you a note, what else can you do but except it? Especially when it's specially written for you. It's not every day that you get a note written for you. The teacher was explaining about African tribes and Christopher Columbus but I stopped listening to her to open the note. 

You're stupid and ugly, it said.

It was the first time someone had written it instead of saying it. Now it was written down, it became a fact.

Mini Story 4

Dear Diary, 

We are married. We got married in the mountains; it was just us two, and Bets and Dorian, and the pastor. Bets took pictures, Dorian played guitar, the pastor married us. Joe and I, we just smiled and smiled. Our cheeks hurt from happiness. Maybe when our parents see how happy we are, they will give in. Maybe they will be okay with us being husband and wife. Maybe one day. But even if they never do, we have each other. And we have these mountains and we have Michael Jackson cd's and a Bible. We will be okay. I am so happy my heart could burst. I must leave; my husband awaits. 

Yours truly, a wife.

Mini Story 5

When you have a crush on your brothers' roommate, you visit your brother often.

"Oh, hey sis," my brother would say.

"Oh, hey bro," I would say, but I would look over his shoulder and look at him. He was always at his desk, writing. Poems, books, pieces of future classic literature. He had a cup of coffee next to him and the radio played orchestral music he couldn't hear because he was so absorbed into his writing. Oh, but he looked so good in his brown waistcoat and messy hair. I was sure I could stare at him for ages.

"You're too obvious," my brother whispered.

"Apparently not," I whispered back. He didn't even look up when I came in anymore.

My brothers' roommate put his pen down and looked at me. "Yes, you are," he said. He was smiling.

Mini Story 6

Where there are large families, there are messy halls. Where there are messy halls, there are plenty of shoes. Where there are halls with plenty of shoes, there are large families. Or, of course, a single lady with an unhealthy obsession with buying shoes.

But when such a single lady comes to live with a large family; then, and only then, things get offhand. If you think your house contains too many shoes, you have not visited the Pickfords. The Pickfords' house was ninety percent shoes, ten percent other. The Pickfords had nine children, their two parents, and now, their jolly aunt Priscilla Pickford. She had two hundred and thirty two pairs of shoes and counting, and Mr Pickford felt suicidal whenever he looked at any single one of them. So one evening, when Priscilla Pickford went out to buy another pair, he held a huge bonfire in the garden with his children. 

They couldn't find any wood for the bonfire, so they elaborated with two hundred and thirty two objects they found lying around in the house. Objects they didn't think they really needed.

Mini Story 7

It had been six years ago since I'd seen her. She had put me out of the house when I was sixteen. "You don't need me to feed ya anymore," she had said. I had asked her, what do I do on my own, and she had said, go find your father. And she had closed the door in my face. I went to my Grandma. My mother didn't even know who my father was; how would I know? I was now both fatherless and motherless. Both didn't want to know me; and that was how it stayed for six long years.

But here she was. I saw her, she was standing at the side of the music floor, looking at the ground in deep thought. I stared at her through all the couples slow dancing between us. My heart beat wild and fast. It was her. The same curly hair. The same thin, white arms. The same dark eyes. Only, she was older; she was sadder. She looked weary.

"Jesus." I prayed. "Jesus, you forgave me. I am going to go to my mum and forgive her."

Mini Story 8

"You know grandma, I've always loved your fridge," Annie smiled.

"You mean all the magnets?" Phoebe asked.

"Yes, they're cool. I mean, it looks cool."

"When I was a young girl," Phoebe said, her old hands wrapped around her cup of coffee. "I once made a long journey around the world. I was hopelessly in love with this guy, but because I thought I would never have a chance with him, I went on this journey to try to forget him. Well, every country I was in, some stranger randomly came up to me and gave me a magnet. When I came back home the next year, it turned out he had given them all to me."

"That is so cute,"Annie gushed.

"It was the sweetest thing someone ever did to me."

"Did you date him?"

"Darling, he's grandpa."

Which Mini Story is your favourite?
(For the record this is so much fun to do. My favourite is 5, because he looks like Gilbert Blythe and you can't go wrong there.)



Days to remember

picture by a friend back when we had the amazing lil' trip to Germany. Good, good memories.

A week off college is what I needed. Yes, I have heaps of things to do, but it's so much different when you don't get woken up by the alarm on your phone, when you don't have to catch a train in the cold morning, when you don't have to sit through not-always-very-interesting classes, and when you don't have to be sociable with people when all you want to do is listen to the soundtrack of Grease while taking a long bath. 

Last weekend was a whirlwind of emotions. First, a productive Saturday in which I went driving on the road, which was freaking scary and wow I am so grown-up gosh, and then a Sunday which was filled with emotions - happy and sad, so closely linked it is hard to describe. Happy because I spent it with a darling group of friends - a group of friends I never thought I would ever be lucky enough to be part of. A group of friends in which I always find myself encouraged, motivated, laughing till my belly hurts, and comfortable enough to share practically anything. Us 13-something folk crammed around a table for dinner; we played unorganised games drowned with inside jokes; we opened 6 bars of chocolate simultaneously; we listened to random music pieces.

And sad - because two dear friends of this group had to leave. They came to Belgium a year ago; and today they leave back to the States. And it was so sad to say goodbye. I hate goodbyes - they're like closing off a chapter and as much as I like the sweet wording of that, I hate closing chapters. It won't be the same without our "Mum and Dad" of the group; they bought something so special and colourful and Jesus-centred into all our lives. But I know we'll see each other again and I know they are needed in other places as well.

Anyway. That was last weekend, and it was a beautiful weekend. I have so much (so much) to be thankful for. It hits me every evening - I am a lucky girl.

Now I am enjoying my busy yet relaxing week, filling in any gaps between the hours I spend (or should spend) on homework with trying to learn how to do the Moonwalk, listening to Grease is the word and Hopelessly Devoted, making videos for myself so that I'll always remember good memories, reading 1 John because gah, ordering photos to be printed, and... and well yes, I've been listening to Christmas music a good while now. You? You should too.