Friday Flash with Lindsay ~ “Milly in Love”


Photo by Dayanita Singh
Photo by Dayanita Singh


Sometimes she couldn’t do it. And Milly clenched her fists into small hard roses, and she stamped her feet making a small drum thunder on the wooden floorboards, and she screamed.

It’s what she did when the dance steps she’d learned left her and she tripped over and that was done in front of the dance teacher, Miss Elspeth; in front of all the girls in the class, too, and they laughed at first and then they held the gasp of worry in their cupped hands raised to their mouths. There were tears then and Milly made much of the twist in her ankle and Miss Elspeth felt for more than a bruise and finding nothing she said that Milly would be fine in a day or two and fine enough for the performance the following week.

But Milly said she couldn’t do it and her fingers were fists and her sore foot stamped and no wince or cry of pain, and Milly did not see the mistake she made in that. ‘I can’t do it,’ she cried. ‘And I wont.’

Same thing over again when she was learning to sing and she broke the tune, was the only girl who did, and she held a hand to her throat and said it was sore and maybe she should rest and Mrs Burgundy prescribed honey and lemon and hot water, and she should be fine in a day or two.

But Milly couldn’t and wouldn’t sing again, and she threw herself on her bed and there was something elegant and posed in the picture she made, and her tears were something musical.

Then there was Eddie and he was in the year above Milly at school and all the girls in her class talked of Eddie and what it would be like to be walking beside him, so close they were touching. Eddie and Pamela or Eddie and June, and each of the girls looked for some match between Eddie’s name and theirs. And kisses were talked about and debated and the girls took turns touching their lips with their fingers and imagining what it would be like. And in the dark below the school stage, Carol caressed the softness of her breast, her eyes closed, and she made believe it was Eddie who touched her.

And Eddie had eyes for Milly, and that made her special.

‘You have to,’ said Sue. ‘You have to, and afterwards we want to know. Everything. What it was like, what Eddie was like.’

But though she said she would, when it came to it Milly couldn’t. Alone in her room her fingers curled into knotted fists and her feet stamped and she screamed. She threw herself on the bed and wept, for she could not get the picture out of her head, the picture of Carol and the dark under the stage and the look on the girl’s face, so like an angel suffering bliss, and her fingers leaving small pink marks on her budded breast.


→For my own delight, and for yours I hope, I am introducing a new series of short pieces to be posted on Fridays: Friday Flash with Lindsay. I don’t really know Lindsay, but I sort of feel as though she and I are writing buddies. Lindsay (that’s the only name I have) is a long-time visitor to my site, and a frequent contributor of brilliant small pieces of writing drawn from the Daily Journal Prompts I post. Together, Lindsay and I will bring a selection of these works to you…if not every Friday, certainly many of them. I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I do. And I hope they inspire you to try out theDaily Journal Prompts yourself. Oh, and take a trip over to Lindsay’s site, too, for more good stuff: Just a Writer’s Page.-PMc←


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