1.10.2015 Journal Prompt

Image from Cathy Come Home
Image from Cathy Come Home

January 10, 2015: She couldn’t stop.

One Reply to “1.10.2015 Journal Prompt”

  1. Mam says I’m to pay no nevermind to Linda Keller. Mam says Linda just runs at the mouth and there ain’t one thing that Linda says that has the feel of truth in it. Mam says it’s always been that way with Linda, since ever mam knowed her, which is like forever. At school Linda was the same and she ain’t changed in over thirty years, ‘cept maybe she’s got a bit thicker about the middle and a bit slower in her thinking.

    ‘You want something spread quick about the town, you’d do a lot worse than letting Linda know. Before you could catch your breath it’s be here, there and everywhere, only it’d have grown arms and legs in the retelling.’

    Arms and legs? It’d be a whole different creature once Linda Keller was through telling it. I heard her once say that she never lets the truth get in the way of a good story. She was drinking tea from a bone china cup in our front room and she still had her coat on and she’d said how she couldn’t stop, but she stopped long enough to tell mam ‘bout Edward Collingwood screwing Lisa Stanley and she said it was a disgrace and someone should tell Mrs Collingwood and Mr Stanley.

    Turns out that Edward was just doing some decorating for Lisa Stanley. Wallpapering mostly. He had a knack for it, see, and Mr Stanley had hurt his back lifting sacks of potatoes in the shop without bending his knees like he ought to, and so they came to an arrangement and Edward got free veg for six months for the work he did in papering the Stanley bedroom.

    ‘Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.’ Only, sometimes the good story got in the way of good sense and it messed things up. Someone did tell Mrs Collingwood about her husband screwing Lisa Stanley and even though she knowed he was wallpapering behind the closed curtains of the Stanley’s bedroom, she had her doubts then, and Edward Collingwood slept on the sofa in his front room for near on a month – according to Linda Keller.

    And Missie Barker was three months pregnant, if Linda was to be believed. And it was to the baker, Mr Thomas Milne, and Linda said it was obvious really. But though it was obvious, it wasn’t quite what Linda said it was. They was seeing each other, behind Mrs Milne’s back. Thomas it was who was doing all the running after and who could blame him? Missie is the prettiest girl for miles and she turns men’s heads in the street wherever she goes. And Mr Thomas Milne thought to win her heart with small and bigger gifts of pastries and bread. That’s all it was. So, when Linda said Missie Barker had a bun in the oven, well, it was more than the one bun: it wasn’t Thomas Milne’s baby but Thomas Milne’s cakes and dougnuts that was thickening Missie’s waist.

    And now what she’s been saying about my Kevin and a barmaid up on the Dorchester road. And all the details and how they was seen at the back of the Copper Bowl and he was calling her name even though she was there in his arms, and they was breathless like they’d run a hard run, and the girl wasn’t wearing no pants. And mam says I’m to pay no nevermind to what Linda says. And I know mam’s talking sense – the only sense. ‘Cept I can’t help thinking that there’s no smoke without fire, which is another thing that Linda says whenever one of her stories has the legs pulled from underneath it. And Kevin, he’s been a bit funny recently, and there’s distance between us that was never there before, and his kisses taste more and more of beer and cigarettes. And I can hear – in my head I can – Linda Keller saying how men is all the same before a wedding.

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