Terasa is a qualified technical author and she established her own communications company in 1993 to provide information services in its various forms to industry.
Following suggestions from her husband she was persuaded to have a go at writing fiction/life writing.
In 2013 after a series of creative writing courses with Rona Laycock she became one of the founder members of Somewhere Else Writers.
There are two short stories for you here to read, Scrag-ends and Poison Ivy.
I hope you enjoy the read.
A large, chipped, enamel saucepan bubbles happily on the gas cooker in the kitchen. Mrs. Devaney is stirring the contents with great concentration. The red stained rags were taking longer then usual to clean. Her periods were so much heavier nowadays; she must be getting towards ‘her change’. Sighing heavily she stabs the murky depths with some tongs.
“Come on,” she mutters wearily to the rags, “I need to get the stew on; these scrag-ends take a lota cookin’.”
In the front room, Mr. Devaney is snoring in his ancient armchair in front of a black and white television. Children’s Houris coming to an end, The Magic Roundabout has just started and Zebedee is ready to spring into action.
Mrs. Devaney turns off the gas and lifts out the rags from the saucepan. Hot, rust- coloured water drips onto the chopped vegetables awaiting the stew. She drops the rags into the sink and runs cold water over them; methodically squeezing them out before they are piled onto the draining board.
Mr. Devaney awakes, rubs his wrinkled eyes and knocks his flat cap on to the floor. His bald head shines indignantly from the first blast of cold air it has received that day. He coughs to clear the phlegm from his throat and reaches over to the teak coffee table covered in ring stains and picks-up his ‘baccy-tin’.
In the steamy kitchen, the net curtains are now clinging to the windows with the condensation. Mrs. Devaney refills the same enamel saucepan with cold water and puts it back on the gas. She adds the chopped vegetables and scrag-ends before crumbling in four Oxos and turns up the gas to bring ‘the stew’ to boil.
Mr. Devaney wanders in, his flat cap now back in position and announces,
“I’m off out now, love. Going to The Star for a pint – be back in a coupla hours.”
“Alright,” replies a flustered Mrs. Devaney. “Your supper will be ready when you get back and don’t forget I’m working at Harry’s Fish Bar till 10 tonight.”
“OK love, see you later,” replies Mr. Devaney affably as he walks out of the front door.
Mrs. Devaney smiles to herself for the first time that day and thinks, time to get ready, girl, and look good for me gorgeous Harry! I must take out my rollers, put on a bit of lippy and maybe I’ll wear me new pink crimplene dress. Harry should have started ‘medicating’ Mavis with her night caps of gin by now. After all they didn’t want to be disturbed by his alcoholic wife.
Shame about Mavis but it was much easier for Harry to keep her under control at night if she was ‘sedated’; anyway she could dry out during the next day!
“I’m sorry, Chrissie,” wailed Ivy. She heaved and another torrent of vomit spewed into the gutter.
“Can you hold my teeth, Chrissie?”
Ivy handed the top plate of her false teeth to Christine. Gingerly, Christine took the offending article. Pieces of ham and lettuce were stuck between the teeth but the worst thing of all was the smell.
This was a rather unfitting interlude to an otherwise idyllic wedding day for Christine’s eldest daughter, Jennie. Christine’s mother, Florence, and her best friend Ivy had been helping themselves generously to the gastronomic wedding breakfast all afternoon and now the consequences were becoming apparent.
“I’m sorry, Chrissie, please can I go to the second half,” begged Ivy, a piece of cress stuck in the corner of her mouth. The second half was the evening reception that was to be held at the Bridegroom’s parents’ home.
A damp patch was now spreading around the neck and down the front of Ivy’s new crimplene dress. It was blue with white spots. Christine’s patience had been sorely tested by the pair but looking at Ivy, who now resembled a cow after the throes of birthday her first calf, she couldn’t get too cross.
“Have you finished, Ivy?” Christine asked wearily, “Then let’s try to get you both in the car.”
The two now rather bedraggled, elderly ladies struggled to get into the back seat of the gold Granada. The Groom’s father, Leslie, had spent all morning cleaning and polishing his beloved car. The white ribbon on the front had been difficult to tie and secure in position but the Granada was now looking every bit the perfect wedding car. Its crowning glory had been provided by the Groom’s mother, Audrey, who had finished it off with an arrangement of pink and white plastic flowers for the back window.
Nervously, Leslie glanced in the driver’s mirror as Christine tried to install the pair. It was a twenty minute ride and Leslie hoped Ivy had finished vomiting because he couldn’t face the prospect of cleaning-up after her.
Ivy was a jolly, diminutive lady only 4 foot ten inches tall, who although petite had a large bosom. She would generally fold her arms under her ample bust and when sitting down she would unconsciously swing her short legs backwards and forwards because they didn’t reach the floor.
When she tried to get into the Granada her little legs struggled to reach up over the door sill. Her skirt had ridden to the top of her thighs as she negotiated her way into the car and slid across the back seat to let Florence get in too. Ivy’s dignity was at an all time low and her hat, now knocked to a very un-jaunty angle, reflected this perfectly.
“Right ladies, are we ready?” asked Leslie as Christine pushed Florence, none too gently, further along the back seat so that she too could get into the car. She slammed the door and as Leslie swiftly pushed the gear-stick to first before letting-off the hand-brake. He was just about to drive away when a billowing cream hat with a crimson flower appeared in his rear-view mirror. A crimson satin torso ran down the side of the Granada; then came a frantic knocking on the passenger window and a muffled voice penetrated through to the wedding party:
“Wait – wait – for me, wait for me, let me in, let me in.”
Audrey, her face hot and flushed, peered anxiously into the car through the steamed-up passenger window.
“Drive on,” said Ivy, a wicked grin spreading across her face. Things were looking up. This was going to be a wedding day to remember!