The Loss

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‘Silhouette; burnt orange’ by Charlotte Hodes

Photo: Joel Chester Fildes

The Loss is a short fiction works written by Alison Little. It was produced in responce to ‘Silhouette: burnt orange’ by Charlotte Hodes which was exhibited as part of The Errant Muse exhibition held at the VG&M in Liverpool.

The Loss

Sunlight brandishes down on the desolate beach location, she lies stretched out on her front, body twisted towards the horizon of the sea. Hand raised above her eyes, blocking the sunlight attempting to obscure her vision.

Eyes scanning the spectrum for him, she has lost sight into the expanse of the ocean. Only out of sight she assumes, hidden between waves lashing against the rocks of the coastline. Her rear is arched slightly, enhanced by the slender fit summer dress. Knees encased by the warmth of the dry sands. Earlier, her feet had kicked up joyfully towards her rear, playfulness re-connected in adulthood, now tensed. Below her, the sands burn a deeper orange.

A hand crochet blanket, hours of pain, distraction-seeking hooked yarn, covers the sands she rests on. It was the only thing for her to do, removing her mind from the loss. There was no point in making any more baby clothes, she didn’t know what to do with the collection she had already made, laid out in the draw she had lined. They would decide in unison after the negotiated break.

Vision streaming further into the ocean, she could still not see him. They had waited four weeks since the miscarriage to get away, both needed to arrange time off work. Making the blanket had kept her mind occupied, kept the tears from flowing full force. They had come to Swanage in Dorset, easy to book a B+B at limited notice. The main town beach had been packed full of babies and children, grown into what their foetus would have once become. He had taken the initiative to suggest walking to a more remote beach around the coast. He was trying to be strong for her but he was grieving the loss in tandem.

Further, into the ocean, a longboat jammed full of tourists heads towards deeper waters. All the trips they would never take their unborn child on, the picnics they would never consummate, the family games they would never play. Into the abyss, the no-more, her hand fell onto her reduced stomach. A light tear joins her face, panic sets in, she couldn’t see him. What if she had lost him also, drawn out to the infinite seascape. As she is about to stand several petals drop down onto her smudged checks. Looking up, he is scattering wildflower petals over her, their eyes connect and they smile in unison. He joins her as they wrap into each other, minds and bodies link, they know everything will be okay again.

The Errant Muse

Charlotte Hodes has two further exhibitions later in the year:

Remember Me, Charlotte Hodes Papercuts & Ceramics Solo exhibition, National Centre for Craft & Design, 11 Jan – 22 March 2020

Most Admirably Improved by Art, Hestercombe, Somerset, 29 February – 28 June 2020

An engagement: at the Museum

An engagement

An engagement: at the Museum

The museum is relatively new, but the building historic and highly thought of in terms of grading by the authorities. It’s gold faced clocks hands speak out to the city as a symbol of ancestral culture. They glisten as a focal point from the hills which surround the port city as the low midday sun melts the last of the frosts. She gingerly negotiates her way up the front steps, she has carefully combined kitten heals with tight fit smarter denim’s. Through the red brick arches, she enters the museum. The café stands bright, larger, but higher placed stained glass windows bring colour to the eatery.

Attending many events here previously: drinks receptions, open lectures, exhibitions and varied tours of the Great Victorian structure. Today was busier than expected, it was the first day of the annual literature festival. It had only been running in its current format for several years, perhaps it had started picking up, becoming a noteworthy literary event. Mental note: check website to see what readings and book signings were on later in the week.

These events were not normally as busy, there was a long queue for one of the books to be purchased. The authors must be particularly popular, she will take a closer look, it may be a nice gift for her mother to add to her Christmas presents. Alternatively, a purchase for herself to read over the holiday season as she indulges of the planned solitude of the festivities. Having been on her own for several years now and not liking going to her Mothers to avoid the rest of the family she had spent the last few Christmases isolated in her own pleasure. No obligation to be joyful, simply indulging in the enjoyment of downtime and the pleasure of her own company. Things had been worse before this, the traditional Christmas ‘Barney’ followed by his continual lack of appreciation of her culinary efforts left her with little desire to cook or celebrate on Christmas day.

‘Good’, he wasn’t here yet, she thought to herself. After ordering a coffee she moved to the quieter side of the café. She fixes her hair and checks her make-up on the subtle reflection of the menu holder. The collar of her blouse needed smoothing out slightly, she had gone for a botanic style print. Combined with a snug fit leather jacket, she was officially smart-casual, off work but nicely attired. They had arranged to meet here as they shared similar interests in the museum. Through the week they both worked in varies building scattered around the vicinity of the red-bricked foundation. She sipped her latte, they could perhaps they could share a bottle of wine over lunch, she thought to herself. Mental note: not to drink too much or to indulge in an extra glass of wine or three.

As he enters she waves subtly, his is flush-faced and freshly showered, looking like he had been out jogging that morning. He is carrying several bags from the toy empire and a sports shop. Slipping the bags down, he pecks her on the cheek and smiles as he compliments her appearance.

 

An Engagement: at the Museum is a flash fiction works from Alison Little. She may develop the prose into a short story or potentially the opening of a novel in 2020.

Nest in a Goats Beard

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Nest in a Goats Beard is an abstract print produced by Carmen Garcia. It is currently being exhibited as part of the ‘She Eclectic’ exhibition at the Victoria Museum and Gallery in Liverpool. This is a section of flash fiction created by Alison Little as a response to the piece:

The image topples round, propelled up by some kind of yellow bubble making machine launching abstract forms. Patterns which expand, texture which can be touched. The machine: a cross between the yellow submarine and the Liverpool tower. A gigantic but equally girly form. Almost folding out, mounts, triangles positioned above the ground. The main form taking the shape of a sixties modernist detached estate disappearing downhill as it stretches away. Floating forms emerge, a kind of balloon making cartoon pistol firing out at comic-strip enemies. A fun-filled water game set within a reclaimed play arena. The form of a shoulder combined with a jumper suit, powering over engrossed in the imaginary of re-enactment.

North End Writers is based from the Victoria Museum & Gallery, holding their monthly meeting there last weekend. The writers read extracts which were written in response to works in the exhibition in the Gallery Space:

The Readings

More about She’s Eclectic