Monday, 23 April 2012

Shakespearean Flash - 'Strutting and Fretting' By Dan Powell

This is the short and the long of it.....

‘To be, or not to be.’ That is the question she asked herself while still just a glint in her mother’s womb. To be, she decided and nine months later, burst into the world like an idea newly formed.

‘O wonder!’ she thought, her new eyes blinking, sucking up the smiles of her parents, ‘How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world. That has such people in't!’

Growing up she bathed in time and opportunity. Her head brimmed with all she had coming to her. ‘The world's mine oyster, which I with sword will open,’ she told her Career’s Officer when asked what she wanted to achieve after leaving school.

During University and beyond, she fell for many an unsuitable man. ‘Love is blind,’ she said when friends reproved her reckless liasons, ‘Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.’

‘Love sought is good, but giv’n unsought is better,’ her friends tried to tell her. ‘Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast,’ they said.

But each time a lover dumped her by text, she wailed to her friends, ‘These words are razors to my wounded heart.’ And then each time she cheered, for, she said, ‘To mourn a mischief that is past and gone is the next way to draw new mischief on.’

In her thirties she met a man and lived and loved. She liked to think theirs was a marriage of true minds. The couple did not stray far from their small home and the small life they lived within it. ‘For you and I are past our dancing days,’ she said.

As her children began callously to pursue their own stories, her husband passed, leaving her to grow old alone. ‘When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions,’ she told the warden of the assisted living care home. ‘I learnt how sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child,’ she said. In the few years that remained she wore her heart upon her sleeve for daws to peck at.

And then was heard no more.

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