room 2: cornflower blue

image: Yves

We have been invited by Mindlovemisery of Mindlovemisery Menagerie to write a 9 part series on rooms in NoEnd House, a place in her dreams. She will post a photograph or a word as a clue/cue to use as the floor plan of the room of the week. This is my 2nd installment: room 2 cornflower blue

We sat in the “eating” room adjacent to the kitchen, drooling from the smell of freshly baked bread. We also played a guessing game: what will Kat paint on the  canvas of the bathroom walls. Everyone had their own vision: portraits of us and the ghosts that haunted each room; 18th century streetscape, images representing our commonality.

Until the grand unveiling, we used the grunge-fest room off the kitchen. No amount of scrubbing could transmute the stains. I should know; I always drew bathroom duty!

Kat called from the landing, “Still wet, but finished” Thunder of feet. Gasps of …… She had recreated a mirror world surrounding the house. The east facing wall had the first orange and yellow fingers of dawn. The window became a lens for watching birds shake off the night. The bright riot of wildflowers and the tidy garden grew, bracketed by tall shady oaks and maples. Views of the harbour floated above the toilet. The street scape engulfed the last wall. We were waving from the windows of the cornflower blue façade we painted in the spring.

@ phylor, 2015


Do you remember

that summer solstice

when we sat arm in

watching the last purple


I have an affinity for

equinoxes and solstices.

Due to my pagan nature

bemoans a friend.

I crafted beautiful

celebrate the solstice cards

made with calligraphy

in a semi-circle like the

setting (or rising) sun

When I held to these

as the four touchstones

of the year, life

was sweeter.

Least complex.

Less painful.

We’re not arm in arm

as we watch the last purple

rays glide below the horizon.

When were we last

arm in arm?


On April 19, my mother would have turned 87. She passed 5 years ago on April 20.


wordle #1: Attic


The tests confirmed it; after all those long empty years, she was pregnant. She wondered if her bassinet was up in the attic, laying upside down and damaged like the detritus of their lives. She hesitated to go up; too many ghosts haunted her there.

She remembered her brother warning her, as he pushed her behind up the creaky stairs, to only whisper. It was not good to wake the voodoo magic locked away, for now, in their sea captain great grandfather’s trunk. He told fantastical ghost stories and sea tales, the flashlight shining up from under his chin turning his face into a grinning monster, not her brother. All stories, he said, he knew from the secrets inside the chest he leaned back against.

She was suspicious of his stories about their great-grandfather’s trunk. Voodoo magic, shrunken heads, frightful masks, erotic books and prints, and other exotic trinkets he had gathered during his years at sea.

Once, when no one was home – all were a church, and she had begged off with a sore throat and headache, she slipped out of her room and up those eternally creaky stairs. In the semi-darkness, she located the trunk, but not the key. Where, she wondered would it be hidden? Cobwebs incased a small cabinet next to the trunk. Squealing, squeaking drawers pulled open to reveal all sorts of keys.

It took her a while, holding her breath to listen for her family’s return, but eventually, she heard the click and the lock opened.  Expecting wonders, all she found was a pile of moldering objects, the effluvium rising from the trunk so sickening, she nearly fainted. With quaking hands, she slammed shut the lid, threw the key into the cabinet shelf, squeaked it shut, and ran.

And, her older sister, waving shears in one hand while pulling so hard on the two long braids down her back she cried. “Recant, recant,” her sister screamed. Screams muffled by the years of dust and neglect in the farthest corner of the attic, light dimly drifting through the dust-moted darkness. “Say you did it, and you can keep your precious hair,” her sister spat in a voice full of rage and disgust.

Not answering fast enough, her sister wacked at her hair, the shears sharp blade cutting deep into her scalp. Blood was everywhere, running down the back of her neck, soaking into the collar of her dress, mixing with her tears as she bent forward to grab the hank of hair. Several sutures later, the bleeding stopped, but the jagged scar and the bald patch was a constant reminder of that day.

Suspending her childhood fears, she began to climb the steps, dustier and more neglected than she remembered. By the time she reached the top, and pushed open the hatch, her face and hands covered with streaks of dirt, and cobwebs wrapped around her hair.

The light was even dimmer, the air still with death – the desolation of items careless thrown into the attic to live out their lives in desperation to be needed, to be found, to be restored to the light downstairs again.

She shivered as she pulled herself up into the room. Without an aerial photograph, without a bassinet gps, without a bravery she didn’t possess, she simply ducked her head as she slammed the hatch shut. No more trips to the attic – she was carrying life and everything there was dead.

The first wordle prompt on MindLoveMisery’s new blog: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie. Drop by; there will be new prompts in different genres every day!

@ phylor 2014