The Hand!

A hand touched my shoulder startling me so badly I almost fell off my chair. “Hey sugar, I didn’t mean to scare you.” the hand didn’t move though, it remained on my shoulder, inching its way down to places I didn’t want it to go.
Relax Sheila, you can do this, come on its going to take more than an attempted  grope to scare you.

hand-tattoo-for-men

I slid off my chair, causing the hand to slide away. Turning around I came face to face with the bully we’d seen in the Stage Coach. His hand rested on the bar, it was tattooed to look like a skull. His face was a mixture of confidence and lust. I could tell them man was used to getting his own way.

“Are you here for an interview?” he asked, “if you are, let’s go out back, I like what I see, but a little time alone with you would help me make up my mind.”

I could feel Jack’s eyes on me. Stay Cool Jack, don’t blow it!

Smiling I said, “thanks for the offer man, it’s tempting, but I’m with someone.”

Larry left the table and came to my aid. He pulled me close and whispered in my ear erotically. “Keeping you safe, play along.”

I turned around to face him and kissed him full on the lips. He tasted of whiskey and tobacco. It was like kissing my dad.

“Come on, forget the hooker and let’s get on with the game.”

Larry laughed, “leave her alone man, she’s mine for the night, I want my money’s worth. Even bought me some little blue pills to make the night last longer.”

He returned to the table.

I tried not to show my disgust, the thought of being bought by Larry or anyone else made me feel sick.

“My name’s Tom, the tattooed bully said huskily.” He put his arm around me, resting his meaty hand on my lower back, pulling me towards him. I tried to resist, but he was too strong. “When you’re done with this old man some see me. I could use a girl like you.” I guessed he was two hundred and fifty pounds of pure muscle, not someone to upset.

“I’ll remember that big guy.” I said as I looked into his eyes.

He held me for a long time, too long, but I daren’t pull away. Finally he but his mouth to my ear and said, “You have a little more class than my usual girls, I could even keep you for myself.” He inhaled, “Mmm you smell good too!”

With that he went over to the far door and said something to the guy who guarded it. They both looked at me.

Shit!

Janie (Rosie) sat on her stool. Although her head hung down so far I couldn’t see her face, I knew she was crying, I saw the tear drops falling onto her lap.

Petal handed me a drink. “Cheers honey, it looks like you’ll be one of us soon!”

I took the drink and downed it in one gulp.

No fucking way! I’d rather die. Gran, I hope you’re out there. I’m going to need you!

 

To Young to Die!

swale-at-sunset

“Someone help him, it’s Michael. He’s drowning.”

Without hesitation two cops rushed forward and jumped into the river. Lindsay tried to stand, ready to jump in the water herself, but Barbara pulled her back.

“Look, they’ve got him, what could you do?”

“Is he alive? He has to be alive.”

In a matter of minutes Michael was pulled onto the riverbank. The nurse went to work on him immediately, “Give us some space.” She yelled. “Back off.”

The crowd stood back giving Lindsay a clear view. She watched in fear praying Michael would open his eyes.  Did his eyelids flicker? Lindsay held her breath willing him to live. The crowd watched silently and when the nurse finally gave up, tears in her eyes. She looked back at Lindsay defeated.

“I’m sorry, there’s nothing else I can do. It’s too late.”

The sound of distant sirens broke the heavy silence; people drifted away, nothing more to see. Lindsay shuffled weakly across to where Michael lay and looked down at his lifeless body, tears dripping from her chin.

“No, this can’t be. Everyone around me is dying.” She laid her head on his chest and cried. No one spoke. No one moved. The sirens grew closer, but they were too late. Barbara put her hand gently on Lindsay’s back.

“Come on, leave him, you can’t do anything now.”

Lindsay didn’t move. “I should be dead, why am I still alive?”

“Hey! Stop where you are!”

Lindsay looked up when she heard Barbara shout sternly at someone. She couldn’t see who approached, but the other policemen ran towards him urgently. When Barbara stood aside she recognized the grief-stricken face.

“John, I’m so sorry.” She began to cry again.

John fell on his knees by his brother’s body.

“No, no! Dear God NO!”

Lindsay put her arms around him and they cried together, tears mingling.

John spoke, maybe to his brother, maybe to Lindsay, maybe to God. “It’s all my fault, I brought him to to bloody country. I should have left him in Ireland with the kids. I shouldn’t have tried to interfere with Patrick. It did no good. Now your friends are dead. It cost me my brother. ”

Lindsay held him tight. “You know Patrick was planning to kill again, who knows how many this time. Michael’s dead, but who knows how many people he saved. It could have been hundreds. How many more bombs was Patrick going to make?”

They clung to each other a little longer before Barbara helped Lindsay to her feet. A couple of paramedics approached. “Come on, let’s make sure you’re okay,” she said as she guided Lindsay to them.

“John had nothing to do with this. He was trying to stop Patrick.”

“We still need to talk to him, but not now.”

As she walked away Lindsay looked back over her shoulder and saw Barbara kneeling on the ground next to John, her arm around him soothing him. Oh dear God why Michael? 

She take no more, her legs gave way and she sunk to the ground.

Yes, another short story almost over, sorry its so sad. Life doesn’t always have a happy ending so make the most of every day. If you enjoy my writing, check out my first Dead of July on Amazon http://amzn.to/1aXh4Md.

Dead of July by Sandra Thompson

Walk in the Park – Chapter Ten – Indecent Exposure?

Back to my story.  This gives an insight of the British Squaddie in Germany and his sense of humor.  They really were good times.  Sometimes we don’t appreciate what we have until we don’t have it anymore. Life has its ups and downs, it is how you handle the ‘downs’ that counts.  Enjoy the next installment and remember, comments always welcome. Lets start off with a ‘Scouse/Liverpudlian’ joke.

Why does the River Mersey run through Liverpool?                  

 If it walked it would get mugged.  

Bless em all!

Chapter Ten

I heard a car horn tooting downstairs and looked out of the window to see our little white Datsun parked there. It should have been renamed ‘the little car that could’.  It had been driven back and forth between Germany and England several times, at one point with a washing machine in the back.  It was a very small, very popular in the eighties though, it was called a 120y. It was sporty looking little car with a ‘go faster stripe’ down the side. Anyone who had a car in the eighties knew what one of those was. We loved that car, which I am sure we paid over the odds for, from a car dealership in Blandford, Dorset. He looked like a crook, and probably was, but we just had to have that car.

With a blue vinyl roof and a blue stripe - this could have been our car

I ran downstairs and jumped in the passenger seat, and gave Les a big sloppy kiss on the cheek, which he immediately rubbed off, not being the affectionate type. He looked bleary eyed and grumpy after his overnight guard duty, so it was a quiet ride to work.  Happy Monday World!  I hoped he was going to get a couple of hours sleep before he went back in or it wouldn’t be a very enjoyable evening. Oh well, it was what it was. The Monday morning traffic was awful, which made Les’s mood even darker. By the time we got to the Barracks where I worked, his mouth was tightly closed and I couldn’t even get a ‘Goodbye’ out of him.  I got out of the car and walked across the cobbles to work. My good spirits had gone and I felt quite sad.  It was funny how the only person in your life who made you happy, was also the only one who could bring you down, even without speaking. The kitchen at the YM was a hive of activity.  I was preparing food and drinks for my ‘NAAFI Wagon’ run and the rest of the staff were preparing food to serve at breakfast and lunch for those hungry solders that stayed on camp to eat.  Because of its convenience, this little canteen was popular, and over the lunch period, filled with laughing chattering Squaddies.  

I worked with a great bunch of girls who all came from different backgrounds with one thing in common.  They were married to someone in the British Army. We were a melting pot of Scots, Welsh, Liverpudlian, even the odd German (and believe me the German’s were pretty odd). We all laughed and joked while we worked.  

I loaded up my big yellow van with sandwiches, coffee and tea urns, and the latest magazines, and off I went on my daily route around the different barracks selling tea, coffee, and sharing stories and jokes.  The guys used to give me a hard time, just because they could, nothing too bad, but always jokes at my expense.  I remember one particular day, when the two doors at the back of my van opened and a guy jumped in and appeared to be ‘flashing’ his unmentionables.  I screamed of course, and threw something at him.  I looked behind him to see all of his friends laughing, some sitting on the parade ground,  tears running down their cheeks. The ‘unmentionables’ were fake, made from rubber, but looked so real at first glance.  I laughed too, it still makes me smile when I think about it. 

Remembering this lifted my mood a little, and by my very last stop of the morning, I was starting to feel a little more cheerful.  I parked my van and opened the hatch, while my customers wandered across to me, I shook the two urns to make sure I still had tea and coffee left, I did!  I straightened up the magazines and turned around to greet my first customer.  

It was that funny American guy, who always asked for a fat pill, or a jelly doughnut.  He made me laugh once I got used to him, and realized both a fat pill and a jelly doughnut were his interpretation of a jam doughnut.  I hadn’t met many Americans, who knew I would end up being one.

Royal Highland Gunners v. Brazil

The Royal Highland Gunners

Its been a while since I updated my ‘Walk in the Park’ story.  I hope you haven’t given up on me.  I love this chapter. I remember the evening well. I miss those days. Enjoy!

CHAPTER EIGHT

 I lay for a while, several thoughts going through my head. Eventually I relaxed and happy thoughts took over. I remembered one of the World Cup games we had watched a couple of weeks ago at an Army Social event.  I laughed out loud as I remembered the events of the evening. Whilst in Germany we were attached to a Scottish regiment.  We had friends in the Royal Army Pay Corps who weren’t Scottish, but not many. The Scots loved their football. On June 18th 1982 Scotland played Brazil in their qualifying round of the world cup.  I think this whole social evening was planned so the men could watch the Scotland v. Brazil game in the bar, and the ladies could sit and chat and drink, and leave the men alone. Those people who had kid, got babysitters, and enjoyed an evening out. In theory, it was a very good idea.  Personally, I would have much rather been watching the football than chatting with the ladies, but I had to try to fit in with this social network that the army encouraged.  I was having fun however, as the little group of ladies were good company.  Football came first and foremost for Les as he had played all of his life. He was pretty darn good too!  Everyone wanted him to play for them. Local teams, military teams, he played two or three times a week (hence the injured knee). 

The Boys from Brazil

 Les was watching this game with his Scottish friends and fellow soldiers, who also loved football. Even those who didn’t actually play the game had the same passion. Football ruled in Europe. Most red-blooded men lived and breathed football. In fact most women were huge fans too. Why wouldn’t you be?  It was football, if you were still breathing, you loved the game.  Les and his friend Graham were watching this game hoping that Brazil won. Brazil had talent and style, not to mention some of the best players in the world. This was not a wise move when you are in the company of a bunch of drunken Scotsmen.

The Scottish Fans in Spain

 I can’t remember the order in which the goals came that night, or whether Scotland or Brazil scored first. The highlight of the night was when the Les and Graham cheered as Oscar scored the second goal for Brazil. None of us ladies heard them cheer because we were chatting and giggling, the way only ladies can after several cocktails.  We didn’t know what was going on when Les and Graham sprinted past us, running for their lives and disappeared out of the door at the other end of the room, followed by a dozen or so drunken Scotsmen, who were as mad as hell because someone had the NERVE to cheer for a Brazilian Goal against Scotland.  The second Brazilian goal no less! The words coming out of the mouths of the angry mob were indistinguishable and guttural grunts rather than the English (or should I say Scottish) language. To us ladies it really was funny, and to me even funnier because I wanted Brazil to win too.  Of course, if Brazil did win that game Scotland would leave Spain and they would no longer be contenders for the World Cup.

Greame Souness for Scotland

 

We sat there laughing and wondering what would happen next, when the door opened and the angry mob returned red-faced and a little disheveled. They may have chased the two disrespectful black men for longer, but they didn’t want to miss anymore of the game. If Scotland scored, they wanted to be there to see it. It was harmless fun really, grown men playing games. Les and Graham sheepishly came back a couple of minutes behind them, and went back to watching the game. 

We heard lot more good-natured Scottish threats about what would happen if they “did no keep their mouths’ shut”, but the rest of the night passed without incident.  Les was very gracious when the game finished and Brazil won 4-1. He didn’t gloat until we got into our little car and drove home, and then we laughed about it all the way home. “I really thought they were going to hurt me”, he said.  A drunken Scotsman could be a dangerous thing, especially where football was involved.  I laughed and told him it was a good job he was so tall or he could have been the recipient of the famous ‘Glasgow handshake’ at the end of the night. For those of you who don’t know, a Glasgow handshake is when someone head butts you!!!  Good times! 

 

German draft beer and bratwurst

 

Beer on a hot day

After four brutal days back at work, here I am again. It was definitely tough trying to get back into working and blogging and writing after a month off and two wonderful weeks in Rome, but I am starting to get back in the swing of things. Here is the next installment of my ‘walk in the park story’, short and sweet, but hopefully enough to keep  you interested.  Thanks for staying with me, you are all my first, and most faithful readers. Enjoy! 

  

CHAPTER THREE 

I wandered along Robert Strasse, looking for a park.  I had packed my bag with a towel to sit on, sun tan lotion and a book to read so I was all prepared for a couple of hours sunbathing. All I needed now was a quiet park, or garden to relax in. I walked to the end of the road, and crossed over, finding myself in a peaceful residential area. I passed a couple of little bars, and small restaurants.  Oh I loved the smell of the rotisserie chickens and bratwurst that wafted out of these establishments, but it was too hot to eat.  The Germans loved their meat, and it was always cooked to perfection.

It looked like the road came to a dead-end at a big black wrought iron gate. Could this be a park?  I was lucky as I had indeed come to a small park, with a little pond and fountain. I would say it wasn’t much bigger than a couple of acres, but nicely set out with lots of weeping willow trees, a few benches to sit on and a lovely array of flower beds.  I spread out my towel near one of the trees, in a spot that gave me a little privacy.  I rubbed sun tan oil (yes oil, it fried you quicker, we weren’t too worried about skin cancer back then) into my exposed areas, pulling my top up so my middle could get tanned too, and then lay on my back for a while, enjoying the sun and tranquility.  I couldn’t hear any traffic, or people, it was perfect.

I am not sure if I dozed off for a while, but I suddenly realized I was incredibly hot.  I sat up and dabbed the sweat off my face and wondered if there was anywhere I could get a cold drink.  I made myself look presentable and scanned the park for another gate, closer to where I was sitting.  There was a smaller gate which looked like a back entrance, so I headed off in that direction. Just through the gate was a tiny neighborhood bar, with a table outside just beckoning me.  I sat down and immediately a young girl came out to serve me. I used my very best German “Eine mal beer bitte, und eine bratwurst mit senf”.  I think I was asking for a beer and a bratwurst with mustard.  I really wasn’t good at German, but I was trying.  I got it right because the girl came right back out with both the beer and the bratwurst. The beer came in a tiny glass, which meant it would be strong and full of flavor. I loved real German beer. The bratwurst came with a tiny piece of bread and German mustard. Heaven! I sat there with my local thick frothy beer and my bratty, and felt very content.  I had been in the park for a couple of hours, although it didn’t seem that long, I must have dozed.  It was almost four o clock and starting to cool down a little. I ordered another beer, I wasn’t in a hurry to get back home as Les would be on guard duty all night, and I didn’t know anyone locally so I might as well sit here, in the sun and read Cujo by hero ‘Stephen King’. I just couldn’t get enough of his books, some of which I had read twice. 

From where I was sitting I could hear the little television in the bar, World Cup Fever was rampant.  The German team was looking like it was a very strong contender to win the trophy. Every minute of every day someone reminded you that the Germans were “Going to vin of course”.  The German machine!  Great scorers, big and intimidating, and hard to get a goal past, but I was never a big fan. I know, after England, Germany should have been my next choice because I lived there, but Italy was my team, passionate, unpredictable and exciting!  Football was meant to be played with emotion, not like a machine, even if it was well oiled.  There had been lots of exciting games, but the game which was to be played the following day was the one that Les and I were looking forward to.  Les would be home of course, we would both leave work early to see this one. Italy were to play Brazil, that should be one heck of a game.  Both teams lived for the sport.  I couldn’t wait! I was a four-year football fanatic! The world cup just captured my imagination.  I loved it! I liked the FA Cup Finals, and European Cup Finals, just because those final games were nail-biting and there could only be one winner, but the FIFA World Cup, that was in another class, I had been watching it as long as I could remember, even in the day of black and white television. 

In my teens I  had been quite a football fan, most teenagers in England had a favorite team and covered their bedroom wall with posters of them. One Saturday night I had waited outside a ‘The Scotch Corner Hotel’, along with my friends, to get the autograph of the late great Sir. Matt Busby. During the evening I  got stuck in the revolving door with the legendary George Best and I was so smitten with him at the time, that I was speechless and unable to ask for his autograph! I remember looking up at him and how he had smiled and me. He seemed like such a nice guy, shame he couldn’t handle success. I did end up getting his autograph that night, but the signature was nowhere near as memorable as standing in the revolving door looking at him.  I think I was thirteen when this happened, but it is as clear in my head now, as it was on that night. There I go again, getting off track, that happens when you have a beer and start thinking about things. 

  

 

German Ghost Story

Dortmund - Borsigplatz

 I told you I was getting organized with a come back, and here it is. This is a story I am currently working on, not finished yet, but close. I was lucky enough to find a photograph of Borsigplatz (don’t you just love google) so hopefully this will give some perspective to my story.  This round-a-bout was just about three blocks from where we lived, it’s where the supermarket and restaurants were. I may go back and visit one day.

 I think I am going to call this story ‘A walk in the Park’, but that could change. I was not going to post this story on my blog, but it actually helps me with my first edit if I do.  This story brings back a lot of memories and reminds me of how exciting life was back then. Enjoy!

CHAPTER ONE

It was July 4th 1982 and the weather in Dortmund was so hot it was almost unbearable.  There was no air conditioning and we lived in the Penthouse (so to speak), well at least it was the very top floor of an old building that had been turned into apartments. Heat rises of course, so it felt hotter than hell.  There was no balcony, the window in the living room was actually in the sloping roof, and opened up to the sky.  This window was wide open, but only let in hot air and little particles of silver that shimmered in the sun and although very pretty, I can’t be sure if it was good for the lungs. The shimmering silver shower was courtesy of the huge chemical plant that was less than a mile away.  I probably shouldn’t mention the name of the plant in this litigious society, but it was one of the largest suppliers of pharmaceutical, agricultural and industrial chemicals in Europe, the US and Asia. I have to say, I have suffered no health issues from my proximity to the chemical plant, nor has anyone else to my knowledge, but the shower was certainly a spectacle. On that particular day I sat in that rooftop window and with my legs dangling over the ledge and watched the street below. It was a Sunday afternoon and there weren’t many passers-by. I am guessing that people were staying in their homes and away from the heat of the day.  Those people who did pass by were both amused horrified at my position, half in and half out of the window on the third floor of the building.  Those people who looked up either laughed at me and waved as they passed by, or yelled up at me with alarmed voices.  I had no idea what they were shouting about of course, I had only been in the country for a few months and not quite mastered the language yet. Maybe they thought I was about to jump.  My meager knowledge of the German language could get me by in bars (beer and wine was easy to order), or shopping and I could even get around on the local trams, but someone shouting up at me in German?  I just waved down at them and smiled causing most to continue walking shaking their heads as they did so. 

            Let me tell you a little bit about where I lived. The street was called Robert Strasse, and the area was Borsigplatz.  I am sure that spelling is wrong as it’s been a while since I had to write or talk in German.  I loved living there though.  Borsigplatz was an Italian area on the outskirts of Dortmund. Les was in the British army, and due to the lack army housing at the time, we were given what was called ‘overseas rent allowance’ to pay for an apartment.  Luckily Borsigplatz was only a short drive, or tram ride to the both the military base where Les was stationed and the military base on which I worked. We were very happy to find this place, which had been recently renovated.  With the help of a German-speaking friend we negotiated a good price and moved in with our scant furniture.  It really was my dream apartment and much nicer than the army accommodation!  It was on the top floor of a three-story L shaped building and ours was the only door on the top floor so we had some privacy. The living area was beautiful, up in the attic with a sloping ceiling. Stained beams divided the living area and eating area. There were two small bedrooms, a very small kitchen and a small modern bathroom. The living room itself was snug and was just big enough for our typically English overstuffed three-piece suite, a coffee table and our TV. Of course back in the eighties we also had two video recorders, a VHS and a Betamax.  Does anyone still know what a Betamax is??? I swear those machines were way better than the VHS recorders, but VHS were the ones that survived.  Now they are a relic of the past as we use DVD’s and Blu Ray.  How quickly times change. 

 

 

Goodbye’s and Pink Ribbons

It looked better with the pink ribbon

 

So here we are again, I can’t believe its been two weeks since I posted the last chapter of my story.  I have been busy working on my travel blog too.  Check out ‘Travel Tales and Mishaps’, click on the link to the right of my blog. I will be posting my adventures and photos from Rome there in a couple of weeks.  Back to ‘Flat Country Snow’ and my friend Steven.  It was sad to say goodbye to him, but I had to.  It was very emotional, I felt like I wanted t protect him and help him. I felt like a girlfriend, older sister and mother all rolled into one.  Chapter five is posted below, I hope you like it. I will post one more chapter before I fly away for may vacation.

CHAPTER FIVE

I started the car and let the engine run while Steven scraped the ice and snow off the windows and put the cases in the boot. As I sat there watching him tackle the ice on the front window, something caught my eye on the front seat. It was a pink ribbon, I was accustomed to seeing these now, don’t ask me how they got there, I accepted them though, knowing my little blonde guardian angel was around somewhere. I suppose I should have been scared, as it was usually a sign of that something was about to happen, but I didn’t feel scared, I actually felt quite calm and warm inside. I picked up the ribbon and stuffed it in my pocket as I didn’t want to have to explain it. “Wherever you are little Miss, I hope you are warm and with your mum”. Did I hear a tinkle of laughter in the air, maybe, or maybe it way my mind playing tricks with me.
By the time Steven had finished scraping away snow and ice, the car had warmed up and he got inside, glad of the warmth. “Are you sure you don’t mind dropping me off at the base” he asked me. “No, and will give you a big sloppy kiss when I drop you off, just for good show” I told him. He laughed, and actually blushed a little. “You just can’t keep your hands off me can you?” He directed me to the base, which was actually on the opposite side of Thetford. It was OK though because it meant I could retrace my tracks and follow the map home. No Google or GPS in those days, just the good old ‘Rand McNally’ and you had to pull over to look at it. It was only about ten minutes or so to the Army Base, Steven told me to drive in and he showed his ID to the guard at the gate. The barrier was raised and in we went. There was huge parking area just on the left as we got on to camp, next to a big parade ground, where despite the sub-zero temperatures, there was some marching going on, with full webbing too. Those guys probably weren’t cold at all. I left the engine running and got out of the car to open the boot so Steven’s cold get his case. It was a drab Military green and somehow his name and ID number had slipped out of its little pocket so there was nothing to distinguish it from any other drab Military green bag. On an impulse I stuck my hand into my pocket and pulled out the pink ribbon. I tied it around one of the handles. Steven looked at me with a question mark on his face.” Don’t ask, just keep it there, tell everyone your girlfriend, sorry fiancée, put it there!” I said. With that he pulled me very close to him and kissed me very gently and tenderly. I heard a few whistles coming from the parade ground and I think one of them may have been from the RSM who took time off from yelling at his men, to yell at us instead. I hugged Steven tight, it was a nice kiss, and probably looked very passionate, but not the sort of kiss that would make you want to tear off your clothes. It was nice though. I didn’t want to let go of him, just because I knew what a tough life he had ahead. I wondered how he was ever going to find true happiness, his love of the Military would prevent him ever having an open relationship with a man. He had to find his way though. I hugged him tight and kissed him again and then he picked up his bag and trudged off into the snowy camp, his head was hanging slightly and he looked a little sad.

Lets Celebrate 1000 Visitors! (Almost)

I started my blog in February and was very apprehensive and afraid of making a fool of myself. I started in a very coy manner, just posting chapters from my stories. Nervous in case someone left a nasty comment or told me my stories were awful!  Yes, I admit, I am a sensitive writer.  Now here I am, blogging away, chatting about anything and everything, and 974 of you have visited my blog,  read my stories and laughed at my ramblings.  Thank you! I almost feel famous. Keep visiting! I have never had so many friends. I will be posting the second chapter of my third story this weekend.  Hope you like it.

1000 Visitors!

My next story and Me!

As you know already, my stories are all about me, and will remain that way until I run out of experiences to talk about! I really did get into a lot of trouble in my past. There was the obvious teenage trouble, and then there were unexplainable happenings. The ‘unexplainable’ happened to me often. Try getting yourself out of trouble when you have no idea what sort of trouble you are in. I am really enjoying writing about my little mishaps, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg, an aperitif, just to whet your appetite.  The real stories are to come.  I am just warming up. Keep reading, I will try to delight you.