I’m thrilled to have work in the anthology, Stories from Home. All the proceeds from its sale are being donated to The Ambulance Staff Charity. TASC offer emotional, financial and community support to paramedics, ambulance crew and their families across the UK. They say of their work, ‘We’re passionate about caring for the mental, physical and financial wellbeing of those who care for us. Because they care, we care.’
In the introduction to Stories from Home, editor Hayleigh Barclay writes, “COVID-19 has brought about numerous changes for us all throughout the world. However, for our Ambulance Service staff, their dedication and frontline care has remained consistent despite facing extraordinary times.” She goes on to explain, “Now more than ever our ambulance crews deserve our appreciation – they are first on hand in an emergency, saving lives before patients even reach the hospital, reassuring relatives whilst simultaneously responding to a crisis.”
My two stories are, Carole and Rumbled.
Carole was written on a spring day in 2018. Our third Wisconsin winter was finally over, or so I thought. After months of frigid temperatures and an outside world hidden under snow, there had been a thaw. Patches of green had become visible for the first time that year. I got up early one morning and everything was white again.
Ronnie was on a work trip to Malaysia so I was home alone with the dogs. I made my first coffee of the morning and sat down in the room in our beloved old Neenah house we called the snug (with its fireplace and bookshelves for walls we couldn’t help but be reminded of a cosy backroom snug in a Scottish pub). I watched the snow inch higher and higher and I began to wonder.
What if. What if today had been the day someone somewhere had planned to do something of consequence. Something they’d been working towards for months.
The snow fell all day long. It obscured everything. My garden. The street beyond. I wrote to its slow, steady rhythm. I conjured up Carole. I invented a life for her. A life changed by an unexpected winter storm that arrived in spring.
My second story is called, Rumbled. I’m not sure it’s a word with which my American friends will be familiar. We use it on this side of the pond (or at least in my bit of Scotland) to denote that the truth about someone or something has been discovered. In this case Susan, the narrator of my story, despite her attempts at misdirection, will be rumbled by the reader.
I’m honoured to have my work included in this anthology. The poems and stories in it are brilliant. Amazing writing with something for everyone to enjoy. My stories are fortunate to keep such fine company.