A Love for All Seasons – Geraldine Ryan
2000 words Women’s Fiction
A woman reflects on her marriage after her husband’s death and wonders how she can ever put back to rights the immaculate garden he left behind and which she has let go during a year long period of grieving.
Jan surveyed the tumbling mass of weeds that was the garden these days. Slowly she inched her way down the path, brushing up against the marjoram, releasing its exquisite fragrance as she went. Sunshine struck the silver birches with a dazzling brightness, birdsong resonated on the summer breeze and the rustling of wings in the branches of tall trees drew her screwed-up gaze upwards. Such bounty. In the distance children’s voices called out to one another in happy play. Could it really be that time of year again?
A Second Chance – Geraldine Ryan
2480 words Women’s Fiction
Becky and Brenda are worlds apart, but they have one thing in common. They’re both desperate to be given a second chance.
BECKY Why do they give out hospital appointments for such ridiculous times? I’m not a morning person, me. I did try to tell her over the phone but she thought I was just making small talk. Tell me about it, she said. I have to be in work at eight thirty. Then something about how things would be different when she won the lottery. Don’t be late, she said then, or you’ll have to wait another fortnight for the next available time. I felt like I used to feel at school when she said that. When I got off the phone I told Zak she could stick it. I wasn’t going. Please, he said. Go. Do it for me. This was after he’d put up with twenty minutes of me ranting.
Betsy Popperwell Moves Next Door – Geraldine Ryan
2000 words Women’s Fiction
When Eudora’s new neighbour moves in she struggles to find a way of holding onto her position as Queen Bee in the community. But then she gets a brilliant idea.
When Betsy Popperwell first moved next door, Eudora Knightley’s initial fears that she might not be the Right Sort of Neighbour soon evaporated. “Did you manage to get a glimpse of her?” “Plain as a pikestaff,” Ernest said. “A stranger to the beauty counter. No waist. I suspect she may have been wearing trainers.” “And was she alone? Or was there a Mr in sight at all?” Eudora made her voice light, but the truth was that a husband would have been the giddy limit.
French Onion Soup – Geraldine Ryan
2500 words Women’s Fiction
On holiday with her husband who is suffering from Alzheimer’s, an elderly woman revisits France where they spent their honeymoon.
It was lunchtime as the coach drew into the sleepy French village of Montmarchais. “We have two hours,” bellowed Marion, as the doors slid open. “Plenty of time to get your fill of the village and to grab some food too.” Get your fill; grab some food. Each word that trotted out of Marion’s mouth confirmed Joyce’s suspicion that in the mind of their tour guide these excursions were simply one damned inconvenience after another.
Holding on to Happiness – Geraldine Ryan
4800 words Women’s Fiction
When the recession bites Lou and Rod must swap their luxury resort holiday for a camping trip. But money isn’t everything they begin to discover as their holiday begins to work its magic on their tired marriage.
LOU “Camping? With a six month old and a toddler? In France?” Lou chewed over Rod’s suggestion. “It’s nothing like you’re probably thinking,” Rod said. “There’ll be loos and a fridge and brilliant shower facilities too.” “What about food though? It’s not my idea of a holiday cooking for four every night on one calor gas ring.” “Look, read the brochure. Then decide. I don’t want to drag you somewhere you don’t want to go.”
I’ll Be At Your Wedding – Geraldine Ryan
2700 words Women’s Fiction
When Jo’s best and oldest friend gets sick she grieves that an old promise they gave each other, to be each other’s bridesmaid, can never be fulfilled.
My best friend Gemma and I pledged to be bridesmaid at each other’s wedding when we were in Mrs Jenkins’ class at Primary School. All through secondary school we continued to be the closest of friends and occasionally reminded each other of our old pledge. We may have joked about it on those occasions, throwing in a dash of cynicism about the chances of the other ever managing to snare anyone long enough for him to want to walk up the aisle with her.
Own Two Feet – Geraldine Ryan
1850 words Women’s Fiction
As summer finally arrives Jane realises it’s time to bare her feet and get back her independence.
Jane met Harry at an academic conference. They’d been looking for volunteers to give out badges and to usher speakers to and from the podium. As a mere undergraduate in her final term it was a great honour to be chosen in favour of the post grad from her hall who’d been rejected for the job. There were so many notable speakers down to talk that day. And no one more notable, in Jane’s eyes, than Harry Preston. Watching him fumble with his nametag Jane felt embarrassed for him and rushed forward to help. He was gracious in accepting it, which made her go pink to her ears.