How do you like your eggs?

Dean Martin Sings

Dean Martin Sings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Marlene tapped her feet and shimmied her shoulders to the song on the radio, as Helen O’ Connell, her voice as sweet as a teaspoon of sugar, asked Dean Martin how he’d like his eggs. He wanted them with kisses and hugs. But who wanted love when you were cooking breakfast at six o’ clock in the morning?

Marlene slid the eggs into the middle of the frying pan with a silver spatula, but she pierced the yolk. The runny smooth yellow clashed with the crispness of the white. Now the yolk would cook too quickly. The smell of the eggs made her shudder. It didn’t matter whether they were in a sandwich, a cheese omelette or soaked into a piece of fried bread, her stomach churned. A drop of oil spat out at her – she hissed back and screwed her nose up at the pan.

She tried to picture herself swooning in Ernie’s arms – it was difficult.

‘Breakfast’s ready,’ she shouted up the stairs.

‘Coming!  Don’t rush me I’m putting on my tie.’ Ernie was probably standing in front of the mirror fiddling with his collar, and smoothing Brylcreem over his greasy grey hair. Hers was thick and curly, everyone said it was smashing.

She’d put the toast on too soon, it had almost burnt. Marlene doubted he’d even notice; he was a bulldog with a droopy lip and protruding teeth. He opened up his mouth and the food went in. She had to turn away so that she didn’t have to watch his jaws moving up and down as he chewed. She wondered if he tasted a thing.

Marlene took a vase of pale mauve lilac and put it on the breakfast table. She’d picked them from the garden late last night whilst Ernie was dozing in his armchair. She hoped the scent would mask the smell of the eggs.

The song was coming to an end, and Dean and Helen were satisfied with the world.

Ernie came in and sat down at the table, an early morning scowl on his face. She buttered the toast and then slid the eggs from the pan, one by one onto the white china plate. He liked them kept separate.

‘Didn’t you hear me say I fancied a poached egg today, Marlene?’ He stabbed the first egg with the prongs of his fork.

Marlene threw the frying pan onto the lino and let the oil go wherever it wished.

‘Bloody hell, woman……’ He jumped up, knocking his plate of eggs onto the floor. ‘Now I‘ll have to put a new shirt and tie on.’

‘Whatever you like, Ernie.’

Marlene did a twirl as she swept out of the kitchen to the last beat of the song.

Inspired by How do you like your eggs? sung by Dean Martin and Helen O’Connell.

And Bridget’s Whelan’s Monday exercise. Thank you to all!


Cobalt Blue

Pair of classic black leather Dr. Martens boot...

Pair of classic black leather Dr. Martens boots, with distinctive yellow stitching around sole. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yvonne wants Carl to notice her; she has managed to get away with wearing fish net stockings to school. She props up her geometry book so that her hands are hidden from Ms Elwood, then picks up the pair of cold metal compasses, admiring her cherry red nails, and with the sharp point etches his name deep into the wooden desk. With her fountain pen she follows the letters, letting the ink meander between the grains of oak. Carl gets up to sharpen his pencil.  As he swaggers past, Yvonne knocks down her book and reveals his name – he looks straight on.  In front of the black board he creates long twirls of shavings as he rotates the sharpener and informs Ms Elwood that she looks good today. Then he comes back down the aisle, grins, and nudges Shelley’s stilettos with his black Doc Martens. For the rest of the lesson Yvonne traces her fingers through his name until they turn cobalt blue.

Thanks to Bridget Whelan for inspiring me with her Monday Creative Writing Exercises. This is my offering for the Friday Flash senseless challenge – touch.


The Zip

A ginger haired young man clucked at Phoebe as she walked into the waiting room. He was moving his arms as if they were wings.

Phoebe looked down at the stained red carpet as she hurried to a spare seat. The room was busy and everyone was trying not to watch – but really they were. She could see them peering out from behind their magazines, glasses and iPhones.

The man kept fiddling with the zip on his jacket. Phoebe put her bag on the chair and picked up a glossy magazine. She wondered whether the jacket wouldn’t zip up, or if it was stuck and he couldn’t undo it.  The waiting room was hot; she’d taken off her coat as soon as she’d come in. There were no windows, just a skylight through which you could watch the clouds roll past.

The man stood up, arms and legs jerking.

‘Bloody bastard zip.’ He looked over and she quickly looked down at the double page spread of Jordan in a swimming pool.

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The Wash House


The Wash House

This is a photograph of my nan outside an Aberdeen wash house in the 1930s.  I wish I knew more about this picture and have spent time researching the wash houses that flourished right up to the 1960s. Below is a short piece of writing inspired by the photograph.

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