16 June 2010

Principessa: Meeting Albert

Lenny walked into the Vintage book store.  There was something appealing about old ancient books, who hadn't seen the light of day from the first day they had been published, to the ever present day. She was fascinated by the showmanship of some of them and the stories they told. She loved first editions and loved pealing back to see the author's name emblazoned in gold on the front. Her heart always fluttered when she was handed an old copy of a long lost story by Albert, the Vintage shop owner. They had become close acquaintances since she'd delved into this part of the neighbourhood, like her, he shared the same common interest in books and ancient old things. He had inherited the book store from his father, and his father's father before him and was hoping to pass it down to his daughter, who was studying at Cambridge university, but he had suspected she wasn't that keen on inheriting a miserable run down shop. He had expressed his concerns with Lenny one afternoon about the future of his book store and she had sympathised with him tremendously and she had tried her best to convey to him, that his bookstore was a treasure and why wouldn't his daughter not want it? It was a historical landmark, an artifact that has stood the sands of time and of course, he had mentioned that if his daughter did not want ownership of it, he would gladly pass it to the hands of Lenny and Lenny paused.

"Me? I couldn't possibly... I mean, yes of course, I would be most honoured," she heard herself stammer. It was truly a unique gift, for one to pass down. An heirloom entrusted to someone with the same love and passion for all things written and published. She remembered the way Albert's eyes and face lit up when she had accepted on condition, if his daughter refused it and he had set about putting it in writing.

"Good morning Albert," she cheered, as she entered the shop.

Albert was reading the paper and he looked up, smiling diligently towards Lenny, "Good morning to you Lenora. How are you this morning?"

Lenny beamed, "I'm good and yourself?"

"Mighty dandy for seeing you today. Have you got any plans today or just enjoying the sun?" Albert asked.

"I think I may just see how it goes... have you got anything new in store?" Lenny asked, as she hovered around the book titles.

"Nothing new, as when you were last here," Albert chimed, "But I'm sure there's always something that'll tickle your fancy."

Lenny smiled, after several minutes she couldn't find anything to amuse herself, smiled and said goodbye to Albert. It was bustling outside, she stopped to admire the view and stepped out onto the pavement, not noticing the commotion taking place a few metres down the road. She began walking towards the bus stop when someone shoved her out of the way, it happened so fast she hit the brick wall head on and slid down it, blacking out.

*** ***

He watched as the thief made his way through the crowds of people, trying and failing to find a swift exit but in his haste, he'd attracted a crowd. There was no way, he was going to intervene and risk someone finding out his true identity. He watched the moment unravel,  Lenny was leaving the Vintage Book store and threading the pavement when the thief pushed and shoved innocent bystanders out of the way, he was heading towards Lenny. She was completely unaware of the whole fiasco behind her and then he realised Lenny was in the path of this thief. He started to sprint towards her but he watched in horror as the burly thief swept through the street, knocking her head first into the wall. He watched as she slid down the wall like dripping paint. He ran towards her, as quick as he could, he bent over and saw a nasty gash on her forehead, her eyes were closed. He picked her up, she was lighter then he had expected and he carried her away and into a side street away from prying eyes.

Principessa: Books & Pop Tarts

The sunshine filtered through the blinds of Lenny's bedroom window, she yawned and stretched in bed. Thankfully it was her day off. A whole twenty four hours to herself, to do whatever she pleased. She got out of bed slowly, grabbing her discarded dog eared book sitting haphazardly to one side of the bed and walked the short distance to the kitchen. She put two pop tarts into the toaster and poured a glass of concentrated orange juice and sat on the stool in front of the ancient TV set she had brought down the market for a cheap twenty quid. It was big and bulky, nothing technical about it but the plug. There was no high-definition qualities, no extra channels, just bog standard terrestrial channels. She put the warmly toasted pop tarts onto a plate and started nibbling.

She jumped into the shower a few minutes later and put on comfy jeans and a woollen roll neck jumper and rolled her luscious brown hair into a bun, she grabbed her bag and coat and headed outside into the sun. The street was already teaming with families, taking their children out for a stroll. She was going to do the exact same.

*** *** *** *** ***

He watched her from across the road, as she stepped out from her small rented apartment. She was dressed casually in denim jeans, grey trainers and a purple woollen jumper. Her hair was pulled back from her face and she was wearing her woolly coat. She didn't look anything like her picture, but he was told it was her. He got up discreetly from the park bench he'd been sitting on for the earliest part of this Sunday morning and slowly followed her. He was told by his informants that due to her parents indecision, they had given her up and she had been passed through the foster care system and unfortunately to ruly foster parents, who didn't really give her the time of day. She had her head firmly screwed on and had left to pursue her own life. He had no idea, how he was going to approach her... let alone convince her to accompany him back.

He'd been following her intensely for the last couple of weeks, keeping a close eye on her and her routine. He'd noticed she was fond of reading, every day he'd seen her with a book in hand, going to the vintage book store a few blocks away from here, going down to the flea market. He could say she was on the verge of obsessed, a complete bookworm. He was intrigued by her devotion to the written word and was assumed, she would fit nicely in the order of things. Not only was she fond of reading but she was also a hard worker, she was always working at functions as a waitress, at the laundrette folding linen, at the library helping out, she was an all round super woman and was intrigued to find out what else was simmering underneath all that clothing.

He watched as she headed towards the vintage book store, as he'd suspected and decided to hold back. He had no intention of cornering her like a hound but it was his duty to tell her, who she was and what obligations she had to uphold.

Principessa: Prologue

Lenny clasped her head in her hands and exhaled. She was having the worst day ever and she couldn't wait till her shift was over, so she could go home, curl up in bed and shun the rest of the world with her duvet blanket. She had been on her feet for the better half of the day, waitressing at one of those posh do's of canapes and flutes of expensive champagne with a smile plasted on her face and now, it was well into the early morning and she was at the laundrette, washing and folding linen. She had been working odd jobs here and there for quite some time now, she used to think it kept life interesting but it made life harder but she was thankful for the jobs in hand.

Lenny stood up and swept a stray of brown chestnut hair away from her eyes, as she folded the linen twice and laid it on the existing pile. It was a lonely job, but someone had to do it and the pay was better then waitressing, so she couldn't pass up an opportunity like that... not when she had to make rent and indulge her love of reading. Reading had been her escape from a destitute life, born and raised in a foster home that was meant to offer security but offered anything but. She had been harassed by the other foster kids and her foster parents had taken a fond liking to the other children and she felt like an ugly duckling and outcast. When she had turned sixteen, she had got a job at a library as a library assistant, the pay was pretty decent and she put in the extra shifts after school and saved up her pennies.

When Lenny had turned eighteen, she had enough money to rent out a small place that was being advertised in the local paper and it was good riddance to foster care and hello independence. The feeling of being able to support one's self was liberating and extremely hard, but it was all worth it. Her only responsibility was herself and that was whom she cared for at the end of the day and if she were to have children of her own one day, she would cherish and love them, no matter what. She would not allow her parent's mistakes and bad character tarnish that. She would love her child in abundance.


You used your fists to break me down

Made me cry... forever frown

Imprints of your knuckles left scattered around

Two black eyes - I couldn't see

I told the paramedics, our friends and relatives

I was being scatty and walked into a door, a shelf, a utility cupboard

The excuses recycled like rides of a Merry-Go-Round

You scream abuse from day to day

I take it on board, hoping it goes in one ear and out the other

I will not heel to your accusations

A poor excuse for a man

I said, I'd stay with you in sickness in health

But I see death's door looming

I can't take anymore - this is my sickness, I want to die

Your anger, betrayal, this farce of a relationship is a lie

Next time, when you feel the demons take hold and submerge you in bitter rage

Take this shot gun and shoot me.