In Sickness and in Welsh: Chapter 1 – New Beginnings

The words wouldn’t write themselves. It felt like she spent at least 90% of her time staring at a blank page. The other 10% was divided up with household chores, madly writing, and begging her editor for one more day or hour or minute. You’d think that writing short stories for publication would be easy; they’re short! What she found was her brain was second-guessing itself for every other word and their importance to the story.

There had to be a way for her to get the words from her head to the page. They sat inside her in a jumble and while she knew that she could pull them forth and have them tell the story she wanted it wasn’t happening now.

Pulling off her writing gloves she placed them neatly on either side of her keyboard. She made a rude noise somewhere between a sigh and groan and put the computer to sleep. The cat rose knowing that no more writing was going to happen and maybe she could get some food. The gloves were a routine she used to create a sense of space when she typed. Wales was cold and her hands often ached if she wrote without covering them. These gloves weren’t worn at any other time.

The woman, Blair, rose and carefully stretched. It was supposed to be a warm day but looking out toward the ocean it still felt frosty. Spring was in full bloom, flowers lined her garden path, but it hadn’t stopped Winter stopping by occasionally to remind everyone that there could be one last bite before Spring was truly here. One more month before Summer would start creeping in and then maybe she might see some temperatures in the low 20’s. That would warm the winter chill still in her bones.

Her body was tired and sore; she’d stared at the screen for too long instead of giving up for the day. Blair often called her editor to ask about the other writers he dealt with but most of the time the answer was “stop overthinking it!” and most of the time that worked. She felt insecure in her writing. Maybe people had only bought her first book because they pitied her and they wouldn’t bother reading anything else she wrote.

Blair walked through her small cottage and over to the fridge. Pulling cat food and a fork from a drawer she was scooping out food for her pudgy moggy Minnie, short for Minerva, when the mood to walk struck her. Blair returned to her bedroom, changed quickly, tucked her hair up into her beanie and wrapped a scarf around her neck before heading out.

The cottage had a wall of windows facing toward the ocean. It was one of those newer cottages that had replaced the derelict building that had once been a cottage. The old frame stood as part of the new one but it was like a strange melding of old and new. She’d bought the cottage when her first book had reached international success and when her boyfriend had decided he couldn’t be a widower to her writing.

Nostalgia was creeping in and she hated that. Looking at herself in the double-glazed glass door she judged herself to be a short, slightly rounded purple mound of winter clothes ready for a frosty walk along the beach.

Minnie watched her from her warm spot on the kitchen counter and she knew the cat was judging her for leaving the warmth to head into the cold breeze.

Blair closed the door and walked down her garden path looked toward the ocean and completely missing the commotion happening on the other side of her cottage.


Wales was just so… damp. Why was the ground this moist? Was it supposed to be this way?

He had questions. Many questions. His new job at the local hospital was due to start and while he’d not worked too far away previously, returning back her to the town he’d grown up on had made sense. What wasn’t making sense was the fact that somehow, between leaving for university and coming back today, he’d forgotten that nothing was ever truly dry if it touched the ground, it was merely a different type of wet.

The mossy smell hung in the air as he eyed off the bogged trailer. His four wheel drive had no issues driving along the muddy path but the trailer had seemed to take personal offence to the mud. He wiped his face and looked up at the sky. It was clear and the sun was shining. Surely the ground would dry out before sunset? He wouldn’t know, he’d spent so much time away at med school cramming his head full that he’d obviously forgotten how the area here worked.

He unhooked the trailer, the muscles in his back visible and working hard, as he pushed the trailer up and out of the mud. The trailer bounced up and out of the mud, coming to a stop on the road which was just a slightly better packed set of mud.

He wanted to be settled back in already. He wasn’t going to live with his family this time. He was going to live alone and he was going to live as far away from anyone who wanted to pry into his life as he could. Now was the time for the future. The past had run its course and there wouldn’t be any reason to allow it to visit him in his new cottage.






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