CW: A Girl from the Apple Orchard. (2/12)

If you missed Chapter 1, please navigate –> THERE <– to catch up before continuing with this installment.

If you read the previous part but have since forgotten what it was about and do not enough time to go back and review, let me sum it up for you:

We meet Laura on a Saturday, deep in thought in her home office where Roy thinks she is writing her book. Instead, we learn that she is trying to write a letter explaining why she is about to leave. Her thoughts take her far away, and only a loud noise brings her out of the trance. Upon investigation, Laura learns that it was only wind slamming the previously open window shut. Relieved, she tries to write, but nothing satisfactory makes it onto the paper. A pile of discarded balls of paper surround the trash can. Roy returns home with groceries to make dinner. When Laura confesses she was not able to write anything, he comforts her by saying she will do better next time.

***

“Honey, I’m home,” Roy shouted the moment he entered the house like he normally did, but, to his surprise, Laura did not come rushing out to greet him.

At first, he thought it odd, but quickly waved it away, assuming that Laura was just preoccupied with writing. She did mention to him that morning that she was inspired and that she felt like she was going to be writing all day. Plus, he was home earlier than usual. Humming an indistinguishable tune, Roy unpacked and put away all the groceries he brought in, and Laura still had not come out.

“What do you feel like for dinner?” he asked loud enough for Laura to hear him in the other room, taking stock of all the products in the fridge.

When he did not get a reply, Roy made his way to Laura’s office slightly ticked off. Like every Saturday, he bought groceries and was ready to cook dinner for them without Laura even having to ask. He knew how important pursuing a dream of becoming a famous writer was to her, but she could at least come out to greet him when he got home. Roy clenched his teeth as he pushed the office door open.

“Laura?”

Even though the room was only faintly lit by the hallway light, Roy could see that the chair was empty. Laura was not there. Roy flipped the light switch, but the room remained mostly dark. Off and on and off again. Nothing. He added checking the breaker box and then changing the light bulb to his mental “to do” list, which never seemed to end.

Maybe she could not be bothered with the bulb, so she decide to write in the bathroom?

Sometimes, Roy would find Laura sitting in the tub, on a pile of blankets, surrounded by pillows, writing. “Bathrooms tune out all the noise,” she would say as if writing in a bathtub was something everyone did.

Roy was about to leave the room when he noticed something unusual on the desk. Whenever Laura was done writing, she would put all of the supplies away, leaving the desk empty. This time, there was something left behind. As Roy approached, he realize it was what appeared to be a gift bag.

***

The train left the station precisely at 3.30 P.M. Laura breathed a sigh of relief when it began to move. She appreciated when things went according to plan, and hated when anyone or anything was late. By then, Roy was probably on his way home with groceries, trying to come up with a dinner idea. Adulting and playing house was not easy. Laura and Roy both agreed that there should be a manual telling you what to cook each day. Coming up with new and fresh ideas on a daily basis required way too much brain power, which neither one of them seemed to have these days.

Although Laura was very organized, she enjoyed leaving some things unbuttoned. While she knew where she was headed, she still did not know if she was going to spend a day or two somewhere else, first. Being by herself meant that her decision would only affect her, which made her feel free. She did not like having to think about all the consequences her words and actions would have on others.

It was slightly overcast, which Laura did not mind. It brought along silence that was otherwise missing. Whenever the sun was out, the birds were singing, kids were running around, screaming…

A young boy and his mother sat down in front of Laura.

“The seats are convertible,” she grunted to herself. Such a simple concept, yet so genius. It allowed people to either sit facing one another when traveling in groups, or facing away from others, giving all the privacy that everyone desired. But some people just did not seem to care. Or, maybe they did not know there was an option to change the sitting direction.

The mother opposite of Laura opened a magazine and began to flip the pages. “Viva la revolution,” said the writing on her T-shirt and Laura snorted. “Like she even knows what a revolution is.” Laura shook her head with dismay.

While the woman did not even seem to notice Laura, the little boy was fully aware of being watched. He made silly faces in hopes to engage the stranger in passing his time. When that did not work, he began to kick, “accidentally” reaching Laura’s legs. The mother kept browsing her magazine and chewing bubble gum, leaving Laura to defend herself. The boy, encouraged by the lack of his mother’s attention, kept on kicking and giggling whenever his toes touched Laura’s shins as if that was the entire goal of the game.

“Excuse me,” Laura started, moving her legs to the side.

The woman lifted her eyes for a moment only to go back to the magazine a second later. The boy went back to kicking.

“Excuse me,” Laura said, louder, pulling the magazine out of the woman’s hands. “Your kid has been kicking me and you do not seem to care.”

“Got up on the wrong side of the bed, aye? He’s just a kid,” the woman explained an ripped the magazine out of Laura’s hands.

Laura could not believe the audacity. She looked at her watch which struck 4 P.M., and then reluctantly left her seat. She was on a quest to find peace and she would not rest until she got just that.

***

At the bottom of the letter signed “Love, Laura,” there was a postscript:

Please give Tommy a hug and a kiss from me.”

Roy picked up a fuzzy, brown bear from the blue paper bag he found on Laura’s desk. The plushie had big blue button eyes, a black leather nose, and a perfectly white smile sewn onto its face. A red tie adorned his chest.

Squeeze me!” ordered the button on its left hand.

“Mommy loves you,” the bear said in Laura’s voice.

“I’m hungry, Daddy,” a boy of about five years old ran into the room and nestled his face into Roy’s thigh.

“How about we order pizza and watch something?” Roy placed the bear back into the bag and picked up his son.

“But Mommy doesn’t like pizza,” the boy replied, his eyes gleaming.

“She won’t mind this one time.” Roy closed the door behind him, leaving the letter and the teddy bear on the desk.

As Tommy turned on the TV, Roy dialed the pizza delivery place.

“A small cheese pizza and a large pepperoni,” he ordered.

***

“Write a story inspired by the word ‘revolution.'”
– prompt used for this CW piece.
[Source: BlogBattle]

***

P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post so that I can get an alert and check out your piece. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!

Stay golden,

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***

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44 thoughts on “CW: A Girl from the Apple Orchard. (2/12)

Add yours

  1. So glad you’re back!
    Really enjoying the story. I like that it is from both Laura’s and Roy’s perspective.

    Ps. Just sent you an email. I really hope you have the time and energy to participate!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m intrigued (no surprise there). I have to wonder if the scene on the train was inspired by your own experiences of public transit… children kicking or being obnoxious and their parents leaping to their defense. I seem to remember that being the subject of a post once upon a time. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It definitely was! I’ve had similar experiences in all sorts of places. Good memory; I definitely wrote about this before. As an adult, I see a train as a mode of transportation that has the potential to physically and mentally transport me to a different world. I dislike it when that’s interrupted.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Great follow-up to part one. I like your extended pieces because it gives you more scope and room to create more nuanced scenes. This part two flows on very nicely from part one and just adds to the sense of mystery that makes the reader want to keep reading to find out what happens next…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Interesting. Roy handled that… Surprisingly well. I have to wonder if that is strength on his part, or apathy. The family life seems — and I stress “seems,” given your penchant for twists — to have done its share on Laura, at least. I wonder if he wasn’t the tiniest bit relieved to be the tiniest bit freer, himself?
    Well… Or, you know, he’s a psychopath, and he’s just superficially tranquil as he plans how he’s going to murder her.

    Oh, and writing in the bathtub… I like that idea.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I like it. I’m getting a bit of a “Gone Girl” vibe. It’s always funny when the female isn’t the awesome one, though I don’t yet know about part three so I could be projecting.

    I’ve often thought that it should be acceptable to shoot random annoying children with squirt guns if their parents are being annoyingly negligent. It would likely make things worse but I’d be petty-happy for a while.

    Eagerly awaiting part three. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I am definitely intrigued to see where you are going to take this one. That scene on the train took me back to when my husband and I used to have season tickets to our Junior A hockey team. It drove me crazy when kids sat behind me and kicked my seat, at least it wasn’t my shins.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great second part that gives me even more ‘feeling’ for the characters. When the story started with Roy’s perspective, I initially thought this was the same day as part one, just a different POV. Then I realized this was … a week later? Nice touch how Roy seems to be one of those people who always puts on a happy face even though all kinds of conflicting emotions can be churning down below. Laura still strikes me as a shallow individual, and the part about how she left behind a bear that says ‘Mommy loves you’ is absolutely heart wrenching. Depending on how long she’s gone, will those words only cause more heartache and confusion for their son? I loved the ending – so up in the air, with what was actually said in the letter left to our imaginations – and, I presume, something we might find out more in a future installment. Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, this could have been a week later, or maybe a few weeks/months later. I’m not sure just yet. It depends how long it took Laura to get her act together (i.e. to write the letter/ leave). Maybe it was a spur of the moment, though, since she had a hard time writing that letter in part 1. Saturday was the day that she had mostly to herself, giving her the most freedom.

      The contents of the letter will definitely come to light. Sooner or later.

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A very cool part two, Sam! I loved the mental image of Laura writing in the bathtub — so strange, yet somehow relatable…

    One can’t help but wonder why she’s leaving — if it is a permanent abandonment she’s planning, not just a temporary one. Given her annoyance at “screaming children”, perhaps the role of a parent is not one she envisioned for herself? Seeing as Roy handled it pretty well, perhaps she’s done this sort of thing in the past…

    I liked the summary of previous events, by the way! Very considerate for those of us who can’t quite find the time to fit everything in!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ahhh! I’ve finally made it. 🙂 February is come and gone, but I couldn’t miss the second chapter in this story. While I laughed at, ““Bathrooms tune out all the noise,” she would say as if writing in a bathtub was something everyone did,” I was sad about the rest and also curious. You’ve set this chapter up to lead so well into the next installment. I’m looking foward to reading later this month! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Late reading Sam, but catching up….finally. Very intriguing and written with two levels of empathy. One being Laura who seems to need either a full separation or time out to sort her head space out. The train scene had me nodding too. Parental abstention. Not restricted to trains these days I fear. She definitely sounds either “lost” (in terms of where her place is in the world) or self centred (not sure that’s the right description, but to up and leave without consequences with a young child is pretty cowardly in some respects.)

    The other toss is Roy, oblivious, it seems, to anything being wrong. Either he is so self centred he’s missed the warning signs…which explains her actions, or he’s also self centred and not capable of seeing what’s happening. Mind you with only two parts I’m guessing haha.

    Bit harsh though…home with the kid, ordering pizza after reading a letter we’re not privy too….oooh… now, there’s another direction. Could it be he does know why and it’s more a secret service call up where she has to go rather than choosing to…. mission impossible type of thing, or a job call. Maybe the letter is because she doesn’t want to go but had no choice and couldn’t face it in person… ok loads of possibilities really so leaping at self centred and lousy was a bit hasty haha.

    Great reading though Sam!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your dichotomous description of Laura is spot on. She is a complex character and I am eager to see what she surprises us with.

      Ah, our Roy. Does he care about what is going on or not really? We shall see…

      Hahahahah! I like where you took the letter explanation. Did it come to you just as you were writing that comment? I think you might be onto something. Neat deductions.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your feedback!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Roy I felt might be in shock or carrying an aura of disbelief and maybe continuing to carry on as if it’s a nightmare he will wake up from…denial kind of thing. All of which could say he cares more than first appears.

        With Laura first impressions are not so good lol.

        Re the letter that came when I was writing the comment. So many permutations. Or… maybe not wanting to think she’s selfish, but acts that way to safeguard Roy and the kid from more sinister events running in her covert life haha

        Liked by 1 person

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