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    dots Submission Name: Him Downstairsdots

    Author: comradenessie
    Elite Ratio:    6.5 - 626/539/110
    Words: 1328
    Class/Type: Misc/Misc
    Total Views: 1437
    Average Vote:    No vote yet.
    Bytes: 6427

       I’ve been teaching Creative Writing, on a voluntary level, for the last few months. It has been a journey of self-discovery exploring all sorts of genres that I’m unfamiliar with myself. This is my attempt at a monologue. Advice, as always, very welcome. (Oh, she means ASBO = Anti-social behaviour order and not asbestos.)

    Make the font bigger!! Double Spacing Back to recent posts.

    dotsHim Downstairsdots

    He’s in the room below at the moment. He’s been there half an hour. I heard him go in there, and I can hear him moving around in there now. He always comes at this time of night, well morning really I suppose – am. After midnight. They don’t believe me, the children say,
    ‘I told you so’ and ‘why don’t you come and live with us Mum?’
    but I don’t want to live with them. Why should I. I’ve been independent all my life. Gosh he is making a racket. I’ve tried to find out who he is and researched the history of the place, well looked it up in the local library that sort of thing you know. Rather fun really – looking things up. Well I’ve always liked it, looking things up. I always thought I would have made a wonderful researcher. I wasn’t of course. I worked for Woolworth’s, worked myself up to assistant manager before I retired. I wonder what he did, him downstairs. I imagine that he was some kind of local gentry, not too high up of course, it’s not that big a house. Well maybe not gentry exactly but a local doctor, although why a local doctor should be haunting the place I can’t think. You would think they would have more consideration for one’s nerves.
    Still it is a nice house this is and old, which is what I wanted. The children they said, ‘Mum it really isn’t suited, what you want is a nice little bungalow that you can take care of.’ Alexandria that’s my oldest girl she offered to buy me a bungalow and put my money in the bank but she didn’t like this place. She said to me, ‘Mum it’s too far out. There’s no one to talk to and what are you going to do rattling around all by yourself?’ I said to her, ‘Alexandria I’m used to my own company, your father was never any company – too caught up in his steam railways. Wanted me to join. I said ‘No Arthur why should I, well I mean they don’t do much, do they, steam trains? They just chug along. I mean it was nice to get somewhere by train, which you could once upon a time, well there is some sense to that but to just go up and down, up and down without any purpose that’s pointless. I said why don’t we join something we would both enjoy but would he listen, more as like. That was the trouble with Arthur stubborn. He would do what he wanted and no thought for anyone but himself. If I said to him once, I said to him a thousand times, ‘Arthur you have no consideration for anyone but yourself’ and once he’d joined that steam railway of his never saw him till bedtime.
    I wonder if he was a good husband, him downstairs, well I mean it makes you wonder doesn’t it hearing him thumping around down there and moaning too. Deep voice he has, kind of booming, although you can’t really hear what he says just ‘oooohhh aaahhh’ then the thumping like hob-nail boots. He might have been a soldier. They wore boots. He might have been killed in the First World War, but then again, if he was why is he haunting my house.
    Arthur now he was interested in the First war, had books on it and everything. I got rid of them after he died. Well it’s depressing isn’t it that kind of thing you don’t want to think about it. This man he came round said did I have any old antiques. I said that I was a bit of an antique myself. He did laugh. He said ‘never not you, just a Spring chicken, I wouldn’t say you were a day over thirty.’ Well of course I know he didn’t mean it but I do pride myself that I’ve looked after myself. Lots of people say I look twenty years younger than I am but not thirty. Well anyway I showed him Arthur’s books and he was really interested. Then he said he’d take the small vase and that would make it up to a nice round figure cause it was an odd number of books Arthur had. I never liked that vase anyway ugly thing. Arthur’s Gran left it to him. The children weren’t happy. They said ‘Mum, we’d have had the books.’ Well, Jonathan said that. Alexandria she said that she would have had the vase valued. I said, ‘I don’t see why. Ugly old thing, I’m better rid of it.’
    Mind you it is surprising what people will pay for a piece of old tat. Antiques Road Show has some right rubbish on. Arthur used to like that, always insisted on watching it - spoilt the dinner. He knew we always had dinner at that time on a Sunday but would he turn the television off? No he wouldn’t.
    I wonder how old he is, him downstairs. I couldn’t find anything at the library. I went down twice – spent a good hour each time and then I met Ruby for coffee at Greg’s. We always meet up on Thursday’s, Ruby and I. She use to work with me at Woolworth’s. It used to be a really nice shop, Woolworth’s, not like today. It has gone right downhill, just crammed with old tat – well modern really but rubbish all the same. I told Ruby about him downstairs and she said to me. ‘Why don’t you have him exorcised?’ Well at first I thought she meant at one of those new fangled sport halls. I said to her, ‘Ruby,’ I said, ‘I think he gets plenty enough exercise stomping around my living-room.’ She said, ‘No love, I mean with the holy water and all that.’ Well I didn’t know what she was talking about so she explained that priests sprinkle the holy water to get rid of the ghosts. I said, ‘I thought priests were Catholic.’ I thought funny Ruby knowing about Catholics. Made me wonder really if she could be one - you know, one of those. But you don’t like to ask do you. I mean embarrassing, what if she wasn’t and I accused her of being one. So I didn’t say anything - but still funny.
    I wonder if he could have been one. He might have been. I mean he might not have been from around here. I’m not from around here myself. I’m from Little Buxton myself and we only moved here after Jonathan was born, well not exactly here, but Upper Buxton. We lived in the town then but I always thought I’d like to live in the suburbs. It’s more gentile. It’s where the nice people live. I mean not like the city of course. I wouldn’t live in the city if you paid me – all those young hooligans tearing around and getting asbestos put on them. I mean, I agree with the government there. If they can’t behave they have to have an asbestos order and serves them right too. Come to think of it, I think I should apply to have one put on him downstairs, maybe he would be quiet then and I could get some sleep.

    Submitted on 2006-08-10 11:46:58     Terms of Service / Copyright Rules
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    ||| Comments |||
      I liked this alot. My eyes are bit tired, from the weary labours of the day LOL, and I understand the path of the mind as it rambles its conversational way along. Perhaps a few more spaces. here and there...and that is the only thing that bothered me..felt genuine, felt kind of disconected, as a ghost in the subconcioous mind might...late at night a noise that startrs the treain of reason slowly bumping into switches, pcking up random cars...or are they?
    Looking up Nessie in the American dictionary (new edition) said it means " genius".
    | Posted on 2006-12-14 00:00:00 | by koster | [ Reply to This ]
      Wait.... I need a breath... LOL

    Very nicely done. You've captured the tone of this woman perfectly. I don't much about writing from a "classificational" point of view, but this seems like what a monologue should be. It's one person relating the story, including all of the asides and diversions.

    I wondewr if she ever gets her point across?? I can picture someone on the other end of the line setting down the phone and popping out for a pint.

    | Posted on 2006-08-16 00:00:00 | by Lost Sheep | [ Reply to This ]
      why am I not surprised that you teach creative writing. That's quite interresting, considering that I am thinking of jumping over from psychology to going for a masters of creative writing now .. which I guess means I am taking a leap of faith and goign with this need/urge .. to write and bring out the voice of peotry .. and who knows .. maybe even teach ..

    anyways ,, your short story .. let me first say that I really thoroughly enjoyed this and I am sorry for not having more time to spend on it.

    I think the first paragraph does an awesome job in presenting a familiar scene from an unexpected .. or at least .. not so familiar angle .. andit made me think of how parents don't believe their children when they speak of ghosts and monsters ... with the roles now inversed with the children not believing her ..
    The character who is speaking the monologue feels very natural while .. a moment of looking at the story from the outside .. her behaviour is quite ..old-woman nonsensical .. which is what makes it good writing ..

    I noticed that sometimes your sentences seemed to float into each other .. or not use proper grammar ..was this intentional ? .. like

    'I mean it was nice to get somewhere by train, which you could once upon a time, well there is some sense to that but to just go up and down, up and down without any purpose that’s pointless.'

    . That was the trouble with Arthur stubborn. He would do what he wanted and no thought for anyone but himself

    particularly Arthur stubborn .. ..rather than Arthur who was stubborn .. or the stubborn Arthur ...
    I actually think this has a really good effect.. it expresses something that you'd have to draw out to articulate .. but pulls it much closer to spoken word .. which a monologue sort of expresses .. or thought words rather .. stream of consciousness etc.

    The story of how she gets 'tricked' into selling all her late husbands valuable antiques is amusing and slightly disturbing at the same time because of how real it is .. how real it presents that confusion between generations ..

    I love your Catholic notion .. makes it extremely clear that you are talking about a certain group of people in our society today ..whereas some decades ago Priests and the word Catholics would be much closer to the bone for any old person .. I would say ..

    with the asbestos ABSO thing .. I was thinking of whether there is some way you can tell us that without needing an intro and still not loose the monologue perspective .. I was thinking that possibly concrete tools could do the trick in a simple way without breaking the flow of the writing .. like : AsBeStOs .. in at least one of the asbestos words .. or all of them .. because without the ABSO referrence the idea you are conveying here might get lost .. and the monologue should carry itself without demanding a description .. if that makes sense to you ..

    loved this,
    hope i'm sort of along the line with your intentions with this piece here ...
    take care
    | Posted on 2006-08-10 00:00:00 | by x-ianhoyskolt | [ Reply to This ]
      I sit here listening to a song that captured the mood of this write as I read it. I am humbled here as I read this a take a trip through the characters mind.
    The write seemed to be a sort of stroll through the mind as the writer sits and ponders of yesterday, today and tomorrow. I like how you change the subject here and there with little notice to the reader. Sort of nostalgic in a way. I can picture an older brick home from an era long past. You never name HIM but through the write I get a since of who he is in a personal way.
    It seems that the character needs HIM and then at times doesn't.
    I was completely comfortable with this write as I read this I actually smelled old books and old furniture, which by the way is some of my favorite smells because they give me a glimpse of history being reborn into a neo world.
    A brief journey that made me think of my own life and children and I can see the similarities here too.
    I think He "HIM" doesn't have to have a name or a reason to be there. He just brings a comfort to the home and to the character and without the two the story dies with no rhyme or reason.
    I cannot tell you how this made me feel and I will fav this because you have brought those old familiar smells and thought back from a time I thought long gone.
    You are very creative in your writing and you allow the reader to see the soul of the character as well as the inner workings of the writers mind.

    My daughter is in Collage and she is taking a Creative writing class. We often jaw back and forth about her stories and essays. My constant rant about what the reader is looking for when they read a book or just a short story. I believe you must allow the reader to see into the writers mind and see the person behind the pen. This is what keeps the reader interested in the write. To see where it will end up and how it will affect the writer or character in the write. The reader should feel like they are part of the story line.

    Here I sit and ramble on about how your write has affected me and my work piles up around me. I don't think I care about that well; I do in a way but not all that much.

    Thanks for sharing this write and the wonderfully old visions as well as the odors that emitted from this. (In my mind)

    Nicely Done

    Respect and Admiration

    | Posted on 2006-08-24 00:00:00 | by Wisdom Seeker | [ Reply to This ]

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