Tales of the Fabulous Sisters [LOWWC]

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posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 04:35 AM
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Tales of The Fabulous Sisters

She brought them to Weston-super-Mare, to the seaside, to the beach with it’s donkeys and it’s pier. It was a desperate bid to recapture some of the joy and togetherness of Jackie’s own childhood. Her holidays at the seaside with her mum were still among her happiest and most treasured memories of all. Weston-super-Mud she’d called it, but to Jackie the mud and getting covered from head to toe with it was what made the holiday complete.

A single parent’s life was a constant struggle and Jackie longed for some of her mother’s wisdom. Just by spending the day in Weston she felt closer to her somehow. Penny, six, was wetting the bed again and becoming a nuisance at school. There’d been several meetings with the headmaster already. Josy was still bellowing for her daddy in the middle of the night, louder than would seem possible with three year old lungs. She didn’t understand people wearing black standing around a large hole in the ground.

Now that Jackie was alone, without Dave, most of the time she was terrified. She felt like she should go into hiding from the world to avoid being found out as a failure. Jackie feared she’d be discovered and unmasked as an unworthy parent. She half expected someone at any moment to shout, ‘Hey you, you’re not qualified to raise those children! Hand them over!’ Jackie felt like a fraud. She felt that somehow God must have gone mad or senile or both to have given her sole responsibility for the lives of two such amazing and wonderful and fragile little human beings. It felt to her like she’d failed the entrance exam, and missed the interview entirely, but had still been given the job anyway. The feeling of unworthiness was always gnawing at her gut. Jackie longed for some kind or miracle Bible on kids, or a Manual for perfect parenthood. Something she could turn to in a time of need.

The last of the two constants throughout her life were now gone. Dave, her rock her childhood sweetheart, was in the ground because of...because of blue on blue. And now despite the years that had passed since Jackie’s mum’s death she missed her now more than ever. If her mum was somehow up there watching her, what would she think? From deep within herself, from a place she usually denied the existence of, Jackie prayed. She asked for a sign, a nod, or a nudge in the right direction...something...anything. She had come to weston desperate for an epiphany.

“Toy-let mummy!” Shouted Josy staring up at her from behind heart shaped sunglasses, and from beneath a new straw hat. She screwed up her nose, held herself, and stamped her feet for added authenticity. The clear skies and high temperatures meant they’d each consumed several cold drinks already, but...

“You’ve just been.”

“I need-” she implored.

“I need an ice cream.” interrupted Penny. “I need to go to the beach too mum.”

“Mummy! Toy-let” Shouted Josy.

“Ssshush both of you. Penny you don’t need anything.” Jackie pulled the girls out of the stream of pedestrians and into the shade of a shop front. “Now listen, Josy we’ll get you to the loo first, then if you both behave yourselves we might, I say might, get ourselves an ice cream.”

The girls fell silent, beaming up at their mother brightly enough to melt frost. However, only seconds later Josy’s smile had turned into a screwed up face with leaking tears, and accompanied by two little legs waggling about on the spot. Jackie realised she might not have much time to avert a mishap.

“I want a strawberry one mummy.” Said Penny, “I want a pink donkey too mummy.”

Jackie searched in vain for a sign giving directions to the nearest public toilets. She heard Dave’s voice in her head,

‘How come council taxes are always rising, but council services are always being cut? How come libraries and public toilets are closing all over, but those corrupt council officials are still getting fat pay rises and keeping their big expense accounts? How come despite all the voices demanding austerity, the councils seem to have unlimited funds for narrowing important, wide, heavily trafficked main roads and putting in massive pavements, grass verges and unused cycle lanes? How come? I’ll tell you how come...’
edit on 26-2-2013 by merkins because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 04:38 AM
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With nowhere else to go and time running out Jackie looked at the shop behind them and saw that it was one of the scores of local charity shops.

“Right you two, in here quickly. Remember, be good or there’ll be no ice cream.” Jackie grabbed each of her girls by the hand and strode quickly into the shop. The elderly couple behind the counter were happy to help and after sharing a sympathetic and knowing look the elderly lady led them through to the back of the shop.

Soon Josy was all smiles again and Jackie decided to make a purchase by way of gratitude. She needed some new reading material anyway. Apart from the girls, the only other thing that was keeping her off the vodka was the ability sit up at night in bed and escape from everything for an hour by opening a book.

“I need strawberry mummy.” Said Josy, “and pink doggy!”

“Yes sweetie, in a minute.” Jackie replied, “let’s choose a book each from the shelf over there first.” Jackie led the girls to the bookshelves, but was disappointed to discover only an eclectic jumble of cookery and children’s books. She sighed, no new novel for her today. Then one book spine caught her eye. It was old and battered with barely anything left of the gold embossed lettering on the side, but she felt flutters of recognition in her stomach nevertheless. Her heart rose in her chest and as realisation dawned she gasped before snatching the book greedily off the shelf.

Surely not? She looked at it’s cover, it was old and brown and worn, but there it was, the title that she’d thought she could never forget. ‘Tales of The Fabulous Sisters.’ With trembling fingers she opened the book and saw the title repeated on the first page. The embossed letters looked absolutely mint, pristine, new... golden. Jackie looked down at the footnote. The phrase came back to her before she had a chance to read it. ‘This tome remains in perpetuity the property and responsibility of The Fabulous Sisters, Jayne Fabuleux, May 2nd 1776’.

Memories of her mother holding the book swept through her mind. The Fabulous Sisters, she’d forgotten all about them. How could she have done that? She looked at the title page again, and the lettering caught fire and disappeared in a tiny puff of smoke. The page was blank, but then in front of her eyes more writing began to appear.

Hello Princess,

I am so glad you have finally found us. I had planned to give you this book such a long time ago. It was all so sudden sweetie, but I had to go, it was my time. I’m so sorry I had to leave you on your own.

Jackie, You are a Fabulous Sister. You’ll always be a Fabulous Sister. No matter what life throws at you. No matter what any person or piece of paper or system tells you your name is, you and your daughters and your daughters daughters will always be Fabulous Sisters. Never forget that.

The world began to swim, her legs momentarily weakened, but Jackie, looked up from the book and out through the shop window to the world beyond, seeking a horizon or a landmark to steady herself with. She found it in the form of the town hall clock tower. So now, moments later and stable again Jackie glanced at the girls who were still completely absorbed in choosing their books. Then she stole a glance around the shop. No one was looking at her. Maybe the fire and smoke hadn’t happened at all. Maybe she was even more stressed than she realised. Maybe The Parent Police should come and find her and take the girls away after all.

Jackie returned her gaze to the book but her eyes weren’t registering what was there. Her mind’s eye was racing through replays of times during her childhood and teens when her mother had brought out the book. Whatever issue, problem, crisis, or decision that Jackie had gone to her mother for help with, there had always been an answer in the book.

Together her mother and the book had taught Jackie to consider others in one’s own actions. They’d shown her that sometimes bad things, tragic things, happen to good people. They’d made her realise that if she didn’t share her toys with others they wouldn’t want to share theirs with her. They’d demonstrated why lying and theft was wrong. They’d given her the strength to deal with the bullies at school. They’d gently explained good important reasons not to rush into adult physical relationships, but most of all they’d encouraged her to value herself for who she was. Throughout her childhood there had been a limitless supply of stories and analogies for every malady, and for every situation. Jackie eventually began to believe that her mother had been making them up all along and that the book was just a theatrical prop, an illusion. She shuddered, blinked and returned to the moment, to where she was. Then the words burned and lit up again before disappearing in another tiny puff of smoke. More words began to apear.

Keep this book with you and I and the Fabulous Sisters will never be far away. This book contains all that I am and all that we sisters are. Within it’s pages you will find all that we know and all that we have learned. Within this book is the collective wisdom of all of your fabulous grandmothers. I could never have raised such an amazing woman and wonderful mother without it’s help. Now it’s time for you to take responsibility for it’s safekeeping.

I am so proud of you sweetie...

She could read no more, and as her vision faded to black as she crumbled into a chair that the man from behind the counter had deftly slid beneath her.

***
The sun was still shining by the time they eventually made it to the beach. The girls had been very quiet for a long time after she’d fainted. However, with the ice creams eaten, the donkey rides ridden, the tide coming in and sand between their toes they were themselves once more.

Jackie retrieved the book from her bag and shouted to the girls to come and get their buckets and spades. After she had made sure they were settled for the next few minutes she opened the book and turned to the first story. ‘Ice Creams, Donkeys and Sandcastles’. Beneath the title was a sketch of a bright sunny day at the seaside with happy people, golden sands, donkeys and a very grand pier. In the centre of it all were two little girls building castles with their proud adoring mother looking on. Jackie hadn’t cheated and skimmed through the story to the end, but she knew exactly what the final six words were going to be. Then her attention turned to the torn papers that were bookmarking her place in the story. She unfolded them and looked again at the 23 homes she’d circled in the property section of the local paper. In his wisdom Dave had made sure that if he was ever taken out of the picture, in his absence Jackie never have to worry about money again.

The End

edit on 26-2-2013 by merkins because: (no reason given)
edit on 26-2-2013 by merkins because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 04:39 AM
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This was a hard story for me as it's way out of my comfort zone and I've had to break many of the rules I had given myself when writing. I didn't at all like having so many 'Jackie's' and 'She's'. I fully expect to have errors pointed out to me as I changed the viewpoint and tense frequently. I hope some of you enjoy this, my cuddliest story to date.
edit on 26-2-2013 by merkins because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 05:28 AM
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reply to post by merkins
 


I think you are too hard on yourself. If the story is good, no one will care about the grammer. I personally don't care , as long as I can follow the story line.

Story was good, but I would have liked more detail about the book of the fabulous sisters. It sounded important, but I am left wondering why.

Other than that, I liked it.

Thanks,
Blend57



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 06:05 AM
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Sorry, I cheated and skimmed thru to the end.

Its just that I'm so exciting to finding about ATS and even more surprised to see a section for short stories, fiction.

Now that's top secret SnF in advances, hope to come back to this



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 06:40 AM
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reply to post by blend57
 


Thanks for reading and your supportive comments.

I do try to make things ambiguous and cryptic and hope the reader gets the clues I leave and manages to put it together for themselves. I think I must have failed there, so for any that didn't get it:

The book is a magical book passed down from the first Fabulous sister, a Mrs Fabuleux who had it printed the day after the illuminati was founded and mere weeks before Independence Day. Those references were meant to highlight illuminism and hint that the Fabulous Sisters were indeed illuminated, but were the antithesis of the now corrupted Illuminati. It was a book that amongst other things (as yet unrevealed for possible longer story) would always produce an analogy that would help it's current keeper and impart wisdom to the Fabulous Sister that turned to it for help. The solutions to all the Fabulous Sisters' problems were always found in a story from inside the book.The stories were different every time the book was opened. This book had been handed down to the eldest daughter of each generation since 1776, and as their last names changed with each husband, the Fabuleux surname had long since disappeared.

Jackie has recently been widowed as her husband died in the middle east, a victim of friendly fire. Now, time was up and she'd have to move off base and find somewhere new to live. Dave, was 'awake' and fully conversant with ATS and the NWO. He chose though when on leave, to direct his tirades and rants at local issues such as 'Council Taxes', believing in the phrase 'Think Global Act Local. He made sure there were multiple life assurance polices totally millions for Jackie should Dave ever die in the line of fire. There was a reference to there being many charity shops. This is something that has happened to Weston-s-Mare's high street and shopping areas in real life. All that remains on the high street are charity shops, cafes and mobile (cell) phone shops.

When her mother died suddenly a few years back, Jackie was left alone. Most of her mother's possessions went in a house clearance and not only was the location of the book lost, but it's very existence forgotten by Jackie.

So in search of an epiphany Jackie takes her girls to the seaside town she spent many happy summers at with her mother. When she opened the book to the first story it was about someone in a similar situation to her who had decided to move with her daughters to a seaside place of childhood happiness. Jackie couldn't ignore the synchronicity and decided there and then to move to Weston and start a fresh. So she got a local paper, found the properties for sale pages and circled the ones she liked. The fact that there were 23 properties is a nod in the direction of 'The 23 Enigma' which is something that has a daily affect upon my life in the real world.

The story from the book that she'd yet to complete reading would guide Jackie on her stressful journey to move to a new town and start a fresh. She was no longer alone. Jackie now had the supernatural support and collective wisdom of all the Fabulous Sisters that had gone before her.

The last 6 words of the story she'd yet to complete were... yep you guessed it, that old cliche:

And they lived happily ever after.

EDIT to add that despite having two more hours of my four hour edit window in hand, I cannot edit the story and put back the italics that were lost during the copy and paste procedure. These represented written words and speech within her head. I had wanted to make the distinction with that and the actual dialogue absolutely clear.
edit on 26-2-2013 by merkins because: (no reason given)
edit on 26-2-2013 by merkins because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 06:52 AM
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Originally posted by atsci
Sorry, I cheated and skimmed thru to the end.

Its just that I'm so exciting to finding about ATS and even more surprised to see a section for short stories, fiction.

Now that's top secret SnF in advances, hope to come back to this


Naughty naughty!

Welcome to ATS

Please do come back and comment critically, even if you hated it. Every voice is equally important to me. Regardless of whether you're a new member, an old pro or someone who thinks their views don't matter.
edit on 26-2-2013 by merkins because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 07:12 AM
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very good story ... on many levels .. quite interesting and well written .. s/f



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 07:33 AM
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reply to post by Expat888
 


Thanks for taking the time to read this and for your compliments.



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 09:16 AM
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Wow! I wasn't expecting that. I figured you would still write something in the horror genre, but this has a totally different tone to it. I think it's great that you can be so versatile. The whole story had a nice tone to it, despite the sad undertones. I do like that you did keep a fantastical element to the story, although I would have never put two and two together and figured out the book was illuminati related, being an American, I saw 1776 and thought "American revolution" ahhhh....gotta love that public education brainwashing!

I was really impressed with your ability to write the mothers character. You very accurately portrayed her feelings of apprehension and inadequacies of being a single parent very well. I think that takes a writer who is very observant and empathic to pull off correctly, which you did IMO. What I liked most was how just when the main character was at her all time low and she felt she was an utter failure, the book presented itself. It's that kind of magical quality that I find charming, in a CS Lewis sort of way.

You also did a good job of keeping the circumstances of the fathers death out of the story. I think it would have taken away from the overall theme if you'd given too much info on him. I do like how you did allow us to see a bit of his character though, when the mom heard his voice in her head. It was a very realistic natural way for us to know what kind of man he was. It is that tiny bit of a reveal that gives the reader just enough to fill in the blanks.

I did notice a few grammar and formatting issues, but you have explained what happened in that regard, so no sense beating a dead horse. I know how frustrating it can be when you write, edit, rewrite, edit and then all it takes is one missed save and the stuff that mattered most just "poofs" off the computer screen!

Overall, this was an enjoyable read, it flowed well and your use of description was spot on. I could visualize seeing the mom and her daughters walking around, with ice cream; and the daughters heart shaped sunglasses was stuck in my head. I also thought the end with the properties section was neat, but I do wish you would have went into a bit more detail with that.

Btw, once a long time ago, I went to Brighton beach in England, and it was so pretty. I loved just walking through the town, which was a bit run down but still very nice in a cozy beach kinda way, and the smell of the sea was so fresh, totally different from American beaches. Your story stirred that half forgotten memory up for me...something I haven't thought about in many years. Thanks for sharing, and I have an idea there will be more surprises out of you!



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 11:57 AM
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reply to post by Mijamija
 


This is definitely the fluffiest end of my spectrum but I write all sorts of stories from different genres, the only constant is that they all have either a supernatural or science fiction element and wherever possible a dark twist.

1776 was dual purpose so you weren't wrong. Both dates May 1st and July 4th have links with the illuminati.

Thank you so much for your kind and supportive comments. This entire story came to me in an instant one day in 2001. But it's mostly been in my head since then. I originally toyed with the idea of expanding the story and having each episode being an individual story from the book.

Being a man who unfortunately has not been blessed with children I was very hesitant and unsure whether I was anywhere near to creating a believable female protagonist. So it was nice to hear I was in the right ball park.

Brighton was my back up location, but because the story was already complete before a word was written, I stuck with the locations that were already in my head. I even know which shop it was (a shoe shop at the time but no doubt probably a charity shop now), and where the ice cream, bucket and spades and the local paper were acquired.

You mentioned wanting more about the 'property pages', and I think an earlier poster was alluding to that too but I'm not sure I understand. I don't like not understanding so if you could expand on this it would be very helpful to me.

My original intention was to allude to the fact that in the pages of the book the story jackie had begun reading was about a mother in similar circumstances who was moving to the seaside. Jackie saw the obvious parallels and took the hint so she went and got a copy of the local free newspaper and started looking at houses to buy. I imagined them currently living in temporary accommodation in Birmingham. Over the years there have been a lot of links between Weston and Birmingham. The brummies came down to weston for their holidays, while residents of Weston went to birmingham for organised shopping trips. As a result Weston and the surrounding villages has a relatively high percentage of ex-birmingham residents.
edit on 26-2-2013 by merkins because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 12:42 PM
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My original intention was to allude to the fact that in the pages of the book the story jackie had begun reading was about a mother in similar circumstances who was moving to the seaside. Jackie saw the obvious parallels and took the hint so she went and got a copy of the local free newspaper and started looking at houses to buy. I imagined them currently living in temporary accommodation in Birmingham.


Yes, I think that a bit more detail in that regard would have helped. I wasn't able to make the connection between the pages she had circled and her husband setting her up for success...I thought "23 properties?" sort of confused for a second. I figured it out, but maybe just one sentence connecting the two things could have clarified it for me. The ending was just a bit too vague, but the rest of the story was clear as crystal, like I was watching a movie in my mind. I hope that helps?!



posted on Feb, 26 2013 @ 04:38 PM
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reply to post by Mijamija
 


Right i've gotcha valid criticism.

I had hoped that the sketch beneath the title of the story that was such an exact replica of Jackie and the girls day at the seaside, would be enough to make it clear they were moving to Weston because of the book and her knew found strength.

I certainly never meant to give the impression that she was intending to buy 23 homes from the real estate pages of the local paper, so thanks for your views there. She was compiling a shortlist for the one perfect home by circling 23 different ads that seemed at first glance to be suitable. Like you might encircle a job listing when looking for employment.





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