Thursday, June 26, 2014



“You no-name trollop.” Hazel Palmer’s strident tones ripped into Abby. “You tricked my son into marriage by getting pregnant. He never should have taken that posting to Australia.”

“Robbie and I loved each other,” Abby yelled back.

“Stop this shouting.” Bob Palmer’s cold voice sliced into the fraught atmosphere of the kitchen. “I will not tolerate it.”

“I want this tramp out of my house.” Hazel marched around the kitchen like a demented witch.

“Lower your voices,” Bob growled. “The neighbors might hear you.”

“And we couldn’t have that,” Abby shrilled. “They might find out how you treat your son’s widow.”

“You listen, my girl.” Bob grabbed her by the arm, his fingers pinching her skin as he shook her. She would have bruises on her arm tomorrow.

“If you don’t like it here in Englandyou can leave,” he continued his eyes hard and pitiless. “But Rosie stays with us.”

Monday, June 16, 2014

ALLISON'S WAR:  The war news went from bad to worse. The French, outnumbered and outgunned, retreated towards Paris. Belgium had fallen and was occupied by the Germans, but for her, Allison shuddered. It was spring, a time for new life, and a new life grew inside her, callously put there by Phillip.

Rolling up newspapers to start the fire, pure chance had her staring at the social pages. Blood pounded through her veins as she read the few devastating lines: “Queensland society wedding of the year. Phillip Ashfield, only son of Lord and Lady Ashfield of Yorkshire, England, married Miss Isobel St. John, only daughter of Colonel and Lady St. John formerly of Herefordshire, England, now residing in Queensland.”

The room tilted, and she clung to the table until it righted itself again. She stared at the wedding party. Six attendants. What did she care that the bride wore a white silk gown adorned with imported French lace? The bridal couple was returning to England immediately, as Phillip Ashfield, a graduate from Sandhurst, was anxious to join his father’s old regiment.

Well, Miss St. John was welcome to him, but the sheer vileness of it overwhelmed her. Even as he forced himself on her, he had planned to wed another woman. How could a man be so heartless?

It was terrible being so desperate and alone, Jim and Tommy away, her father hardly home and then never sober. She rode recklessly, moved and lifted heavy objects, took scalding hot baths, but nothing happened.

Maybe she should go to the police and tell them what Phillip had done, but who would believe her now? What good could it do? Would the minister know of a place where girls in her predicament could go? Visions of slaving away in some terrible workhouse rose up like pictures on a canvas. Abortion? The word gave her the shudders. Some backyard butcher? Vomit rose up in her throat.

Dishin It Out - Ginger Simpson