People, Places, Ideas, Dreams, some things you just have to write about.

A lot of what I write doesn't fit within the poem or short story model - it may trigger ideas for poems or short stories, but often it's just a piece of prose about an event, a memory or something I've seen or heard. Just a little piece in the patchwork of life, like this one...

The Fairyland Bowl

In the tunnelled shadows of The Leys arcade it shone - beckoning, enticing, calling me like a Siren. Subtly octagonal, the outside was the velvet cobalt of a Shakespearian night shimmering with the faint lustre of magic, but the inside was the pale, powdery turquoise of a new duck egg - just as if someone had reached up that morning and scooped a double handful of summer's dawn from the sky and set it down on the little shelf inside the bric-a-brac shop window. The night was inhabited by imps and elves and the dawn by a golden dragon - it might have been designed for me and I fell in love on the spot.

Every day it drew me back and eventually I opened the shop door and asked the price - a hundred pounds - in 1991 well beyond the scope of birthday or Christmas presents, added to which we'd just sunk all our savings into our first home and my fiancé was about to lose his job. But still it called and every evening I lingered by the window to look at it. And one lunchtime I bit the bullet, walked into the building society and withdrew the money. Five twenty pound notes rustled seductively between my fingers as I slipped them into my purse and, as I made my way across the road, I could almost hear the dragon singing as he circled the sky.

At the window I stopped to look at the bowl again ... my bowl ... my bowl? Who was I kidding? There were so many things we needed just to set up a basic home, how could I justify spending a hundred pounds on an ornament? The internal argument swung back and forth for a good five minutes, before I tore myself away from the window, leaving the dragon weeping in the bottom of the bowl, and went and bought an ironing board instead.

I sometimes still wonder what would have been different if I'd bought it - the market for Fairyland lustre has gone through the roof in recent years, but if I'd bought it would I have been able to let it go?

© Samantha Newbury 2008