It has all been a bit hectic lately and so I have not had much time for writing, blogging or visiting my favourite blogs. I intend to rectify that over the coming week – in between Sports Day, Concerts and GAA Blitzs. In the meantime here is a very little short story for your amusement. So grab a cuppa, take a seat at the kitchen table and enjoy!


I stood up, smoothed my hair and crossed the bedroom to answer the phone. I made a mental note to get on to Tom again about moving the bloody phone over to the bedside table. As usual he was already fast asleep. Lying on his back, mouth wide open, snoring softly, his grey haired chest rising and falling, the picture of blissed out middle age. I caught sight of my reflection as I passed the wardrobe mirror. My soft and saggy nakedness shocked me. Was that really me? I was caught, mesmerised by the picture captured in the framed mirror. Behind my creased self, was the crumpled bed and my husband of twenty years, oblivious in the dying light of a summer evening. Through the open window, riding on the smell of freshly cut grass came the suburban evening concert of birdsong and the hum of neighbourhood lawnmowers.

I have been here before I thought. On another soft summer evening, I stood framed in a crooked wall mirror and wrapped in the same soft aroma generated by the Trinity College groundsman on his ride on lawnmover. My body was long, lightly tanned and voluptuous. I celebrated my beauty and nakedness by dancing as my lover watched from the bed. Through the mirror I kept contact with his startling blue eyes which were full of the promise of further ecstasy. I danced sensually and slowly, enjoying the sight of his body reacting as he lay sprawled on my single bed. His strong arms held his head up so he could appreciate my teasing. I danced on until he rose up and grabbed me roughly, pulling me back down onto the bed. I gave myself up to his athletic, nut brown body, burying my face in his chest. We devoured each other, noisily, greedily. Outside the day died as we exhausted our appetite for each other. Then we lay, our bodies wrapped around each other as we spoke softly to each other of the big colourful dreams that lay ahead. Futures full of fun, laughter, excitement and languid afternoons spent making love.

It had gone silent. The snoring had stopped and the outside noise had ceased. The quiet was broken by Tom, who muttered “are you going to answer the bloody phone or stare at yourself all evening?” I smoothed my hair, sucked in my stomach, and tippy toed over my broken dreams to answer the phone.

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Writing and Talking.... on the radio, on the telly and in the papers. Debut book out in Spring 2022

14 thoughts on “SHATTERED DREAMS”

  1. You've such a lovely way with words, Barbara. I love your style and really enjoyed the story – love the tippy toeing over your broken dreams. Maria x

  2. oyo yo! What a piece. Can you give us an alternative ending? Like –
    The quiet was broken by Tom, who called to me his voice husky with desire, “why don't you ever dance for me like you used to, darlin'. you look as you did all those years ago…” I turned and moved towards the bed.
    OK OK – I know! But it could be…

  3. Well, Barbara, that woke me up this evening. Lovely, sensual piece, is Jan right, is Tom the young lover fast forwarded into the future?
    Oh, for a languid afternoon!

  4. What a gorgeous story! It's fantastic. I'm with the comments above in wondering if it's the same guy… You should join in with #fridayflash!

  5. Terrific Blog. What makes this story so amazing is that the first line in the Blog was given to us all as homework. As you can see, some have done extraodinarily well from such an umpromising first line. If you can make a story out of that unlikely line, maybe you should be scripting films..

  6. Thanks everyone for the kind comments. Was the young lover the same guy??? Well, I think that first loves/young lovers should live in our mind forever young and lithe and beautiful.

  7. Sad and lovely. Lyrical.

    Why do our bodies spread? Go south? So cruel.

    I still think if tom had been more awake, he would've grabbed you still. I'm amazed at how my husband compliments me. I want to say, “But look at this,” but I bite my tongue.

  8. Loved this read…Thank you….We need to work out together and get our juice on again….Though breathtaking and halting in a sense…It does not have to stop here….beautiful story…

  9. Thanks Theresa, Niamh and Sandyman… your comments are great!

    Although this post has gotten me into lots of trouble. Was out the other night and came home to husband bent over his computer. “come here you” says he “which one am I”. He wouldnt believe neither. “THIS IS FICTION – from my imagination” I said. But he is still asking!

    As for Carla (eldest aged 23).. “mom, whats with the porno post. Its a bit ugh” Clearly at my age I should be past all that!!!!

    My mother said she couldnt think of a comment to leave!!!!

    What would a psychologist make of all that!!!

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