Wednesday, 14 July 2010

The gargoyle at # 22

Ormond Street, Paddington
She’s gone now.

At first light, while the streets lamps were still weak, before the milk with its neat silver-foil tops had been delivered, she would shuffle to her front gate and scatter bread and seeds on the footpath for the pigeons. She used to scare the bejesus out of young Nathan two doors down, with her frizz of orange hair standing on end, wrapped in her pink chenille dressing gown, all soiled and tatty where the hem dragged.

Regular as clockwork, a short time later, a gaggle of lads from the postal sorting facility around the next block, would come past on their bicycles weighed down with canvas sacks, a yellow sash diagonally across their regulation navy blue sweater. Guffawing at the top of their voices, and rattling the latch on her front gate, they skidded through the mess of pigeons.

From the deeps of her back room, Glenda would let out a roar to wake the dead, and storm down the hallway brandishing her solid rolling pin, her blood-shot eyes wide and rigid and staring, her Grosby slippers clattering out her anger on the cold hard tiles.

The lads, bent double with laughter, would retreat to the verge on the other side of the road until bored, they dispersed to their allotted rounds. Glenda, for that was her name although her mail was addressed to Dr G. Thompson, would clutch the railings in the front fence until her heart had calmed, smear a mixture of tears and snot across her cheek with a swipe of a chenille sleeve, and retreat to the medicinal cupboard in the front room.

Nathan, mouth agape and face bloodless, standing silently at his own front gate, watched.

19 comments:

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Your blogs are full of gorgeous pictures. Good work! Travelling

Joop Zand said...

Hello Julie

It's a very good picture with nice colors.....I like this very much.

Greetings from Holland.

Joop

brattcat said...

Well, here we are in the midst of a story with a provocative setting and a fascinating set of characters. Will we learn more?

That is the chicken said...

I love the word picture you have painted here. I can see her very clearly!

Luis Gomez said...

What a great story for a beautiful picture. Thanks Julie.

this too will pass said...

nice work

Joan Elizabeth said...

Riff has moved into the Eye. I love both the story and photo. And that tiny gargoyle at the door.

Bill said...

Wonderful story, Julie about life in a city street.

Bruce Caspersonn said...

Oh dear, what a picture you paint here, like something out of a Charles Dickens novel.
Personally, now, I only photograph things that I know how to spell. Garg???What was it again?

Dimple said...

I like the door very much, and the story makes me wish it were longer!

Clytie said...

I find myself in sympathy with the poor Glenda, aka Gargoyle. I have known some eccentric persons such as her. You bring her to life so well.

Tulsa Gentleman said...

I love the colors - green door and orange ironworks. I may have to steal it for my Wednesday doors post.

Jayne said...

Perfect!
I can see the overly henna-ed hair standing on end clearly :)

B SQUARED said...

Wow! I feel as though I know her. Your words made her come alive.

Vicki said...

Beautiful post. Thank you.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

What a wonderful (short story? reminiscence (?)) I could SEE each of the characters ...it made me remember old women in similar circumstances from my childhood . I suppose they weren't much older than I am now, which gives me pause.

The photo is a perfect illustration.

Julie said...

Thank you. It is a short-short story. No reminiscing at all.

secblog said...

Great very high info about Sydney. Good article as well at Sydney Australia

SKIZO said...

"