Yeesh, they're all so cheesy. Best of a bad bunch. See if you can do it. Start with a name and see what follows. 200 words, maybe?
Her name is Mary. Why wouldn’t it be Mary, so was her mother’s and several aunts’ and her grandmother’s. It’s a good name, an honest name. Our Lady’s name. Full of grace. Though she was never so graceful, with that clumsy fringe cut into her hair, such thick hair. Dark, but not quite dark enough to be definite. Always a bit non-descript. She never liked to word mousy, no, but she got called it enough. Mousy Mary. The nuns liked that well enough. Meek. Modest. At least they left her alone, except for that time. She remembers that sometimes. And she tries not to think about it then, what good does it do.
Sometimes she puts on the radio, and if a piece of music comes on and she’s in the mood, she might take the notion to have a little dance, all by herself in the kitchen. Oh, it’s silly, like some yolk out of Dancing at Lughnasa, some mad old wan alone in the kitchen, dancing. It’s enough to make you laugh. Or cry. She misses the dances sometimes. Even though they were embarrassing, all that wishing, then being left standing there. But there were friends to dance with, people to watch. At least there was the hope of someone walking towards you. The excitement of getting ready, of your lipstick in your little bag, one to match your skirt.
Or going to the cinema, walking back up the hill full of the tremors, ready to scream at each shadow after screaming the hour away, screaming and laughing with the girls, at all the horrors. Lizzy Kennedy remembered all the lines. Oh, the fear was delicious. Fear with promise. What was she afraid of now? Of breaking her hip, of getting stuck in the lavatory with no one to find her. Of days just like this one, one after the other.
She looks at her hands, and wonders when her knuckles started looking like that, look at them, stick out like that? Hand cream, she should put it on more. Those aren’t her hands, look at them, shaking a little. She would have liked to have hands like Margaret’s, Margaret had Mammy’s hands, she thinks hers took after Daddy’s mam, Granny Kinane’s. Not so elegant. Her mother had beautiful hands, she remembers the smell of the cream she used. It brings her back into the room. Margaret was fierce proud of herself, showing off that ring.
But she did have the hands for it. And that fecker turned out to be nothing to be proud of in the end.
She should ring Margaret. Go see her. Maybe she’d like someone to talk to as well. She could get on a plane. Never too late.