March Madness - The Crumpled Letter Part Three

in #marchmadnesslast year (edited)

This is the third instalment of The Crumpled Letter for March Madness with Freewrite House. You can read previous instalments by clicking the links below.

Part One
Part Two



Doris arrived home a little after five, having spent a while chatting to the very friendly front of house at the museum. He had answered all her questions regarding volunteering and said she could email her application directly to him. There was to be an orientation meeting in the coming week for new volunteers so the sooner the better, if she was really interested. He had taken her name and been very encouraging saying they had a lovely group of volunteers who were a great addition to the permanent staff.

As she walked into her hallway, she looked at herself in the mirror and noted that her smile now reached her eyes. What a difference a few hours could make. She looked at her left hand again and decided it was time to make a clean break. She walked into her kitchen and squirted a little bit of soap onto her hand. She wiggled the ring again, and, although it still proved stubborn, she managed to slip it over the joint and off her finger. Holding the ring, she remembered how, thirty-eight years previously, it had slipped on effortlessly. That had been one of her happiest memories, but now unfortunately it was tainted.

Still, she decided, she was not going to spend any more time feeling sorry for herself. There was a whole new chapter opening up for her and she was going to meet it head on. With that in mind, she decided to get out her journal and begin contemplating the possibilities that now lay in front of her. “I’m not going to be scared about my future anymore!” she stated loudly to the empty house. The silence dented her new found confidence a little so she walked over to the radio and switched it on.

The air filled with the strain of violin strings playing Hubert Parry’s, Lady Radnor’s Suite. Doris smiled, deciding this was indeed a good omen. What better way to begin her contemplations, than listening to music composed for an orchestra of women, conducted by Lady Radnor herself. She sat with pen in hand and began filling the blank page with ideas of things she could now do. Things that would fill her up and allow her to explore her passions. By the time she was finished, Doris felt invigorated and knew it was time to reach out to some of her old friends.

She was amazed at how quickly she had organised a small gathering of female friends to join her for an evening of fun and frolics, as she had put it. They had jumped at the opportunity of getting out of the house and doing something a little different. Deirdre had wondered if she’d wanted her to drop by this evening, just in case she required someone to thrash out ideas with. But, she’d declined the offer knowing that she’d done enough for one day, and she probably wouldn’t be the best company. When she heard the disappointment in Deirdre’s voice though, she suggested meeting up for lunch the following day. After all, today had been quite a milestone for her and she wasn’t sure how she’d feel when this new excitement wore off.

There were still some hours to fill before she’d allow herself to go to bed. It was eight thirty five, and she wondered if she still had enough energy to finish the last of the housework and hoover the upstairs rooms. If she did it now, it would be a good finish for the day. It also broke with all her old habits. She’d never hoovered so late in the day. There was always someone else to think of, whether that was because they were watching television and so didn’t want the sound disturbing them, or she was ironing shirts for Bill, so he didn’t have to rush in the morning. She smiled. No more shirts to iron. In fact, would she ever need to iron again? There was definitely some positives to being divorced, Doris reflected, and suddenly she found herself laughing. “What a difference a day makes!”



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Ooh, I know that feeling: the freedom to vacuum at any hour of the day, nobody to disturb. On the one hand it's sad that there's no longer anyone to disturb. On the other hand, it's liberating.

From small but telling details, I gather this is set in pre-color-TV England. The radio. The use of hoover as a verb seems Brit. This is rich in atmosphere and music and literature. I love Doris!
I love this: “I’m not going to be scared about my future anymore!” she stated loudly to the empty house. The silence dented her new found confidence a little so she walked over to the radio and switched it on.

I like that you thought it was set so far back in time.

Doris is inspired by the women of my mum's generation, who played a big part in my upbringing. Mind you, none of them faced what Doris is now facing. Many remained locked in marriage.

The use of hoover as a verb seems Brit.

Caught, I'm a Brit. ;)

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