My story ”In The Dark”, not finished, just taking a break to read it in a few months. This is an old story I have written called Orvieto. What do you think?



Alessandra didn’t care that she sang out of tune, or that most of the words were all but forgotten. She sang along to Mamma Maria anyway. Her mum’s favourite song. Every time it came on the radio forgotten Italian dialect filled the air.

A lost language, never spoken at home. Although she would always smile, just a little bit more, when it was played on the radio. The percolator, brewing proper coffee, on the marble worktop bubbled.  

She scrolled down on her phone, tapped at the screen. The news was all the same. There was never much to read, unless you wanted to know about the latest celebrity gossip. Just lately it was all bad.

Checking her Snapchat instead, a smiling face with a heart emoji. Alessandra, you do anything later? Do you want to go into town? We could meet at Tony’s Café, have a chatter. Nearly fifty years in England, and sometimes phrases were mispronounced.

A soft thud, and the postman was early this morning. By the time Alessandro arrived to pick the letters up, he was long gone. A silent sigh of relief, as she picked them up – no white hospital letters today.   

Her last blood test must have gone okay.

She rifled through the pile. A pale blue envelope, with an Italian stamp.

The ability to open it, disintegrated her courage.

What if this letter was nothing more than a polite request to leave well alone. They were different people now. Would she have taken the time to reply if that were the case.  

She contemplated her favourite painting, standing proud above the fireplace – a picturesque cottage, dropped into the countryside and covered in golden Marigolds. Not a cloud in the sky. An elegant hawk hung motionless, waiting for its prey, feathers standing to attention in the slender breeze.

What was beyond the painting? Her mum’s home?  Crossed paths, never quite meeting. Even with social media, Facebook, her mum never wanted to relive the hurt. It was how she found aunt Bella was still alive.

Alessandra closed her eyes, imagining being in the painting, she walked through the cobbled streets. This was a place where dreams were made of. After the last arduous year, with wigs and chemotherapy, she found hope within its deft strokes and elaborate meanderings.  

Following the sprawling handwriting, which ran through the paper, a deep breath, or more like a sigh. She tried to imagine her aunt Bella. Why had her mum been so afraid to get back in contact with her sister? Was it her right to open up old wounds? Something inside urged her forward. She gingerly tore open the top of the letter and unfolded the aromatic paper to reveal the words within.

My Bambino, Alessandra

I received your letter and just had to write back. So sombre, I was sorry to hear you suffered over the last year. Why didn’t your mama tell me? It has been too long. My many letters come back unopened.  Please  tell her how much I love her still. My telephone number, it hasn’t changed. She can come back home to Orvieto. I will not take no for an answer. I have enclosed two tickets so that you can both come, stay with me. I know that your mama is still hurting, but she must talk to her father once more. You have no choice, see your family. The country air will help your health to improve and I know that you will love Italy as much as your mama.



Zia Bella


Alessandra held the tickets, her hands trembling. For once lost for words. How could she possibly take up her aunties offer? She hadn’t even told her mum about sending it. How could she possibly persuade her mother to travel back home?  

Yet, Bella had sounded so like her mum.

Maybe this was just the trip she needed. It was somewhere to recover. Think about what to do next. She was getting close to forty. If there was ever a time for change it was now. Her passport was still in date. It wasn’t impossible to change her plans. The more Alessandra thought about it, the more enthusiastic she became. The very thought of the fragrant air, brought a freshness to an outlook on life that had become stale of late.

She could have her blood test a little earlier.

She scrolled through her phone, typing in her aunt’s name.  A short message, Zia Bella, I will talk to Mum later, I’ll let you know what she says. The message deleted she typed again Zia Bella, thank you, I’ll be there The message deleted, she typed another message on Snap chat Mum would love to meet you in town, about ten.  She sent the message, not quite sure what she was going to say when she got there.

Published by writerravenclaw

I am a fifty something mother of two grown up children, and one beautiful grandchild. I have been married for nearly thirty-four years. My first book was published ten years ago. I wrote my book Sticks and Stones because of my experience of being bullied at school.

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