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I awoke just in time to witness the final stages of the transaction taking place a few inches from my nose; the too-cheerful air steward took the euros from the kindly gentleman next to me and handed him his extortionately priced coffee. The unfolding scene had shaken me from my dream and I felt too jumpy to slide back to sleep with any ease, so I dragged my heavy head forward and shifted my lower back to match the contours of the seat; I checked my watch: 5.55pm, so I’d slept another half an hour away of this torturous two and a half hour flight in my cheap, last-minute seat on this budget airline.

Looking around I realised it wasn’t actually that bad; the seats were sensibly spaced, appeared to be made of leather and were reasonably comfortable – beyond that I didn’t really have many expectations of plane journeys anyway. I decided I would treat myself by making a start on reading my new novel – that should help while away the next forty minutes or so before we landed and my post-thesis holiday could begin.

I reached into my bag and carefully brought out my exclusive, not-out-in-the-shops-yet and not-for-resale copy of Mari Strachan’s ‘Blow on a dead man’s embers’. I slowly undid the knot in the red bandana that I had lovingly wrapped around it to protect it from being scratched or bent in my ‘cabin-baggage’, and sat smugly savouring every detail of the cover. This book wouldn’t be available for another two months but she’d had her publishers send me a copy because I’d based one of my literature columns on her debut novel. Needless to say, I was very pleased with myself indeed.

I was just about to start reading when I got the feeling that I was being watched. I looked up, and then across to the right, where there sat a rather astonished-looking  baby, who had obviously been observing the peculiar book-unwrapping ritual with some interest. Upon meeting my gaze however his astonished look was replaced by quite a cool, grown-up expression:

“Seriously lady”  he seemed to be saying.

Just what are you doing with that there book?!”

I smiled sweetly at him and found myself making those annoying baby faces, complete with ridiculously over-pronounced baby talk; he promptly lost interest and turned his attention to the plastic spoon on the table in front of him. I returned my attention back to the book before me.

Then for about twenty glorious minutes I was whisked back in time to 1920s Mid-Wales, where I befriended Non Davies, a simple rural girl like myself (well I am at heart anyway); we sat in her kitchen together, observing her husband Davey ghosting scenes from the war as we tried to unravel the mystery surrounding his disturbing behaviour. But inevitably my escape was abruptly terminated by the endless announcements which always precede landing. So I rewrapped the book, flipped up the table and began planning my ‘holiday’ with military precision.

Retrieving my luggage from the carousel was surprisingly palaver-free and I walked through the arrivals doors to find my parents watching each person intently, their facial expressions a mixture of anxiety and hopefulness…quickly replaced by relief and delight upon seeing me…presumably because this confirmed that I had, in fact, caught the correct plane from John Lennon and thus had not buffooned my way onto a flight to Timbuktu…or somewhere equally as unhelpful.

As I drew closer their expressions altered again and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it at first – was it alarm? Horror? Concern? Ah, of course, they’d been out here four months or so already, so they hadn’t witnessed my transformation from wearing-well-thirty-something-cutie, to pale, puffy-faced, strained, post-thesis-burned-out-husk. Looking down I also noted that I was sloppily dressed in my used-to-be-baggy-jeans (now decidedly snug) and oversized-ancient-cardie, rounded off with some battered old flip flops and un-ironed, uninspiring, white Gap t-shirt; my slightly greasy, flat hair completed the look. Hmm, adorable…not. I really needed to get myself back on track.

Mercifully, I slept through most of the drive back to Playa Flamenca, with my Dad at the helm since he’s the only one in the family who has thus far mastered driving on the right hand side of the road. I was a bit dubious when my Mum told me she had made quiche for dinner, since shop-bought quiche is always soggy and tasteless; but it turned out that her latest creation was more of a four-cheese pie kind of a deal, with a delicious savoury version of her legendary pastai fale pastry – even the accompanying salad was made palatable in its wake.

The evening was long and pleasant; the sun kept shining and we kept talking…well it was mostly me talking really, firing my well-rehearsed monologue at them about my future plans for cracking into academia; plans which involved lots of additional, self-paid-for courses, highly competitive research grant applications (with slim chances of success) and numerous applications for research posts (again highly competitive, with slim chances for success). They listened, they nodded, and they sympathised; but really I couldn’t even convince myself to hold out much hope that my efforts would lead to a state of sensible, stable solvency – at least not for a good few years yet anyway.

Back when I’d been offered the funded PhD, we had all been convinced that I’d ‘made it’ and was now destined for a successful, lucrative career…well, at least a job that would pay the bills whilst also being interesting; but five years later and we’d all come to regard the path I’d selected as being more of an expensive, all-consuming hobby, which had left me swimming in debt and bitterly disillusioned. I lay awake for hours that night, as the realisation of my precarious predicament kicked in: what on earth was I going to do if I couldn’t now forge a career in academia – after all this life I’d frittered away chasing the dream?

For the next couple of days I stormed about, sticking to a strict schedule: need to lose weight so I’ll go to the pool; my parents watched in wonder as I charged through the gate and down the lane…whilst they continued with their leisurely breakfast in the sun. Next on my list was a visit to the Saturday morning market; reflecting on this now I’m having trouble identifying why this seemed so important – was this me allocating myself some ‘scheduled relaxation’? Or perhaps this came under ‘cultural appreciation and enrichment’? In any case, I visited the market…where I promptly huffed about, growing increasingly bitter at not being able to afford any of the fabulous knitwear or the pretty little white blouses and dresses with lace detail and colourful, embroidered flowers.

The turning point, which tipped the balance in favour of this being a ‘holiday‘ rather than a ‘mission’, really came when I decided that a tan would help rid me of my pinched, ”morlock-like’ complexion. So off to the beach I went, heavily laden with all the ‘kit’ I had decided were essential: towels, chair, three different sorts of suntan cream, a parasol in case the sun was too fierce, belly-board for some tummy-toning activity when cooling off in the sea became necessary. Basically I was seeing everything as ‘work’ – even a simple trip to the beach or market!

Having set up in an appropriate spot, smothered myself in factor 50 (I burn horribly through anything less) and gotten through the annoying procedure of re-donning shorts and flip flops to fetch the key from the bar-hut to visit the ladies…and having climbed the steps to the top of the cliff to where some bright spark had decided was a good place to put the beach-toilets…I was returning the key when I noticed the sign for ‘sandwich nata’. This conjured up memories of family holidays in Ibiza, when I had spent almost every waking hour in the pool, punctuated by visits to the snack bar for cheese toasties and the aforementioned ice-cream-biscuit.

                   I allowed myself a smile – just a little one mind, remembering how impish I was back then, how much delight I found in each new experience…the complete opposite in fact of my current temperament. I checked my purse – ten Euros, enough for a sandwich nata…and just enough for a mojito even…but I wasn’t here to enjoy myself…or was I?

This kind of ridiculous navel gazing went on for about five minutes until the bargirl snapped me out of it by reaching for the key from my hand and replacing it on the hook above the bar; she nodded to me and I found myself blurting out the imagined order in my text-book-sentence-Spanish before she had chance to turn away. Looking slightly startled, and perhaps slightly irritated at the thought of having to ‘muddle-the-mint’, she smiled at me pityingly and I realised I must be frowning and staring intently again…I loosened my grimace and touched the deep crease between my eyebrows; new mission: relax and fit in.

A few minutes later I was back in my low-swung beach chair, sandwich nata in one hand, fully-muddled-mojito in the other. As the sun beat down on my carefully-placed sunhat, I took a few bites of my ice-cream-biscuit and sipped my mojito. Around the third, long sip I began to truly relax; I didn’t have to be anywhere today, or tomorrow even. As long as I kept a look out for decent research opportunities – which was now possible from the house thanks to the nice people from Olé having installed the home-hub last week – I was surely entitled to relax a little, do things just because I wanted to, rather than because they fitted into some big plan or other – wasn’t I?

I returned from the beach feeling newly optimistic. I took a long, refreshing shower, put on a pretty little blue, flowery, loose-fitting, cotton dress from Joe Brown’s and headed for the kitchen, where to my pleasant surprise I discovered at least half of last night’s four-cheese-quiche under a strategically-placed dish-towel. I carved myself a hearty piece, brewed a pot of tea and sat happily daydreaming whilst enjoying the divine pastry.

I poured a second cup of tea and headed for the sun lounger on the patio in front of the house, taking my bandana-clad novel with me. The novel soon sucked me back through the vortex of time and space, and soon I was accompanying Non on her daring adventure to track down the woman who had apparently stolen her husband’s heart and was somehow tied up in the mystery that kept Davy locked in an imaginary battle; would she confront her? Would she find the answers she was seeking? It was all very exciting.

An hour or so later my parents returned from Mercadona, hulking numerous bags of tasty treats, including the just-so-much-nicer-than-home, full fat milk (it has a pleasant ‘nutty’ flavour). I rewrapped the novel and helped them unpack. Over the next couple of days I pretty much followed this pattern of beach or pool, then preparing and eating lunch, followed by reading my novel – which I decided was perfectly valid since I was going to base my next ‘Synfyfyrion llenyddol’ column on the ‘genre-of-the-seedy-underbelly’, with Mari’s novel at the heart of it. In the evenings I was mostly occupied with checking my emails and trawling for research jobs.

One afternoon, I arrived at a crucial bit of the story; it was tense, then, Davey finally revealed the dark secret at the heart of the unravelling mystery…I won’t write it here as it’s a spoiler, but suffice to say it was pretty shocking – so shocking in fact that I yelled out: “No”. At which point my Mum looked up from her sweeping in surprise. I explained what was going on in the story and my Mum again expressed surprise – she had been quietly observing the bandana-wrapping-ritual and had assumed that this must be one of the Jean Rhys novels I was forever harping on about (she didn’t put it quite like that, but that was the gist…and in fairness, I had been a bit of a Jean-bore these last couple of years!) Obviously I had a couple of ‘Jean’s’ with me, but they were just cheap, penguin classics, so no need for bandana-wrapping. However this did remind me: I really must get around to writing my novelette ‘I dream of Jean Rhys 30 years later’ based on the conference I’d attended the previous year…I was currently mimicking my role-model’s writing pattern, that’s for sure…cue more pangs of anxiety and self-recrimination!

That evening I opened my googlemail account to find an email from a very Welsh sounding person whom I did not recognise. Casually I opened it, assuming it would be a circular from Llenyddiaeth Cymru or one of the other mailing lists I’m signed up to. But as it turned out, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Addressing me specifically, Pedr ap Llywelyn, of Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru no less, was writing to say that he had read my column in a recent issue of Y Clawdd (community newspaper) at some über-Welsh event that our editor had been presenting at, and that he had liked the article very much (it was the one which linked Aled Lewis Evans’ book of short stories with the L’Oreal strap-line and Radley handbags, all to a soundtrack of the folk song Moliannwn – quite a feat, I thought!) Anyway, Pedr went on to say that Gethin, our editor, had given him the address of my wordpress blog where I post all my columns and latest literary offerings, and that he was impressed enough with the content of my work to offer me my own column in ‘Gweler’ magazine, with an associated book option.

After that the good news just kept coming as he explained that there was some funding available, for folks like me – budding authors whose Welsh was colloquial rather than ‘correct’, to enable us to attend an intensive two week course at Nant Gwrtheyrn, with top-up sessions thereafter, to help us get our treigladau right, and any other ‘polish’ we needed; the offer of the column and book option came with the condition that I first attend the course. Was this for real? Had my rambling, obscure ‘literature’ montages with suggested ‘soundtracks’ not only just paid for themselves in course fees, but also brought me one step closer to the Jessica Fletcher lifestyle I so yearned for?

I fired off a carefully constructed email, making sure that he was left in no doubt regarding my enthusiasm for snapping up this offer, and listing all the novel plots I had on the back-burner: the social-sci-fi-thrillerThe Bodhyfryd Chamber – set in a dystopian future, complete with its own bespoke dialect, à la Clockwork Orange; and the catchily-titled and mystical: Carmen Fernandez-Jones and the secrets of Cegin Dodo…describing the adventures my nieces and I would have from the gateway of my magical kitchen…all very Magic Far Away tree/ Lion the Witch and the wardrobe! I even pitched my fledgling idea for a zombie-esque, pandemic apocalypse based in Wirral, which dovetails around to prequel The Bodhyfryd Chamber…and I don’t even have a title for it yet! But I’d figured this might show I had my finger on the pulse of the current ‘hot genres’ as well as being an eccentric, off-beat genius!

Having checked my email every hour for two days solid, feeling thoroughly ignored and dejected, I received a short email from Pedr saying that those ideas all sounded interesting enough, but that what they actually had in mind was a column and novel based on…well, me, essentially; it seemed that the idea of a bumbling young academic-wannabe, who spent her spare time writing articles for her community newspaper, attempting to infiltrate the ‘Welsh literature scene’ – all whilst living over the border, experimenting in her farm-house-style slate kitchen, trying to write novels and learning to be a ‘dodo’ (aunty) was what had caught their fancy.

Apparently, they felt that my wholesome persona, coupled with my heart-felt yearnings and endeavouring for success in something other than reality TV and b-list celebs-ville, would be the perfect antidote to the current overkill of this sort of thing, and might also help to inspire some of the young people who were currently being put off the idea of university by the recent funding horrors and dreary job prospects beyond. Hmm, I’d have to carefully tone down the exacerbation I felt with my current ‘Temps Perdi’ predicament, but this unexpected career break would help with that; in fact, I’d already done a complete one-eighty and was busy extolling the virtues of my university education, reflecting that I owed my analytical mind and engaging writing style to my ‘journey so far’ (oh cringe! Did I seriously just utter that ridiculous cliché?)

So, in summary, it seemed that they were looking for an easy reading, mildly entertaining, weekly meander – no doubt to fill the slot previously inhabited by Lowri Reiki/ Mami-medrus…oh, I could do that…oh yes! I rubbed my hands together in glee at the thought that I could plunder my long-neglected ‘Inklingettes’ blog for additional source material; the Miranda-esque posting: ‘A graduation, Jam side down’ would certainly pack a punch as a stand-alone column, and the more whimsical offerings of ‘A thesis picnic’ and  ‘PhDs and long stories’ would also do quite nicely.

A few emails later and we had hammered down the details: I would attend the course on a fully-funded scholarship and I would then begin submitting weekly columns, whilst also simultaneously working on the associated novel with an editor from Y Lloft publishing house. I’d get a small sum for the column…just enough to keep me in Guerlain, and then when the novel was published I would get a percentage of sales following the first ten thousand copies sold…which initially would probably not be that many since linguistic minority fiction only had a niche audience who could read and understand it, much less those who would choose to do so.

Okay, so it seemed I wasn’t exactly going to reach the dizzy heights of a beach house in Cabot Cove overnight, but if it was successful enough they might publish an English language version – then I’d be ‘cooking’, as they say. In the meantime, at least now my actual hobby of fiction-writing would begin to pay its own way, or at least stop costing me money (in competition entrance fees and such) and who knew, maybe my academic ‘career’ might even follow suit? Wow that would really be something – an Atwood-esque, combination, portfolio-career, with a twist of Bradshaw…but without the rude bits!

So after three splendid weeks in Spain I conceded that it was time to go home. I surfed the budget airline pages until I found a suitably cheap flight back, packed, and sent dozens of emails informing all and sundry that I would shortly be ‘back in town’. To my great delight, upon checking my emails on the day of my departure, I had an email from Luke, one of my friends back at the University, saying that, not only did he have some examining work which he could put my way, but that there was a 0.8 Research Associate contract in his department which would shortly be advertised – for which I had the perfect experience!

Everything was finally beginning to work out, as though my whole life so far had merely been setting the scene for this moment. But I was getting ahead of myself, the research job wasn’t even advertised yet and there’d be heaps of people applying. After a ridiculously out-of-perspective moment, in which I was more concerned with the idea of getting the job for the sake of the column, rather than because it was a fantastic career opportunity, things came back into focus; I had a good chance of getting this position and if not this one, then a similar sort of thing sometime soon. In the meantime I had this thoroughly random, yet thoroughly brilliant opportunity to really test myself as a creative writer, on a topic for which I would never be short of material – what with the trials and tribulations of preparing research grant applications, the endless redrafting of papers for publication in journals and the weighing up of impact factors…

I practically skipped out to the car with my bags and sat grinning to myself all the way to Murcia (as I practiced, in my head, being interviewed about my success – à la Jimmy Rabbit in ‘The Commitments!’) As I boarded the plane and settled in my seat I was optimistic that I was returning home with a much better ‘hand’ than the one I had arrived with – and I even had a couple of aces up my sleeve. This plane was taking me back over the border and into a different linguistic space (well, for the column anyway) and there were plenty of interesting options to consider. One thing was clear: the future was bright – and it certainly seemed set to be more profitable for me than it had been until now!

This short story was written for The Quattro Authors Facebook page. Please feel free to download it to your kindle or IPad, or simply print it off; or you can email me and I can send you the PDF!)

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Blodwen watched from the doorstep as Osian walked awkwardly across the lawn, carrying the canister of petrol they had given him. As he reached the gate he turned briefly and waved, smiling, before vanishing into the night; and so he was gone, as suddenly as he had arrived. How strange it seemed to be stood in this doorway, after all these years of it being locked and forgotten; it had taken a stranger’s knock for the spell to be broken.

She stood there for a few seconds, replaying the evening’s events in her mind; such a different evening, because of the visitor. They so seldom had visitors these days – and when they did come they were usually on ‘mercy visits’ with much clock-watching and sighing, before the inevitable “must get back to….do such and such”, almost as though they had been doing her and Glyn a favour by visiting.

But this evening had been lovely. Blodwen recalled with pleasure how Osian had heartily tucked in to the food and had complemented her on the Bara Brith and the butter – “churned right here on the farm mind you!” She had added with delight.

“Lucky I’d made a fresh batch of Bara Brith this morning” she’d thought then. How nice to have someone enjoying her Bara Brith and butter. A new person; a new stamp of approval!

As she stared out into the blackness she shivered and pulled her shawl over her thin, aching arms. For sure there was a bitter wind this evening and it must have been a shock for poor Osian, what with him having just stepped off the plane from Israel; they did travel far these days, didn’t they, young people? Why the next county had seemed a distant land in her youth…her youth, a hazy memory now.

She sighed and stepped back into the hallway, shutting the door; it really was in such a shabby state, what on earth must he have thought as he stood there knocking?

“And with me being so house-proud too” thought Blodwen miserably.

But it had been many years since anyone had knocked at this door, or even since it had been opened to let the air in, not since – well, there was no point dwelling on the past…and it was doubtful they’d have another visitor any time soon…

Once the door was shut the house seemed to embrace her, hugging her, with its dark woodwork and low ceilings; a comforting sense of history, familiarity and belonging. This was a truly Welsh house; a testament to the culture and traditions she so dearly cherished. As she passed the old grandfather clock it struck eleven

“High time we were both in bed” she muttered “If we’re to be up for the milking”.

She bustled into the kitchen with her mind set on the tasks to be completed before bed: return the butter dish to the pantry; wrap the Bara Brith; wipe down the table; wash up the dishes…

Glyn was sat in the rocking chair by the fireplace watching her quietly; he seemed a little uneasy and she suspected he was stewing over something, as was his way, rather than just coming straight out with it. Perhaps it was to do with the farm? Perhaps it was something the visitor had said? Perhaps he wouldn’t talk to her about it at all, whatever it was? She decided to test the waters by speaking first:

“Well he was a very nice young man wasn’t he?”

“Mmm” said Glyn, not lifting his eyes from the fire.

“So nice to have a visitor…and a Welsh speaking one too. It would be nice to see him again; I wonder why he had to rush off like that? But then perhaps he was tired…from his trip…so maybe he’ll come back this way…when he’s got time obviously, they’re busy these youngsters aren’t they…”

She stopped then, berating herself. She was doing it again – rambling on and on when she was nervous. All these years and she still couldn’t help herself. Glyn looked up and she knew from his face that it was something she had done. She felt her stomach tighten.

“Blodwen my love, why did you have to go and say all that about the border?” He said, in a disappointed tone. Blodwen exhaled erratically, and said in a wavering voice which threatened tears:

“Because that’s how I feel; and because that’s what’s in my heart; and because how can I not talk about these things when they torture me so?”

“But he won’t understand – and how could he? I certainly wouldn’t if I weren’t living in this confounded place! Said Glyn.

“I just had to can’t you see that? So that I know that it’s real, so that I know that I am real, I’m so lonely out here Glyn, I feel like I’m drowning…”

“I know” said Glyn “I know. But we must be careful. Try and see it through the outsider’s eyes. What if word gets around that the old lady who lives over at Ty’n y caeuau farm thinks she hears the border ‘whispering’ and ‘breathing’ and ‘scratching at the old front door’ and for goodness sake, if anyone heard about you being afraid that the border waits outside the front door to ‘suck us away’ well what do you think would happen? “

Blodwen stared at him blankly.

“Well aside from them carting you off to Denbigh, what if they started asking questions? What if they wondered why two prominent young activists suddenly vanished? What…”

Glyn noticed the distant look in his wife’s eyes and realised that he had gone too far. Blodwen was staring into the fire now, playing with the fringe at the corner of her shawl. She didn’t say anything for several minutes. She didn’t even seem to be aware that he’d stopped mid-sentence. When she did speak her voice was small and quiet, almost menacing in its lack of emotion:

“Maybe they should”

Glyn paused before answering. What did she mean? Had she misheard him? Was she even speaking to him?

“Blodwen, you do understand don’t you” he said, gently. “We’re both quite old now and we’ve got no one to stand up for us.”

Blodwen turned her head towards him and fixed him with a calm expression:

“So what if they do come looking?” she said defiantly. “Supposing they do ask where my beautiful sons have gone? It’s not as though we have anything to hide is it? Maybe they could get to the bottom of it…”

“Unlikely” Glyn interrupted grimly; he didn’t like the way this was going. He’d always felt responsible for what had happened, and guilty for not being able to protect his family.

“Oh I didn’t mean – you know I don’t blame you. But I can’t live like this. I hated having to lie to Osian like that. It was so lovely to show him their photos” At this point she reached for one of the photographs from the dresser and gazed at it lovingly.

“My boys, my boys, all they achieved, everything they stood for, and I have to deny them, lie about them, say they abandoned their entire belief system, sold out – went to live in England and turned their backs on their language and culture I HATE IT I TELL YOU!” She was shaking now, tears of frustration in her eyes and she strode across the kitchen, making a grab for the kettle.

“I know, I’m sorry” said Glyn, trying to make amends. “And I’m sure Osian isn’t the type to gossip, I’m sure in my heart. I felt as you did, he’s our kind – on our side.”

Blodwen was stood in the middle of the kitchen floor, still clutching the kettle, not moving.

“Come here” he said at last. “Come and be warm by the fire and let’s think no more about it tonight.”

She hesitated then went over to him and he wrapped his arms around her tenderly, then held her so that he could look into her eyes. “Such pretty eyes” he thought, “As pretty as the day I met her.” Her hair was silver now but still soft as silk, still long and shiny and she still wore it pinned back, as she always had.

“There, there my sweet” he said, kissing her forehead and stroking her hair. “We have each other and that’s more than most.”

“But what happened to them Glyn? Where did they go? Where are they? My babies, and their babies…my Dylan, my Carwyn; I ache for them…”

“I know, I know. There are so many unanswered questions from this life, we can only hope to know more when we move onto the next”.

This appeared to comfort him, but he’d always been more comforted by religion than she had; the idea of heaven had always rather frightened her.

The fire crackled bathing the kitchen in a warm and cosy light, “if only life hadn’t been so cruel” she thought “I could have been happy, living the simple life, here, with my family. But that’s all gone now, ruined, there’s nothing left.”

As she stood hugging her husband she heard a faint scratching. “A fox” she thought, but then the wind began to howl and the house shook; she could hear the eerie breathing and cackling of y ffin…

She separated herself from her husband with such force that he stood stunned for a moment, but then sped after her through the hallway. Her shawl hung off her shoulder and a strand of hair had come loose.

“Blodwen what are you doing?”

She’d paused by the door and was staring at the Grandfather clock.

“One minute to go” she was saying “Just one minute”.

“So come away from the door” said Glyn “let’s get to the centre of the house where it’s safe…”

“But safe for how long?” She said angrily. “No, not this time, not this year and not on this day. I’ve had enough. I need to know…”

“But Blodwen, you saw what happened, it’s too dangerous”.

He tried to grab her hand but it slipped through his fingers as she threw herself against the door and undid the bolt.

“Please Blod” he pleaded, tears in his eyes now.

“Don’t make me go on my own, Glyn. We belong together…”

They stood staring at each other. He seemed lost, like he had run out of things to say. She wrenched open the door and the hallway filled with white light. He saw the outline of her face against the light and it seemed young and vibrant. Her eyes were wide and bright and she stepped forwards. He couldn’t let her go, he couldn’t lose her, his love. He grabbed her hand and they stepped forward together…

******************************************************************

Osian sat in the coffee shop at his favourite table, waiting for Catrin to come back from the counter with their coffees. When he looked up she was almost at the table and smiling awkwardly. On the tray in front of her were two huge slices of chocolate fudge cake. He sighed; she had a sweet tooth but was too self-conscious to indulge by herself, so he was often roped in as an accomplice.

“One for you and one for me” she said, charmingly.

“Thanks” he said, picking up a fork.

“So what exactly was it that happened to you the other day that left you high and dry with a bunch of pretty flowers?” she asked eagerly, her green eyes shining.

“It was the strangest thing” said Osian. “Do you remember me telling you how I ran out of petrol on the way back from Cardiff?”

“Oh yes, when you nodded off at the wheel!” she teased.

“That’s right. Well I felt that I’d rushed off, after they’d been so kind…I was worried about the drive back you see…”

“I’ve run out of cream, could I have some of yours?” She said, cutting across his story.

“Sure, have it all…”

“Oh no I couldn’t possibly…”

“No, really, I’m not a fan of cream anyway…”

“Oh, really?” she said, sounding rather bewildered. “How odd. Anyway, sorry – go on”

“Anyway” continued Osian “I decided to go back with some flowers”

“Ah that’s nice”

“Yes I thought so” he said, rather impatiently. “But when I went back, I couldn’t find the farm”.

“Oh?”

“And I drove up and down for about 2 hours.”

Catrin observed him thoughtfully. “And you’re certain it was the correct stretch of road?”

“Yes” Said Osian patiently “The Arddlin road, along the border. I found the first farm house, and…even the hedgerow…but that farm just wasn’t there”.

“Woah, dude! That sure sounds like one of your short stories in the making!” She said, smiling.

She was about to tease him further but then she noticed that all too familiar expression crossing Osian’s face, as though a light had come on somewhere. And she knew it was hopeless; from here on in, his mind would be fully engaged with piecing together the story. She finished her cake.

“Right, I’m off-ski, got a list of books to get from the library for my thesis” she said, not expecting much of a response.

But Osian was momentarily distracted by this, he’d been worried that the break from her studies had been too long, and that she was going to find it hard to get back into things.

“So what are you working on at the moment then?” he asked, genuinely interested.

“Oh, erm…the theory chapter” she said, looking glum. “I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to write, nor even which theory to go with…”

“Oh, you’ll be fine” he reassure her, although he had found some of their previous discussions about Sociological theory rather alarming, and it was certainly not anything he would fancy trawling through!”

“So, I’ll see you at the Eisteddfod next week?” she enquired, swinging her multi-coloured, hippy-esque bag over her shoulder.

“Yes, I’ll be there for the dechrau canu, dechrau canmol sing-along” he replied, smiling.

“Right you are then, I’m pitching my tent over on maes-b…going to catch a couple of gigs while I’m there, groovy hey?…see ya!” she said, making her way towards the door.

Osian smiled as he sipped his coffee, Catrin could seem so mature one minute and so young the next. She was right though, he could turn this rather disturbing experience into a short story…Y Ffin…The Border, yeah; it would add a touch of sci-fi to his latest collection for young people, that’s what they liked wasn’t it? At any rate Douglas Adams seemed to be pretty popular! He reached into his bag and pulled out his notebook and pen and wrote everything out as it had happened; you couldn’t make this stuff up!

Later that year, Osian’s editor called:

“Hia Osian, yeah, we want to publish the collection, we’re going with the ga’i ddarn o awyr las heddiw? title – great collection Osian, especially Y Ffin, spooky vibe, I’m liking it!”

“That’s great Phil, I’ve got a great idea for the cover by the way, it’s a bit out there, but if we can get the right person, with the right expression, I think we can capture the mood of the book…”

There was the faint sound of a telephone ringing in the background and of someone answering it.

“What? oh, sorry Osian, I’ve got to go…that sounds great though, we’ll talk more next month, we should have the proofs through by then”.

“Great, speak soon” said Osian, hanging up.

***************************************************************

The old couple sat at the back of the chapel, dressed like everybody else, looking like everybody else – smart, respectable and inconspicuous. The Vicar began to speak. After a while the old woman noticed that one of the visiting speakers looked familiar – where had she seen him before? She wondered; then she let out an audible gasp

“Duw annwyl!” she said

“Shhhhhh” said her husband incredulously. “What’s the matter?”

“It’s him, it’s Osian, the one who came to the farm” she said, her dark eyes sparkling.

“O rargor, I knew this was a bad idea” he said.

“Glyn, what an awful thing to say – coming to church is never a bad idea.”

“It is if it raises awkward questions” he said. “Now there’s no need to panic, let’s just sit quietly, there are lots of people and it’s unlikely that he’ll spot us. Then we can just slip away at the end, quietly, no problem”.

But Glyn must have known that Blodwen couldn’t pass up this chance. She’d so often wondered about Osian – had he made it home safely? Did he ever come back to look for them?

And, predictably, once the service was over, Blodwen slowly made her way to the front. Glyn tried to reason with her but she was determined:

“Look, you said yourself at the time, even if we told him the truth it’s unlikely he’d believe us…he’d just think I was an eccentric old lady who made up stories to amuse herself!”

“Now I don’t think I quite said it like that did I?” said Glyn. “And don’t you think it will strike him as odd that we haven’t aged in the last 20 years?!”

“It hasn’t been that long” she retorted, but he was ready for her:

“I’m afraid it has my dear, well, 19 years anyway. So you see he’s going to suspect something…”

“Oh give over” she cut across him. “Look, there’s Meinir Llywelyn over there, she hasn’t aged a bit in the last 30 years let alone 20…why some of her former pupils look older than she does!

“Yes, but…”

“And look there are the Williams sisters, they must be technically in their 90s now, and still gallivanting here there and everywhere”

Glyn looked over at the twins, still identical, with the same short hair style, similar long skirts, the same style of blouse but in different colours – and yes, they must have been touched by Y Ffin, because they didn’t look a day over 60.

There was a bit of a queue to speak to Osian, and it seemed, from the snippets of overheard conversation, that he was quite the celebrity these days – a successful author no less!

Having waited patiently for ten minutes while the woman in front monopolised his attention, Blodwen finally came face to face with Osian.

“Excuse me” she said “I’m not sure if you’ll remember us but you came to our house once…”

Looking into his eyes she saw the disbelief as it slowly dawned on him who they were.

“Gosh, Mrs Jones, Mr Jones…how lovely to see you again. I hadn’t expected…well you know I came back a couple of days after you gave me the petrol, I had some flowers…”

Blodwen had thought as much, and now she felt sorry for him and it showed in her face. But Osian mistook this for doubt; he thought miserably of how unlikely it would sound, but he tried anyway:

“I came along the road, but it all looked so different in the daylight and, well, I know it sounds ridiculous but I couldn’t find the farm…”

To his relief Mrs Jones didn’t seem to be holding a grudge:

“Oh that old stretch of road likes to play tricks, lots of farms and they all look the same”

“Well, do you have time to go for a coffee now? Please, let me treat you, to thank you, belatedly…we could go to the coffee shop in the library…”

Blodwen smiled as she recognised the same tendency to ramble when nervous as that which plagued her. She was so pleased to see Osian that she had quite forgotten the need to get back and she was about to accept the invitation when Glyn cut across:

“Erm, that’s very kind of you Osian, but we really must be getting back to the farm now you see, got to feed the animals and such, you know how it is”

“Oh of course” said Osian, disappointed. He smiled and waved to them as they left the chapel and was quickly reengaged in conversation by Mrs Bowen, who had enjoyed his recent poem in such and such magazine and wondered if it was part of a collection, and so on and so forth. But Osian didn’t forget. He was curious; and he was determined to show his gratitude to the Jones’s for their kindness.

***************************************************************************

“So what’s all this about Oz-man” asked Catrin with an amused expression as she arranged herself carefully on the seat opposite him. She looked so different to how she had been last time they had sat at this table, talking about that farm. She was Dr Evans now of course, married and settled, and working as a lecturer at the University. Gone were the bohemian outfits and childish jewellery; they’d been replaced by slick suits and a big sparkly engagement ring and matching rose-gold wedding band. But underneath she was still the same cheeky little scamp who was forever teasing him.

“Catrin, I had a rather strange experience on Sunday”

A smile twitched around the corners of her mouth and she was obviously suppressing the urge to make a joke, so he pressed on with his story.

“How very odd” she said, when he had finished. “And yet…”

“Go on” said Osian, wondering why she’d stopped mid-sentence.

“Well haven’t you noticed that the old folks of Treffin don’t seem to get any, well, older?”

“Erm, maybe, but I’ve always just thought it was down to good, clean living” he said.

“Come to think of it, it’s especially true of those who live out near Arddlin…hmm…I wonder…well certainly you should try one last time with some flowers” she said, thoughtfully.

“Yes, that’s what I thought, only – they did seem keen to get away, and I wouldn’t want to impose”.

“Well, you can only do that if you find the house right?”

“Right”

“And if you do find the house at least you’ll know it was just a trick of the light or something last time right?”

“Right”

“And if you show up and it seems you’re unwelcome, at least you tried, okay?

“Okay”

“Splendid, now finish your coffee and we’ll go now”

“What?”

“Yeah, no time like the present”

“What…you’re coming too?”

“Sure, two pairs of eyes are better than one and, besides, you’ve got me curious now!”

So they set off in Osian’s car, stopping off at Tesco on the way to pick up some cheerful gerbias.

As they reached the Arddlin road along the border Osian slowed down.

“Now look out for farm gates, let’s take them one at a time.” He said.

“There’s one” said Catrin, excitedly.

“No, we’re looking for a privet hedge.” Said Osian, decisively.

They drove all the way to the end with no joy. The light was fading, but they turned the car and drove back up, determined. The sky had changed colour and visibility was poor. Osian switched on the headlights. Then, as they drove along, they saw a ribbon of light, swaying in their path. It was too late to swerve and within seconds the car had been enveloped. The landscape swirled and the tyres scuffed along the curb; Osian stopped the car.

“What on earth was that?” asked Catrin, bewildered.

“I’m not sure – are you okay?” asked Osian, anxiously gripping the wheel.

“Yeah I’m fine” said Catrin, reaching for a bottle of water from her Radley handbag. As she slowly sipped its lukewarm contents, she noticed an old lady come through a nearby gate; an old man followed her…and then two young men and some children…

“Hey Oz”. Said Catrin. “Look over there?”

Approaching the car Blodwen felt a twinge of guilt. She’d known in her heart that Osian would come and she hadn’t tried to dissuade him; and now he was here, mixed up in all of this. Oh but she was glad to see him.

She smiled at Osian and prepared to greet the new Arddlinians

This short story is ‘fan fiction’ to Aled Lewis Evans’ short story ‘Y ffin’ (The Border) and was originally written for a cinnamon press competition but was unsuccessful; it has not been published anywhere else.

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           Eisteddais yn anghyfforddus yng nghefn y dosbarth. Yn gwylio, ac yn gwrando, yn afresymol o astud, wrth i’r athrawes wenwynig erlid yr hogyn yn yr ail res. Teimlais y blew ar gefn fy ngwar yn codi wrth i’r arswyd fy lapio. “Paid tithau â siarad yr iaith fudur yna yn fy nosbarth i, myn uffarn i!” meddai hi, gan syllu arno fel pe bai o’n Beelzebub ei hun. “Ddaru, sidro, starfio, ych a fi wir!”

             Sylwais fod clustiau Arwel Gruffydd druan wedi troi’n goch erbyn hyn, a thybiais ei fod o’n gwrido gan gywilydd, ond ni ddywedodd air. “A dwi’n gwybod yn iawn fod dy dad yn hoff o drafod teilyngdod y  ‘tafodiaith’ a fo’n brifathro yn yr ysgol acw. Dwi erioed ‘di clywed y fath lol wir, tafodiaith – bratiaith, i fod yn fanwl gywir”, chwarddodd yn hyll ar ei jôc ei hun.

          Yr oedd hi’n cyrraedd ei chamre nawr ac wedi symud o’i hunfan nes ei bod hi’n cawrio drosto, a’r casineb tuag ato yn amlwg ar ei hwyneb sgwâr. Roedd yr aer yn yr ystafell yn llawn cyffro wrth i’r athrawes wylio Arwel yn ddisgwylgar, beth fyddai ei ymateb tybed?

            Chwarae teg, yr oedd o wedi cadw mudandod urddasol hyd yn hyn, heb ateb yn ôl, na dangos emosiwn. Yna cododd ei ysgwyddau mewn ystum o ymostyngiad, ac rwy’n credu iddo lwyddo i wenu – buddugoliaeth yn wyneb y fath ymosodiad, da iawn yn wir!

               Llifodd y gwaed o wyneb yr athrawes a throdd ar ei sawdl gan ddychwelyd at flaen y dosbarth. Dechreuodd y wers fel pe bai dim wedi digwydd. Yn wir, rwy’n credu fod llawer yn y dosbarth yn anymwybodol o arwyddocâd yr ymosodiad, gan dybio mai cael ei gosbi am ryw gam oedd Arwel; aethant ymlaen efo’u gwaith yn ddigon hapus.

               Ond i mi, roedd y digwyddiad yn un hunllefus a bygythiol. Roedd fy mhen yn llawn gofidiau a fy nghlustiau yn canu hefo geiriau’r athrawes. Nid oedd hyn yn ddechrau da i fy nghyfnod yn yr ysgol uwchradd. Er nad oeddwn i wedi fy magu ym Txanbelin, Cymraeg Txanbelinaidd yr oeddwn yn ei siarad gan mai dyna o le yr oedd teulu fy nhad yn hanu ohono.

              Ddiolchais yn dawel fod hyn i gyd wedi dod i’r amlwg cyn i fi agor fy ngheg gan ddatgelu fy mod innau o’r un ‘bratiaith’ ar hogyn truenus hwnnw. Efallai fod hyn yn dangos llwfrdra. Efallai y dylwn fod wedi gwneud safiad efo fo. Ond roeddwn yn ifanc ac yn naïf, ac, fel yr oedd pethau ar y pryd, yr oedd hi’n llawer iawn haws suddo i gefn fy nghadair ag aros i’r nyth cacwn dawelu.

                 Nid oedd modd iddo fo ddianc y ddamnedigaeth gan fod ei dad mor adnabyddus ym Txanbelin. Yr oeddwn innau, ar y llaw arall, wedi fy magu yn Nhreffin, i deulu a oedd yn anweledig yn y gymuned Gymraeg, ac felly fe fyddai hi’n bosib, os oeddwn yn ddigon gofalus, i osgoi gwrthdaro o’r fath.

             Siarsiais fy hun “paid â deud ene, na nene, na llefrith, na odi, na hawddach, na dodo…..” duwcs mi fydda hi’n flwyddyn hir yng nghwmni’r dialedd yma. Teimlais fy nghalon yn suddo wrth feddwl am yr her. Roedd enbydrwydd y sefyllfa ar fin fy niflasu yn llwyr pan ganodd y gloch.

                 Hwre! Teimlais ryddhad bendigedig wrth i mi bacio fy nghas bensiliau i fy ysgrepan; roeddwn bron a bostio eisiau gadael cyfyngiadau’r ystafell.

                O’r diwedd cawsom ein gollwng i’r coridor i fwynhau ein hamser bwyd bore, wps, egwyl, ia, egwyl roedden nhw’n ei alw o yma yn yr ysgol fawr ynte, rhaid gollwng y geiriau babïaidd os am ffitio mewn. A gollwng hefyd fy nhafodiaith yr oedd yn ymddangos.

                 Hmm, difyr iawn wir, eniwe, amser am sgon a hufen yn y neuadd ‘cw a chaf anghofio am y wleidyddiaeth-ysgol-newydd yma… am ryw bymtheg munud bach beth bynnag.

Cafodd y stori fer yma ei fentro ar gyfer cystadleuaeth y stori fer yn Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru, Caerdydd a’r Cylch 2008; cafodd sylw weddol ffafriol ohono yn y llyfr Cyfansoddiadau a Beirniadaethau. Nid yw wedi ei gyhoeddi ninlle arall hyd yn hyn./ This short story was submitted to the short story competition for the National Eisteddfod of Wales, Cardiff and district 2008; it received a reasonably favourable commentary in the book of Compositions and Judgments. It has not been published anywhere else as yet.

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Rwy’n pum mlwydd oed. Mae fy ngwallt mewn plethau un pob ochr i fy mhen ac rwy’n gwisgo cot ysgafn wen. Rwy’n sefyll mewn stafell hwylus ac ynddi hen ddodrefn, pren, cyfarwydd. Mae’r haul yn pelydru trwy’r ffenest ac yn tasgu olau hardd dros y llawr llyfn, dderw.

Rwy’n teimlo’n hapus ac yn glyd. Ar ochr draw’r ystafell, ger cist o ddroriau mewn llinell a’i ysgwydd, y mae dyn yn sefyll. Mae e’n gwisgo crys gwyn a thrywsus haf llwydfelyn, hen-ffasiwn. Rwy’n ei adnabod; Taid yw’r dyn. Dwi’n gwybod hyn er i mi byth cwrdd ag ef; bu farw rhyw ugain mlynedd cyn i mi gael fy ngeni. Ag eto dyma fo, yn sefyll gyda mi mewn ystafell gyfarwydd, er wn i ddim ble mae’r ystafell yma. Ac mae e’n gwenu arna i’n glên.

Y mae Taid yn ysgrifennu rhywbeth ar seloffen ac yn ei rhoi mewn bocs bach sgwâr; y mae’n rhoi’r caead arni. Dwi eisiau gweld beth sydd yn y bocs a beth mae e wedi sgwennu, ond mae taid yn gwenu’n dyner ac yn dweud wrthyf ei fod o eisiau i mi gael y bocs pan rwy’n hynach.

Mae’r sin yn newid; dwi yn fy arddegau erbyn hyn, ac rwyf yn eistedd ar drên. Mae Taid wedi marw ac rydym ar ein ffordd i’w angladd. Mae Nain ai ffrindiau yn eistedd cyferbyn a mi, er bod Nain hefyd wedi marw ers rhyw ddeuddeg mlynedd bellach. Y mae’r trên yn enfawr, mwy fel fferi o ran siâp a maint ac mae yna lawer o bobl o amgylch yr ‘ystafell’.

Y mae yna focs bach sgwâr o fy mlaen ac mae gen i ryw hen gof amdano; am ei weld mewn ystafell clud gydag olau hardd a theimlad o gynefindra. Dwi’n agor y bocs ac mae yna haen o seloffen wedi ei threfnu’n daclus dros gynnwys y bocs. Y mae yna ysgrifen ar y seloffen wedi ei sgwennu mewn llythrennau cyrliog, taclus mewn inc aur disglair. Rwy’n darllen y neges arni:

“Dwi eisiau i ti fynd yn ôl at y ffordd yr oeddet ti ers talwm”

Wrth reddf rwy’n gwybod fod y neges yn cyfarwyddo at y ffaith yr oeddwn yn Gristion pan oeddwn yn blentyn ond yr wyf, erbyn hyn, yn anffyddiwr. Yr wyf hefyd yn gwybod rhywsut fod Taid yn poeni amdana i, gan fy mod wedi bod yn anhapus. Mae e’n teimlo y byddai pethau yn gwella i mi os byddaf yn ailymuno a’r Gymuned Gymraeg, trwy ddychwelyd at draddodiadau bywyd pentref, a trwy ddychwelyd at fynwes yr Eglwys.

Rwy’n symud y seloffen yn ofalus ac rwy’n gweld cadwyn arian. Y mae’r gadwyn yn gyfarwydd ond mae hi hefyd mewn fflwcs ac yn newid siâp a ffurf pob eiliad; ag eto mae’n gyfarwydd ym mhob amlygiad. Y mae’r gadwyn yn setlo mewn siâp Pili-pala hirgul. Rwy’n teimlo pwl o dristwch a chariad. Rwy’n cychwyn melys wylo wrth feddwl am Taid a’i anwyldeb.

Y mae Nain a’i ffrind yn gweld fy nagrau ac mae Nain yn cychwyn crio hefyd; y mae’n chwerthin yn ysgafn ac yn dweud “O, paid Sara bach, neu mi fydda ni’n gyd wrthi!”

Rwy’n rhoi’r bocs yn fy mhoced. Ond mae dal gen i deimlad cynnes yn fy mynwes; roedd Taid yn ddyn annwyl ac yn fy ngharu’n ddiamod.

Y mae’r trên yn cyrraedd yr orsaf ac mae fy ffrind Michelle ene yn ein disgwyl. Y mae’n agor drws y trên i fy nghyfarch. Y mae hi wedi dŵad i gadw cwmpeini i mi yn ystod yr angladd. Yr wyf mewn hwyliau anghyffredin o dda – mae cymaint o gariad a chyfeillgarwch o’m hamgylch.

Rwy’n camu oddi ar y trên ac mae niwl gwyn yn fy llyncu. Y mae’r sîn wedi newid ac y nawr mae Nain wedi marw. Yr wyf mewn tŷ cyfarwydd ag eto nid tŷ Nain fel y cofia hi. Daw dynes o’r Eglwys ataf. Y mae hi’n gwisgo ffrog hen ffasiwn a llinyn perlau o amgylch ei gwddw, mae ei gwallt wedi ei setio mewn cyrlau uchel ac mae hi’n gwisgo sbectol steil y chwedegau. Mae hi’n dweud wrthyf fod yna rhai o bethau Nain yn ei llofft – pethau yr oedd hi am i mi ei gael.

Rwy’n mynd i’r llofft ac rwy’n agor drws y wardrob. Y mae’n llawn menyg wlanog a bagiau a phyrsiau anghyffredin. Y mae’r ddynes yn y ffrog hen ffasiwn yn chwerthin ac yn dweud “Yr oedd dy Nain yn fwy tebyg i ti nag oedden ni wedi tybio ynde!”

Rwy’n edrych trwy’r menyg, bagiau a phyrsiau, yn ei sidro. Y mae sawl pwrs del iawn yma ac mae un mawr yn dal fy llygad; y mae wedi ei wneud o ffelt gwyrdd, ac mae delwedd tŷ mawr gwyn arno, hefyd wedi ei wneud o ffelt. Y mae’r tŷ yn gyfarwydd; mae’n blasty mewn rhyw gof pell gennyf ond ni allaf gofio ei enw na manylion felly. Rwy’n hoffi sawl pwrs a bag, maent at fy nant yn union. Rwy’n pacio cymaint ohonynt a medraf i mewn i fagiau papur, gwyn.

Rwyf yn ôl ar y trên, wn i’m lle rwyf yn trafaelio iddi. Rwy’n cydio’n dynn yn y bagiau papur gwyn ac rwy’n gwisgo’r gadwyn Pili-pala. Mae rhyw deimlad annifyr yn dod drostaf ond ni allaf roi bys ar ei darddiad. A’i euogrwydd am gymryd cymaint o’r pyrsiau a bagiau? Siawns, dim ond i’r jymbl fydda nhw’n mynd os na fyddaf i wedi ei chymryd. Efallai unigrwydd sydyn o fod ar ben fy hun? Cyd-destun anghyfarwydd y trên yma? Galar a hiraeth?

Toc rwy’n agor fy llygaid ac rwy’n deffro yn fy ngwely, yn fy llofft newydd clud yn fy nghartref priodasol. Mae pelydrau haul y bore yn tasgu olau euraidd o amgylch yr ystafell wen, a’i dodrefn pren, hen ffasiwn. Y mae teimlad cynnes, braf ac anghyfarwydd yn dod drostaf. Rwy’n hapus – wir hapus, fel na fues i ers pan oeddwn yn hogan fach optimistaidd.

Neithiwr mi wnes i gwrdd â Thaid – wir ei gwrdd ag ef. Ie mewn siâp breuddwyd y trefnwyd y cwbl ond nid yw arwyddocâd y cyfarfod wedi dirymu oherwydd i mi effro. Roeddem nián dau yn yr ystafell gyfarwydd gyda’r dodrefn pren a llawr derw. Roedd Taid am roi neges i mi ac estynnodd tros ffiniau amser, realiti a’r isymwybod i fy nghyrraedd. Y mae e yn fy nghalon ac wrth fy ochr ers y noson honno, mewn ffordd nad oedd yng nghynt.

Gorweddais yn ôl ar y gobennydd gan sidro: ni allaf wneud yr hyn a ofynnir gennyf – i fod yn Gristion; ond rwy’n teimlo nerth a hyfdra newydd yn fy mynwes wrth ei gofio’n gwenu arnaf. Rwy’n benderfynol i ymdrechu’n fwy; gwneud yn fawr o bob cyfle; I fwynhau bywyd fwy yn hytrach na’i wastraffu’n syrffedu dros yr hyn nad oes gen i a’r hyn nad wyf wedi ei wneud.

Cofiaf am freuddwyd Dodo Gwenda, lle ddaeth Taid ati tra oedd hi’n cysgu ar y soffa, gan ddweud fod e’n bryd iddo gymryd Nain gydag ef, a hynny jest cyn i Nain farw. A tydi Dodo Gwenda ddim yn un i goelio mewn ysbrydion na dim fel yna cofia – yn wir, yn hytrach na bod ofn, mi wnaeth hi neidio tuag ato gan floeddio “Naaaaaa!” cyn iddo ddiflannu yng ngolau’r ‘stafell. Os fedra unrhyw ysbryd cyfathrebu a’r byw felly, Taid oedd hynny mae’n amlwg.

Rwyf yn y swyddfa’n gweithio. Rwy’n teimlo’n ddiog hefo’r pnawn cynnes ac wedi’r cinio blasus. Rwy’n tywallt coffi o’r сafetière ac, ar fympwy, rwy’n googlo ‘Pili-pala + symbolaeth’. Y mae llwythi o ganlyniadau yn taro’r sgrin yn trosglwyddo ei neges drawiadol: ‘Symbol Cristnogaeth bwerus’…spwci! Rwy’n pori’r we am gadwyn arian mewn siâp Pili-pala hirgul, megis yr un yn fy mreuddwyd, ond nid oes un boddhaol i’w weld. Maent yn rhu mawr, neu’n rhu ‘bling’, neu’n rhu drud. Rwy’n rhoi’r gorau iddi.

Rwy’n eistedd yn Y Felin Ŷd yn Llangollen, yn cael pryd o fwyd gyda fy rhieni. Rwy’n adrodd yr hanes ac mae ton o emosiwn yn fy nharo. Y mae dagrau yn casglu yn fy llygaid. Y mae Dad yn fy ngwylio a diddordeb datgysylltiedig, er mai ei Dad o oedd Taid. Mae llygaid gleision Mam yn llenwi a dagrau ac mae hi’n llyncu’n galed wrth i’r stori barhau. Cyn bo hir dyna le mae’r ddau ohonom wrthi’n felys wylo, gyda Dad yn ein gwylio’n syn. Gwragedd ynde?!

Y mae pobl yn sbïo ac rydym yn teimlo braidd yn wirion. Sychwn ein dagrau a pharhau hefo pwdin. Yn sydyn mae Mam yn cofio i mi gael cadwyn Pili-pala ers talwm – “ac yn wir” medd hi, “roeddet ti’n ei alw o’n ‘Pili-pala necklace’ a dwi’n credu mai Nain rhoddodd o i ti!” Daw ias dros fy nghroen wrth i Dad gofio amdano hefyd. Wrth gyrraedd y fflat mae’r ddau ohonynt yn mynd ati i chwilio am y gadwyn ond yn methu ei ffeindio.

Rwy’n cerdded trwy Cheshire Oaks hefo fy nhŵr. Rydym newydd brynu gorchudd matres ac mae fe’n cynnig ein bod ni’n picio draw i Past Times. Syth i mi gerdded i mewn i’r siop rwy’n ymwybodol o’r stondin gemwaith. Mae yna sêl. Cerddaf tuag at y stondin fel taswn i’n cael fy llusgo ene gan ryw ddewiniaeth. Yna, y mae cadwyn Pili-pala arian, hirgul; ddim mor hirgul â’r un yn y freuddwyd ond yn ddigon tebyg i ennyn teimlad o gynefindra.

Y mae fy nhwr, sydd wedi clywed yr hanes drosodd o drosodd erbyn hyn, yn gwrando ar sbïel yr eneth siop am y dêl gallwn ei gael heddiw, gan gynnwys y clustlysau am wyth punt yn unig. Mae fy ngŵr yn codi’r gadwyn yn ofalus gan gynnig ei brynu. Dwi ddim yn un am addurnau fel arfer ond rwyf wedi gwirioni a’r gadwyn.

Rwy’n gwisgo’r gadwyn i’r parti nos Sadwrn. Parti hefo gwaith fy ngŵr ac yr wyf wedi poeni amdano ers wythnosau – a fyddaf yn cael hi’n anodd siarad â’r bobl ddeallus yma? Ydw i’n ddigon diddorol? A fyddaf yn cael fy amlygu fel ffŵl bach dibwrpas?

Ond gan wisgo fy nghadwyn rwy’n teimlo’n wahanol; rwy’n teimlo grym a chariad Taid yn fy amgylchu. Nid oes ots am fy noethuriaeth ataliedig, na fy niffyg erthyglau siwrnal “REF-able”; rwy’n person hyfryd, annwyl, diddorol, gyda chalon lân. Dwi’n person cyfan a theilwng heb gydymffurfio na gorfod chyfiawnhau fy hun. Rwy’n ymlacio’n hapus ac yn mwynhau’r cwmni hyfryd, y bwyd bendigedig, a’r gwin hwylus.

Ni fyddaf byth yn Gristion, a dwi’n credu fod Taid yn derbyn hyn. Ond rwy’n byw o fewn egwyddorion fy magwraeth grefyddol. Rwy’n berson ysbrydol ac rwy’n ceisio’n gorau glas i fod yn berson da a thrin eraill fel byddaf yn hoffi iddyn nhw fy nhrin innau.

Ac y nawr, mae gen i gwlwm agosrwydd hynafiadol, wedi’r cwrdd paradocsaidd, traws-ffiniol yma. Rwy’n falch i mi cael cwrdd â fy Nhaid o’r diwedd – a phwy a ŵyr os welaf e eto, pan groesaf y ffin o’r byd yma i’r nesaf?

Nid yw’r stori fer yma wedi ei gyhoeddi ninlle arall./ This short story has not been published anywhere else.

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            Roeddwn wrth fy modd a fy mrawddeg newydd: ‘Ari burro’ gyda Mam yn eistedd tu ôl i mi yn ymbilio i mi beidio gan mai hyn oedd y gorchymyn i’r asyn fynd yn fwy cyflym! Aethom yn ôl i’r buarth i’r asynnod cael gorffwys a meddyliais y bydden ninnau’n mynd yn ôl i’r gwesty am ‘siesta’, ond o nage, roedd fwy o ‘hwyl’ wedi ei threfnu. Eisteddom o amgylch fyrddau pren ac aeth Dad i brynu diodydd i ni. Eisteddwn yn amyneddgar…ac yna yn llai amyneddgar, am dros i awr nes oedd pawb wedi syrffedu; yna daeth sŵn gwichian dros y meicroffon a ddechreuodd yr ‘adloniant’.

            Ymhen ychydig daeth wraig dlos at y bwrdd a siaradodd hefo Mam – a’r funud nesaf roeddwn yn cael fy arwain i’r llwyfan i helpu dosbarthu’r gwobrwyon raffl. Nid oedd yn syndod meddyliais, roeddwn wastad yn cael fy ethol i wneud pethau felly gan fy mod mor giwt.

            Roedd y dyn ar y meicroffon wrthi’n dweud jôcs rŵan felly edrychais ar y gwobrwyon a oedd wedi ei gosod mewn rhes ar y wal nesaf i mi. Roedd e’n gymysgedd reit amrywiol o bethau ond yr asynnod gwellt roeddwn yn ei hoffi orau, gyda’i llestri teracota ar ei chefnau. “Fydd nhw’n rhoi un o rheini i mi am helpu allan mae’n siŵr” meddyliais yn ddigon bodlon.

             Ond trwy’r pnawn fues wrthi’n dosbarthu’r gwobrwyon a gofidiais gan sylwi fod yr asynnod gwellt yn diflannu gan fod pawb yn ei hoffi. Yna, aeth yr asyn olaf a suddodd fy nghalon. Sbïais ar beth oedd ar ôl. Sylwais ar het haul, gwyrdd tywyll. “Mae o’n hyll a does gen i ddim bwriad o setlo am hynna ar ôl fy holl waith caled” meddyliais yn bwdlyd. Aeth fwy o’r gwobrwyon da a deimlais fy hun yn gwylltio wrth sbïo ar yr het, ag oedd yn nawr fel tasa hi’n glaswenu arna i.

            Yna dim ond yr het oedd ar ôl ac meddai’r dyn ar y meic: “Ac i ddiolch i ti am helpu allan, dyma ti!” gan osod yr het ar fy mhen. Roeddwn yn crynu gyda dicter. Tynnais yr het ai thaflu i’r llawr gan weiddi: “Dwi ddim eisiau rhyw hen het hyll wyrdd”! Chwarddodd y gynulleidfa a dywedodd y dyn ar y meic “O? Beth wyt ti eisiau felly?” “Dwi eisiau un o’r asynnod gwellt” meddais, gan bwyntio’n syn ar un ger llaw.

           Fu fwy o chwerthin cyn i’r dyn ar y meic dweud wrth un o’r hogiau “Dos i nôl un iddi, chwarae teg”. Teimlais yn fuddugol wrth ddychwelyd at fy nheulu gan eistedd nesaf i Mam a oedd yn trio peidio chwerthin. Roedd Dad yn gwenu a dynnodd lun ohonof gyda’i gamera newydd. Ond roedd fy mrawd (hynach ac yn ei arddegau) yn sbïo arna i gyda chywilydd yn ei lygaid “Gwobrwyon oedd y rheini i fod, doeddet ti heb ennill dim byd” meddai’n filain. Ond hidiais i ddim – roedd gen i beth oeddwn eisiau ac roeddwn yn ei haeddu dim ots beth oedd e’n ei ddweud.

Cafodd y pwt yma ei hysgrifennu ar gyfer cystadleuaeth ysgrif 500 o eiriau ar y thema “Atgof o’m mhlentyndod”, Eisteddfod y dafarn, Wrecsam (3ydd o fis Gorffennaf, 2010). Enillodd y wobr gyntaf/ This piece was written for the 500 word competition on the topic of “Memories from my childhood”, Eisteddfod y dafarn, Wrecsam (3rd of July, 2010). It won the First prize.

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‘Nnnnnnaaaaaaaaaaaaa!’

Atseiniodd y gair estynedig, croch trwy’r babell adloniant, gan beri i bawb droi i’w chyfeiriad yn syn. A dyna le safai Carmen Fernandes-Jones, ai dyrnau bychain wedi’u cau’n dyn, dicter amlwg yn ei llygaid mawr siocled, a’i gwefusau fach pinc wedi pwdu’n berffaith grwn.

Syllodd Nain arni a chymysgedd o ddifyrrwch ac anobaith. Roedd hi wedi bihafio’n dda iawn hyd yn hyn, chwarae teg – yn gwylio’r perfformiadau lliwgar ac yn gwenu a chlapio pan welai pawb arall yn gwneud. Ond yn syth wedi i’r egwyl fer gychwyn collodd diddordeb. Sbonciodd o’i chadair, gan redeg i’r rhes tu ôl i eistedd ar ben ei hun, gan chwerthin a gwibio i’r rhes nesaf wrth iddynt geisio ei nôl hi.

‘O wel, fela na mai’ meddyliodd nain iddi hun.

‘Os y tymer ene sy’ arni rŵan, waeth i ni ei throi hi tuag adref’ meddai, gan basio’i llawfag i taid.

Cerddai yn araf tuag at le oedd y bychan dal wrthi’n pwdu, ond yn fwy mewn hwyl rŵan na thrwy wylltio.

‘Tyrd, mi awn ni adref i gael rhywbeth i fwyta’

‘Na’

‘Tyrd o ne, i’r bygi rŵan, na hogan dda’

‘Na’

Plygodd nain gan gydio arni’n dyner ai gosod hi yn y bygi coch, ai strapio hi mewn yn ddiogel.

‘Wyt ti eisiau llymed cyn mynd?’

‘Na’

‘Oke ta awn ni felly’

‘Na’

‘Taid oes gen ti bopeth’

‘Na!’ ebe Carmen, gan dorri ar draws yr oedolion, ai hwyneb yn llawn direidi.

Roedd y gêm yma’n hwyl ac roedd hi ar fin yngan Na mawr arall am effaith pan sylwodd ar olwg syrffed yn llygaid gleision nain. Roeddent yn wahanol i lygaid pawb arall yn y teulu, a oedd yn sbectrwm amrywiol o frown.

‘Hmmm, ella fod hynna’n ddigon am rŵan’ rhesymodd. Setlodd wedyn yn y bygi gan ddifyrru ei hun a’r stondinau cyffroes ar y ffordd tua’r allanfa.

‘Wyt ti eisiau ffonio Mami a Dadi pan da ni’n cyrraedd adre’?’

‘Na!’ Roedd Carmen wedi dechrau pwdu pob tro iddi beidio gweld aelodau’r teulu am fwy na ‘ychydig oriau, yn enwedig os yr esgus amhendant a ddaw oedd gan ei bod nhw ‘wrthi’n gweithio’. Roedd yr oedolion wedi bod yn defnyddio hwnnw braidd gormod yn ddiweddar ac roedd hi wedi dechrau ei drwgdybio.

‘Dwi ddim yn hoffi mami a dadi ddim ‘chwaneg’

‘Carmen, am beth ofnadwy i ddeud’ meddai Nain yn syn.

‘A beth amdana i, wyt ti’n hoffi fi?’

‘Na’

‘Beth am Taid?’

‘Na’

‘A Dodo?’

‘Na’. Dwi heb ei gweld hi ers talwm iawn meddyliodd Carmen.

Wrth iddyn nhw troi’r gornel dechreuai’r stryd edrych yn gyfarwydd. Yna sylweddolodd Carmen ei bod nhw’n agos at y siop hufen iâ. Trodd at Nain yn ddisgwylgar, gan wenu’n annwyl, a cheisio ennyn perswâd arni.

Gwenodd Nain iddi hun, fysa hyn yn ddiddorol.

‘Wyt ti’n hoffi…..hufen iâ?’

Syllodd Carmen arni’n ddreng. Roedd yr hen Nain ‘na yn un gyfrwys. Roedd hi’n gwybod yn iawn fod hi wrth ei bodd hefo hufen iâ, a’i bod hi eisiau un rŵan, yn enwedig gan fod hi’n diwrnod mor braf. Ond doedd hi ddim am yngan y gair yr oedd Nain wedi bod wrthi’n trio mynnu ers iddyn nhw adael y ‘steddfod – sef ‘ydw’ ynte. Yna daeth yr ateb iddi a throdd yn orfoleddus:

‘Dwi wrth fy modd yn bwyta hufen iâ’ meddai, gan droi yn ôl a wincio ar ei doli Sali Mali.

Gwenodd Nain a Taid ar ei gilydd er gwaetha ei hunain. Mi roedd hi’n hogan fach glyfar a hynod o ddoniol weithiau. Dyma droi’r bygi tuag at gefn y ciw ac estyn yn eu pocedi am bres.

‘Reit ta, pa un wyt ti eisiau bach?’ ofynnodd Nain unwaith iddynt gyrraedd blaen y ciw.

‘Yr un hefo’r mefus’ ebe Carmen, dal yn pwdu braidd gan i Nain geisio ei thwyllo.

Gwenodd yr hogan tu ôl i’r cownter a gofyn i Nain ai côn bach oeddent eisiau.

‘Ia plîs’ meddai Nain ‘a dau diliau mêl hefyd os gwelwch yn dda’.

Symudon nhw dros y ffordd i’r bont i fwynhau’r haul wrth iddynt fwyta. Sylwodd Nain ar Jac-y-do gerllaw a phwyntiodd tuag ato. Ond roedd hi’n anodd i Carmen gweld unrhyw debygrwydd hefo’r aderyn mawr brawychus a’r cymeriad annwyl ar y DVD Sali Mali.

Toc roeddent dros y bont a dyma nhw’n cyrraedd y fflat. Tynnodd Nain y strapiau bygi oddi arni ac roedd hi’n rhydd i redeg o amgylch y lolfa….ond arhosa funud, pwy oedd hwnnw ar y balconi, wrthi’n eistedd a darllen…’. Dodo oedd ene!’

‘Grêt’ meddyliodd. Roedd Dodo wastad yn gêm am liwio neu chwarae sticeri hefo’r’ cylchgrawn ‘In the night Garden’. Rhedodd tuag ati yn ddisgwylgar. Ond wrth iddi nesáu sylwodd fod olwg blin ar wyneb Dodo, ac yna arni’n dyrnu’r bwrdd yn ddreng gan ddweud:

‘Alla i ddim ei gwneud o!’

Teimlodd Carmen yn anesmwyth. Doedd hi ddim yn gwybod pam yr oedd Dodo yn cael trafferth hefo’r darllen ‘na ond mi roedd hi’n gwybod ei bod hi’n teimlo drosti. Roedd hi wedi cyrraedd y drws erbyn hyn ac yn agos iawn at Dodo, ond roedd Dodo heb sylwi arni. Estynnodd ei llaw gan ei osod ar dwrn Dodo a dywedodd yr unig gysur alla hi feddwl oedd yn addas mewn sefyllfa fel hyn:

‘Wnâi dy helpu di Dodo’.

Trodd Dodo ei phen gan sbïo ar y llaw fechan a oedd wedi ymddangos mor sydyn ar ei dwrn caeedig. Teimlodd gymysgedd o gywilydd am fod mor wangalon am ei thraethawd, a sioncrwydd wrth weld y pryder amlwg yn y wyneb diffuant.

‘O Carmen bach, mi wyt ti wedi fy helpu fi’n barod. Tyrd awn ni weld beth mae Nain wrthi’n gwneud yn y gegin’.

Wrth iddynt gyrraedd y gegin gofynnodd Carmen mewn llais uchel:

‘Nain, beth wyt ti wrthi’n gwneud?’

Trodd Nain gyda gwen gan ddweud:

‘Beth ydw i wrthi’n gwneud?’

‘Ia’ meddai Carmen, mewn llais ychydig yn llai sicr.

Dwi wrthi’n gwneud Te i ni gyd’ meddai, gan droi yn ôl at y popty.

‘Grêt’ ebe Dodo. ‘Be da ni’n cael Nain?’

‘Samwn, tatws pwnsh a llysiau, ac wedyn pwdin reis’.

‘Pwdin reis?!’ ebe Dodo yn hapus, dyma un o’i ffefrynnau ers yn hogan fach.

‘Ia, felly ewch chi yn ôl i’r Lolfa i mi gael gorffen yn fan hyn, fydd hi ddim yn hir rŵan.

‘Ond…’ ebe Carmen yn syn. Yr roedd hi newydd estyn y stôl bren fechan o’r gornel, gan obeithio cael gwers arall am y wyddor a oedd wedi’u cherfio arni. Gwenodd Dodo arni:

‘Tyrd, awn ni i chwilio am Catrin Cwningen a thedi a phengwin’

‘Ieeee’ canodd Carmen yn hapus, gan ruthro i’r ystafell arall lle’r oedd Taid wrthi’n gosod y bwrdd.

Ar ôl dwy gêm o ‘picnic’ hefo’r teganau roedd hi’n amser te ac eisteddai Carmen yn ddigon bodlon yn ei chadair arbennig a oedd yn ffitio ar ben y cadeiriau arferol. Bwytaodd yn ddistaw gan fwynau’r bwyd yn fawr iawn.

Wedi iddi orffen bwyta sylwodd fod pawb wedi gorffen a bod yn oedolion wedi cychwyn siarad ymysg ei gilydd, heb wneud mymryn o ymdrech i’w chynnwys yn y sgwrs. Hollol annheg a tipical o’r ffordd yr oedd oedolion yn bihafio. Gwrandawodd yn astud ond doedd ddim modd iddi geisio ymuno gan nid oedd syniad ganddi am beth oeddent wrthi’n trafod.

Ceisiodd denu sylw pawb trwy chwarae’n giwt hefo’i llwy…wedyn canu…fflicio pys…ac wedyn:

‘STOPIWCH AR UNWAITH!!’ meddai, ai dwylo bychain yn yr awyr fel arweinydd band.

Ia, mi roedd hynny wedi cael sylw pawb. Ond ddim am yn hir yn anffodus, ac ar ôl rhyw bwffian chwerthin dyma nhw’n dechrau fyny eto:

‘Ia, ac wedyn fydd raid i mi orffen y traethawd ai chyflwyno, gwneud unrhyw newidiadau a…’ Aeth Dodo ymlaen yn hunanol. Dechreuodd Carmen grio – ddim i gael sylw ond achos bod y sefyllfa mor annheg; pam ei bod nhw’n mynnu trafod pethau oedolion rŵan, a hithau am gael hwyl.

Fu’n crio a straffaglu am gael dod allan o’i chadair nes i bawb fynd ati i geisio ei esmwytho. Fu’n eistedd a’r pen-glin Taid tra bod Dodo wrthi’n dangos teganau iddi a dweud pethau digri, ond doedd dim plesio arni.

Yn y cyfamser yr oedd Nain wedi mynd i’r gegin ac yn nawr wedi dychwelyd hefo bowlen o bwdin reis blasus iddi. Roedd Carmen dal yn mynnu crio, er ei bod hi wedi anghofio’n gyfan gwbl pam yr oedd hi mor anhapus yn y lle cyntaf. Roedd Nain wrthi’n siarad rŵan ac yn chwythu ar lwyed o bwdin reis poeth o’i blaen. Yna, heb fawr o rybudd dyma hi’n gwthio’r llwy tuag at geg Carmen, a agorodd yn atgyrchol ac roedd y cymysgedd hufennog yn ei cheg. Oedodd am eiliad, ynghanol crio, gan flasu:

‘Neis’ meddai’n syn ai aeliau’n codi. Chwarddai pawb gan fod yn olygfa mor ddigri.

Ar ôl te dyma’r oedolion ‘go iawn’ yn clirio’r bwrdd, tra bod Dodo (ryw hanner oedolyn yn nhyb Carmen) a Carmen ei hun yn brysur yn ‘lliwio mewn yn dwt’ yn y llyfr lliwio. Wedi iddynt flino ar hyn aethant i baratoi bath i Carmen, a chafodd chwarae ymysg y swigod hwylus. Dechreuodd esbonio i Dodo, a oedd ddim yn brofiadol iawn am amser bath:

‘A dyma Mami hwyaden, a Dadi hwyaden, a Babi hwyaden…Eh! Lle mae’r Dodo hwyaden?’ meddai a golwg gofidus ar ei hwyneb. Gwenau Nain o’r drws lle oedd wedi bod yn gwylio:

‘Dyna fo ylwch’ meddai, gan bwyntio ar yr hwyaden a oedd yn fflachio goleuadau pan oeddech yn ei wasgu. Doedd e ddim yn rhan o’r set ond doedd hynna ddim yn bwysig.

Roedd Carmen yn ddigon bodlon derbyn yr esboniad yma a ddechreuodd eto i esbonio i Dodo sut oedd teulu’r hwyaid yn gweithio – wedi’r cyfan, roedd rhaid iddi ddysgu rhywbryd.

Pan oedd hi’n amser dŵad allan o’r bath, ddaeth Nain i mewn ai chodi o’r dŵr tra bod Dodo yn dal y lliain mawr, cynnes, blewog, braf, ai lapio ynddi cyn ei gorwedd hi ar y gwely i’w sychu. Toc mi roedd hi yn ei byjamas ac yn crwydro o’r stafell i edrych am Taid. Dacw fo ar y cyfrifiadur – berffaith, alle fo rhoi Balamory arni iddi gael canu iddo, a dyma hi’n rhedeg tuag ato’n ddisgwylgar:

‘Taid!’

Trodd Taid tuag ati gan wenu:

‘Helo cariad, ti’n barod i dy wely?’

‘Na!’ ebe Carmen yn syn. Beth oedd peth fel hyn ta? Roedd Taid wedi troi yn ei herbyn? Pam fysai fo’n sôn am ei hanfon i’r gwely, a hithau wedi bod yn hogan mor dda?

‘Dwi eisiau gweld Balamory’ meddai, mewn llais a oedd yn bygwth llefain.

‘O wel, dwi’n siŵr fod hynna yma’n rhywle, tyrd wnawn ni edrych amdano’.

Cafodd chwarae ar y cyfrifiadur tra bod Nain wrthi’n cribo ei gwallt ac ati, ac yna daeth Dodo o’r llofft a hithau wedi ei gwisgo yn ei byjamas.

‘Amser am stori?’

‘O!’ Doedd Carmen heb feddwl am hynna, mi roedd y rheini’n hwyl. Neidiodd oddi ar y set a sbonciodd mewn i’r gwely, gan dynnu’r duvet dros ei choesau yn gyffyrddus. Agorodd Dodo’r llyfr a ddechreuodd darllen y stori. Yna, ddaeth at y rhan am yr anifeiliaid. Roedd diddordeb mawr gan Carmen mewn anifeiliaid a chraffodd ar y lluniau wrth i Dodo esbonio:

‘Ac felly fu’r anifeiliaid yn cael ei hel i’r Arch bob yn ddwy, dacw Jiráff, Eliffant, Mwnci a dau Lew…’

‘Lle mae’r Chinchilla?’ Ofynnodd Carmen yn sydyn.

Synnodd Dodo – ble ar y Ddaear oedd y bychan wedi clywed am rheini?

‘Um, Chinchilla….um’

‘Ie, chi’n gwybod, o Dora the Explorer…’

Wrth gwrs, dyna sut – ew roedd hi’n graff.

‘Wel, mae’r Chinchilla’n anifail go fach tydi’ dechreuodd Dodo. ‘Ac felly fydd o’n gorfod bod yng nghefn y ciw achos mae’n bwysig llwythi’r anifeiliaid mawr i mewn i’r Arch yn gyntaf….i gael gweld sut fydd pawb arall yn gallu ffitio mewn gorau’. Rhesymodd, gan obeithio nad oedd yn swnio’n rhy wirion.

‘Hmmm’ roedd hyn yn gwneud rhywfaint o synnwyr, meddyliodd y bychan.

‘Felly dyma fo yn fama ylwch’ pwyntiodd Dodo ar lun o’r ciw a oedd yn ymestyn yn ôl trwy’r anialwch nes bod yr anifeiliaid yn rhy fach i’w hadnabod. Phew! A oedd hynna wedi gweithio tybed?

‘Eh?’

‘Ia, mae yna ormod o anifeiliaid i ni weld nhw’i gyd yn llawn, ond yn y rhan yma o’r ciw mae’r Chinchilla’n aros….yn amyneddgar, am gael mynd i’r arch a gorffwys yn ei flwch llwch.’

‘O, dwi’n gweld’ meddai hi, gan dderbyn yr esboniad blêr.

Ar ôl mynd trwy’r stori pum gwaith, roedd Carmen yn ddigon bodlon rhoi’r llyfr i gadw, am heno beth bynnag. Diffoddodd Dodo’r golau mawr, nes bod yr ystafell wedi ei oleuo gan y lamp fechan hefo blodau arni yn unig.

‘O mae’n dywyll’ meddai’r bychan.

‘Nadi siŵr, gallwn ni dal gweld pob dim, drycha – dyma tedi yma a Sali Mali, da ni gyd yn iawn, ag am fynd i gysgu’.

‘Na, mae ‘na chysgodion’

‘Eh?’

‘Cysgodion’

‘Na, na, does dim cysgodion, ma’ na ddigon o olau, pob dim yn iawn – cysga rŵan’.

Gorweddai Dodo ar y gwely gan esmwytho’r gwallt oddi ar dalcen y bychan.

‘Dwi yma i edrych ar dy ôl di, cer i gysgu’

‘Ond y cysgodion..’

‘Dim cysgodion’

‘Ond Dodo..’

‘Shhhh, cau dy lygaid rŵan, cysga’n dawel.’

Gwyliodd y bychan wrth i Dodo orwedd ar ei chefn, gwneud ei hun yn gyfforddus, cau ei llygaid, a smalio cysgu. Gwyliodd gan ddisgwyl iddi agor ei llygaid ond ni wnaeth. Doedd dim amdani felly ond trio cysgu hefyd.

Wrth iddi drefnu’i hun nesaf i Dodo – gan sicrhau fod ei braich yn gorffwys arni fel ei bod yn dal i wybod bod hi ene wedi iddi gau ei llygaid, teimlodd yn saff ac yn hapus. Doedd pethau ddim mor ddrwg wedi’r cyfan, ac mi oedd hi wedi dechrau teimlo’n flinedig rŵan.

‘Oke Dodo, Nos da’ meddai’n annwyl.

Agorodd Dodo un llygad a sbïo arni’n gariadus

‘Nos da nghariad i’ a chysgodd y ddau’n hapus tan y bore.

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Y mae’r stori fer yma yn rhan o gasgliad o waith llenyddol gan ‘dodo’ ifainc i hybu ymwybyddiaeth a defnydd o’r hen air tafodieithol ‘dodo’ sy’n golygu ‘modryb’. Mae’n ffenomenon astrus fod y geiriau annwyl yma, megis ‘dodo, bodo, bopa’ wedi ei disodli, mewn un genhedlaeth, gan yr air Saesneg ‘aunty’. Nid yw’r stori fer yma wedi ei gyhoeddi ninlle arall./ This short story is part of a collection of literary work by a young ‘dodo’ designed to increase awareness of the old colloquial term ‘dodo’ meaning ‘aunty’. It is a strange phenomenon that these dear words, such as ‘dodo, bodo, bopa’ have been replaced, in one generation by the English word ‘aunty’. This short story has not been published anywhere else.

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