Margarets War . . .

June 14, 2011 § 13 Comments

November 28th 1942

After ordering her usual small black coffee, Margaret sat alone at their usual table for the first time in her life. It had taken her two years to find the courage to come alone. It had been that long since her husband Ralph had mysteriously disappeared off the coast of Normandy in 1940.

Coffee rationing was imminent and Margaret was taking advantage of what was to be her last coffee for quite some time. Absorbing every memory and feeling, she hoped somehow, would bridge the void in her heart.

A single large tear rose from the corner of her eye. It was a tear of both joy and sorrow. Ralph had been a loving husband, she could never forget how wonderful he was. He was a caring, doting father. He is missed by all, but mostly by Margaret, his loving wife of  20 years.

The memories of a thousands happy conversations, soft tender touches and deep loving gazes into each others eyes, across their table, were still heavily prominent in her mind. As she gazed down at the dying swirls from the last stir of her spoon, she questioned everything the M.O.D had told her.

Nothing added up, she repeated in her mind, drowning out the bustle of other coffee shop residents. But there was nothing she could do. Colonel Tenet had warned her on the day of the hearing. The world was at war and her problems paled in significance, sorry but that the truth of the situation – he coldly added.

Margaret had fought the M.O.D for over a year to find out the truth of her husbands disappearance. Putting her new marriage, the bond with her children and her fading health at even greater risk. The situation had consumed her.

Margaret stood, shaking with bated breathe, infront of the M.O.D council as Tenet spoke. She had stayed strong throughout the whole affair and to hear Tenet’s words brought a darkness and loss over her. She fell forward onto her knees, no longer able to stand. She held her heavy head in her hands and cried uncontrollably. The situation had obviously taken its toll. She surrendered her faith, feeling lost, helpless and unsupported. None of the attendees moved to help, only watching blankly at the unfurling proceedings.

The echoes of silence were heavy in the brooding air. Margaret was left in a heap on the dusty wooden floor. Tenet respectively looked on and tried to empathise with the feelings, the pain and the anguish Margaret would be feeling. “What have I done?” he deliberated.

Tenet slowly rose from his seat. Quietly walked from the bench into the back room of the courtroom and closed the door behind him. “It’s done”. He cursively announced.

“Good . . . .  jolly good. So, she thinks I’m dead? Are you sure?” Agent Ralph Peters retorted. A single large tear rose from the corner of his eye. “So it’s over, she can move on, good . . . . jolly good”.

After the passing of some time, she summoned the strength to leave the courtroom. Slowly make her way down Whitehall towards Kings Cross Station. She boarded the 14:32pm to Pickering and headed home to pick up the pieces of her fractured life.

It seemed the longest train journey of her life. Margaret thought many times of getting off at any other station than her home one. But the thought of leaving her children, the children she had with Ralph, kept her going. She parted from the empty cold mists of Pickering station and made her way through the town to the corner of Willowgate and Burgate to their favourite coffee shop. Maybe it’s time to move on and put this behind me, she mused and paused before opening the coffee shop door breaking the wartime silence of the streets, allowing the stir of the shops occupants out into her new life.

After ordering her usual small black coffee . . . . . . .


This piece was inspired by prompt “She thinks I’m dead” on the bekindrewrite site from their InMon xvi page. I have just started writing. I am using my blog to experiment and find my natural style. I would love to hear your thoughts. I hope you enjoy!

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My new life as a wannabe writer – II

June 13, 2011 § Leave a comment

Well here it is, as promised, my update on my life as a wannabe writer . . . . . two. A little early, but I have finally found the time to sit infront of my mac.

I need to admit, it’s been a difficult second month. After making the very positive decision to move away from web development, I have already found myself being sucked back into the matrix, to pay the bills.

I wish I’d made this decision before I had children, a house and other financial responsibilities – *coughs*, Taxes. Oh how hindsight is the most cherished of all thought processes as one gets older. I also wish I knew how to bottle hindsight, I have a youth market that would love it and pay a handsome sum for its powers. Although the government wouldn’t be able to tax it, so it would be classed as illegal. Oh crap, oh how the powers-that-be spoil everything Sorry, just a rant – I don’t do it often.

I’ve had a difficult week trying to find the time to commit to the blog and feeling suitably guilty that I haven’t kept it up as much as I said I would. I am going to try harder this week.

I have, however, been working on a new children’s rhyming book. An idea I had a while ago. I have uploaded the front cover design. (not actual size) I would love to hear your thoughts. I am hoping to have it completed for the end of July. I will then present it to a publisher for (fingers crossed) publishing. I will then use the revenues, if any, from the book to finally move away from web development and live my life as a wannabe writer like I have planned.

If anyone has any advice on getting a children’s book published, I would be extremely grateful. For the first time in my life, I am out of my comfort zone.

I would like to thank everyone (again) for your help advice and support over the past few weeks. Without you, I wouldn’t be progressing as fast as I am. My confidence is definitely increasing as a writer. A big shout out goes to Marantha, of GHOSTWRITER fame, for her support and warm, lovely comments all over my blog. And to Monica, of Amalias Story, for her grammar and lessons in languag tuition. It is appreciated.

Thank you for reading my blog. I will be blogging again sometime this week with something more interesting.

Wait for my signal . . . .

June 3, 2011 § 11 Comments

THERE HE IS – GET HIM, was all I heard as I walked through the main gates of my school. I looked over at my left shoulder to see Kevin Haigh and Dean Hughes running as fast as their 13 year old legs could carry them in my direction. I turned in an instance, knowing full-well they were after me, and dug the fronts of my new Reebok trainers into the pavement and started running towards home. Home was only three streets away, down New hill, but it may as well have been on the dark side of the moon. It felt like an eternity from hearing those words to seeing my front door.

As a thirteen year old, I had already experienced more than my fair share of confrontation and violence at school and at home, so a run home from the school bullies was all part of my daily grind. Anyway, it kept me fit and in preparation for Sports Day. Not that I did very well on Sports Day but I had to look at my bullying in a positive light or go through what I had gone through when I was Ten years old all over again. I wasn’t prepared to do that.

Dean Hughes was the cock of our year, for those of you that are not familiar with the term, it means the hardest, most violent kid there is in that particular year. He was a big lad for his age. I would secretly call him Dim Huge. Never to his face, that would have been suicide. He dwarfed everyone else in the school, even the year five kids. His size definitely contributed to his status. Kevin Haigh on the other hand was a short, squeaky, mixed-up kid who lived directly across from my house, in another house of course. He followed Dean around like a three-legged lap dog. He did everything Dean asked him to. The muppet.

It all started in Mrs Martins’ Pottery class. Dean was being a real pain, as usual, creating pottery willies. The rest of the class however were doing their very best to create little teacups, as per the teachers brief. In all honestly, mine looked more like a small bag of knuckles, but at least I was trying and being a good student – for once.

Dean wasn’t happy being annoying on his own, he needed an audience, and found a victim in me, to elevate his status that little bit more. He saw my teacup and decided to drive his gnarled-up fist straight through the middle of my creation while cackling like a hyena. I saw red. I stood up, grabbed my teacup and pushed it straight into the middle of his face. Every kid in the class turned to look. There were gasps and moans of disbelief. Then there was silence, deathly silence, it seemed to last for ages. All you could hear was the whirring of the kiln as it warmed, ready to receive our clay offerings. Willies and all.

Dean froze for a moment before standing up, bringing him clay-covered hand up behind his ear then throwing it into the middle of face. He must of had a lot of clay on his hand because I didn’t feel it as much as I would have expected. I immediately fell to floor from my wooden stool, I looked up and stared up at Dean and the rest of the class who’d gathered to see what would happen next. Dean stood above me pointed the gnarly clay hand at my head and said – “You’re dead you freak, you’re dead”. He appeared to mean it, but I didn’t feel dead. I did feel a little bit freaky with the other kids staring at me, but I definitely didn’t feel dead. I felt alive and, at the time very lucky . . . . . . but I was soon to discover, not for long.

I overheard as Dean turned to Kevin. “We’ll get the little turd after School, wait at the main doors, when I see him, we’ll pounce. Just wait for my signal.” Kevin nodded in agreement. I was prepared for the worst.

I spent the whole of the day looking over my shoulder and staying away from anyone who knocked around with them. I was aware that word would spread fast that I was around and what was inevitable after school would come a lot sooner. I was even tempted to skip school, but getting into trouble with my Dad would be a lot worse than anything Dim Huge and lap-dog Haigh could dish out. They didn’t use leather belts and slippers.

Every stride felt like one step forward and six steps backwards. I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. They were gaining on me. They must have been quicker than I was, somehow. Dean sure could run fast for a fatty, I kept saying over and over again in my head. I dug my trainers further into the ground and leant forward to make myself more streamlined. I had seen it on TV when Daley Thomson ran the one hundred metres. He put his head down so he could go faster, but my rucksack ruined it. I couldn’t stop to take it off, it would have been curtains for me. I had to just go for it.

I must have ran through every kid walking home trying to duck and dive to lose them. But little did I know, I should have run in a straight line. The quickest distance between two points. I will never forget that, thank you Mr Woodward (my Maths teacher).

It was too late, I had managed to get to the bottom of the lane at the top of my street before Dean, or Kevin – I didn’t see who had done it, I was flying through the air, legged me up. My face hit the mud. As I stopped, the rucksack went all the way up over my head and off my back. Dean and Kevin started kicking me and punching me in the back of my head, all of a sudden my dad came out the house shouting, “What the hell’s going on here?”, he walked over to where I was laying and picked me up with one hand from the mud. He was very strong my Dad, fat but strong. Before anyone could explain, he sent Dean and Kevin packing. “Get back home you little bastards. And you, get up them stairs. I’ll teach ya to fight outside my house and show me up, you’re getting my belt. When will you ever learn?”

“But Dad . . . ” I manage to chelp before he stopped me. “Do you want me to give you it out here, in front of everyone?”, he screamed as he pulled me towards his face, our noses almost touching. He may as well have done. Everyone knew what was coming. Everyone in our street knew what would happen if I got into trouble or made him look bad.

Dean and Kevin knew what my Dad had done to me the previous night and came over the next morning to apologise for getting my into trouble.

Less than two hours later, Kevin drew a massive willy all over my Picasso-esque tree painting in Mrs Whitehouse’s art class, so I threw a pot of paint over his drawing. Sufficed to say, I made it home that night and there wasn’t an apology the following day or the day after that or the . . . . .


This piece was inspired by prompt “Wait for my signal” on the bekindrewrite site from their InMon XIV page. I haven’t been writing for very long. I am using my blog to experiment and find my natural style. I would love to hear your thoughts. Enjoy!

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