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!

Touched the son . . . .

May 24, 2011 § 24 Comments

Saturday’s were always the same. Wait for my Dad to let us out of our bedroom, usually after he’d been to the toilet. Go downstairs – quietly. Sit on the sofa in silence, making sure our feet weren’t up on the cushions. Wait for Mum to come downstairs to see if she had a black-eye, I couldn’t look at her if she did – Dad would stare and frown at me. Dad had the bushiest eyebrows in the world, they scared me. Dad scared me.

Dad would sit in his usual chair beside the door to the stairs reading his paper. He was the gatekeeper to all of our nice things in our bedrooms. You see, I couldn’t have toys downstairs, it would make too much of a mess, plus Dad doesn’t like the noise children make. And I couldn’t play upstairs because the noise from the ceiling would disturb him while he did the crossword in the paper. I understood, he needed to concentrate. Sometimes I don’t know why Mum and Dad had children. There are three of us, me – the eldest, my younger brother and my youngest sister.

My sister is from a different man. Mum said that’s why my Dad was so angry all of the time and took his anger out on her. But that doesn’t explain why he took his anger out on me. Why I made him so mad and why he threatened to put me in a children’s home if I did anything wrong. It doesn’t explain why he would smack my face so hard it felt like it was touching the sun and shouted like he was trying to crumble the house to the ground, if I looked at him in a certain way. It also, doesn’t explain why I was locked away in the cupboard above the stairs and couldn’t come down, all day, to play with my friend. I could hear my friend laughing outside, playing with his other friends. Maybe I was a bad child and I deserved it.

If I could talk to my Dad, if he would listen, I would ask him what was wrong. I would tell him I loved him and I didn’t mean to be naughty. I would tell him, he could love me and I would loved him back for always. I would explain that I didn’t mean to make him mad, I used to have dreams about that.

I used to have dreams . . . Saturdays were happy days.

I used to have dreams . . . I was happy.


This piece was inspired by prompt “I used to dream” on the bekindrewrite site from their InMon XIII 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. Enjoy!

An eternal, comforting embrace

May 21, 2011 § 7 Comments

There was a girl, one of five that summer, alone. There had been so many before her, too many in my wavering opinion. It wasn’t my fault, location added to my appeal. I was in the centre of beautiful woodland, picturesque surroundings and it was remote. If we needed privacy, we would certainly get it here. However, she was definitely the prettiest of them all – I declare. I will never forget her beauty or how her lustrous skin felt as we touched for the first time.

On this particular summer’s morning, she stopped for longer than usual. She stood, silently staring across the unbroken, tranquil surface of the manor’s deepest lake, where I lay.

The morning sun shone across her troubled brow. For a solitary moment, I felt a deeply, undisturbed hope, things would be different this time. Her long blonde hair, flowing, shimmering gold in the dawning sun and refracting only the happiest of moments from within. The summer dress she wore complimenting her eternal beauty. Her gazed expression was not of sorrow but emptiness, of tiring lonely emptiness.

She had lost unconditional connection with other souls, left hollow by the passing of her loving parents. Unable to reconstruct the fragments of her fractured existence, she was lost in an eternal longing for untroubled times and a second of serenity. I knew, in empathy, as I had done so many times before her, I could guide her and help her through these troubled and tormented times.

Suddenly, the once calm breeze of the summer morning was broken by a tempest wind. The tree tops playfulness and the settled foliage of the forest floor shattered by gusts of deviant air. The chaos of her summer dress broke this once tranquil scene, exacerbating the confusion of her mind. The beautiful girls angelic expression echoed the troubles of her turbulent life.

As I rushed towards her, for a seemingly endless moment, quiescent she stood, defiant in her desires for resolution. Then, in a butterfly’s heartbeat, she stepped forward releasing and spreading her troubled hands like the wings of an angel. Taking a lasting breath, she left the security of the broken bridge and the shattered pieces of her broken life.

There was a moment. An irreplaceable moment, where all hope was lost, where the peace of what she longed for, disappeared, forever. A moment where the last breathe of a beautiful girl signalled the inevitable akin of two entities. A soul, lost in purposefulness and a body, desirous to guide her to the depths of everlasting peace.

As she crashed through my surface, our bodies met, and our existences collided, the silence of her breath was broken with the deafening sounds of my despair. I could do no more. I was helpless to comfort her in whatever she had known. All I can do is smother her and encapsulate her in my compassion, my empathy and my flowing love.

For, what seems an eternity, her heartbeat slows to the rhythm of my ebb. We hold each other, we gaze, we dance, we kiss and we comfort one another. I look deep into my beautiful angels eyes, they reflect and refract the piercing rays of sunshine from my surface for the last time.

The final rays of hope and light are diminishing as we fall deeper into each other and inevitably become one.

Before her soul departs, her life is lost in my tenebrous abyss and she fails to hear my timeless song I whisper to her departing soul, the words I often spoke, comforting her last breath. Words she longed to hear in her mortal form, ‘My fallen angel, your sufferance will be lost with me, forever, in my eternal comforting embrace’.

Under the awning

May 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

“The condensation was building on the inside of the roof. The sun had risen earlier than I’d expected and I was worried about the dampness ruining the previous nights work. I had arranged all of my tools, in alphabetical order, on the two wooden folding tablets. They were fake oak tables, which my mother had given to me to make my life more comfortable. They certainly did make my life more comfortable. I no longer had to lay the tools on the floor. I had somewhere to arrange them and keep them safe and clean.

The wind was picking up. It blew the left and right doors in and out. It made me imagine the motions of a young, hot, couple having sex. It was rhythmic but clumsy and passionless. There was no soul.

I was getting cold and the metal on my tools were even colder. I could hardly pick them up to finish the project I had started. I needed to finish it that night. I was on an early shift the morning after and needed to be back before the staff noticed I’d disappeared.

I started cutting and carving, hoping the sound wouldn’t wake the neighbouring occupants and bring attention to my twilight activities. It was difficult keeping it a secret. I couldn’t let anyone know what I was doing. It would most certainly spoil everything. Not just for me, but for my family. I wanted it to be a surprise.

They would never believe, in a million years, it was something I could do on my own or that I was even capable. This whole situation would puzzle them – always. They would never understand, or belief for that matter, that I could do it. Have I said that? Not with my timetable anyway. The hospital kept me pretty busy. I would volunteer late shifts and unsociable hours so that I could buy everything I needed so I was able to fit my other work into my life.

My upbringing could have been better, not that it matters. But we didn’t have much in the way of luxuries. I needed to make sure I didn’t go without. I wanted a better life. That’s why I became a doctor, you know, and my fascination with life. To be responsible for another persons life is the most amazing power. I mean, I knew it was a high paid career and I also knew it would be a career that would help me with my other jobs – my amazing projects. I also knew that it would satisfy all of my desires. I knew quite a lot, didn’t I?

Luckily, within a few hours of the sun rising the dew had subsided and before the neighbours had started stirring. Just in time for me to put the final touches to first of my thirteen projects. I call them projects; but really, they are works of art as far as I am concerned. I have to sculpt, mould, construct and deconstruct – so it is art to me. I have to create complex organic shapes and morph them to adhere to complex shapes and deforming constructions – It’s art – it really is art. It’s difficult. I don’t expect you to understand, you are not like me – that’s clear . . . no one is.

I listened intently, as I always have, as the morning came alive. In silence, I sat on the folded camp chair for hours while the neighbours rose from their nightly slumber. The doors of their dwellings thumped open. It was a strange sensation. It was like the banging of a military drum, exciting all around to the dawning of the impending conflict.  I’d been alone all night. I had only the distant sound of nocturnal vehicles to keep me company. The sensation of those nightly souls hovering around my vicinity added to my creative process, its part of the work, it adds to my process.

I chose the dead of night to create my sculptors because the solitude allowed me to concentrate on the finer aspects of the craft. The eye is in the detail. That’s what my mother used to say. It’s true. If I allowed myself to forget the details I wouldn’t be noticed. That would ruin everything. I didn’t want to my art to be displayed until I was ready. That was the part I enjoyed the most. I needed that control over everything. I want you to understand that! I mean; you get to know your art. It’s personal. You feel for it. I did anyway. Ask any other artist like me, they really get into what they are doing, and it becomes part of their soul. Regardless of the their motivation, it consumes them. It’s all they think about. It’s only natural. If you don’t love what you do to your very core, you’re not an artist; you’re not a craftsman, you’re soulless, empty and a downright shell. I mean, how could you not be that close to something and not feel for it?

The only thing that bothered me was everyone finding out and ruining my big surprise. It was strange, weird even. It motivated me to keep going. My mum would say, the more you focussed on the drive the more driven you were. I didn’t get it at first. It only clicked once I’d completed my first piece. She was wonderful. The piece was wonderful, not my mother.

I remember them all.  I remember them as if they were ex-girlfriends. But in all honesty the first changed me forever. After her I couldn’t stop the work. It became addictive, almost taking over my medical work. The more I carved and the more I owned my craft, the more it took over me. They spoke to me while I carved. They were alive.

There was, in fact is, no one like me – for sure. I know that, I just need everyone else to know. I need everyone to appreciate that, no matter how many other artists or craftsmen there seems to be, I am the best.

It wasn’t about the quantity; to me it was purely about quality. But I won’t lie to you, I didn’t think of the number in the beginning but the more I did it the more the number thirteen seemed to be the right number to finish on. I can’t tell you why it just resonated. I have said that before haven’t I? No? The number thirteen touched me. Imagine your mum saying to you, for the first time, I love you – not that mine ever has – it just makes you feel a certain way. It’s unexplainable. Did your mum ever tell you she loved you? How does that feel? Wet?

It was the thirteenth that was the most difficult. It was bigger. When I say “IT” I mean her, she of course. I tried to get something new from each piece. I played with getting closer and closer. I tried to love each one differently.  That way I could tell the story of each of them and try to convince any stranger to feel the same about them, about my art, as me.

Take my patience for instance, they all have a different story, have lived different lived and I love telling their stories. I love telling the stories of their lives and the stories of their deaths, it makes me feel whole and complete, it feels right. And to have a control of their lives, to have their lives in your hands makes you feel special, alive and settling in their last moments. It’s like playing god – almost. You can’t take that shit lightly – you have to make the most of it. I suppose that’s why it happened, that art I mean. Can I call it art? I just want you to understand that’s all. I want to paint a picture that everyone can understand. I helped them. They are where they should be.

When you save someone’s life, you allow those people to live longer. When you take someone’s life, you give him or her eternal existence. Ever lasting soul. You allow them to live for longer in other people’s memories, people who didn’t even know them.  It’s like Jesus, we didn’t know him but god left his image for all of us to remember. God I tell you. I mean, you’re not going to forget their names are you. You are going to sleep every night with their angelic faces burned into your mind. You didn’t even know them and you wouldn’t forget. I have done what I had to. My job is complete – Inspector; my job is done. I have given them eternal life.

They should be thankful. You should be thankful. I have changed everyone’s life forever. I have changed your life.”

“Thank you, Dr McAllister, for your insightful and open confession. Your victims families can now have closure. Can you please read what I have written, then sign here and here.”

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