Hi everyone, I've stepped into the abyss......I'm a full time writer now! It's a tough life, but hey, I've got a sense of humour. I've come through only slightly demented from what the past 50 odd years has thrown at me, but on the positive side L.I.F.E has given me lots of fuel regarding stories to write about. However, it's not all bad; I'm now sailing in peaceful waters as still as a millpond and reaping the rewards from my life choices. About bloody time too........
The Porn Detective
The Pilates Class
A House Without Windows
Lily: A Short Story
No Sex Please, I'm Menopausal!
For the Sake of a Child
A Rather Unusual Romance
A Collection of Indie and Published Author Interviews
The Daughter-in-law Syndrome
A Novella Collection
Repent at Leisure
There was now a brick wall where the wooden fence had stood, but otherwise the school looked just the same. Eddie could still hear fat Terry Larkin’s voice in his head threatening to inflict unspeakable torture if he didn’t receive the piece of chocolate cake that Eddie’s mother had lovingly placed in her son’s lunch box that morning, the one with the He-Man picture on the front. Eddie laughed ruefully to himself; where had He-Man been when he needed him?
He walked on down the High Street. It wasn’t much of a street really; just a few shops and a pub. In the 10 years since he’d been gone a small housing estate seemed to have sprung up on the site of the derelict farm. Eddie remembered how he and Sue would climb over the rotting gate, find their favourite outhouse that still had bales of straw in it, and explore each other’s bodies under the dark cover of night. When Sue had become pregnant at 17, it was the talk of the village for at least a year.
The shop where he and Davy had pinched pocketfuls of sweets from was still there near to the housing estate. Were Mr and Mrs Evans still the owners? He couldn’t bear to go near the place, suddenly feeling great pangs of remorse; they had been such nice people and had never suspected a thing. Davy had been a good teacher, but as he became older stealing sweets was not enough; he’d wanted Eddie to join him in breaking into Steve Collins’ van, but Eddie had backed out. He wondered where Davy was now; probably ruminating on his past life at Her Majesty’s pleasure somewhere.
Eddie stopped to look at the 12th century church on the other side of the road, still standing stoically. After Sue’s pregnancy had been confirmed he remembered the shame of the hastily arranged wedding. Sue had looked stunning in her cream satin and lace gown; the red roses strategically hiding just a hint of a bump. He hadn’t been able to take his eyes off her. However, if her father could have got away with sticking a knife in his new son-in-law’s back that day he would have done. Thank goodness he’d thawed out eventually though when he’d seen how happy they were.
Next to the church he was pleased to see that the pub still looked the same. His father had proudly taken him there for his first drink on his 18th birthday, totally unaware that Davy had been teaching him to hold his beer for at least a year prior to that. How on earth had Davy come by all the alcohol? Eddie just hoped that Mr and Mrs Evans hadn’t found themselves a bit short in the shop.
Alec still owned the garage on the corner. Eddie could see him hunched over the bonnet of someone’s Ford Mondeo. He remembered when he used to take his bike in there for a service. Alec knew Eddie wasn’t earning much, so would charge him ‘mates rates’ and therefore Eddie got to keep most of his precious earnings. He was a good bloke, was Alec.
Around the corner was West Avenue, and Eddie could see the two-up-two-down cottage where he and Sue had started their married life. The rent had taken up most of his wages, leaving just enough to pay the bills. He remembered Sue sitting in the back garden in the sunshine, huge with their unborn child, wearing a big smile on her face and eating ice cream straight from the tub. He had to ride out on his bike one night to find a supermarket that was open and selling the raspberry ripple flavour that she craved so much. He’d been rather pleased with himself when he’d found one that was still open at midnight, racing home as fast as he could carrying his prize in a rucksack on his back.
Further down West Avenue was the cemetery, where generations of villagers had been laid to rest. Eddie tried to resist, but the pull was too great.
Stepping through the lych-gate, he remembered where his grandparents’ graves were located. Walking in-between the tombstones he saw them over by the wall under a large yew tree, laying side by side; James and Amelia Harris, together forever in eternity.
The grave that he didn’t really want to look at was next to his grandmother’s. Eddie moved in closer; there was a woman and a young boy already there, arranging flowers by the headstone. The woman was plumper than he remembered, but he could see that it was Sue. She was crying. The boy looked the image of him.
Eddie stood over his grave and read the inscription; ‘Edward Harris. Born 12th March 1981. Died 22nd May 2003.’ Was that all they’d put on it? Was that all his life had amounted to – a birth and a death date? He’d loved his wife, and given different circumstances would have loved the boy standing in front of him. He reached out to his son, but his hand went straight through the boy’s body, making him shiver in the summer heat.
He could stand it no more. Eddie walked back out through the lych-gate, passing the bend in the road where his bike had skidded in the dark on a patch of oil. He’d been driving too fast, not wanting the raspberry ripple ice cream to melt before he reached home. He couldn’t remember crashing into the tree at all.
The tree was still standing, in perfect bloom in the May sunshine. Eddie looked at its bark; there wasn’t a mark on it to show where his life had been snuffed out. He tried to kick it, but his leg disappeared inside the tree. The leaves rustled in the breeze as though they were laughing at him.
Eddie had seen all he wanted to see. He wouldn’t be back. He would wait for Sue, and one day he knew they would be together again.
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