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Archive for the ‘Short story competition entries’ Category

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The two children stood at the gate, stroking Bella, my Cockapoo. I knew the house next door had been let for the summer but this was the first time I’d met any of the family. I called to Bella and the children followed her into the kitchen. This furry bundle of joy is irresistible!

“Do your parents know you are here?” I enquired.

“Mummy’s dead, Daddy won’t get up. He thinks he killed her.”

The boy looked down at his sister, who was now kneeling on the tiled floor with her arms round Bella, and she just nodded, silent tears falling into the puppy’s soft coat.

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Temple Island – start of the regatta course

It started when I was about three, but I don’t really remember the incident. The family, however, have never let me forget it. Apparently, if my mother is to be believed, she  took me to to lunch with a famous author of cookery books who according to my mother was a rather large lady.  My first words on stepping over the threshold were “That’s a very large dress you are wearing.”  The author, who was apparently rather too fond of her own cooking, laughed a bit too loudly, and declared, “what a charmingly tactful child”. I took this as a compliment but my mother didn’t quite see it like that.

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Dark thunder clouds were gathering as Mabel and Frank arrived at the river bank. They both appeared dazed, the ambulance sirens echoing in their ears but fainter now than before, and nowhere in sight. Frank’s face was covered in cuts streaming with blood, his clothes in tatters. Mabel was fussing with her newly permed hair, but Frank noticed that her left arm was hanging at an odd angle, and her glasses were missing.

“What happened, Mabel?” groaned Frank. “Where the hell are we?”

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It was love at first sight. The moment I set eyes on Cordelia I wanted her with a passion my wife neither understood nor forgave for years. Cordelia was resting on the mud, her distress obvious to me, yet her lines were classically beautiful. She had aged well, but neglect has taken its toll. She looked like a proud old lady who had fallen on hard times. She was, in fact, stronger than she appeared and cradled gently, she made the journey by road to her new home on the banks of the Thames.

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1-Light Fantastic_005_Llanddwyn Island Lighthouse_16x9Flickr-001From Melanie:

It was never my intention to start a revolution – it simply wasn’t my style.  My parents were Alphas and the Betas were just, well there! We  accepted their ministrations as normal. In fact, although we were taught as children to be polite to those who served us, we really did not consider them as anything other than slaves, which in fact, was their destiny.  It was only when I was older that I experienced an incident that made me aware they were human beings and not entirely without feelings.  Our household, although it only consisted of two adults and two children, required at least ten Betas to enable us to eat, wear clean clothing and live a life free from domestic trivia.

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It was a peaceful Sunday morning at St Cuthbert’s until the quiet contemplation of the ageing clerics was fractured by  bloodcurdling screams of anguish followed by a shriek of shocked outrage from Sister Angela Elizabeth. The Reverend John Norris raised an eyebrow as he addressed the room:

“Gregory again do you suppose? ”

Their Reverends lowered their Sunday papers and those who were able made all haste in the direction whence the sounds emanated. Ivan Gregory had form: and to be fair, the elderly clerics were grateful for a little excitement in their somewhat predictable routine.

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“When it is peace, then we may view again
With new won eyes each other’s truer form
And wonder. Grown more loving kind and warm
We’ll grasp firm hands and laugh at the old pain,
When it is peace. But until peace, the storm,
The darkness and the thunder and the rain.”

C Hamilton Sorley

 

Charles arrived at last as the soup was served. He brought the chill of the night with him and appeared travel weary and near the limit of endurance. He crossed the room towards her and stopped. Lavinia stood, rooted to the spot, as he apologised to her and the guests and requested her immediate presence in the library.

At the Grange, just down the road, Christmas was different this year – it was the War! Mary shook out her curls in front of the mirror and waited for Jenny her maid to arrange then in a glossy pile on top of her head, as she frantically rubbed cream onto her chapped hands. She spent most of the time in the stables these days looking after the few remaining horses. It broke her heart to see the empty stalls and she’d wept for days after most of the horses were taken away. Then her brother went to the front: the war again – she was heartily tired of it all, and sick with worry. Where was Jenny? She rang the bell again, and remembered that Jenny was helping her mother dress. She picked up the brush and hairpins and made a start. A this rate she would be late for her first grown up dinner at the Hall. She wandered downstairs having done her best. Her mother stood in the hall with an officer in uniform. (more…)

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