In the silence of the dark, acrid-smelling room the jingle of keys and the clunk from the aged lock woke Lydia from her nightmare. She lay, perfectly still between the crisp white sheets as a light was turned on and she waited for the next familiar sound to penetrate her brain. Then it came, the footsteps and that horrible piercing scream from somewhere close beside her.
The house was big, old and creaking but it was her home. Lydia knew no other. They had moved to
Zion house when Lydia had been a baby, renting it from the closed order of nuns who resided in the
convent next to them. From the top landing window the nuns could be seen busy in the walled
garden tending to their vegetables and herbs like little penguins about their day. There was little
contact with the order except when Lydia would go with her mother to pay the rent money to the
nuns. They would reach the convent through a locked gate by their house, only open on Friday
morning between ten and eleven, and make their way to a small window in the outer wall. This was
covered by a metal grill which would open a fraction so that the money and rent book could be
passed through. No words were spoken and the book was signed and passed back. Lydia longed to
see their faces and from her childish imagination she gave them features and personas, drawing
them in the sketch pad her aunt had given her at Christmas.
Most of the area around the house was wooded and dark but Lydia’s mother had cleared a small
patch for her own vegetable garden and there was a gravel path leading to the lane that in turn led to
the main road. There were no other houses close by, just the convent and an old barn used by a local
farmer to keep his winter cattle feed in. Despite the isolation of the house Lydia never felt alone.
She had her dolls, her drawings and the friends that lived in her mind.
A large fig tree grew by the front door which was reached by a flight of broken stone steps and was
where Lydia would often sit and draw and dream. Inside the house the rooms were large but cosy, a
sitting room and room for best, a kitchen and out house for washing and four bedrooms. The toilet
was outside but it could be reached through the boiler room in the basement during the winter or on
rainy days. Lydia didn’t like the boiler room, there was a strange smell and often an unnatural chill
to it even though the fire burned.
Lydia’s Father, John Mimpher worked the night shift at the local hospital and slept most of the day, so
the house always felt hushed and half asleep until he woke. Then it came to life, the radio on and
chattering after dinner, storytelling and games, his loud booming voice making the earth shake. He
was a big man, not fat but tall and muscular with dark wavy hair that had a mind of his own and his
face was covered by a shaggy black beard that Lydia loved to run her fingers through. Her father
made her world a noisy, joyous place but then he’d go and the silence and lifelessness returned.
Elsie Mimpher, like the house, seemed to live in a half sleep, going about her day like a robot,
caring for Lydia and doing what she had to do until her husband woke. She had never loved Lydia.
When Lydia was a baby, people said she would come to love her in time, baby blues they called it,
but she hadn’t. She didn’t dislike her, she was just indifferent to this strange little creature that lived
in their house. Elsie remembered the time before Lydia. She remembered being eighteen with her
life path mapped out. She had been a student nurse, in her second year when she met and fell in love
with the handsome staff nurse on ward seven. John was a few years older than her but the attraction
was mutual and they began seeing each other regularly. In secret at first as student relationships
were frowned on but when Elsie became pregnant they could hide it no longer. Elsie didn’t know
how it had happened, after a hospital party and too much punch, had she really been so drunk! Her dreams of a nursing career vanished before her eyes. John was delighted, proposed and before Lydia was born they were married and living in Zion house. Elsie had had a difficult pregnancy and delivery so after the birth John transferred to night duty so he could help with the baby in the dayand his wages would be better. And so their new life began.
As Lydia grew she had no contact with other children except for holiday visits from her older cousin and the occasional visits to nearby village events when they would go as a family. Lydia loved the visits from her cousin and looked forward to the two weeks in summer and a week at Christmas when the family would visit. During those weeks her mother seemed different, younger
and more alive. Lydia adored her Aunt and Uncle who would hug and kiss her and buy her gifts for
no reason at all which made it harder for her when they were gone.
When she was five Lydia was sent to school in the local town. Lydia was the first stop for the
school bus. She and her mother waited at the bottom of the lane for the bus to arrive and then she
mounted the bus to find her seat, half way up so as not to be seen and next to the window so she
could see. Gradually as the bus travelled from village to village it filled with noisy, restless children
and Lydia sunk deeper and deeper into her seat.
School for Lydia was a trial. She often didn’t understand what the teachers said or what was
expected which made her feel isolated, and an easy target for bullies. To help her cope Lydia sunk
deeper into her own world, talking to the friends that lived in her head and drawing images that
seemed strange to the outsider. At home these images took shape, becoming spectres that Lydia
could see as clearly as she could see her mother and father. She was never afraid of them, they were
a comfort to her in an often hostile world.
At the end of the first year at school Lydia’s parents were called into the headmaster’s office. He was
a tall middle-aged man with a ready smile that children respond to but as they entered the room he
looked uncomfortable and troubled.
“Please come in and take a seat” the headmaster said, pointing to two comfortable high back chairs.
The office smelt of coffee and a faint hint of his aftershave, warm and reassuring but as John looked
at his wife a sense of foreboding flooded over him.
Mr Jones the headmaster shuffled the papers in front of him as the door to the office opened and
Lydia’s teacher came in.
“Ah miss Little, come in. I was about to explain our position to Mr and Mrs Mimpher” Mr Jones
said with an uncomfortable laugh.
“Explain?, position? What position exactly” . John Mimpher’s voice became louder and Elsie grew
more and more anxious.
Mr Jones tried to calm him but his words only made things worse. “We really feel this school is not
the right place for Lydia, don’t you agree miss little?” She nodded her head and gave a feeble smile.
“Lydia is different from other children and well, she frightens them,” he said “We’ve had complaints
from parents and the staff find her difficult” he continued. “It’s so hard for them when Lydia
continually carries on a conversation with people who aren’t there and she says strange and frankly,
Elsie spoke, “What kind of things are you saying our daughter says?”
Miss Little spoke for the first time, “She says dead people talk to her, she says she sees them and
she knows how they died.” She turned to face them “Mr and Mrs Mimpher, do you let Lydia watch
Following that statement John Mimpher shot up from his chair, “How dare you. What sort off
parents do you think we are and I don’t believe a word you’re saying. Come on Elsie, we will collect
our daughter and find a school that does understand her.” With a piercing look at Miss Little they
left the office.
As they left the room they heard a loud sigh from the head master and headed towards Lydia’s class
room..With Lydia holding tightly to her fathers arm they left the school for ever.
As the years passed Lydia attended other schools with the same results and her behaviour at home
became increasingly more worrying for her mother. John adored his daughter and refused to believe
she had problems. Elsie pleaded with her husband to get help, not just for Lydia but for their
relationship so finally at the age of ten Lydia was sent to a specialist school, where she boarded and
came home for weekends and holidays.
Her lovely aunt and uncle didn’t visit any more and she was told her cousin was always too busy to
write or come for holidays. No one visited at all when Lydia was at home.
At home, in fine weather she would either be on the outside step, drawing strange images on her
pad or in bad weather in her room, talking to her dolls or her make believe friends. Lydia would
sometimes tell her parents about these conversations. She spoke to the nun who died from a
mysterious illness and the previous occupant of Zion house who took her own life. She said she had
visits from a farm lad named Tom who had drowned in the river and his body had never been found.
When her mother became so upset by all this her father forbid Lydia to talk about such things.
At the school Lydia could talk about her friends and was encouraged by Dr Knight to draw what she
saw. “Just draw what you see” he said, “It doesn’t matter if your drawings look strange, I want to
see what you see” . So Lydia drew her pictures. Grotesque figures leapt from the page, hideous
faces, contorted by disease or violence, unbelievably created by this young girl from her mind. The
Dr felt a cold shiver as if he had been doused by cold water and he left the room.
“I am very concerned for Lydia’s mental health” the Dr explained to John and Elsie. “I would like to
admit her to hospital for tests and assessment”
“What sort of hospital?” asked John, “You’re not taking my girl to some lunatic asylum”
Elsie touched her husband’s arm, “John, it’s for the best, we just can’t go on like this”
It was arranged that the next day Lydia would be a voluntary patient at St Clements. Her parents
could take her home at any time if they or Lydia weren’t happy.
Lydia packed her bag, her pad and pencils and her favourite doll that usually hung by it’s neck from
the top window latch. As she left the house she waved to the group of faces only she could see and
settled in the back of her dad’s Ford Anglia car.
At the hospital they were met by a young chap that John knew from his nurse training days and he
promised he would look out for Lydia as best he could. “Now be a good girl Lydia and do what they
say and you will soon be home”said her father, “We’re not allowed to visit for a week but if you
need us, tell my friend and I’ll be straight here”
Lydia nodded and without a look at her mother she followed the nurse through the big imposing
door and into oblivion.
John Mimpher thought his heart would break but he knew for all their sakes it was the right thing to
Lydia began her “treatment”. She spent six months in hospital, coming home for weekends to spend
time with her father, often her mother would be away visiting or helping out on the nearby farm.
Each time she came home she became more disturbed. The voices in her head were angry. Why had
she gone away and left them and on the last visit when her mother was home she attacked her,
blaming her for making her leave. Elsie was distraught and begged her husband to never let Lydia
come home again.
John took Lydia back to St Clements and explained to her psychiatrist the events leading up to the
attack. “Why can’t you help her?” John sobbed.
“We feel Lydia needs more help than we can provide here” Dr Kelly said. “I would like to refer her
to another hospital”
Lydia was moved to Ashcourt house, two hundred miles from her home. John visited when he
could. His marriage to Elsie disintegrated and she moved away nearer her sister. John stayed on in
the house, working all the hours he could to pay for his trips to see Lydia. Often she wouldn’t seem
to know him, she had lost weight over the last five years of being there and he noticed puncture
marks in her arms. He was told they were from blood tests, or she had had to be sedated and the
weight loss was natural as a child grows into a teenager. John often left the hospital with a heavy
heart and great concern for his daughter’s life.
One evening after a very long shift John Mimpher sat in his arm chair with a comforting beer when
he felt a presence behind him. The room seemed to chill even though the fire was roaring. The odd
smell of lavender and hay and river water filled the air.
John turned towards the door. Was it the beer, the heat of the fire or had he been working too hard.
He pinched himself hard on the cheek to see if he was awake and looked again. In the door way
stood a nun, a boy and a young woman.
“What do you want from me, am I going mad ?” he yelled “Go away, please, go away”
“She needs you, Lydia needs you” said the young woman” As John looked closer he noticed the
blood dripping from her wrists, the pools of water around the boy and the deadly nightshade in the
“She needs her father” said the nun, “she needs you John Mimpher”
“Am I going insane?” he said to himself, “is crushing grief and pain causing me to see these
The boy moved closer and John could see rope marks around his wrists and ankles. “I was thrown
away because I was a burden, I was lost and needed to be found and Lydia found my spirit. Help me
John Mimpher, find my body and find your daughter.”
John couldn’t speak, his mind raced and then realisation hit him.
“She’s not mad, I’m not mad, this is real” he said jumping to his feet and rushing around the room.
After a quick rummage for his keys, shoes and coat John Mimpher headed out of the door to his car.
The two hundred miles seemed to take forever even though he only stopped once to refuel and grab
a coffee but finally he reached Ashcout house. It was late but he didn’t care and after hammering on
the door a confused night porter let him in.
“I want to see my daughter” he shouted “let me see her”. Before any sort of alarm could be raised
John rushed up the main stairs to Lydias room. As he came to the top of the stairs he heard a scream
from behind a closed door of a treatment room. John flung himself at the door and crashed through
shouting Lydia’s name.
He saw the nurse holding in her hand a large syringe filled with yellow liquid, a long sharp needle
shone from the tip and a tourniquet was tightly wrapped around Lydia’s arm, making her tiny veins
protrude. The acrid smell in the room filled John’s nostrils making him retch. He pushed the nurse
aside making her and the foul concoction in the syringe fall to the floor.
The room began to fill with people and noise but John gently lifted his daughter’s arm, removed the
tight band and let the blood flow back into her fingertips. He glared at the people who were
supposed to take care of his little girl. “What sort of place is this?” he shouted “You have taken my
daughter and our life to hell but I’m taking her back to where she will be loved and cherished”.
John Mimpher lifted his daughter in his arms and carried her away to his waiting car.
“I’m taking you home Lydia, you are going to be well again and when you are there is a job for us to
do, a young boy needs our help” John softly said. Through her drugged and weakened state Ly
We will start as all fairy stories do.
Once upon a time there was a wolf called Gerald. But Gerald wasn’t the sort of wolf you read about in fairy story books. He didn’t hide in forests, he didn’t frighten children and he certainly didn’t eat pigs – Gerald was a vegetarian.
One day as Gerald was finishing his washing up he could hear banging noises coming from the field at the back of his house. The noises went on for a long time and finally Gerald could bear it no longer and went to the gate to see what was going on.
What a surprise, there at the far end of the field was a small, fat pig with a hammer, a pot of nails and a bale of straw. He watched the little pig as he worked away and finally Gerald realised the pig was building a house.
“Great” said Gerald, “a neighbour, I’ll make a cake and take it round”. Gerald loved company but sadly not many came to visit.
In a short while his kitchen was full of wonderful smells. Gerald had made a Victoria sponge, full of strawberry jam and cream, a dozen scones, more jam and cream and big tin of chocolate cookies with extra chocolate.
He packed his goodies into a basket and set off for the little pig’s house.
The little pig had finished his house and was just admiring his work when he saw a wolf walking towards him. His little heart jumped with fright. He ran inside, bolted the door shut and hid behind the chair.
Gerald whistled a tune as he crossed the field. At the house he knocked on the door and said “little pig can I come in?” The little pig shook from head to hoof and was just about to say “no, no” when a huge gust of wind came and blew the house of straw down. The little pig screamed and ran as fast as he could away from Gerald into the forest.
Gerald stood holding his basket of food and looked at the pile of straw. “Oh dear” said Gerald to himself, as he wiped his nose on a spotted handkerchief “I forgot that straw makes me sneeze. I suppose I’ll have to eat by myself again.”
The little pig watched from the forest and saw the wolf go back across the field. “I think I’ll go and find my brother” he said “and live with him. He’s building a house on the other side of the field, I’m sure there will be room for me”
He set off and finally found his brother just putting the last nail in the door of his beautiful house of sticks.
The first little pig told his brother all about his visit from the wolf and how the wolf had blown down his house and tried to eat him. The second little pig reassured his brother. “We are quite safe here in my house of sticks” he said. He put the kettle on the cooker and set about making a cup of tea.
Gerald went back to his house and thought about eating some cake but he had lost his appetite. He really was very worried about the little pig. “What if something tries to eat him” he said to himself.
Gerald sat for a while and then decided he would look for the little pig. He put on his jacket and set off across the field. He passed the pile of straw that was once the little pig’s house. He crossed the tiny stream and there in front of him was a small wooden house made of sticks. “Great” said Gerald “another neighbour and I can smell tea brewing”.
Through the window the little pigs watched in horror as a wolf approached, sniffing the air and licking his lips.
“Oh no” said the first little pig, “he’s coming to eat us”
Gerald knocked on the door but before he could say “good day, can I come in” a huge gust of wind blew the house of sticks down. The two little pigs squealed and ran as fast as they could into the forest.
Gerald wiped his nose again on his spotted handkerchief and said “Oh dear, the green sticks have made me sneeze too” He went back to his house feeling even sadder than before. “I think I’ll go and see my friend Sally who lives in the village and have a nice cup of tea with her to cheer myself up” said Gerald to a passing spider. “Good idea said the spider” as he scampered under the cooker. Gerald packed up his bag of food and set off.
The two little pigs ran as fast as their little hooves could carry them and didn’t stop until they got to their sister’s house in the village.
Inside her house they told her all about the terrible wolf who kept blowing down their houses and who was chasing them across the field. Sally settled her brothers onto the sofa and was just about to make them some tea when there was a knock on the door. The two little pigs jumped and huddled together as sally opened the door.
“Little pig, can I come in?” said a familiar voice. “No, no” said the two little pigs together as they hid behind their sister.
Gerald stood in the door way holding his basket of goodies and smiling with his great big white teeth.
“Come in Gerald” said Sally “I’ve just made tea”. “Wonderful” said Gerald “And I’ve got cake and scones and jam and crunchy chocolate cookies too.”
Written by Tina Gillham
Sally Jones smoothed down her apron and adjusted her nurses cap as she stepped through the door into St Georges ward. It was 1976 and her first post as a staff nurse after three hard years of training and she had been there just over a month.
St Georges ward was busy. The night nurses were just finishing their shift and doing the last minute bits before handing over to day staff. Most of the patients were elderly with medical problems and most had been on the ward for several weeks, even months.
Sally sat down next to the ward sister and waited for the yawning night nurse to give her report.
The night nurse informed them that a new patient had been admitted in the early hours from A and E with a confirmed stroke. Mr Williams had collapsed at his nursing home about 4am, had lost consciousness and the use of his left side but was conscious and comfortable now. Mr Williams was 80 and apparently had no next of kin except a distant niece who came to visit him at the nursing home once a year.
There were no other real changes to report on the other patients so sister assigned the staff to do their various duties.
Sally and a nursing aide called Ginny, a girl about the same age as herself with a gentle voice and calm attitude were paired. Sally had liked her immediately they had met . Together they took the nursing trolley to bay 3 and began getting the patients washed and ready for doctors rounds.
Mr Williams was in the middle bed of a six bedded ward. At first glance he was a big man with a bushy moustache which was slightly droopy on one side due to his stroke. He seemed to be asleep but as Sally approached and gently touched his arm his eyes opened . In his youth, Sally thought, Mr Williams would have been a very handsome chap.
Over many weeks Mr Williams gradually improved and he and Sally built up a good relationship. One of the first words he spoke to her was “Welsh?” and Sally had realised he had recognised the name ,Jones. “No” she told him, “just my name”.
Some of the staff from the nursing home came to visit occasionally and gave her an insight into the life of Mr Williams, David to his friends, before his stroke. At quiet times Sally asked him questions and related the stories about his life that she had heard. He responded with nods, winks and occasional words and often tears would fall onto his sunken cheeks.
David Williams was doing well. Physiotherapy had helped and he was now able to stand with help. Although Sally or Ginny tried to be the ones to assist Mr Williams it wasn’t always possible. Some of the other nurses were not so patient with him and one nurse, in particular, would tell him he was lazy and accuse him of not trying which upset Mr Williams and Sally. After one incident Sally took the nurse aside and tried to explain to her how hard it was for Mr Williams but all she received in return was sarcasm and looks of dislike.
Sally was due some annual leave and Ginny promised to keep an eye on the care of Mr Williams while she was away. Sadly Ginny developed a very bad chest infection and had to have a week away from the ward.
When Sally returned on shift after her holiday she was horrified to find Mr Williams semi-conscious, dehydrated and with multiple bed sores. She was told that he had suffered another stroke and this time would not recover.
Sally sat by his bed whenever she could, reassuring him and making him as comfortable as possible. Three days after her return David Williams died peacefully in his sleep.
Sally and Ginny went to the funeral which was attended by the caring staff from the nursing home and Mr Williams niece and husband.
The niece thanked everyone for their care and left.
A week later the matron from the home contacted Sally to ask if she would like Mr Williams war medals as the niece had told her to throw them away and she knew how fond Sally had been of him.
The next day Sally went to collect the medals and was surprised at what she was given. Matron handed Sally a large sturdy wooden box and when she opened it her mouth fell open. Inside Sally found five shiny medals, a photo of a handsome young man in uniform and information on his life. She examined the medals, a 1914 -15 star, the British war medal, Allied victory medal, the distinguished conduct medal and the Victoria cross. With tears flowing down her cheeks Sally read the story of David Williams’ life and gazed at the young face of her friend.
“Oh my goodness,” said matron looking over Sally’s shoulder “He must have been a hero”.
Sally wiped her tears and looking at matron said “I knew he was a hero, I didn’t need the medals to tell me but I will treasure them for the rest of my life”.
Sally promised herself that one day the story of the life of David Williams, late of the Grenadier guards would be told and the world would recognise him for the hero he was and not the old man in St Georges ward.
written by Tina Gillham
A Short Story by Julie Clark
DIVINE PROTECTION FOREVER
I started running like I had never run before, I ran like my life depended on it like I was in mortal danger
My heart was pounding and fear was so intense that it pushed me forward even though my body hurt from top to toe
I came to the top of the hill and could see my home at the bottom of it All I had to do was get there and it seemed such an impossible thing
I gazed around behind me and saw the man that was perusing me. The man who I thought had loved and cared for me, who had time for me. Even after hearing so much against the decision from my family and my once trusted friends. “Oh Lord” I cried “what have I done” but know was not the time for regrets and questions now was the time to run, and so I took off once again
The downward slope of the hill gave me speed and I gained ground on my pursuer but still, the intense fear made me run even faster
I was almost home and safe when all of a sudden I tripped and fell, my ankle snapped and great pain engulfed me and took my breath away
Laying there in absolute fear and now pain to make things worse my life flashed before me. Knowing that this man would now be catching me up making ever bigger strides behind me. Suddenly a flash of light in my eyes and there was a man, whiter than white with a mighty sword and he stood over me with it raised.
Then a verse from the bible came to me. And he will put angels in charge over you to protect you, wow I knew that verse from Sunday school but didn’t think I would ever experience it.
Suddenly two more angels appeared and encircled me with their swords drawn. Then suddenly from out of nowhere came a loud voice saying “stop” “police” For a minute the man appeared by my side but now the fear had gone and, with a mighty tiger like pounce a police officer jumped the man and pulled him to the ground, they put him in handcuffs and led him away leaving me for a second with my thoughts
My mum and dad had always sent us to Sunday school and taught us Christian values, but as I grew up and peer pressure kicked in I stopped going to church and lost my faith. I knew my mum and dad still prayed for me but I was rebelling and then this older man turned up in my life and flattered me and wowed me and led me astray, He was charming but, there was a side of him that I hadn’t seen. He was controlling and manipulative and was actually getting ready to take me away from her and get me involved with drugs and human trafficking.
My parents and friends had tried to warn me so many times but I shut my ears to their concerns I was fed up with following the rules and regulations in life. I wanted to be my own person and make my own decision and most of all I needed the love of a man
Then all around me, there was a buzz of activity as paramedics worked on me giving me comforting words and some very much needed painkillers, they put my foot in a splint and laid me on a stretcher and very soon with flashing lights and sirens loudly screaming I was taken to the hospital. I was still in pain but I was safe. The staff put me to sleep and fixed my ankle and the minute I opened my bleary eyes I could see my wonderful parents standing by my bedside, and, what were they doing?
They were praying
Mum was crying and dad had his head bowed praying quietly, it was a real comfort to see them again and especially to hear their prayers for their special prodigal daughter
Feebly I spoke “mum, dad I’m so sorry for the way I behaved, not listening to you and for wanting a love that wasn’t true. I’m sorry for turning my back on God and all that you have taught me, I now know the most important love to have, is the love that comes from God and the people who truly care about me
“right here and now Lord I surrender my life to you and promise to serve you all the rest of my days, take me Lord and use me for your glory Amen”
Mum and dad wept uncontrollably but it wasn’t tears of fear and sadness it was tears of Joy for the precious daughter that God had given them back
Five days later I was released from the hospital and went back with my parents to that sunny cottage we called home with the beautiful flowers growing around the door. Oh such joy did I feel and so much peace love and acceptance more than I thought I could ever feel
Two years down the line I was back at the local church working in the growing youth group sharing the true gift of God and telling others my testimony about the night God sent His angels to protect me and bring me back to His side
Whatever you are going through today never lose sight of Jesus and never be so determined you go against the love and advice of people who love you
Running for Love written by Anthony Pearse
Beep, Beep, Beep! an alarm clock sounds only stopped by a slender hand that comes down with a bang nearly knocking it off the bed side table, followed by a an arm flinging back the duvet and by some gowns and stretching before a young women hair a mess finally sits upright on the edge of the bed yarning.
Josie make her way to the bathroom emerging a few minutes later hair combed in a tracksuit and as she heads towards the door pursing only to put on trainers, plug in her head phones as she heads out of the door and starts to run then stops as she remembers to stretch then continues on her way running in a loop clockwise around the park back to her door.
She showers and changes, grabs a quick bit of toast and heads off to work were she moans about the boss, then meets some friends to moan about the lack of anyone special in her life before returning home for a microwave meal, a bit of telly shower and bed.
Only to be repeated all the other days of the week, Bleep, Bleep, Bleep! nothing changing but housework Saturday, getting over hangover Sunday but still the same routine Bleep, Bleep, Bleep! Run, run, run, nothing changing.
Across the other side of the park
Beep, Beep, Beep! an alarm clock sounds stopped by a slightly hairy hand that comes down with a bang nearly knocking it off the bed side table, followed by a an arm flinging back the duvet and followed by some gowns, itching and stretching before a young man finally sits upright on the edge of the bed yarning.
Gary make his way to the bathroom emerging a few minutes later in a tracksuit he heads towards the door pursing only to put on trainers, plug in her head phones he heads out the door and starts to run then stops as he remembers to stretch then continues on his way running in a loop anti clockwise around the park back to his door.
He showers and changes, grabs a quick bit of toast and heads off to work were he moans about the boss, then meets some friends to moan about the lack of anyone special in his life before returning home for a microwave meal, a bit of telly shower and bed.
Only to be repeated all the other days of the week, bleep bleep bleep nothing changing but housework Saturday (sometime) football more like, getting over hangover Sunday but still the same routine Bleep, Bleep, Bleep! Run, run, run, nothing changing.
This particular morning, yes you guessed it Bleep, Bleep, Bleep! all was the same but when Josie stopped to stretch she noticed that the footpath up ahead was closed, shrugging she decides to run the other way and perhaps turn around half way and run back.
The only problem is she didn’t know where the half way part was, it dawned on her she didn’t really think about her route at all, she just ran and to think of it what was she it, she was listening to. The tracks were good but like the rest of her life it seemed to have lost all meaning. Josie started to look around and pulling the head phones from her ears started to realise how beautiful the park was.
The people walking their dogs, ducks on the lake…. That’s when it happened, Josie wasn’t looking at where she was going, Garry was lost in his own thoughts and as they both came round the old tree but in opposite directions they suddenly came face to face, they were running to fast towards each other to just stop both tried to swerve Josie was stopped by the tree but Gary ended up falling over in a heap.
Ideate was probably going to be the word they would of shouted at each other but before they could their eyes met, time stood still and somewhat dumb struck they instead just said sorry being totally embarrassed by the moment they swiftly get up and continue their run.
Josie’s heart was pounding this time with excitement, what just happened she could not explain or why she had said sorry after all that big oath should of watch where he was going, were ever that was, she looks over her shoulder but can’t see him, again she could not help her feeling this time disappointment, why she almost shouted to herself.
Gary was also mystified by what just happened, all he could be sure of was those eyes, wondering what she looked like he to looks back over his shoulder but cannot see Josie, not sure what to think but aware of the pain he was now feeling in his leg he slows down and starts to walk but the pain continues so reluctantly he stops his run leaves the park and catches the bus back to his flat.
Josie mean while remembers that she has to turn around and runs back the way she had come, the thought crosses her mind that perhaps the guy would turn around and run back towards her. She smiles and starts to plan what to say but she does not see him.
The rest of that day her thoughts kept coming back to the other runner wondering what had happened to him, would she ever see him again.
Why would she wont to she would argue with herself and her friends after all it was his fault but still in the back of her mind she saw those eyes and heard that voice..
For a few days she deliberately ran the other way but there was no sign of him, by the following week it was Bleep, Bleep, Bleep! back into the same routine, she even started to run her normal way as the barriers had been removed.
Until that was on one particularly fine day she was running when out of no ware came a man running alongside her, she looked and realised it was the man she bumped into before, he smiled and says Hi.
Hi she replied.
‘Do you mind if I run with you for a bit’ he asked
‘Not at all’ she smiled. ’It’s probably safer’.
He smiles, can you possibly slow down a bit he asks.
Having trouble keeping up with me she asks a little mockingly. Yes he admits the knee hasn’t quit recovered from the last time we met he laughs before suddenly pulling up pain etched into his face.
Josie stops all concerned and quickly helps him to a bench.
Sorry he says I didn’t want to ruin another of your runs, the doctor said I should off given it another week but couldn’t keep still.
Why ever not she asked.
‘Simple’ he says voice lowering and a slightly shy look,’ I wanted to meet you again and you move to fast for me to walk after… believe me I have tried he laugh’s wincing again in pain, Josie joins in with the laughter.
Six months later
Beep, Beep, Beep! an alarm clock sounds stopped by a slender hand that comes down with a bang nearly knocking it off the bed side table, followed by another Beep Beep Beep an alarm clock sounds stopped by a slightly hairy hand that comes down with a bang nearly knocking it off the opposite bed side table as an arm flinging back the duvet ‘I’m first for the bathroom’ Josie shouts, ‘not if I get there first’ comes Gary’s reply.
These days they run together and they plan to do a marathon, these days they work without moaning and rush home after work, they eat proper meals taking it in turns to cook and when they go out with the Girls or Boys they cannot hide their happiness or how lucky they feel as you see running is good for you.
here is the first blog post hope you enjoy it was written by Jane Pearse
Laying in bed, while stretching my arm out,
Shocked back into reality, I want to scream/shout.
I’m having to face this day without you,
Many thoughts of my Drew.
Together Christmas was made for us,
until you fell into the arms of another that is.
Only been one month, since you walked,
Oh how I wished you talked.
Many nights I’ve cried,
How I was to cope this Christmas after your lies.
All alone, No one here
even our son’s with you there.
While putting on the telly,
I found myself making your favourite jelly.
Then sat starring over a cold coffee,
as the news of an accident involving a lorry.
Saying, they finally caught the driver,
who ran you off into the river.
Hearing them say a tragedy of three,
last thing you hit was a tree.
You left me, to arrange things as usual
Oh Drew, they sounded so casual.
But you took our son to an early grave
if we so talked, all could’ve been saved.
So this is how I spent Christmas day,
in a cruel, dark way.
I’m eating jelly to remind me of last year,
the happiness, three of us shared here.
Now organizing for the day after tomorrow,
I have to say goodbye with such sorrow
the pain of losing our little man and you.
Finding the words to describe you two
Now Christmas has gone,
At your graves, I stand alone.
with snow all around,
the vicar gone, there’s no sound.
I shout and cry “ why did you leave?”
“It’s all right, Mummy don’t grieve.?”
Looking to the side of me,
there stood my five-year-old Lee.
“Lee!! can’t be!! You’re not real?”
“Yes, I am, I know Daddy didn’t heal,”
“ But you drowned”
“ wasn’t there, I ran away, hid in a shed in the town.
“I thought I lost you, Lee,”
“Sorry Mummy, don’t be angry it’s really me.”
“ Please don’t let them take me away,?”
“Course not, you’re here to stay.”
Police say he was found frighted, and alone
A passerby heard his moans.
He was accidentally locked in by Mrs Baron
then tells me, the third person in your car was Liv’s daughter Karen.
So with relief, I still have our little man,
with promises to raise him the best I can.
I have many fond memories of our life together,
being apart just breaks my heart.
Even though its hard to forgive
after all you left with Liv.
Now you paid the price for leaving,
for me now, I wish to stop grieving.
So I can’t promise to raise our son alone,
but will share our best memories soon.
He’s still hurting you left him behind,
But so glad you did and wasn’t in the car to find.
Remember today? Lee is six
been to the park we played pooh sticks.
Saying, I used to do this with Daddy,
ignoring him when he asked did I think you were happy?.
Well, many weeks has passed us by,
Once again in bed, I lay.
shedding more tears,
As I hear that driver only got six years.
So as I try to put this story to bed,
Drying my eyes, as I pick up a lead.
Yes, I brought him that puppy, with thoughts of you,
keeping you close, we named him Drew.
written by Jane Pearse
Hello and thank you for visiting our site you are very welcome and we hope you will be happy with what you find
We started the group just over a year ago and we called it the Ramsgate creative writers group. We are a group of friends who meet once a month to share our writings with each other, to encourage each other to do new things and to learn from each other as well as having a happy time
we have a four monthly challenge to either write a story on the chosen subject or a poem or a script, this has been a challenge and a joy to do and we win the monthly subs of one pound
We will be sharing with you some of the writing that has come out of the group meetings and would love your feedback on them
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