I just got a new laptop and in the long, drawn out and laborious process of transferring my stuff from the old machine of death; sold to me by one of the original salvage workers who gutted Noah's Ark; to my shiny new state of the art miracle contraption, I came across a few bits and pieces, buried and forgotten in the dingy recesses of it's memory, that I thought I might share.
This seems like as good a place as any, so you're getting one today. I hope you all don't mind that I'm once again moving away from the stated purpose of this here blog, which is to chronicle my childhood, but what the hell, a diversion now and again lightens the mood, right?
This is a scrap of what I assume was going to be a short story. I say I assume because I have no memory whatsoever of writing it. I often, when it's late and I can't sleep, start banging away in a stream of consciousness fashion and see what comes out. I rarely bother to save these sessions though and the fact that I did in this case probably means I had hopes for this one. Unfounded hopes, as it turns out, because I obviously never went back to it.
Oh, and don't ask me what the 'rumoured entertainment' was, because I haven't got the foggiest.
Here we go...
All up and down the street a deathly
silence lay heavy over the people, hunched as they were in their
porches, sheds and cars. This wasn't the kind of weather you'd normally
want to be out in, but this was a special night, and no-one was going
to be the first to admit defeat, to go inside, to give up their chance
of seeing... what was rumoured to be about to happen.
Of course, they were just as unwilling to admit that. Everyone was
there for the same reason, and they all knew it, but to hear them tell
it, they were looking for their dog that had run off, or they were
fixing a hinge on the door or, as in old Jim Macie's case, they were
"just checking for rats lass, they likes to shelter in me shed when
it's raining, the little buggers." A plausible enough tale, but I
couldn't help thinking he wasn't paying that much attention to the
inside of his shed. And it wasn't that big, how long could it take to
check it over?
No, the rumoured... entertainment, I suppose, was why he was out. It
was why they were all out. In fact, I think I was probably the only
person in that whole street who wasn't itching for the rumours to be
true. It saddened me. These people were my friends; or my parents
friends, which is as close as you get when you're 12 years old,
home-schooled and the next youngest person in your street is 30; I
liked them, in some cases I admired them, looked up to them, wanted to
be like them whebn I grew up. Or at least, I had, until the visitor
The visitor was called David. No-one ever knew his last name, not even
Mrs Clancy, whose spare room he was lodging in. I couldn't believe she
would let a total stranger move into her house without knowing his last
name but she just laughed, in that slightly wild laugh that Mrs Clancy
always had when she was drunk; which was often, since her Husband had
died in that car crash; and said that "he's a nice lad, it'll be fine.
Besides it's nice to have a bit of company round the house, know what I
mean? Stop your fussing and get away home."
And that's it folks. That's all I've got.
I can't help thinking that it's probably a good idea that I never finished it. I mean, a story that begins with talk of an oppressive silence and a paragraph later has a conversation? Shocking. Anyway, I'll be here next week, either with another bit of old rubbish from my documents folder or an actual proper post, I haven't decided yet.