Short Stories

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Short Stories

Postby Guest » Sun Jun 20, 2004 4:15 pm

RETRIBUTION
By John A Silkstone

“Don’t die… Oh God, don’t let her die.”
Tony felt a hand on his shoulder.
“It’s okay mate,” said a voice, “I’ve phoned the emergency services, they’ll be here soon.”
Tony didn’t even thank the man. He just sat cradling his injured wife, rocking to and fro.

He‘d left Joan in the clothing department of the Superstore. She had given him a playful punch at his comment about Small Black and Lacy. They had completed their weekly grocery shopping and rather than suffer embarrassment in the women’s clothing section, he decided to take their two heavy shopping bags to the car.

The warn afternoon sun cast a long shadow in front of him, as he crossed the pedestrian precinct to the car park.

Reaching his estate car, he placed the bags on the ground. Rubbing his hands together created a tingling sensation in his fingers as the circulation returned. Removing the keys from his trouser pocket he unlocked the rear door. The keys in the locked jingled as the door rose on its spring-loaded hinges. Again he felt the handles bite into his fingers as he picked up one of the bags and placed it in the vehicle.

Suddenly the roar of a car’s engine shattered the quietness as the driver floored the throttle. This noise was followed by a dull thud. Glancing over his shoulder, he saw a blue car speeding across the pedestrian precinct towards him. He caught a glimpse of the driver as the vehicle bounced over the small kerb surrounding the car park. A flash of reflected light made him blink, and the car sped off through the exit.

“Silly young fool.” Muttered Tony, as he bent to retrieve the second bag of groceries. Standing up he half turned to look into the precinct. A crowd was gathering, some staring at the ground, others looking in his direction. An elderly lady was pointing to him; he had noticed her many times before while shopping with Jean. A sudden uneasy feeling stirred within him. The hairs on his neck stood up. A sickly feeling knotted his stomach and a cold shiver ran through his body. It was the same emotion he’d felt on the streets of Northern Ireland when he thought that he was under observation. It then registered that he couldn’t see Jean anywhere. The feeling in his stomach tightened. Throwing the bag into the car, he ran towards the crowd.

The second bag of shopping fell over spilling its contents. A large bottle of tomato sauce rolled out of the car to smash on the floor; its red stain mirrored what he saw as he fought his way through the crowd of onlookers.

A number of the onlookers turned their heads at the sound of a siren. A police car, followed by an ambulance crossed the precinct.

Two officers unrolled from the car as it stopped. One moved among the crown asking for witnesses while the other pushed his way to Tony’s side. A paramedic followed him with his colleague in tow, pulling a stretcher.

“Come on sir!” said the constable as he bent over Tony “let the paramedic help the lady.”
Tony still held onto his wife.

The paramedic, kneeling on the other side of Joan, firmly, but gently, removed Tony’s arm from her shattered form.
“Please sir, let me have the lady, I can help!”
Reluctantly, Tony released her, and the constable helped him to his feet.

“Is this your wife sir? Enquired the officer.
“Yes… yes it is.”
“Then can I have your name and address?”

Tony’s mind drifted… Watching the paramedic at work reminded him of the medics during the Falklands Conflict. Good lads he thought. Saved lots of lives they did.

The constable interrupted Tony’s reverie with a slight cough.
“Sorry officer, what did you say?”
“Can I have your name and address please sir?”
“Oh of course,” said Tony apologetically, “It’s Ashby. Anthony Ashby.”
He waited for the constable to finish writing. “My address is 26 Beech wood Drive.”
“And your wife’s name sir?”
“Joan.” He answered in a low voice.
“Thank you sir, that will do for now, I will take a full statement from you later.”

A description of Tony automatically passed through the constable’s mind, his keen eye for detail taking note: aged mid-fifties, nearly six feet tall with a good head of brown hair. A small scat sat above the left eye and the nose appeared to have been broken at some time. He had blue eyes and full lips. Smartly dressed, clean-shaven, and his stance gave off an air of authority, even in a crisis. Possibly an ex-serviceman, thought the constable.

Joan, now covered with a red blanket, was lying on the stretcher.
“We’re taking your wife to hospital sir,” said the paramedic, “do wish to travel with us?”
“Yes” answered Tony. Then as an afterthought, he turned to the constable. “My car, it’s still unlocked!”
“Give me the keys sir, I’ll lock it for you and return them to you later.”
Pointing into the car park, Tony said, “It’s that Volvo over there, the one with the rear door open, the keys are in the lock.”
“Leave it with me sir, you get off to the hospital with your wife.”

Climbing into the back of the ambulance, Tony sat looking at the still unconscious Joan. The driver closed the rear doors and within seconds, the ambulance was moving forward with sirens blaring.

On arrival at the hospital the rear doors were flung open and a team of waiting nurses removed Joan from the vehicle. By the time Tony had climbed out, she was on her way to the casualty department. He arrived as after a count of three, Joan was lifted onto a central table and a doctor shone a light into Joan’s eyes.

“Excuse me sir,” said a young nurse, “you’re only in the way here, why don’t you let me show you to the waiting room, the doctor will speak to you as soon as he can.”

Knowing the nurse to be right he followed her to a small private waiting room.

“There's food and drinks machines down the corridor.” She said, pointing in its general direction. Then with a comforting smile she left.

Tony looked at his watch, seventeen – 0 – two he thought.

Four easy chairs occupied the room, while a small table cluttered withhold magazines sat centrally. The pastel coloured wall appeared to restrict Tony as he paced like a caged animal. He opened the door, gazed down the corridor, closing the door; he again looked at his watch seventeen – o – four, “What’s taking so long?” He sobbed.

Pacing once more, his back was to the door when he heard it opened, turning he saw the familiar face of the constable.
“Your key’s sir. Your car is locked and secure. How is your wife?”
“I don’t know, the doctors with her now.”
“”Why don’t you sit down and try to relax sir? I need to take a statement from you.”
Tony sat down staring at the floor.
“Would you like a cup of tea?” asked the officer who had been through this routine many times before.
“No thank you.”
“I think you should sir, it will help you think a little more clearly.”
“Okay, but coffee please.”

The constable call to his colleague who was standing by the door. “Three coffees Bill, one with extra sugar.”

Looking up Tony saw the other officer for the first time. He gave Tony a nod before departing for the drinks machine.

Tony was finishing his statement when the officer returned with three plastic cups.

“I only got a glimpse of the driver, but I think I would recognise him again.”

The waiting room door opened to reveal the doctor. His facial expression spoke volumes. Tony’s mind went blank. From a distance he heard a voice saying, “I’m sorry Mr. Ashby, we did all we could.”

Tony heard no more. He saw the doctor’s lips moving, but the words didn’t register.
“Mr. Ashby… Mr. Ashby, are you all right?” Inquired the doctor.
“What? Yes… I’ll be okay in a minute.”

* * *

As Tony opened the bedroom curtains the Saturday morning sunlight dazzled his eyes. Later he would go down town to purchase flowers for Joan’s grave. The last few weeks had been long and lonely. Even after extensive investigations, the police had not made an arrest.

The Westminster clock chimed ten-thirty as Tony closed and locked the front door.

The drive into town was uneventful. Parking the car, he stood waiting for another vehicle to reverse out of its space. As the driver crossed his hands over the steering wheel, a flash of light shone into Tony’s eyes. It triggered an image that had been etched in his mind since that fatal day. He bent to look at the driver. The picture was complete. It was the same man! The light had reflected off his stainless steel watch. As the car drove off, Tony ran after it. Sensing the futility of his actions he returned to his car. Following at a discrete distance he noted the car’s registration. Turning into a side street it parked and the driver entered a house. Driving past Tony memorised the house number. At the end of the street he turned his car round and parked. He sat there for a long time cogitating. Though seething with rage, he decided to let the police deal with the matter.

At the police station he spent nearly an hour with the superintendent, who informed him that the man had been questioned and that he had witnesses who could prove that he was miles away at the time of the accident. Lacking hard evidence, it was Tony’s word against man and his friends.

Tony left the station angry and frustrated, the super’s last words still ringing in his ears. “Don’t take the law into your own hands.”

He felt that he had to bring this man to justice. Once home he sat down to work out a military plan of revenge.

The clock chimed six-fifteen as a smile played across his lips. The plan for Operation Retribution was finalised. For it to be successful he would need assistance. Picking up the telephoned he called three of his old army buddies which whom he’d kept in touch with over the years.

For the next four weeks, Tony followed this quarry like a private detective, photographing him and noting his itinerary. At nineteen hundred hours on a Friday night, the man started his weekend drinking in the Rose and Crown.

Today was Friday the thirteenth, the day for Operation Retribution to commence. At eighteen hundred hours, Tony and his three friends left the house. Each was briefed on their task and each was armed with a mobile phone and a picture of the man.

Tony Dave and Fred set off walking into town. Albert drove his car to the man’s house to keep him under surveillance. In the town centre, Fred left the other two and made his way to the Red Lion while Tony and Dave continued to the Rose and Crown.

They were playing pool when Tony’s phone rang.
“Hello?”
“Tony! Albert here, he’s on his way. I’ll follow in the car as planned, see you later in the pub car park. Roger?”
“Roger Albert, over and out.”

Minutes later the man walked into the pub. Tony potted the black ball to win the game. Finishing his drink, Dave walked over and placed his empty glass on the bar looking the man in the eye, he nodded and said “Good evening.” Turning back to Tony he said “Thank for the game, I’ll see you later.” He then left the pub.

Tony inserted more money in the pool table. As he placed the balls on the table, the young man called out.
“Fancy a game old-timer?”
“Okay, but I break.”
His new opponent swaggered across the room and responded with a grin “Fine by me mate.”

Tony smashed the triangle of balls with more force than was necessary.
“Bloody hell mate! Are you trying to crack the balls in two?” asked the youth as he selected a cue from the rack.

As he bent over the table to take his shot, Tony scrutinised him more closely. His long greasy hair hung down to his shoulders, and his face was a little short of ugly. The forehead was too low, the eye too pig-like, his nose was too big and his lips…well there were none, just a gash. Aloud, Tony said. “Sorry about that, I tend to get a little angry at times.”

The man played his shot and a ball rolled into a side pocket. “Why’s that then?” He enquired as he moved around the table to take his next shot.

Tony gave a sigh. “Five months ago, someone in a car killed my wife on the precinct. They never found the driver responsible. But I’ve like to find him, if only to let him know that one day he is about to die.”

The man stopped playing; he stood looking at Tony with eyes wide open and what lips he had, were trembling. Dropping his pool cue, he said, “I’m not feeling very well, I’ll have to go.” He ran out of the pub.

Smiling Tony whispered. “The seed is sown.”

Bidding the landlord goodnight, he left. Once outside, he crossed the car park to Albert’s car. Settling in the passenger seat his mobile rang.
“Tony! Fred, he’s just arrived in the Red Lion”
“Thanks Fred, I’ll send Dave over, keep an eye on him and follow if necessary. Roger?”
“Roger, over and out.” Just like old times thought Fred.

Dave spoke into his phone. I’m at the top of the High Street as arranged. Good! Red lion, okay, see you later Roger, over and out.”

Entering the Red Lion, Dave saw the man at the bar. Manoeuvring to his side he ordered a drink, then turning to face him he said, “Hello, you didn’t stay long in the Rose and Crown. Was it Tony? That man can be like a bear with a sore head at time, and at other times I think he could kill.

After giving Dave a quick glance, the man fled from the pub.

Out on the street, Fred followed the man for a short distance before phoning Tony.

“Heading for the Hare and Hounds, good. Albert and I will drive round there now, I’ll be inside, and you wait in the car with Albert. See you later Fred, over and out.”

With his back to the main door, Tony stood at the far end of the bar. The man, now pale and drawn, entered the pub and ordered a double brandy.
“Here you are Sam, one double bandy. It not like you to drink spirits, but then again you don’t look at all well!”
“There’s someone out to kill me Sue. He’s threatened me once tonight. He told me I was going to die.”

Sam drank his brandy in one gulp and ordered another.
“Kill you?” queried Sue as she place his a fresh drink in front of him.
“Yes, that’s right, kill me.” Sam grasped his glass so hard that his knuckles turned white.

Turning to face the man, Tony asked, “Do you want a game of pool, mate?”
Sam dropped his glass, spilling the contents across the bar.
“That’s him.” Screamed Sam, pointing a finger at Tony. “He’s the one that wants to kill me! Call the police.”
“Don’t be daft son. I never said that I was going to kill you. You’re imagining things. Maybe it’s because it’s Friday the thirteenth. You know, the day of retribution.”

Others in the pub watched in amazement as once more Sam called out, “Get the police Sue, get the police.” Then he broke down sobbing.

***
“Well Mister Ashby” said the superintendent, “not only has he confessed to causing your wife’s death, he’s also confessed to other crimes as well. So I think he’ll be going down for a long time. He still maintains that you followed him. Though the two pub landlords state that you were in the pub when he arrived, so technically, he was following you. He is also very adamant that you threatened to kill him!”
“No superintendent, what I implied was that he one day he would die.
“Isn’t that the same thing Mister Ashby?
“No superintendent, not at all, we are all born to die.”
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Postby wilmots » Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:58 am

A great story John.

You managed to post it without a login, but future posts will need a login !

Wilmots is looking at publishing and selling e-books on the website (of poems, shorts stories etc) at no cost to writers, and maybe some income, so if you and/or friends can get something together preferably in Word or PDF do contact !
Last edited by wilmots on Tue Jun 22, 2004 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Clare » Tue Jun 22, 2004 9:37 am

Your short story is really good John. Maybe you could produce a mixed e-book of your stories and poems, the way Wilmots are suggesting ? If you write in Word or whatever, I'm sure they can convert it OK ?!
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Another story

Postby John A Silkstone » Mon Jun 28, 2004 7:59 am

CASE CLOSED
By John A Silkstone

His trained eye looked her up and down. His other eye, which wasn’t, trained, looked her down and up. Both came to the same conclusion. ‘She’s one hell of a dame.’

Her long blond hair hung in ringlets to her bare shoulders, and her thirty-six, twenty-four, thirty-six figure left little to the imagination. Tearing his eyes from the flesh attempting to escape from her bodice, he said, “Yes Miss, what can I do for you?”
“I need your help! I’ve been shrustled.”
What a pity, he thought, a gorgeous dame like that and she’s has to have a lisp.
“Don’t you mean rustled?”
“No, I mean shrustled. They’re sheep, not cattle!”

As a Private Detective, he should have gathered that information from the shepherd’s crook she was holding in her hand.
“What’s your name sister?”
“Peep” said she, “Little Bo Peep.”
“Okay Bo, your sheep have gone missing, right?”
“Yes, but not only mine, Baa Baa Black sheep is also missing.”

Without blinking he mused. Two lots of sheep missing, this could be a tough nut to crack.
“Right sister, before I take the case I’d better inform you of a few facts; number one, I don’t come cheap; number two, big case, lithe case, they’re all the same to me; number three, it’s fifty pounds a day plus expenses, two days pay up front.”

Her two white mountains quivered, as from their valley she pulled a roll of notes and counted out five twenties.

Well at least I can eat for a while, he thought.
“Thanks sister. I’m on the case as of now.”

She left her card and the office.

In five minutes he was on his way down town to the ‘Cupboard’. Once it was a corner shop run by a kindly old lady known as ‘Old Mother Hubbard’. One night she was burgled, and the place was left empty and bare. So bare in fact, that the poor old dog had to go without a bone for his supper. She reopened as a boozer. ** was her head-barman, and he was George’s main snitch.

“Come on **, you know everything that’s going on in the underworld, who’s stealing these sheep?”

** continued polishing glasses. Placing them across the bridge of his nose, he whispered. “Well George boy, I don’t rightly know, but ahhh!”

A look of pain spreading across his face as he slid below the bar, clutching at an arrow that was sticking out of his chest As he hit the deck, the door imploded to reveal London’s finest detective, Chief Inspector Wolf, and his side kick Sergeant Sparrow.

“Hello, hello, hello! What have we got here then? George Porgy In trouble once more?”
“Who? Me? Not this time Inspector, you can’t blame this one on me I’ve got witnesses.”

He swung a thumb over his shoulder to pointed at a table in the far corner, where a game of dominoes was in progress.

“So they’re your alibi, are they? They saw it all, did they? Well George my boy, I think you’d better look again. That lot there, are the infamous Three Blind Mice Gang. They were lucky to get away with only lose their tails on their last job. So you can bet your sweet life that they didn’t see a damn thing. Ain’t that right boys?”
“Sure is Inspector, we ain’t seen nuffin.”

The inspector peered over the bar at the body.
“Right Sparrow, arrest him for the murder of ** Robin.”
This is crazy thought George. I’m being framed. If anyone killed ** Robin it would be Sparrow, no one’s better than him with a bow and arrow. He was the school champion five years running.

Forensics couldn’t find any resin on George’s coat sleeve and so were unable to prove that it was he who fired the arrow. After an hour in the cells they had to release him. That hour gave him time to eliminate most of the main suspects. Humpty Dumpty was out of the frame; he’d fallen off the wall and injured himself. As for All The King’s Horse’s and All The Kings Men, they were still trying to put Humpty together again. The Grand Old Duke of York couldn’t have done it. He was far too busy marching his men up and down the hill. Though George did suspect him of being the one who knocked down Jack and Jill. Mary Mary just wasn’t the type to go rustling, though she could be quite contrary at times. Then again, she spent most of her days supervising her Pretty Maids all in a row. As for Little Miss Muffet, she was so frightened by a spider that she ran a mile in under three and half minutes. A new world record I might add. Coward, yes. Rustler, no. Then it hit him like a right uppercut from Little Boy Blue. It had to be them Three Little Pigs!

Right you three, I know you rustled the sheep. I also know that you don’t have the brains to run a bath, so who is Mister Big?”
“We can’t grass on the boss George, he’d have us kill.”
“Well boys, lets put it this way, either you squeal, or I’ll give you the biggest roasting you’ve ever had. It will be that, bad that even the famous Doctor Foster who went to Gloucester won’t be able to help you.”

The three Saddle Backs were so terrified they began to look like Chester Whites.

“Please George don’t hurt us, it was Chief Inspector Wolf and his mate Sparrow. Wolf threatened to blow our houses down and Sparrow said he would bum them with fire arrows.”
“Right then you three, as you were forced into this, I’ll ask the court to be lenient.”
“Court! We can’t go to court! Sparrow’s killed once, we could be next.”
“You won’t need to go to court boys; I’ve got all the evidence recorded on Tape Worm. Now get those sheep back to their rightful owners. This case is dosed.”
Though retired, I'm still working as an editor for a poetry/short story magazine.
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Postby Clare » Tue Jun 29, 2004 4:07 pm

Nice one John, a sort of 'who done it ?' combined with 'what fairy tale next ?' story ! Did you have to research fairy tales for it, or do just you have a super memory ?
Last edited by Clare on Tue Aug 31, 2004 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby John A Silkstone » Tue Jun 29, 2004 4:56 pm

Hi Clare, remembered the tales from my childhood plus lots more I couldn't fit in John
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Postby John A Silkstone » Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:11 pm

The following is not a story, it's a piece of prose I wrote to predict this time of year, The thing we see are there, but half the time we push them to the back of our minds and forget about them. I hope this brings back some nice memories.

YEARS END


Stealthily, autumn crept in. The once yellow fields of Rapeseed and Cord have lost their golden crop. The remaining stubble waits to be ploughed back into the earth, no longer is it burned to sear the land leaving black scars of sooty residue to be blown about by the wind.

Dandelion seeds float on air like a mass invasion of parachutist looking for new fertile lands to conquer, while rusty brown bells, still attached to the shrivelled spires of foxglove, no longer emit their sweet smelling nectar that once beckoned in the workers from the hives.

Akin to a barrage of artillery, Lupines explode grey furry pods to scatter their dark brown seeds far and wide.

The wind blows through the Sycamore shaking loose her winged seeds that then spiral earthwards like disabled helicopters. The Horse Chestnut drops a cluster of spiky bombs to the forest floor. On impact, these bombs explode to release a large reddish brown seed known as a conker. Young schoolboys gather this greatly prized treasure for their annual game. The small blue-black fruit of the Elder hang in heavy bunches, once gathered, the fruit is transformed into wines and jams to sustain us through the winter. Blackberries interweave the hedges, their fruit gleaming like stones of Jet strung out along a necklace.

In dawn's early light, fungi burst forth in abundance. Toadstools, bright red in colour and covered in white spots, spring from the ground to become perfect seats for the fairies and elves. While large honey-coloured fungi the size of dinner plates, stack themselves up in columns to clime to the higher branches of an old rotting tree.

Living tree ever so beautiful, are blessed by the Midas touch. A hundred hues of green turn into a kaleidoscope of colour; gold mellows with yellow, while reds attempt to outshine the orange and brown.

Mother Nature, now wearing a new dress changes the landscape. A breeze blowing through the trees, twist their foliage into a shimmering aurora. Growing in strength, the wind combs the branches to snatch at the leaves.
Loosing their anchorage, the cascading leaves perform a flight of fancy on their downward journey. Settling on the earth, they wither and die, their rotting death provides life-giving nutrients for the tree's future growth. Now stripped bare, these beauties of nature resemble the skeletal frame of an umbrella that has lost its covering.

A murder of Crows sits on high screeching out their bullying tactics to others. Starlings that once sat on telephone wires like black notes on a musical score, now fly in large circles overhead. Singing their migratory song, they duck, dives, turn and weave through the sky, performing an aerial ballerina dance for all to see. In arrowhead formation, a skein of Geese arrives to compensate for the loss of our summer visitors. The Cuckoo, Swallow and Swift, now having left for warmer climes.

Icy fingers of winter push into autumn, reducing the riot of colour into off-coloured greys and sepia browns. This is the time we envelop ourselves in the warming comfort of a fireside chair, reflecting our thoughts to the delightful days of summer. Like the bare winter trees, we look forward to a renewed blossoming.
Though retired, I'm still working as an editor for a poetry/short story magazine.
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Postby GrimDad » Wed Oct 20, 2004 4:22 pm

:roll:
Very nice nature description John, and I'm sure a nice setting for a story about a local fox family from their view or something ?
:roll:
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Postby John A Silkstone » Wed Oct 20, 2004 7:28 pm

Hi Grimdad, Thanks for the comment, its been very quiet on the site of late. How are you keeping fit and well I hope. Silky
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Postby GrimDad » Thu Oct 21, 2004 9:34 am

:lol:
Hi John.
Yes it has been quiet on here lately, maybe people busy getting ready for Christmas ?
Your excellent autumn nature description is timely and soon could need a snowy blissard scene also ?!
:roll:
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Postby Adam » Mon Feb 14, 2005 3:11 pm

Well Grimdad, I have been waiting for all the snow but looks like it's not coming this year - more global warming ?!
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Postby John A Silkstone » Thu Mar 10, 2005 2:43 pm

Hi folks, sorry for being away for so long but my computer went down and the repair shop wiped my disc clean and I've had to redo four magazines that had to be published. Any way, here is another story for you to read.

A Perfect Match
By John A Silkstone

As the car came to a halt, Barbara asked in a disapproving voice. "Is this it?"
"Yes! Why? Don't you like it?" asked Edith.
"It's not that I don't like it; the cottage and garden are beautiful. It's the one next door I don't like. Look at it!"

The two women gazed silently at the overgrown garden, the peeling paint and the net curtains, yellowing behind filthy windows.
"The two cottages could have come straight from a House and Home magazine 'before and after' feature." Barbara sighed. "Anyway, who lives there?"
"From all accounts it's a chap who lives on his own; he's a bit of a recluse according to local gossip. He never married and doesn't visit the village; even his shopping is brought to the door and the bills paid by bank transaction."
"Well I think you'd better tell him to get the cottage and garden cleaned up. You don't want your grandchildren getting lost in that jungle, do you?"

The removal van arrived after negotiating the narrow lane and parked behind Edith's car. The driver, a large man, clambered out of the cab and slowly descended the three steps to the ground. Nodding his head towards the cottages he asked "Which one Missus?"

Edith gestured with a sweeping arm. "This one here," she said smilingly. "Right then love, if you move your car a bit further up lane, I'll pull forward and we can get started."

Edith moved her car forward and the driver climbed back into his cab, and drove the van forward to leave its rear doors at the cottage entrance.

"Is this the box you want of first?" The driver said pointing to a box in the large interior of the van.

"Yes please, take it to the kitchen and I'll make us all a cup of tea." "Right donkey," he said to his mate "take that box into the kitchen."

Edith put the kettle on and removed the paper that protected the china mugs.
The two men set about moving the furniture into the cottage while Barbara wandered about inquisitively looking into each room. Viewing the scene from the bedroom window, she thought, what a lovely sight. She looked across the flat Lincolnshire countryside to the far distant horizon where she could just make out the sea. Her reveries were broken with a singing shout of 'Tea'.

Walking down stairs she heard the driver call. "Donkey... tea's up lad."

After the tea break, Barbara managed to get the driver's mate on his own. "Excuse me asking, but why does he call you donkey, is it because you do all the hard work?"
"E no missus, hee haw, hee haw, hee always calls me donkey." Barbara stifled a fit of giggles, as she went off to tell Edith.

The unloading was quickly done, and by mid afternoon, Edith was driving Barbara home.
"Do you think you will like it there?"
"Yes, The two kids are grown up and married and Bill God bless him, is no longer with us. So this move kills two birds with one stone. I've got my cottage in the country and the peace and quiet to do some writing."
"I still think that you'll be lonely."
"Not if I know you I won't. If you're not coming for a visit you'll be on the phone keeping me up to date with local gossip."

The following day Edith drove back to do her shopping in the village. This would let the locals know she aimed to support the village shop.

Saturday afternoon was spent unpacking and finding places to display her knick-knacks. At four thirty she put the kettle on and made a pot of tea, she decided to go next door and introduce herself to her neighbor and invite him round for a drink. Her knocking brought no response though she knew that he was in, for she could hear him moving about. Once more she knocked and called out
"Hello, I'm your new neighbor, would you like a cup of tea?"
The letter box flap opened and a voice shouted, "Go away and leave me alone."
"I'm only trying to be neighborly." said Edith
"I ain't bothered; I just want to be left alone. Be off with ye."
Edith returned to her cottage thinking what a grumpy old man.

Sunday morning found her the centre of attraction as she waited at the church entrance. She knew the villagers were weighing her up and whispering comments about her as they entered. However she'd decided to let everyone go into the church first, as she didn't want to sit in a seat that had been occupied by the same family for years.

After the service she followed the vicar out and introduced herself. He, in turn, introduced her to the villagers' as they filed out of the church. This she thought was the best and easiest way for her to get to know most of them.
*
Over the weeks Edith stopped her attempts to become friendly with her neighbor. Though she had heard him moving about the cottage, she had never seen him. The villagers nick-named him Fred, they said he lived in the past like Fred Flintstone.

One morning she noticed a letter sticking out of the letter-box, and that was unusual. It was still there when she returned in the afternoon. Feeling concerned she knocked at the door. She became alarmed when she didn't get her usual gruff response. Pushing the letter into the house, she peered through the letter-box and saw a pair of legs sticking out from behind a settee. Not being able to open the door she rushed into her cottage and phoned the village shop for help.

Lee and Alf arrived from the village. After breaking down the door, they found the old man to be still breathing. Though her First Aid knowledge was a little rusty, Edith given the man a quick once over. Everything appeared to be normal and she couldn't find any broken bones and so she placed him in the recovery position and said, "let's put him on the back seat of my car and I'll drive him to the hospital. You can phone them and let them know that I am on my way."

The old man was placed on the back seat and Lee looked after the man as Edith drove to the hospital.

On arrival, the patient was gently placed on a stretcher.

While he was examined by a doctor, Edith gave what information she could to the lady at the reception desk. After twenty minutes, she was informed that Fredrick Thackeray, the man she'd brought in, was being admitted to the wards.
"That's strange," Edith said "my maiden name was Thackeray, and I have an older brother called Fredrick. He went away with my father when he and mother divorced. I was only two at the time and can't remember my brother. How did you find out his name?"

One of the nurses recognized him from his visits to the outpatients department. "He's been under treatment for a long time, and really needs a bone marrow transplant, but we've been unsuccessful in finding a donor."

Edith drove Lee home, and that night she thought long and hard about the days events. Finally she made up her mind. Tomorrow she would go back to the hospital and find out if she was a match for the marrow transplant.

At the hospital she explained to a doctor about her possibly being the long lost sister of Mr. Thackeray. She gave a blood sample for matching, and then went on the ward to see if Fredrick was her brother. At first he was still his grumpy old self, but as she carried on explaining about her possibly being her long lost sister, he began to cry.

"I knew I had a younger sister," he said "I've tried for years to find her without success, her and mother moved away and no one knew where to, and now you tell me you could be she? It's nice of you to be here, but I'm now very tired, would you mind if I slept?"

Edith left and the following day she visited her brother, for she felt certain that he was. She also took with her a photograph of her parents wedding. On seeing the photos, Fredrick knew that they were brother and sister, for his father had kept the same snaps.

Two days later Edith was informed that she was a match and that with the transplant her brother would have a good chance of a full recovery.

Two week later while driving her brother home from the hospital, she said "I came here to write short stories, but now I think I've got a novel.
Though retired, I'm still working as an editor for a poetry/short story magazine.
John A Silkstone
Royal Poet
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:02 am
Location: Gainsborough

Postby GrimDad » Fri Mar 11, 2005 10:43 am

:think:
Hi John ! Its great to have you back, and I love your new short story 'A Perfect Match' -

I am shocked that the computer repair shop wiped your disc clean - the first thing they should have done was to copy your data to a disk. Your nasty experience has got me to copy my data to disk today - I usually leave it months to save my 'My Documents' folder where I have all my work. Having CD-Rewrite helps a lot, so I hope that you have that. You can set an automatic weekly/monthly backup time.

Anyway John it is good that you have sorted the mess now, and hopefully your life can resume a smooth path ?!
:think:
GrimDad hey
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GrimDad
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Postby John A Silkstone » Sat Mar 12, 2005 7:44 am

Hello Grimdad,

Thanks for the welcome return. How are you? Fit and well I hope.
I will post another story soon. Silky
Though retired, I'm still working as an editor for a poetry/short story magazine.
John A Silkstone
Royal Poet
 
Posts: 130
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:02 am
Location: Gainsborough

Postby GrimDad » Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:17 pm

:roll:
Great John. Have you heard that the writer of the golf stories posted previously - 'Eudaman' - has become a member and hopes to post some new short stories of his here soon ?
:roll:
GrimDad hey
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