Archive for the ‘Short Story’ Category


It’s the day when dreams come true. My first day at big school, Tong Comprehensive. I remember looking at Tong when I was at Holmefield First and dreaming of what it would be like to go there, be there, feel so grown up, feel like an adult. And now that day has come, I’m here. I stand in the playground surrounded by children and teachers. Everybody seems to know what they’re doing. Except me. I am in the eye of a storm. I don’t know what to do or where to go. I don’t feel grown up, I don’t feel like an adult. I feel adrift in space, floating like a piece of driftwood in the ocean. Is this what it’s like to grow up and be an adult? Lost and not knowing what you’re doing or where you’re going or what you want? If it is take me back to that moment when I looked over at Tong and dreamed of going there. I knew where I was that day, I knew where I was going, I knew what I wanted. Take me back to that moment when life was to be enjoyed and not now when life is a continuous series of never ending storms taking me everywhere but where I want to be.


One experience I remember vividly from Holme Middle is taken an English test comprising of spelling, grammar and a story and getting over 90% on grammar and the story and failing miserably at spelling. I still achieved over 200 marks out of 300 despite getting no more than 10 marks for spelling and my English teacher praised me for my imaginative and well written story and said had I achieved a similar mark on my spelling as I did on the other 2 papers I would have achieved the highest mark ever. At Tong I wrote a story about a racing car that had a 6th gear, at the time a 5 speed gearbox was only just coming onto the market, and how it won the race because of this 6th gear. This story got me moved up into the top class for English and maths. It was evident from an early age I had a natural talent for English and for story telling but in the 70s going to school on a rough council estate there was no opportunities to take this further and see how far I could go with it. Nobody was there to offer to mentor me or advise me what I could do with my talent to see where I could go. Maybe my life would have turned out very differently, a best selling novelist and playwright perhaps, or maybe it would have been no different to how it has turned out. I’ll never know but it would have been interesting to have known. For me this was the first of many missed opportunities to do something I enjoy doing and had a natural gift for. Don’t waste any opportunities that come your way, they don’t come along very often.


I have never been gifted in a sporting way and at school this was even less so. My mum and dad never had much money so I would play football in my Doc Marten boots and cricket in pumps full of holes. Two games stand out in my memory though. One time I played football at Holme Middle in my Doc Marten boots and I rang rings round everyone and people even passed to me. It just felt so easy and natural that one time. Another I was playing cricket at Tong Comprehensive and normally I swung wildly, missed and was out. This time I hit everything everywhere and in the end the games teacher gave up trying to get me out and called it a day. Again it felt so easy and natural. I’ve never felt like that playing football or cricket since and probably won’t do ever again now. It was almost as if life was saying, look at what you could have been but you never will be.


It’s January 1977 and I’m on a school trip to Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales. Like many kids journeys when you was younger seem to be much further away and take much longer than when you grow up and the world seems to shrink around you. I remember this trip well as it was one of the first school trips I went on. We went down Capnut cave which I remember for the freezing cold water pouring over the top of my wellies and onto my feet turning them from red hot to ice cold in an instant. One of the teachers Mr Exely had to carry one girl out of the cave as she couldn’t stand her feet being cold and wet. Another instance was when we stopped up late one night in the hostel thinking we were the biggest rebels who had ever lived! We were all playing games until we heard a noise at the window and looked out to see the teachers there coming back from the pub very drunk with a large case of beer in their arms! They said that if we didn’t tell on them for coming back late they wouldn’t tell on us for stopping up late. Of course being young kids we were scared stiff of getting into trouble so said nothing to anyone not realising until later on in life that the teachers would have got into far more trouble than we would have done! the most memorable incident though was when we walked up Ingleborough in snowy and icy conditions over 20ft snow drifts wearing nothing more than a jumper, jacket, jeans and Doc Martens. We got to the top and Mr Exely told us to hold hands. When we asked why he said that Gaping Gill the deepest pothole in Europe was somewhere around and he didn’t want anyone to fall down it! That was health and safety in 1977!


It’s September 1976 and the start of a new school year at a new school, Holme Middle. It’s further away than Holmefield First but not by much and I enjoy walking to and from school. Some of my friends from Holmefield First have gone to different schools and I will never see them again, but I make new friends here playing games in the school yard and in lessons. It’s a great start to a new chapter in my life, one without any cares, worries or stresses, one where I can be me and no-one else and live a carefree, happy life. Looking back this could be the last time I felt like this for so long without the changes that growing up is and the stresses and pressures that come with the change of age. With a new school comes new teachers and one of the first to make an impression on me was an elderly gent, probably approaching retirement but one of the nicest teachers I knew. I can’t remember his name now but I do remember that he was kind and knew how to get the best out of you and always had time for you. He drove a Triumph 2500 which at the time was one of the best cars on the market and I loved it! I remember wishing I had one every day I saw it.


I’ll always remember Mark Lloyds dad. He was a big man and scary too. Nobody messed with him and I never saw anyone speak to him, ever. He went to work and came home and that was it. I was friends with Mark for a time and I went inside his house. He had an end house so had a bigger garden then the other houses. It was nice and tidy and Mark’s mum was friendly and talkative, the complete opposite of his dad. I remember once Mark and me were playing outside my house and his dad came walking up the street towards us. As he got closer he asked me to leave as he had something he wanted to say to Mark. Instead of going inside as anyone normally would I opened the garden gate and walked down to the valley! I’ve no idea why I did this as it would have been the accepted thing to walk inside my house but no, I decided to go off in a completely unexpected direction. I can imagine Mark and his dad watching me now wondering what I was doing and why. Having said that I could never work out what the attraction was for Mark’s mum to his dad but life can be strange like that. I might have seen Mark after that but I can’t remember if I did for certain. Life can be strange life that.


Despite mums best efforts money became increasingly tight and we started to get behind with the bills. I think we kept on top of the rent but I know for certain that we got behind with the gas and electric because we had it cut off. Two men came round to do the job, one in an overcoat and bowler hat who looked the stereotypical enforcement officer of the time, the other stayed outside keeping watch. Everybody on the street much have known what was happening. No gas and electric meant no fire, no TV, no lights, no cooking. Everything we take for granted now and to a certain extent did then was gone in seconds and would not be restored until the arrears had been paid. We huddled round a coal fire watching it go from a blaze to a pile of smouldering embers. The TV was replaced by a battery powered portable radio. Lighting was done by paraffin lamps carefully placed around the house to ensure they could not be knocked over potentially causing a fire. My mum cooked on the coal fire pans of vegetables and potatoes and I can only assume we had some meat. I always marvelled at how my mum could prepare and cook a meal to perfection with everything coming together at once. It was even more remarkable how she did it during this period swapping pans of food on the coal fire but still making a lovely meal for us all. I can’t remember how long it was before we had the gas and electric restored but I do remember one lad from school asking if he could come to my house and me having to say no. I instinctively said no and instinctively felt shameful for saying no and for not being able to say why I said no. I don’t think I fully understood why I was saying no or why I felt ashamed at the time but I knew deep down it was the only thing to say. We kept living in the house but I can imagine that was only just. Things were so tight during those times and no one helped us.


The Valley becomes our playground, our home. We go down there everyday after school, at weekends, every spare minute we have we play down the Valley. We play war games, hide and seek, anything we can just so we can be down the Valley. I get to know every inch of the Valley, all the trails, trees and embankments. I can still remember it now as it was when I was a kid. It’s changed now, all filled in just a big grass field. The Valley was special and still is. I wish I could play there one more time.


My first attempt at a short story

It should have been a happy time for James and Louise watching their only son grow up into a handsome man full of athletic ability and promise.

2016 had been their year. Medal after medal at the Rio Olympics and all gold made them the nations sporting golden couple and household names. They came back to Great Britain full of hope for the future, proud of what they had achieved for the nation but most of all looking forward to getting married and starting a family.

Their wedding was a stylish but low key event with family and close friends. Of course Ok were there to photograph it all and let the celebrity worshippers see what they had missed or could copy for their own wedding in full eye blinding colour over 10 pages. Weddings don’t just pay for themselves after all and it would be good to show the general public they were just an ordinary working class family after all.

And 9 months after their wedding on that warm September day their first child as born a boy…and they called him Kevin. Now there’s nothing wrong with Kevin as a name but usually celebrity couples prefer more unorthodox names such as prunus, mostaza or cacao. But James and Louise once again choose to remain close to their working class roots and called him Kevin.

They sent him to the local primary and secondary schools where they hoped he would learn to be tough and develop into a strong, multi-talented sportsman with a mentality that could crush Mount Everest a cast iron will that could crush planets and a fearless desire to not only win but crush whole cities in they got in his sporting path.

And so twenty years later as they began to think about Kevin’s 21st birthday party they looked at him as he covered the entire £10,000 leather sofa they had bought him with his vast frame. Had they been too soft on him? Should they have made him work for money instead of giving it away so freely? Maybe they should have taken him cycling and made him work for glory and not just assume he would have the unbelievable will to win that they possessed.

Yes, Kevin lay on his extra-large sofa, 20st of fat watching day time television eating his third pizza of the day, spilling a large cola down the valley that divided his chest as another fart somehow escaped from between his mountainous butt cheeks followed swiftly by a belch that could have destroyed any island in its path had Kevin been bothered enough to get off the sofa and do so.

James and Louise looked on and wondered once again how their genes and DNA could have produced something so different to them and not the ultimate sporting superstar they had both hoped for. They still loved Kevin of course and catered for his every whim but they wished he had turned out different. More like his sister Gabby who was fast developing into one of the top cyclists in the world already at the age of eighteen.

They looked at each other lovingly and realised it was too late to change Kevin and his annoying bad habits and they would have to accept him for who he was and love him all the same. ‘Another pizza’ asked James? ‘Yes please’ replied Kevin. ‘I’ll get you another cola’ piped up Louise. ‘Thanks mum’ Kevin said without looking up from the sofa. ‘Love you both’, ‘Love you too son’ James and Louise said in unison with a sly smile on their faces.

WAITING FOR A PARCEL

Posted: September 9, 2016 in Short Story, Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

So it’s supposed to come today my parcel. Not sure when but these days you never are. Could be anytime between 8am and 10pmhich gives whoever is delivering it plenty of time to nip off for a crafty fag, a sandwich or a beer whilst I sit in all starting anxiously out of the window for any sign of life, listening as hard as I can for any sounds. I’m sure I just heard a fly breathing…

What was that? Just someone running past. Another false alarm. Unless it’s someone stealing my parcel. No, who would do that! What’s on TV? Just the usual rubbish but don’t have the sound up too loud or you might not hear the knock on the door.

There’s the young lass over the road doing the gardening. I wish she would wear properly fitting jeans so I didn’t have to see her builders bum. Still it’s something to stare at whilst I wait. Here’s a car, here’s a car! Just the bloke from over the road parking in front of my house again. Bollocks! Hope my car is alright further up the road.

What’s on TV? Anything good? Nope just the usual shite. So know I daren’t move in case the man comes with my parcel. Hardly dare breath in case I don’t hear the knock. Trapped in my home, looking out onto the outside world as it passes slowly by, waiting for a single knock that will release me from my self-imposed prison cell.

Hmmmm. Might as well check the status of my parcel. Attempted delivery! 3 hours ago! A complete lie! A whole day wasted waiting for a parcel to come and now I’ll have to wait another day waiting for it to be delivered again! This time I’ll wait behind the door and surprise the delivery man! Ahhhh well time for bed.