Author Topic: Dawn Gallops  (Read 646 times)

Offline writer99

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Dawn Gallops
« on: June 03, 2020, 05:39:49 PM »
I haven't browsed this haunt for a while. Things have changed. Such is life.



Dad's gone walkabout. Again.

It's half six in the morning and Mrs Simpson has just phoned to tell me. She said she's spotted him walking past her front window.

Mrs Simpson lives in one of the flats on the corner of Cecil Street. She's never been a good sleeper but since her husband passed away a couple of years ago she's up at all times. She knows I don't mind her ringing if it's important.

The last time Dad took himself off we had to collect him from the police station. He'd found his way into the local bookmakers and took exception to one of the staff. A scuffle broke out and the coppers were called. They were going to charge him with affray. After a deal of grovelling from me they let him off with a verbal warning.

I turn to wake up Ruth when I remember she's in Haywards Heath visiting her sister for a long weekend. That only leaves Jade but I can't wake her as she won't have long gone to sleep. She works late at the casino Sunday nights.

I put on some clothes quickly and slide my feet into my shoes. I haven't time for socks. “Oh Dad.” I say. “You don't half make life difficult.”

Downstairs I pop my jacket on and notice the front door is ajar. A key is in the lock. “Bloody hell Jade. What are you playing at?”

I step outside and look around. It's barely light and there's a slight dew. Late summer has launched into autumn overnight it seems. Cats are fighting in the alley across the road. They sound like banshees.

I look to the end of the road towards Mrs Simpson's flat. She's probably watching me right now with an early morning cuppa. I look carefully but can't see him. As I reach the corner I look both ways. A street light by the chip shop comes to my rescue. He's illuminated perfectly, limping along the pavement barefoot wearing a pair of loose fitting jogging bottoms and a red T shirt.

I catch up with him and put my hand on his arm.

“Come on Dad let's get you home.” I say.

“Just looking for the bookies. Do you know if there's a bookies round here?” he asks.

“No dad there's no bookies.” I say. “Everywhere is shut. It's half six in the morning.”

He looks at me. Actually he looks right through me. “Who are you?” he asks.

I'm asked this question many times. My reply is usually the same.

“I'm Terry, your son.” I say.

“Piss off.” he says. That reply is also the usual one.

I take my jacket off and drape it over his shoulders. Then I start to lead him back home. His feet must be frozen.

We get inside and I sit him down in the kitchen. There are footprints on the Lino. They're bloody footprints.

I lift up his ankles and examine his feet. I can see tiny shards of glass glinting in the light. I remove what fragments I can see. His feet look a complete mess.

“I think it's a trip to A and E for you dad.” I say.

“A and E.” He repeats it staccato. “Accident and Emergency.” Then he looks upwards. “Will there a Bookies there?” he asks.

I laugh. “No Dad, I don't think there's a bookies there.” And I laugh again, louder. It's all I can think of doing.

Offline PIJ1951

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Re: Dawn Gallops
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2020, 05:12:41 AM »
I enjoyed this. I'm not sure if it's the start to a longer piece, but it works as a stand-alone flash or an opening scene to something more. Thanks for sharing.

Offline maryhughes

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Re: Dawn Gallops
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2020, 08:41:50 PM »
Nice piece of writing.  But I was surprised when it emerged that the narrator was the son. For some reason I assumed a daughter. Perhaps somehow make that obvious earlier, as those kinds of wee surprises are unsettling. As with previous comment, it feels like the start of something .. but it does stand on its own.