Monday, 6 August 2012

'The Ascot Murder' by Kevin Barrett

"I'm a hat woman" said the stranger seated opposite me on the train, referring to the blue and red hat perched on her knee.
"Off to Ascot then".  I said facetiously.
Thoughtfully she fingered the rim of the hat.  "No she said; but I know where you are going."  The gunshot blew the crown off the hat and I slumped to the floor.
The blood seeped through my fingers clutching at the wound.  A veil fell over the woman's face and the ruined hat fell deeper into shadow.
Then I remembered.

(Written at the NFFD workshop, Winchester, May 12th 2012)

Story from Cara Sandys inspired by a ship's horn sound-effect

Childhood holidays were spent on an unexotic caravan site, but to the girl, it was paradise.
At the end of a bumpy road, with puddles like giant's footprints, the tiny van was a door to a simple world. No electricity, gas lighting, an outside larder and communal tap.
Oak apples bounced off the roof, molehills appeared overnight and crickets chirped on warm evenings.
She picked blackberries, read comics and swam. On wet days, the rain hammered down and ran like tears down the windows. After a storm, she'd go beachcombing,
discovering cuttlefish, driftwood and bottles from faraway places. Ships glided by, their horns signalling their farewells as they sailed to somewhere warmer and more exciting.

Summers came and went. The caravan was sold and the girl grew up and travelled the world. Fourty years later, washed up and cashed up, she came back to the caravan site
and bought the biggest van with the best view.
She found the oak apple tree where the old van used to be, the blackberry bushes and the giant's footprints. But where was the girl, full of hopes and dreams, looking forward
to a lifetime of adventure. She was nowhere to be seen.