This is a tale which has its origins in my childhood.
There is a little vernacular language, used only in context.
It arose from a challenge which I set for the Writers’ Circus.
I am pleased to advise that most people of a certain age (mine!) seem to enjoy it.
Nostalgia lives on in our hearts and minds.
This is a short story written for an assignment for Creative Writing.
The brief was Sibling Rivalry, with a word limit of 1500.
This version is amended, based on comments from our tutor, David Pettigrew.
This is a childhood memory, re-told as a wee tale.
My father Jack, aka Uncle Jock, was a confident swimmer.
His older brother William, aka Uncle Bonnie, was a kidder and joker.
When we were children Uncle Bonnie was always winding us up, making fun at every opportunity.
What a gift!
What happened in this tale is true.
This is a dark tale that came from my experience.
One day my Dad came home early from the building site that he was working on.
There had been an accident.
A neighbour, a small friendly man I hardly knew, had been killed.
A large pre-cast concrete panel had slipped, overturned, and crushed him flat.
Near to our home in Arden, on the outskirts of Glasgow, there was the abandoned Ordnance Factory.
The tale is, thankfully, is fiction, straight from the Muse.
This little tale has its origins in two elderly Old Pollokshaws characters who seemed to me as a small boy to be frighteningly exotic.
The old lady wore a black shawl over a black dress and seldom left her small house. She lived with what I remember as hundreds of cats and smoked a clay pipe.
The old gentleman was scruffy, grubby, and had a small horse and a small yappy, frightening dog. He made a poor living selling kindling around the streets from the back of his horse and cart. Occasionally he sounded a bugle and shouted “Toys for Rags”.
From age 5 to 9 I was a regular attender at the Salvation Army Band of Hope. One evening I left my brown hand-knitted balaclava on the seat and was sent back the next day to look for it. The cleaning lady found it for me.
After almost sixty years I still have strong memories of Pollokshaws. As I wrote this tale I began to hatch another longer tale which is still bubbling in what passes for my brain.
When we lived in Pollokshaws I was befriended by an older crafter boy from a large family. They had a small mongrel dog, which I have dubbed Rusty.
The story of six-year old Johnny tells itself and happened almost as set down.
Sadly, re-telling it has not expunged my feeling of guilt.