Recently we increased the size of the flyer, and I wondered if I would be able to fill it. I need not have worried: village news and lovely photographs keep pouring in so I have now had to cut the puzzle page by half. Do you mind? Let me know.
Sometimes people send me posters for their events, which is nice; but by the time they are reduced to a quarter of a page the smallest writing is too small to read! Do you mind? Let me know.
We now have a cap on adverts – no more until a space is vacated. But still I could use more room! Sheila Charles of Attleborough Writers’ group: sent me an introduction of the group, and also a sample of the sort of writing they do. Unfortunately I just can’t seem to find space for the piece; and I know next month’s issue will be full to bursting with the Fete, so for now, here is her introduction, and the first story:
About Attleborough Writers’ group.
We are a group of 11 creative writers who have been meeting every fortnight for the past 9 years.
Our writers come from various places in South Norfolk and Breckland and meet in Attleborough.
We choose a different assignment every fortnight and read and - in the two hourly meeting – we critique the pieces we’ve written. We have published 5 anthologies since we started and aim to support one another and other community projects associated with creative writing. We can be found on the internet under www.attleboroughwritersgroup.com
This is the story
Blue by Jo Carr
March 2017587 words
Steam rose from the vastness of the Metro as Blue exited the subway on Wall Street. Flurries of leaves and litter were threatening to clog up the drains again as the late autumn chill hit the streets. Not many people were about at this time of the night and no-one was interested in an old tramp who had found his way into this part of the city. He was anonymous. He gazed up at the Federal Building as he passed it, hunched in his thick overcoat with his ill-fitting shoes flip-flapping on the tarmac. He shook his grizzly head as he recollected a previous life where he was a mover and shaker in this big city world of finance and power.
The evening was growing cold and he still had to find somewhere to rest. He took a swig from the bottle and shuffled on. No-one was near except a cop-car a little way away. He didn't fear the cops. All they could do was move him on.
His mind was playing up again, snatches of music now giving way to urgent voices telling him to do things. "Jump into the canal, asshole", or, "Move it, tosser, right into the path of that car", nonsense which used to bother him but now just washed over him like a cold shower. He was used to the voices. They had been with him a long time, in fact going as far back as he could remember. He didn't like them, but felt some comfort from their unremitting sameness. Wherever he found himself in New York they were always with him, an irritating sore to scratch but giving him some reassurance that he was still alive.
The cops in their car suddenly materialised out of the gloom, stopping in front of him. One of them got out
"You alright tonight, Blue? You know you can't stay here." said the cop. Blue nodded.
"You got something to eat?" continued the cop.
Blue shook his head, mumbling and shuffling in the cold.
“We can't take you in again. You've got to move on,” said the cop. And then, more sympathetically "I've heard there's a new shelter in Trinity Church. Go there, Blue. They'll give you something to eat, somewhere you can put your bag and your head down."
Blue stood there, shuffling whilst the cop spoke to him, all the time the song "California Dreaming" by the Mamas and Papas drowning out the cop's words as it echoed through his head. As the cop got into the warmth of his car again, the radio suddenly crackled into life with a bulletin. He stumbled off. He was still clutching his bottle which he'd hidden inside the sleeve of his coat, the voices in his head now cackling with laughter.
Swaying, he made his way down the street. Dimly, he remembered the cop say to go to the Trinity. He slumped in a doorway to rest, taking a grateful swig of his bottle. He muffled his gloved hands inside his sleeves and could feel the welcome liquid slipping down his throat.
Inside his head, he could hear a new sound, a clunking sound as if of gates slamming shut in a prison. He wondered if this was a distant memory or the gates of Valhalla slowly swinging shut on him. As his body shut down, so too did the voices, until, only his body, covered in rags, remained for the street-cleaners to find in the morning.