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pen Ecanus•net :: Stories

This page was intended as a home for news about ‘the great unfinished novel’ which as the name suggests never quite got finished. Fallen Angel (in part the reason for the naming of this site) was started many years ago, back in my college days (I'm not going to admit to how long ago that was) and over the years has changed a lot. Its orginal inspiration was from a Stephen King short story "Strawberry Spring", but it's nothing at all like that now. Now in its fourth incarnation there's a totally different plot, location, fact it's nothing like the original. And one of these days I will get it finished. One of these days...

I have decided...2008 will be the year of Fallen Angel...I am gonna put some serious work into it, honest...

In the meantime you'll find some of my short stories here. Some have been seen out in public before; others have been hidden away for a long, long time. I figured it was about time to give them an airing. Words are for sharing, after all.

A Private Affair

It was unseasonably hot for the time of year. Temperatures in the eighties, in May, were almost unheard of. It was odd, everyone agreed. She was odd too. It wasn't so bad in winter, but wearing black, in this heat, was decidedly strange.

They didn't know her history. It didn't matter to them. They knew only that a very odd young woman lived in the house on the corner.

Black boots, she wore, with stiletto heels and studs, with black stockings or sometimes those awfully common fishnets, Mrs Robertson from number 39 noticed. Her skirts were black, long and flowing, and depending on the season she wore a t-shirt or a jumper, black, of course. She always wore a belt, either chain or an oversized dog collar, as Bill Cooper joked. Her dark curls flowed over her shoulders and although Mrs Robertson, the only one who'd managed to get close enough to talk to her, reported that she wore a large amount of make–up, she always looked deathly pale.

The earrings she wore were always the same, large, silver, and sparkling, but good quality Mrs Robertson commented, the sort of thing perhaps given as a gift. A very private gift.

They all agreed that perhaps the most striking thing about her, aside from the black, was the detached half smile which she always wore.

On the Saturday afternoon in question old Mrs Robertson, Mrs Watson, David Lee, the young lady doctor from West Street, and Bill Cooper sat amicably at a picnic table outside the Eagle.

Mrs Robertson nodded towards number 47 on the corner, and took a sip of her orange juice, which she always sent Bill Cooper in for, not thinking it fitting for women to be seen in pubs.

"Off she goes!"

Bill nodded. It was the same every day, rain or shine, hail or snow. Every day at half past two she left the house and walked slowly along, smiling in that strange way of hers, and disappeared down Linden Way.

"There goes the black widow," David chuckled. Bill Cooper looked up and grunted conversationally. He drained his pint mug and stood up.

"I'm going to follow her. See where she goes."

If Bill Cooper had followed her before he would have known that she went to the park where she sat on a bench, a cigarette in one hand and a bottle in the other. There she sat staring silently ahead, her hair fanning out in the breeze, a strange hazy glow hanging over her. That was usually, but today she carried on to St Lukes, where she stopped.

Under a large, flowering magnolia tree were parked two white Rolls Royce's, with wedding ribbons and posies of fresh flowers. From inside the church came the strains of the Wedding March, and overhead, finches flitted from tree to tree.

She reached up and took off the earrings she had held so precious and through the open window of the leading car gently laid them on the seat. Silently she turned and disappeared into the graveyard.

Through the still spring air the rumble of masonry resounded. Then all was silent. Only one was killed, they presumed. No body was ever found, and the girl from number 47 just vanished.

Bill Cooper puffed on his pipe thoughtfully. "They say she never really got over it; being left in the lurch. But now they're together."

© 1990. First published in "A Stone in the Water: An Anthology", Hurlfield Writers

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