Congrats to Linda Young and Maureen Riches with their stories for August and September. This is Maureen’s second win and Linda’s third!
Linda’s August Story: The Awakening. 250 words
The boy was new to my class. He sat in the desk beside me, head hanging down.
‘I’m Lucy, what’s your name?’ He glanced at me with clear blue eyes as ginger curls fell across his brow.
‘Charlie,’ he replied, a flush spreading over his freckled face.
‘Do you want to be my friend?’ He nodded and a smile appeared.
In the school yard I held his hand and showed him around the playground. The others looked on, sniggering as they gathered into their groups.
The days were suddenly brighter, and each morning I ran to meet Charlie at the gate. In the shelter shed he told me stories about his life–his family moved from town to town, his father was a shearer, and his mother was a cook. His world sounded exciting, and I clung to his every word. He held my hand and kissed my cheek, and I was filled with joy.
The other children said his family were poor and his father drank a lot. I didn’t care.
Charlie came to school one morning with a bruise on his face and said he’d fallen off his bike.
The next day I waited at the gate until the school bell rang. I stared down the road– willing him to appear. I sat alone at the desk as the teacher told us Charlie was not returning to class. A deep sadness descended on me as I looked at the empty seat beside me, and tried not to cry.
Maureen’s September Story: A Bad Businessman. 200 words.
Since we grew up living away from our extended family we were fortunate to be adopted by elderly neighbours who became known to us as Ma and Pa.
Fortunate because this cultured couple who never seemed bothered by the racket of six noisy children next-door, brought into our lives art, music, gardening and…meat!
Pa was a butcher and owned his own business. The first week we moved into the house beside them, Ma called over the fence to my mother, holding out a parcel wrapped in butcher’s paper.
‘Would you mind taking this off my hands, dear? Pa has brought home much more than we can use.’
‘This’ was a mass of chops, strings of sausages and at least a pound of casserole steak!
As the years went by our adopted grandparents shared our triumphs and heartaches, were adored as if they really were family and kept passing parcels of ‘too much meat’ over the fence.
One day I watched Mum unwrap yet another bundle of chops and steak.
‘Pa’s a darling but he can’t be a very good businessman.’
Mum smiled. ‘In all these years he hasn’t figured out how much meat he and Ma can eat.’