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Angela Watt, 29 Jul '12

The lad grips my hand tightly. His small fingers entwine with mine and are soft and unencumbered. They remind me of a different time. A time before my own hands were worn, used up and twisted. A time when I was able to caress the cheek of the woman I loved.

With the other hand I pull the jaunty polka-dot decorated wheeled shopping trolley behind me. I loathe it, yet I smile remembering Sheila returning home with it filled with discounted tins of baked beans, cumberland sausages, wrapped in wax paper and of course two custard tarts balanced at the top - one for her and one for me. Small pleasures.

It carries a different load now. There are a few bits and pieces of mine, but mainly it's filled with the lad's stuff - his clothes and shoes, random lego figures and old blue. We might need old blue where we're headed. I'm still amazed that an old blue woollen rabbit, slightly bobbeley now and missing an eye can provide enough comfort to provoke sleep but it seems that old blue has some sort of mystical power that I certainly do not possess.

We've walked pretty much in silence so far, although the lad has been humming a song - one that only he knows it seems. As we arrive at the bus station he looks up at me and asks, "where are we going grand-dad?"

"It's an adventure." I reply. "It will be just like one of the stories I read to you. You like adventures - don't you?"

He thinks about it for a moment and then asks, "will there be pirates?"

"There might be," I answer, "but if there are, I'll look after you - we'll fight them off together. No problem, you'll see." I continue, "here we are lad, this is where our adventure begins by getting on a bus."

Can we sit at the front?" he asks me.

"We'll see," I say.

We stand a while and then a National Express Coach pulls up. It's destined for Northampton. I see that the front two seats are free. "Come on lad, I say - this one's ours."

Comments · 5

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  • Angela Watt said...

    This is my very first piece for Burrst and I'd welcome any comments. Thanks for reading.

    • Posted 8 years ago
  • Anthony Blackshaw said...

    Welcome to Burrst Angela - Loved your debut and wanted to read more!

    • Posted 8 years ago
  • Angela Watt said...

    Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Posted 8 years ago
  • Rosalind Smith-Nazilli said...

    Very thought provoking.. All my questions start with WHY? I would like to see more of this and learn the answers..x

    • Posted 8 years ago
  • Angela Watt said...

    Thanks Rosalind. I sometimes like to leave my readers guessing and having to make up their own minds and that's the approach I took with this story. It was inspired by an older man I saw recently and he was gripping the hand of a young boy. They were standing on the edge of a road and just looked out of place to me.

    • Posted 8 years ago