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A Really Short Story


Rusty Broadspear

Normally, on my own every night, don't mind though, used to it. My age, what do you expect, friends, family, and distant long lost acquaintances, have all moved onwards and upwards.

Memories of the aftermath of the first World War and 3D colourama, digital, qualified, realistic, horrific recall of the next one. Now without wanting to bore even more, anyone who is bored enough to read this, I just want to say that it, (WW2), stays with you.

Like Sticky Steve and myself, we were twelve or thirteen and we nicked sweets, and in those days they sold single cigarettes, they stood upright in, say a glass, and they could only speak two words, TAKE ME. Got to be honest here, a lot of road has passed under the wheels, but at that time old Sticky was my mentor. He really was. Looking back, OK, it was wrong, but hell, it was feeding future memories, future
entertainment for distant lonely years, maybe the magic ingredient for survival - well not survival, more like beating the rest by a margin.

Profundity is my medicine, but know I can't use it here, this is for the record, no census, and I don't want to offend. Oh hell - finding the right words may be a problem. I'll do my best to tell you what happened. I'll cork the whiskey.

Back in 2002 I was a young 86 years of age, my style and pace of living has not changed in 2015. Everyone who was anyone had gone onwards and upwards. Yep, even going back to the last century, the year 1996, when Rose went onwards and upwards, that's when profundity kicked in. Please bear with me, the whiskey's corked and sure, I'll tell you what happened back when I was a laddo, single, free, washing up and washing down once a week, living and searching for that hooded
stranger, so that I could ask, "Is it my turn now PLEASE?"

Whoever has stayed with me thus far, it won't hurt to read on.

I'll try to be brief; it was summer, the date is important but I can't remember, there was a knock at the door, thought it was that smelly, interfering woman who used to bring my main meal on Tuesdays and Thursdays, (I don't eat now), but it wasn't.. this day was a Wednesday.

There was an oldish fair haired - no grey-haired - woman at the door.

Hey! I'll cut to the finishing tape. There was I, expecting a plastic carton of plastic chicken and veg, covered in silicon gravy to be thrust in my face and I was confronted by this woman, a total stranger, who said smilingly, "Hello Dad, I'm Marie, your daughter."

It gets soooo sad, so maybe I'll uncork the Scotchoroony. Yep, thought I might, but I can think clearer now. At my age I could drink another full bottle and nobody would care.

Me and Rose courted, way back when and I remember she became ill. I was told by her family, I was barred, the 'DON'T COME NEAR OUR DAUGHTER AGAIN!!' syndrome. They said she'd caught something off me and if I haven't got it, then I must be a carrier. Hell!

Every male is a pregnancy carrier, we never actually catch it. Now, please don't misunderstand me, Rose and me were in love, we called it in cherishment, right until she got promoted and left, onwards and upwards. We couldn't have kids, don't or
can't remember why.  Sometimes the most important events in our lives are
blocked from memory, far too sad to cope with, more than the one time, but we were so much, so deeply involved, cherishment you know how it is.

But she'd never told me that she'd given our future away whilst we were courting. She never lied to me, just never told me, blocked from her memory, way too sad. I understand how and why - things weren't the same then, different world.  One consolation, at least her family's decision was pro life.

So Rosemarie, best daughter I could have wished for and now I've got myself a fistfull of grandchildren.  Sadly Marie got promoted onwards and upwards two years ago. I love my grandchildren.

I'm still walkin' 'n' talkin' at 99 years old but all I want, and daren't press for it, is to be with my Rose, and Rosemarie, tell Rose its not her fault.

"To be in cherishment and in heaven, with Rose and Rosemarie is all I ask," said I, once again, to the hooded stranger.

The hooded stranger strode quickly away, other purposes, other people to surprise.

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