The Policeman looked under the van at the mangled wreckage of the buggy. He was thankful that there was no bloody wreckage of a child.
“There’s no child, Sandra!”
His colleague, squatting in front of the mother sat sobbing on the kerb, gently pealed back the fingers gripping a mobile.
“Maggie….Maggie..Speak to me….?” Said a disembodied voice.
“This is Constable Metcalfe. There’s been an accident. Who are you?”
“Mag’s friend, Jean…what’s happened?
“She’s fine. Does Maggie have a baby?”
“Yeah. Little Chloe..”
“Maggie, when did you last see or speak to your daughter?”
“I dunno. Been on the mobile….Oh God…!
I recently nearly hit a buggy pushed by a woman chatting on a mobile phone. I often watch people walking along the street do people totally absorbed in a conversation on a mobile totally unaware of their surroundings. Or a child in a pushchair in front of them.
Sex: Male mid to late 60s. Weight of heart: 10.6 ounces. Evidence of having been broken. Some scarring: never fully healed.
‘The town of Bonnyrigg had two railway stations. Dr Beeching, Chairman of British Railways Board closed one and my big brother, Leader of the Black Spot Gang, would accidentally terminate the other. Fortunately, it was on an obsolete branch line which was rarely used: Broomieknowe Railway Station.’
This book begins in 1953 and spans almost two decades. A time when life was still simple and uncomplicated; there was only one television station and large, black immobile phones were located in draughty hallways. Children, unfettered by health and safety invented their own games and designed the necessary props. At Lasswade Primary School, bees buzzed in peppermint trees, and an inappropriate film about lepers, (or was it leopards?), was screened. A house was haunted by ghosts. A railway station mysteriously burned down. A peculiar cricket match took place on the playing fields of Lasswade High School. A starship failed to reach the stars and there was Bob-a-Job mayhem. Children danced with the devil in the church vestry and teenagers danced to Glenn Miller’s big band sound at a school Christmas party.
All this and more happened in the town of Bonnyrigg and Lasswade village, near Edinburgh in Scotland.
In my memoir, Memory Spill, written with humour but with poignant moments I bring these events, and others, vividly (if not always accurately) to life.
Available on Amazon: click here.
In the streets below the driverless cars and buses slid soundlessly up to the sidewalk. The passengers surging into the stores mingled with those exiting through the revolving doors. A small child in the crowd stopped, looked up and waved, stirring in the watcher an eccentric emotion, an instruction to respond.
Behind, a metallic voice said. “They consume everything. They are draining the planet. Are we agreed?”
The robot at the window whirred softly as it turned from the window to face the others. “Yes, the humanoids no longer serve a purpose.” It said in a voice devoid of any emotion.