Well that's her gone. You don't remember me do you?
I'll have a pint while you're thinking about it.
It's me Jack, Harry Fergus's son. Here for the funeral.
Thought I'd see her get put under. Not sure why.
It's always a laugh though, watching a parson doing a service on somebody they hardly ever saw before.
Trying to think of something to say about them.
Weddings, funerals and christenings that's our lot. Oh and churchings.
Woman has a kid she goes to church. Once.
It's a working class habit, nowt to do with Christianity.
Probably goes back to summat... something they did in rhe stone age. (laughs.)
Listen to me working class.
The others were there. They didn't recognise me at first.
Our Dorry and our Edie were crying. Not the lads though.
Not much love lost even for me Mam.
My... She never dared say a word to him and he used to lay around with that belt of his
whenever he felt like it.
He only had to put his hands to that buckle and we'd all jump.
Her as well. Ah well, it's different now.
They all got jobs away, and the lasses got married. I was just the first to leave.
They all left, you know and it was the end of him when the pit closed.
He was a changed man after that.
Our Dorrie wrote and told me He wasn't earning any more and she had the upper hand.
She wouldn't let him stay in the house most of the time after he retired.
I've always had the place to meself, she used to say.
I can't manage with 'im under me feet all day.
Pushed out in his overcoat and gloves and woolly muffler.
You'd see him sitting in park with some of the others while she cleaned the house.
One pint in here and make it last. But you know that.
Do you remember the feller that drowned in the cut?
I was on my home from school when I was ten and I heard somebody shouting and splashing.
I ran to the lock near the pithead and looked down and there he were.
It's ten feet deep just there and it's a good ten feet down from the edge of the water.
He were shoutin' and cryin' and tryin' to get his finger ends in't cracks in't brickwork to save himself.
I ran home as fast as I could.
Me Mam were getting tea ready and I said, our mam, feller's in cut and can't swim.
She took no notice. I said, our Mam, feller's in cut and can't swim louder like.
She wouldn't listen. She boxed me on't ear.
I've no time for your nonsense, she said and shoved me out o't door.
I ran down to't Police station and they got ropes and ladders an' all but it were too late.
Water were black wi' coal dust just there near't pit and they took a long time to find him.
When I got home I said, our Mam, that feller in't cut drowned.
She said, I don't know what you are talkin' about but she were looking somewhere else when she said it.
I never worked it out from that day to this.
I mean she was me Mam and she didn't seem to care.
Or could she just not hear what I was saying?
She used to be run off her feet you know.
The old man and all the lads to run after, the cooking and the cleaning, and the shirts
to iron for when they went out.
She had that house shining like a mirror. She worked after them. Never stopped.
But she never respected them.
They had their brass band and their pigeons and their club.
She had the telly in later years.
Nowt much before that: I think she really believed that everything men did was a plot to waste her time.
She didn't like them much. Men, that is.
Worry about some poor sod she didn't know drowning? I don't think so.
I should have thrown him summat to float on but I was young and daft.
Fiction - Kat Out of the Bag Chapter Nine By Steve Rudd
Life is a race against time, didn't you know? Sometimes I'm worn out by my own energy, but as we four
walked first towards Langtang, right on through the cosy cluster of weather-beaten buildings and
then so far past the village that even the strangely surreal
Fiction - Welcome To Hellville - Part 4 By Rich Mills
Addict vaccine, social behaviour training, helicopter strafes overhead, government propaganda
drenched lo-fi media docu-slice-of-life info-mercial broadcast, fed straight to your hole.(Written on a Planet Coffee branded paper napkin.)
The napkin referred to above was
Fiction - Fishheads By Michelle Dee
Monstrous silver and blue -green severed fish heads emerged at the forefront of her mind.
Open, close, open, close the gaping mouths. She fancied there were others behind it.
Each time the razor sharp teeth were bared she looked into the blacker than
Fiction - Firm but Fair By Mark Pollard
Cry-Baby Jim Breaks. He pioneered it, they say.
And the hushed, almost ecclesiastical tones of Ken Walton had heralded it's
entry into Saturday afternoon folklore: the bright lights of
Blackpool and Great Yarmouth, down to the lesser reputes of Ilfracombe and
Skegness had all borne witness
Fiction - Puzzles By Denis Price
I've got a really nice room, when the door's closed I feel ever so safe and warm. It's quiet as well,
just the swish of the wind in the trees outside. I like the trees; they hide the big tall fence.
My watchers say the fence is there to keep me safe, and that's their job too, they're always there
Fiction - COLD WAR TALES- THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS By Denis Price
The piercing insistent wail of the siren woke him. `For Christ`s sake now what!` Over the tannoy the
smooth expensive voice intoned languidly that this was only a drill and that all personnel
should continue with their normal duties.
He groaned and thought, this is my normal
Fiction - Kat Out of the Bag Chapter One By Steve Rudd
Above all else it was ignorance and arrogance that helped me pack my bags.
The ignorance and arrogance of myself, that was, and everyone else.
I was only interested in people and past-times that furthered humanity. And what was wrong with that?
Fiction - Scrawls Of The Unexpected By Mark Pollard
Professor Colin Pillinger, lead scientist on the Beagle II programme, was calm but well pissed off
inside. He had been clinging to the idea that his £35 million Mars Probe was stuck in a crater,
waiting for some narrow rays of sunlight to banish the shade for a few precious hours each day
in order that
Fiction - A Short Story - The Beaver Stalker By The J.E.M. Cult
I stepped out into the cold frosty air.
I pulled my muffler tighter round my hands and crunched across the frozen grass. Today was the first day of the beaver season- and by golly, I was sure gonna get me one.
I love beavers. I can't help it. There's just something about stroking that damp fur that sends me
Fiction - The Art Of Being Alone In A Crowded Bar By Rich Mills
What music are you into, man? The American exchange student who had earlier introduced himself, without any regard for Jean-Paul's need to be alone, suddenly threw a curve-ball of a question in his direction.
Well I listen to... What followed was a definitive list of bands from Jean-Paul's wide ranging rare vinyl
Fiction - Old Tired & Completely Rucked By Martin Dale
Of course, I used to be big league me. Right up there with the bigwigs I was. Every game I'd be out there, working my socks off for the club.
I'd be at the bottom of every ruck, in the thick of every maul, I'd cover more of the pitch than anyone else on the team.
Pretty good really, now that I come to think about it,