CONTENTS - SCROLL DOWN FOR THE FRONT PAGE STORY - DOWN MY LANE
THE WEBSITE OF AUTHOR JANET GOGERTY
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VISIT THE AUTHOR'S LOCAL AREA AND CATCH UP WITH THE LATEST SEASONAL SHOTS
SEASIDE SCENES - 20 COASTAL SPOTS - HOW MANY CAN YOU SPOT?
TRAVEL NOTES FROM A SMALL ISLAND
A REGULAR BLOG ABOUT PEOPLE AND PLACES ILLUSTRATED IN TECHNICOLOUR
FOCUS ON FAMILY DRAMA - QUARTER ACRE BLOCK
Down My Lane
This morning I woke to find my lane full of reporters and cameras; after yesterday’s events I was not surprised.
But I was not happy; Tesco delivery van once a fortnight is the norm, with occasional visits of scruffy cars and vans to Marty and Lucy’s. You would recognise the view of my lane, on calendars and place mats, but few people know where that photograph was taken and who lives in the two old coastguard cottages.
If we still had a coastguard here perhaps it wouldn’t have happened and I would be left in blissful peace. I don’t do babies and I don’t much like visitors, except when they’re leaving.
Marty and Lucy are okay, they assume I’m an eccentric old lady who lets them grow organic vegetables and roam free range chickens in her garden in return for a share. They don’t know I’m a writer; pen name, well known before all this self publicising and multi media business. They would be shocked if they knew what I write; violent crime thrillers set further along the coast in Brighton.
They’ve got a baby now, I suppose that’s why they felt they had to do something. I was just looking out the door yesterday, wondering why a helicopter was buzzing round, when Lucy came running up and shoved the baby in my arms.
‘Lock yourself in, we don’t know what they might do, or how many; but we must help the mothers and babies, let the police deal with the rest.’
Before I could utter a word she was gone and for the first time in years I locked the door. The baby wriggled and I tried to quell my panic. I had to put it down somewhere safe before its delicate head hit the flagstone floor. Laundry basket, full of towels, nice and soft; the baby glared at me. I realised the back door was open. As I closed it I caught a brief glimpse of activity on the shingle beach and it finally dawned on me what was going on. I’m not that isolated, I listen to the radio. Kent, Sussex… and now I knew it was true. Illegal immigrants, refugees, people smugglers, whatever they were; invaders had landed on my beach, National Trust to be precise, but if feels like my beach. I wondered why on earth Marty and Lucy had got involved, they should have locked themselves safely in their home with their baby and waited till the police and army had rounded up the strangers.
I soon got my answer; a rapping on the door.
‘Quick, let us in before we’re seen.’
Lucy burst through the door, followed by several bedraggled figures clutching bundles. Marty followed and locked the door behind him.
‘They don’t speak English, but they’re scared of the blokes,’ he said ‘what else could we do? Put the kettle on, run a bath, find as many towels and blankets as you can.’
‘Where’s the baby?’ said Lucy, fleeting panic crossing her face.
In an instant my home was no longer my own. Lucy was slouched on my settee feeding her baby and using sign language to reassure our guests; they smiled and let her peep at the bundles in their arms, but were terrified of me and Marty. I retreated upstairs to open cupboards; he was right behind me pulling out my best towels and sheets along with ancient eiderdowns and pillows. I looked out of the tiny window under the eaves.
Way below, the beach was full of yellow jackets escorting a mixed bunch of people; some slouched in despair, several trying to run away, stumbling on the shingle.
It didn’t work, trying to hide them; the police came to check if we were safe, said there were procedures to be gone through. I was relieved. It was Marty’s idea that if the press got hold of our story the authorities would have to look after the women and babies properly. We were going to follow up what happened to them. I reassured my young neighbours they had done more than their share to help.
Now I’m beginning to realise the press invasion is far worse than yesterday’s invasion, my only consolation is that I have a new idea for my next novel; my publishers have been hinting for a while that I need to update and become more relevant. People smugglers…
PAINTING BY CHRISTOPHE BORREL DUCROZ
DOWN MY LANE IS ONE OF THE FLASH FICTION TALES IN
OPEN THE LINK TO READ A PREVIEW
THREE MORE SHORT STORY COLLLECTIONS TO CHOSE FROM
FIND OUT MORE IN CHAPTER ONE