Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Autumn
by
John Riminton

The golden afternoon sunshine lay across the stream and trees of the valley, the only sound the rumble of a machine cutting long grass in a field. Something stirred in the mind of the boy – something he had heard read at school about fog n' fruit n' that, but it was different back home. I mean, back home there were a couple of trees in one of the streets near the Estate that dropped their leaves and messed up the gutters, but autumn was when you put the clocks back and the lights went on early in the blocks.

He didn't really know why they were here but Mum had really really asked him to come back with her to this valley where she had grown up as a kid and where they were staying with someone who'd grown up with Mum and wanted him to call her “Auntie”. He'd said “yes” 'cos Mum looked really sick, tired and thin and always coughing. The hospital people said that was because she smoked but he didn't go with that. Everyone he knew smoked but they didn't look like Mum. So they got on a bus and came to this place but there was nuffink here. Nuffink. No arcades, cinemas or even a cyber caff – dead boring. Just a few small shops where they really watched you when you went in with your earphones in and a place they called a mini-market where they hardly sold anyfink and nuffink worth lifting like a DVD. The gang, - well, they weren't really a proper gang, just others you hung around the arcades with - had told him that it would be a hopeless place , but Mum had really asked him “it will only be for a few days”. She seemed happier here knowing she was going back to hospital next week, but he didn't like the way she kept hold of his hand and looked at him as if she really wanted sumfink.

Time to go back. Mum said that she didn't want him to get lost – how could you get lost in only one street? - anyway he was hungry and found that he liked the big meals cooked on that thing they called “the range”. Mind you, he could really do a burger.

Tomorrow they would catch the bus back into the city. Mum said that she had a lot to arrange, but he wasn't sure what that was all about. Probably getting ready for winter.



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