The Ghost of Watt Tyler

Watt Tyler was one of the leaders of the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt. He was a slain by the King’s supporters after drinking a jug of beer “in a very rude and disgusting fashion before the King's face.”

Friday, February 06, 2009

Another Christmas

I've enrolled on a creative writing course, here is my first effort.

Another Christmas

She clutched his arm as they picked their way up the steps to the house. Her hands were scrawny and ridged with tiny blue veins. But her grip was firm, her fingers digging into his flesh, as though she was hanging on a cliff or a window ledge. He half-guided and half-lifted her up each step, listening closely to the rise and fall of her chest. The air seemed to fall out of her like iron filings; heavy, clunking and painful. He smiled weakly trying to disguise his thoughts. It’s cold isn’t it? In between breaths, she mumbled back to him. Yes. I Just. Can’t seem. To get. Warm. Any more.

At the top, they paused, arm in arm, unsure what to do next. The bright, electric lights on the leafless tree ahead were swaying in the wind. There were figures in the windows of the house holding wine glasses. Slowly she released her hold on his arm and began to hobble down the path. He stood still and watched. You’ll catch you death out here? He didn’t respond and pulled his thick, wool coat around his body.

As she approached the door, she glanced over her shoulder. Come on love, they’ll wonder where we are? I’ll be in a minute; I need some fresh air. If you are sure, she said.

Turning he looked over the man-made landscape of the levels. The narrow waterways rippled like silver ribbons and the muddy green fields stretched off into the darkness. Would she, he wondered, see another Christmas?