I studied Creative Writing at Lancaster University and was awarded the Portfolio Prize for short fiction two years in a row. Shortly after graduating I was selected as a member of The Writing Squad and recieved mentoring from Jenn Ashworth.
Carehomes hadn’t hit the headlines; lockdown was still a strange taste on the tongue.
She giggled as we swapped the usual hug for an elbow-bump, laughed at this new social distancing craze. So why did my heart sink when I heard the door click – as though I knew I’d just straightened out her dented bedsheets for the final time?
And the Daily Mail Says "Hurrah!"
Notes From Quarantine
“I shook hands with everybody.”
The last time we visited my grandma we told her we’d better not hug and she giggled as we touched elbows, my bobbled hoodie rubbing against her cashmere, like the gesture was a twerk or dab or some other cool thing kids do these days that she’d never try to understand.
Waving at Gran
Grandma was twenty-two when the last Doodlebugs dropped over Hull and blackout curtains began to twitch. Her days spent bent double over factory lines, attaching fins to bombs. Now she tells her carers off for wasting three good tea bags on cuppas for her visitors when one would do the trick...
I never knew how to explain to people
That at fourteen my greatest fear was that the world outside wasn’t real.
That windows lied to me.
That with a background of the TV’s droning I became convinced the rest of the world had ceased to exist.
The sun rises in the winter sky – a plump orange in a cotton field – and stays there. Women stirring pots of stew wipe sweat from their brows. Children run home from school in the late afternoon: you hear them scuffing ash and pebbles with their street games. The clock in the plaza ticks steadily on, silhouetted by a fierce light. It is soon seven in the evening.