This article is taken from Stand 215, 15(3) October - November 2017.

Holly Sykes Pigeon


The hill up to his loft was getting harder to climb each day, but he wheezed on up, step by step. When he got to the ponies he took a breather and looked back down at the beach. Deserted. Not surprising on a cold day like this, there’d be an icy wind lifting the sand, catching on the scraggy, woody scrub. And anyway, tourists had long since given up on the place, preferring the prettier places either side – villages in bloom both of them. Not here. Here the grey sky ran into the grey water and delivered dirty foam onto the sand. The tide was going out.

His gaze stretched down the beach to the far end where the sand gave way to great hulking boulders. He’d taken his grandson down there last summer to look for fossils. They’d climbed over and scrambled about but the boy had kept one eye on the cliff above. He’d been scared of rocks falling. When the gulls took off from their perches up there the soil would scatter down and they’d watched it fall, kicking up a cloud of dust behind. He’d tried to reassure the boy that it was just a bit of soil. It couldn’t hurt him any more than a bit of water coming down would, but his mother had been too close with him, cossetting him, so he’d turned out to be good for nothing.   

Good job he wasn’t at school here. He’d not ...
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