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Old 09-07-2009, 11:11 AM   #1
GeoffC
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A short story

Story telling is "not my thing" - poetry usually is - but the kernel of an idea kept going through my head and I ended up typing this out (relatively short at fewer than 1000 words).

It'll likely be my one and only - so please enjoy.



It was, all were agreed, a most awful summer that year. It if wasn't cold, it was wet; windy it was foggy; or else school was in, and most of the village adults were at work.

It was, therefore, very surprising that the first day of dry, warm and sunny weather coincided with one of the late Summer Holidays that everyone could enjoy.

So the village greens across the County saw much activity, with families meeting up, grannies and babes in arms too. Ice cream vans, and the odd greasy cafe, were very busy; even the local bobbies had time and opportunity to meander, with no trouble reported anywhere.

By the afternoon the sun was shining strongly in a brilliant blue sky, between shallow white clouds, with nary a breath of wind anywhere. On our village green, impromptu football matches vied with frisbee games for space and the odd hopeful mite trying to get their brown-paper kite into the near-still air; whilst the local pub eleven took on a team from the next town, at a game of 20-over cricket. Despite the lateness of the season, the green was still verdant and alive with insects that came to feast on bare skins and then drowned irritatingly in granddads’ beer and aunties’ lemonades. Families mixed with couples and with groups who chose to come together and enjoy the chance to mingle and socialise, catching up with gossip and reminiscing on Summer days past.

Couples took opportunity to sneak off into the copses at the edge of the green, some strolling covertly away whilst others were more brazen, often to the hollers from others in the crowd. Some would then return with smiles on their faces, though one or two looked sheepishly and shyly as though they had done a guilty deed.

But nonetheless most were happy to enjoy the day and the events round and about the green, which makes the tragic events even more difficult to accept and understand. Much of the investigation that laid before the inquest was based on interviews where, by often digging painstakingly into detail and dragging painfully over a number of days, the halting testament from one of the couples who had slipped away into the shelter of the woods. Bit by bit detectives and forensic experts probed into the evidence, especially from John - normally the more loquacious of the pair, but it was from Martin that the greatest clues were obtained.

Both agreed it was the sky that changed first, in ways that both of them described as; 'disappearing', 'waxing and waning' and simultaneously darkening and whitening. In frightened tones, Martin would describe how the blue sky had suddenly changed white, then a dark red and purple tone appeared to be followed by a brilliant azure swathe that appeared across the sky from left to right, stretching from horizon to horizon, and into which grey and white clouds then re-appeared.

Both then watched as grass, shrubs and trees went through changes of colour and size; then disappeared....

The details became increasingly harder for Martin to describe; whilst John became sullen and quiet, often taking up a foetal position in the corner of the room when asked question after question.

They described how the public house, and the cars around it, disappeared, whilst confusingly returning as if in a cage, before bricks and smoke from the chimneys re-appeared; before they all vanished. Chillingly they told how heads on their friends had disappeared; arms and legs from different individuals would suddenly change colour, even their shape, and then become momentarily encaged ... then re-coloured before finally they were erased from view. They watched friends’ heads moving between different bodies, sometimes remaining close, whilst others were planted on bodies at the other side of the green.

Finally all that was left of the green, the copse, the public house and car park, and the multitude of people was a sandy brown scrape upon the ground.

And that is how the first arrivals to the emergency call described the scene; the sun shining strongly in a brilliant blue sky, between shallow white clouds, with nary a breath of wind. On the ground, though, not a trace of anything was discovered. It was though a giant JCB digger had literally scraped away all living things from a few acres of a village.

Only the sky was left, at the end, as it had been at the beginning. Within a week, though, a tinge of green quickly returned to the village as nature quickly replaced what it had lost; but for a few orphan babes left in child care, a few elders, and three convalescents, life would never be the same again. Officially the subject was closed after a few months as evidence became harder to understand. Unofficially UFO theories grew in an explanation of events; one blamed secret government WMD experiments that scientists had lost control of; whilst, for a time, the weird and the wacky had their moments on the web and national media.

15 months later, John was released from voluntary psychiatric care, but it was too late for Martin who never recovered and was found, after the inquest, hanged.

In London an art show for National Talent drew many artists, in many media. Of particular note, a watercolour entitled “The Village Green”, in an unusually realistic style, took first prize from both the public and art critics alike. It was praised for its realism, sense of occasion and its ‘charm’. Some said they could hear the gossip, happy voices of children playing, birds singing and the tap of a ball on willow........





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Old 09-07-2009, 11:40 AM   #2
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An insane artist, maybe?

Excellent writing, very descriptive. I am intrigued by the meaning of the disappearance and resurgence of the Green.

Thank you for writing it.
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:49 AM   #3
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I like that!

Please don't make that your only short story.
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:55 AM   #4
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:gulps:
:blushes:
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:03 PM   #5
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The poetry dog has a few stories also.

I loved your story!

As the ending was something that I was not expecting, it made me pause and think. I thought back to the story events, and I could actually "see" how it happened from one place to the other.

I bet you have a few more stories that could be written...
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:03 PM   #6
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Can I have your pets?

Pretty awesome looking!
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:09 PM   #7
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Pretty awesome looking!

Ah ! Sorry, not negotiable ..... (except at night when 6 cats try to stop us sleeping !)
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Old 09-07-2009, 12:43 PM   #8
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Humm..

Just today we had a dog with cats (you) writing about humans and a human writing about dogs and a cat (Kevin)
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:28 AM   #9
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Interesting story line Geoff - there's a full length novel in there!
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:45 AM   #10
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Interesting story line Geoff - there's a full length novel in there!
fffuuuuullll ! length :splutters:

a short film, maybe ?

thanks for your kind remarks ...
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:49 AM   #11
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fffuuuuullll ! length :splutters:

a short film, maybe ?

thanks for your kind remarks ...
Could there be some bacon in there as well?

Good story, sort of a lovecraftian feel to it, without the tentacles of course
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Old 09-09-2009, 09:04 AM   #12
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a short film, maybe ?

Of course! - Twilight Zone style
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Old 09-09-2009, 04:37 PM   #13
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Beepbeep n beebeep, yeah!
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Great imagery! Loved it!
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:49 AM   #14
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I just came back to reread your short story again. I enjoyed it just as much as the first time I read it.

Thank you again, GeoffC!

Last edited by dreams; 02-24-2010 at 03:01 PM. Reason: fix spelling--- it was a late night :)
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:34 AM   #15
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aw shucks !

I see you're over 30,000 K now .....
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