George watches as the boys in the Royal Artillery Barracks stand to attention. He has always believed it was the war that changed his father. He returned, at the very least, with a limp and he would rap his walking stick on the wooden floor of his study and bellow ‘Noise!’ if he was being disturbed.
George was banned from the study, and only once did he break the rule while his father was at the University. The musty smell of old books suffocated the room and the curtains were always drawn, hiding the view of the garden through the rose bush that grew unchecked outside. The shelves, stacked high with thousands of books, lecture papers and periodicals, towered over him as he wiped dust from those that no longer contained an acceptable version of history. On the desk sat what was left of the parcel his mother was holding when she was hit by the car. Inside, a stack of newspaper headlines about his father. Awards won, lectures given, theories explained. There was also a photo, of a man smiling at the camera as he stood next to another man lying on the ground. He looked asleep, or dead.
OK, I’m going to have to have a change of plan, because things are happening with Tales from the Top Deck that I had not anticipated. This story is beginning to fully form in my mind, with potential, I think, for a novel. Characters and backstory are developing very quickly inside my head and it feels like it could be something along the lines of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. So, for that reason, I’m going to stop with this line of flash fiction for this month because I feel I need to start outlining properly (while also working on The Last of Logan). I know a few of you have been enjoying George’s adventures, but hopefully this will lead to something more substantial. Tomorrow, I don’t know what yet, but something completely different on the flash fiction front!