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Lilly Adam




As I stood in front of my old home, the years spun back. I was in my youth. My mother, fresh and full of life, laughed as she tickled my sister. I could almost smell a bonfire in the distance on this cold winter’s night. A huddle of carol singers sung at every door, and were received joyfully. I heard the familiar scraping of the old metal spade as my father filled the coal bucket. The squeaky sound of my brother’s bike suddenly reminded me of how much I missed him.

My family had all left me, with my memories.

The Winter of Life

Her heart was as fragile as lace, and her skin a delight of wrinkles. She waited by the window, day after day. Had life flown past her so fast that she had failed to notice the decades as they unfolded before her fading eyes, disappearing into the darkness with each waxing moon? Had she really lost all hope of being united once more with those sweet cherubs who had once filled her home with love and laughter? As each season stole another piece of her life, she realised that her angels would not return, leaving a stream upon her cheek.

Forever Love

After thirty years she still waited, every year returning to where her true love had said farewell. The docks were bustling, cargo of every kind being hauled from giant steamers, and smiles adorning many faces. She reminisced to a different era, when dread and panic had turned young men old before their time. Her Frederick was one of those; she still remembered his handsome, finely cut face and his warm, loving eyes.

“Come on Ma, it's getting cold. Let’s take you home.'

Just as handsome and with the same voice. Her beloved son was a lifelong reminder, and a blessing.

The Disappointed Detective

The car sped past me on the inside as I was about to turn right into the parking bay, almost colliding into me. I watched the lunatic disappear, itching to take the registration number. He parked, and ran from the vehicle at top speed. In his fifties at least, he was overweight and shabbily dressed.

I waited like a cunning fox, convinced that a terrible crime was about to take place, my phone in hand ready to film the event.

With a boxed TV in his arms, a satisfied smile on his face, he’d been first to reach the SALE.

The Strangest Jam

Shy little Amy spent every morning at her neighbours, while her mum went to work. She arrived early, in time for breakfast with Mr and Mrs Davies. The table was full with a variety of appetizing food, including the peculiar jam with the most horrendous taste, which on one occasion Amy had virtually swallowed whole to rid her mouth of its bitterness.

Now every morning she would just stare at the strange golden jar.

When her mother asked if she enjoyed herself at her neighbours’ house, Amy said, “Yes, but there’s matchsticks in their jam, which makes it taste awful.'

The Stubs

The sea was freezing, the current was strong, but she dared to swim. Nine years old, she could swim like a fish, so her father said. Her parents sat proudly upon the pebbles, fully clothed, waving.

Old Mrs Williams swam every day, rain, shine, winter or summer. As she swam by this child, duty-bound to warn her, she yelled “Watch out for the STUBS!'

Panic set in… was it a sea monster, or another name for a shark? She swam frantically, reaching the shore.

“Those hidden wind breakers can break your toes when it’s high tide,' said Mrs Williams, later.

The Break-Up

Father left on the nine-thirty train,

With a sombre look, marbled with pain.

“Goodbye,' he said, with a glistening eye,

It broke my heart seeing him cry.

I asked my mother, “Is Father coming home?'

“No,' she said, “Now we are alone.'

Her puffy eyes told no lies,

I saw beyond her powdery disguise.

So I followed for answers, aboard the coastal train,

An optimistic peacemaker, to mend this severed chain.

To the world, they were husband and wife,

Hyenas laughing, larger than life.

Dear Mother asked, “Is he coming home?'

Choked was my answer, “We’re better off alone.'


[body]Old Gwen sat on the number four with three heavy bags of fruit and vegetables from the market and a second hand throw to save on the heating. Winter was around the corner, and Gwen was preparing. Like a hibernating animal, storing up, for a prolonged period of peeping out from behind net curtains, and snuggling beneath the worn old eiderdown, passed down from generation. Young Sally had begged her a million times to take her spare duvet.

“They ain’t like a proper duck feathered eiderdown, “she would protest.

The bus arrived, as Gwen fell asleep, before her winter arrived


The dimly lit multi storey car park was deserted. I could only spot a handful of cars, spaced out randomly. I fumbled in my purse, looking for change. Why didn’t I park in the free car park? A strange man was loitering by the lift. His eyes were searching, and then he spotted me. I felt my heart race, my hands were sweaty. Panic hit me. My legs shook. He was walking towards me. Should I run to my car? No, don’t be silly, I told myself. The stranger got closer,

“Have you got any spare change please?' he asked.

The Homecoming

Her eyes glistened with tears unshed. She no longer towered over me, with words of admonishment and guidance. But even in frailness, her genuine love is still stronger than steel. I’m drawn to her, knowing that the umbilical cord between us was never severed. Her sweet honey heart still holds me there, even after my years of cruelty.

“I’m home Mama,' I choked through my sobs, and her loving embrace was worth the world.

“I always knew you’d return one day, and clung onto life for this moment.'

My mother forgave me, but sadly I’d lost too many golden days.


Matilda, known as Tilly to her friends, was a kind, gentle girl, who found joy in every aspect of life, even in the dull, mundane chores which she toiled diligently at, each and every day. Being a twelve year old orphan was a cruel, scary life, until, one gloriously sunny day, those magical words, which had been a mere vision, echoed through her heart with every beat.

"We have a new Ma and Pa for you."

With a smile, a suitcase and a wave goodbye, Tilly heard the sweet morning birdsong as she opened her eyes from her reoccurring dreams.