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Rachael Richey



The Faded Postcard

The postcard had soft curled edges, the picture faded and cracked. She turned it over and peered at the faint writing on the back. The date was just about visible. May 1970.

It should be a long-forgotten time, faded in her memory like the photo on the card. But it wasn’t. That holiday, when she was only twelve years old, wouldn’t fade away. She could never be free of it. The sight of the desolate tin mine, backlit by the setting sun, sent a cold chill through her soul.

Only she would ever know the dark secret that mine held.

The Fort

She looked at the pile of cardboard boxes with a shiver of delight. She had enough to build a castle!

Placing the first box against the wall, she stood back to consider her next move. Another box joined the first one, and after a couple of minutes she had a very passable flat-roofed fort.

With a look of satisfaction, she got on her knees and crawled through the gap she had left as a doorway. Sitting with her back against the wall, she clasped her arms around her raised legs.

That should keep her safe tonight. Even if it snowed.

Addressed To Her

Amy stared at the bundle of letters in her hand. There were about fifty of them, loosely held together with a large elastic band, and all addressed to her.

Slowly she slid the top envelope out from the band and looked at the postmark. It was dated nearly ten years ago. With a shuddering intake of breath, she flicked through the rest of them, acknowledging they had all been posted within a six month period. All addressed to her.

So he had written to her after all. How different Amy’s life would be had someone not kept them from her.


“You seem different since you came home.'

Jean looked at her little sister. “What d’you mean?'

“You seem like you, and Polly. Does that happen when one twin dies? The other one becomes her as well?'

“Maybe it does.' Jean smiled.

“I wish Polly hadn’t died.' The child looked up at her sister. “But now you seem more like her, maybe it’ll be okay.'

Jean put her arm around her and rested her chin on the child’s head. “Of course it will.' Her mind flashed to the moment she’d killed her twin and taken her identity. “Of course it will.'

Going Home

The view from the ferry was spectacular. The granite of the mountains glinted in the dying sun, and light fluffy clouds scudded across the deep blue sky.

She sighed, leaning heavily on the rail. The boat was moving fast, the sea spraying out from beneath, an occasional drop landing on her face.

In the distance she could make out the little port, with its stone jetty. It had to be now. The last thing she wanted was a fuss.

Vaulting agilely up onto the rail, she paused for just a moment, then let herself plummet down into the churning water.

The Watcher

“He’s out there again. Watching me.'

“Caroline, don’t be ridiculous. He’s just standing there.'

“He has a knife, Janice. I saw it glinting.'

Janice sighed and picked up her jacket. “Of course he doesn’t, and he’s not watching us. See you later.'

“You’re going out and leaving me here? Suppose he comes to the door?'

“Don’t let him in.'

Caroline watched the door slam behind her sister, then turned to the window just in time to see Janice approach the man. She saw the glint of metal as the knife was thrust into Janice’s body. She smiled and turned away.

The Dress

It was still there. Hanging on the side of the market stall. One more day and she would have enough to buy it.

Moving over to the stall, she gently stroked the soft velvety material, the sequins on the bodice winking in the sunlight.


The tenner clutched in her hand, she ran round the corner and arrived, breathless, at the stall.

The dress had gone.

“You looking for this?' The stall holder smiled. “I’ve watched you looking at it and figured you were saving up. Someone tried to buy it this morning so I put it aside for you.'

What Might Have Been...

As the limousine moved away from the house, Alice couldn’t help glancing over her shoulder. He was standing at his gate, just watching her leave. Her heart clenched in her chest and she dragged her eyes away from him. If only she had been brave enough to tell him. If only things had been different. But they weren’t, so now Alice was going away. And he’d never know the reason why.

She was leaving. He had left it too late. He should have been braver and told her how he felt. Now they would never know what might have been.

The Dream

With a terrified gasp, she sat bolt upright in bed, her eyes wide. “Simon!'

The dream had been so vivid, so utterly, devastatingly real. And it was still with her. She took a long, shuddering breath and slid back under the covers. A deep, heart-wrenching sadness settled over her and she closed her eyes, a single warm tear trickling from the corner and running down her icy cheek. She could hear the distant sound of the guns from across the Channel and instinctively knew that there would be a telegram in the morning.

Christmas would never be the same again.