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Short Stories




A Fortuitous Meeting by Shelley J Alongi Aviation Series story 1. An emergency landing brings a pilot and a teacher together in a m... [16,996 words]
The Attorney's Assistant by Shelley J Alongi About a relationship between a U.S. attorney and an assistant. Emphasizes positive co... [7,617 words]
A Taste Of Death by Frank Dunsmore Dective Schmidt with Homicide of the Chicago PD is baffled by several arsenic poisonings. He a... [5,669 words]
The Animal Prison by L J Milakovic A zoo from an abused tiger's point of view. The abuse is too persistent for the tiger, and he... [823 words]
Resistance by Shelley J Alongi The actions and thoughts of a boy facing the bleak certainty of death in a Jewish ghetto in 1943. [1,414 words]
Hill Number 18 by Shelley J Alongi A major recalls taking his platoon out of a mine field in Vietnam. [1,225 words]
Timmya The Totter - And The Rise Of The Dead Part 2 by Rose Trimovski This next story has to deal with the next adventure that Ti... [6,731 words]
The Perfect Gift by T J Richards A woman goes to the middle east and finds the most unlikely of things while there. [1,681 words]
The Old Horse by Joan Bentley I wrote this one for my Dad and Arnold Palmer, believe it or not. Every year I would watch the U... [1,915 words]
The Magical Publishing Pen by Mila Strictzer Vegas and the devil. [4,596 words]
The Last Leaf by Abby Steed - [1,875 words]
The Gnome From Alaska by David Soriano A humorous short story involving... a gnome. [1,427 words]
The Cold Afterglow At The West End by David Soriano A short story involving mystery and some element of truth. [1,666 words]
The Band Played On
Tangled Web by Sue (Sooz) Simpson Treat `em mean and keep `em keen. [596 words]
Taking A Chance by Leigh Berry A story about facing fears while traveling in the post September 11 world. [679 words]
Sweet Child Of Mine by Sue (Sooz) Simpson The old lady had been brutally mugged, her son was sucjh a good boy, but would his thoughts... [1,843 words]
Scorn, Thy Name Is Woman by Norman A Rubin This is a story of murder committed by a meek little man upon his nagging and complain... [2,360 words]
Room For One More by Sue (Sooz) Simpson The dream was haunting and wouldn't leave Mike alone. [1,728 words]
Return Of The Hellcat (Erotica May Be Offensive) by Sue (Sooz) Simpson Please do not read this one if easily offended. Or even not so... [3,390 words]
Pact Of Joy. by Sue (Sooz) Simpson Don't we all just want to be happy? [2,497 words]
Out Of Print by Sue (Sooz) Simpson A man, a boy, a love of reading and echoes of the past. [2,007 words]
One-Man Race by Sue (Sooz) Simpson He had only his nerves to rely on. One slip and the race would be lost. [664 words]
Etagere by Karen L Snyder Étagčre--Set in the 1920's during Prohibition, a lady's husband is killed in a saloon brawl. She is wit... [9,649 words]
Dreamscape by Mila Strictzer A story about dreams. [4,963 words]
Death At The Conservatory by Frank Dunsmore John Benson watched Charles Manning sip from his water bottle. Throwing a smug, disda... [3,239 words]
A Darker Night by Albert Davis I think that in this world people all have dual identities and what you see is seldom the truth ... [1,507 words]
A Brush With Death by Frank Dunsmore Homicide Detective Schmidt with the Chicago PD visits the Art Institute to take a break from... [5,169 words]
Would You Like To Swing On A Star by Lisa Petro A short story of less than 1000 words about what is and what might be. [568 words]
The Pirate Ship by Kurt Kitasaki A short satire on employment practices. [230 words]
The Origin Of Our Five Senses by Stephanie Siegfred A children's story of how we came about to have the sense of taste, touch, hear, ... [591 words]
The Night Dancers by Moya Green What do you do when your best friend gets himself captured by the fairies? [1,522 words]
The Fantastical Adventure Of William Solney by Daniel Birnbaum A story to relive that freedom of youth which touches your heart an... [9,401 words]
The Elves And The Preacher by Norman A Rubin A modern version of the fairy story which tells of a goodly cleric and how he copes ... [1,603 words]
Roch by Sunny Cybersex. [289 words]
Mourning Glory by Sue (Sooz) Simpson One of my favourite pieces. Please note *This is not a children's story* It's the tale of a litt... [1,786 words]
Mortar Doesn't Breathe. by Sue (Sooz) Simpson The house was inanimate, dead ... because her child was gone. [1,114 words]
Making My Way Back To You. by Sue (Sooz) Simpson She'd told them a thousand times to keep the front door closed, now tragedy had stru... [1,926 words]
Madness Becomes You by Sue (Sooz) Simpson She used to be someone, now she's several people, or maybe she's nobody at all, it makes no... [394 words]
Little Bird by Sue (Sooz) Simpson He liked fragile things [1,406 words]
Knockers by Sue (Sooz) Simpson It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it. [2,210 words]
Just The Ticket by Sue (Sooz) Simpson You pays your money and you takes your chances. [5,177 words]
I've Always Wanted To Write... But! by Sue (Sooz) Simpson There's always an excuse if you want to find one. [510 words]
Is The Toilet Roll Half Full Or Half Empty by Sue (Sooz) Simpson It's hard when you're at bursting point. [423 words]
Airport Interrogation by Bryan Caron Susan thinks all men are jerks and doesn't feel she will ever find the right man until on... [2,579 words]
A Story With No Beginning by Bryan Caron A young writer wants to tell a fantastical tale but canot come up with a good beginni... [2,120 words]
A Date With Destiny by Stephanie Siegfred A suicide victim reflects upon her life and her fatal decision to end it when she is given ... [1,996 words]
The Wishfish by Moya Green Doris stared down at the kipper. The kipper stared back. "Don't eat me," it said. [1,861 words]
The Waiting Man by Dave Furniss - [577 words]
The Troubled Sky by Caitlin Gallacher-Turner A girl by the name of Cira, recently turned thirteen, discovers that she has the ability for s... [3,565 words]
The Midget by Nathaniel Perhay A story about a midget! [604 words]
The Heart Of The Storm by C G L Davies A bad storm makes me think. [586 words]
The Ghost Story Of Yotsu-Ya by Norman A Rubin The reader is brought to Japan during the era of the emperors - The story, based on... [1,961 words]
The Day I Killed Ryan Watts... by Lawrence Peters Just a joke inspired by a fellow poet. [157 words]
Story Of My Life by Ryan Watts A very short story with a meaning so shallow you'll puke. But read it anyway! [246 words]
Sixteen by Eloise H Anson Story about finding love, and the confusion, pain and angst that walks hand in hand with it. [3,411 words]
P.S.-I Love You by Pauline A White Frankie was just a good old country boy.He felt honored when Della became his woman. She was sm... [6,861 words]
Peter by Nathaniel Perhay A boy and his day! [1,100 words]
One More Fallen' by Jordan S Wilson a shrt overview of the tragic shooting of Tupac Shakure threw the eyes of his bodyguard. [1,944 words]
Noone To Nowhere by Alina Marquez Short story about a woman on a Greyhound bus to El Paso. [1,294 words]
Jacks, Or Better To Open by Lawrence Peters - [2,139 words]
Ghosts... by Lawrence Peters - [572 words]
From The Backbay Chronicles - Revival Week by Pauline A White Sundays in August were special times in the South. You had Revivals... [1,551 words]
From Backbay Chronicles - Mama And The Po-Lice by Pauline A White This is a story for pre and teenagers. It is part of a series o... [2,981 words]
From Backbay Chronicles - Visiting Day by Pauline A White Sometimes the Spirit can hit you really hard... [1,337 words]
Eyes by Lawrence Peters For Parker. [339 words]
Dogsbody by Moya Green It was during the great thunderstorm that George decided to become a dog [940 words]
Blood And Honour by Bradley Postma A tale of skinhead life and death... with a killer twist. Critiques are welcome. [10,135 words]
Backbay Chronicles - Randy And Sandy by Pauline A White 'A boy and his dog' is an old theme. Love is even older, and more rewardi... [2,696 words]
Baby Secrets... by Lawrence Peters Something you always want but should never have. [762 words]

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TITLE (EDIT)
The Band Played On
DESCRIPTION
-
[1,486 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Drama
AUTHOR
Sue (Sooz) Simpson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'm thirty nine, recently single again. I have two boys Cli' (pronounced clee) Real name Christopher and Mark. I'm a care in the community nurse and formerly (when I was married) an occupational Therapist working with the mentally ill on a secure unit. I love reading and writing and meeting people. I hate offal, seafood and intolerance. I keep dog, cat, polecats, rats and reptiles. And for seven years ran the second largest reptile sanctuary in Britain. Apart from having my lads, I think that's probably the most worthwhile thing I've ever done. Writing wise, I've been the main fiction writer for Legends magazine for three years.And have two books published 'Lizard's Leap' published by Quillusers, and 'Better the Devil You Know' soon to be released by Bestbooks.Um I drive a knackered old Astra, and ride a two litre trike. I live in the lake district of England, and am happy. :-)
[January 2003]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
[email protected]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (84)
A Fork In The Road. (Short Stories) A paradox revolving round the lonely Holker Mosses in the dead of night. [2,835 words] [Mystery]
A Twist In The Tail (Short Stories) - [963 words]
Agony (Short Stories) The First in a series of Agony columns written by the unstoppable Aunt Nasty. (May be deemed offensive) [1,200 words] [Comedy]
Agony 2 (Short Stories) Morew from the irrepresible Aunt Nasty (May be deemed offensive). [1,077 words] [Comedy]
Angel Stew (Short Stories) The kitchens are in uproar. [826 words] [Comedy]
Anne (Short Stories) - [707 words]
Apple Of His Eye (Short Stories) Daddy's little girl, Daddy's little sweetheart. (May be deemed offensive). [1,742 words] [Drama]
Attractions (Short Stories) People stared at the sisters and called them freaks. [678 words] [Drama]
Bandit At Twelve-O-Clock (Short Stories) A sinister note drops through her letter box, but who is it from and what's it all about? [2,144 words] [Drama]
Barriers (Short Stories) Everybody's frightened of the prisoner in the cell at the end of the block. [2,913 words] [Thriller]
Breakfast In Bed (Short Stories) She loved her husband so much, and a sepcial man deserves a special breakfast. [1,633 words] [Horror]
Car Trouble (Short Stories) Boys will be boys. [496 words] [Comedy]
Cat's Chorus (Short Stories) - [1,332 words]
Cherry Blossom (Short Stories) - [435 words]
Cold, Cold Night.. (Short Stories) The night was beautiful but biting, she had to make her final farewells, a cigarette would help. [630 words] [Drama]
Creeping Up From Behind. (Short Stories) You can't ever really know what someone else is thinking ... unless they choose to tell you. [925 words] [Drama]
Dark Solitude. (Short Stories) A woman alone on the moors when a storm threatens, but this is no ordinanry storm and that is no ordinary lady. [1,434 words] [Drama]
Dawn Rising (Short Stories) He looked at his own personal sunrise every morning, yet longed for the warmth of the sun. [1,069 words] [Drama]
Deadly Persuit (Short Stories) Nature at its most cruel .. when it's interfered with by man. [1,541 words] [Drama]
Deep Blue Eastern Light (Poetry) I've never been to Budapest, but I saw an image on a postcard, it was misty and had a sort of dreamy quality about it. I wondered about the spirit of Budapest. Hope I've done her justicce. [204 words]
Different Road (Short Stories) Charlie is running scared. Will he find his way before his precious time runs out? [521 words]
Empty House (Short Stories) This had been her domain, now it was only a shadow. [649 words] [Drama]
Find Me A Place (Poetry) Everybody needs somewhere to run. [193 words] [Drama]
Finding Fleur (Short Stories) Katy desperately wants to find Fleur, but does Fleur want to be found? [1,727 words] [Drama]
Four Minute Warning (Short Stories) - [476 words] [Comedy]
Freedom By Another Name (Short Stories) He's an imposter [557 words] [Drama]
Furtive Glances (Short Stories) Always the last to know! [891 words] [Drama]
Galaxy (Poetry) Let Venus bear witness and Mars be our guide. [139 words]
Hickory, Dickory, Dock (Short Stories) - [991 words] [Drama]
Is The Toilet Roll Half Full Or Half Empty (Short Stories) It's hard when you're at bursting point. [423 words] [Comedy]
I've Always Wanted To Write... But! (Short Stories) There's always an excuse if you want to find one. [510 words] [Mind]
Jasmine And Gardenia Love (Poetry) - [417 words] [Erotic]
Jinny (Poetry) - [176 words]
Just The Ticket (Short Stories) You pays your money and you takes your chances. [5,177 words] [Drama]
Knockers (Short Stories) It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it. [2,210 words] [Drama]
Little Bird (Short Stories) He liked fragile things [1,406 words] [Drama]
Lizards Leap (Novels) Four children buy an intricately carved frame from a school fair. A crazy old woman chases them desperately wanting the carving for herself. What is the mystery surrounding the strange frame? [5,753 words] [Adventure]
Long Walk Back To Jurassica (Poetry) Evolution and progress or three million steps backwards? [323 words] [Drama]
Lookingthrough The Window (Short Stories) - [401 words]
Madness Becomes You (Short Stories) She used to be someone, now she's several people, or maybe she's nobody at all, it makes no difference. [394 words] [Drama]
Making My Way Back To You. (Short Stories) She'd told them a thousand times to keep the front door closed, now tragedy had struck. [1,926 words] [Drama]
Memberwhen (Poetry) Memberwhen that mystical word of long ago memories. [189 words] [Drama]
Mortar Doesn't Breathe. (Short Stories) The house was inanimate, dead ... because her child was gone. [1,114 words] [Drama]
Mourning Glory (Short Stories) One of my favourite pieces. Please note *This is not a children's story* It's the tale of a little girl trying to be a child. [1,786 words] [Drama]
Mumbles From The Madhouse (Novels) It was her first day on the secure unit and somehow she had to see it through. [2,215 words] [Drama]
My Friend The Tiger And Me (Poetry) I wrote this for my little boy when he was having trouble at school. [942 words] [Animal]
Naughty Bunny Goes To Ibiza (Short Stories) - [552 words]
One-Man Race (Short Stories) He had only his nerves to rely on. One slip and the race would be lost. [664 words] [Drama]
Out Of Print (Short Stories) A man, a boy, a love of reading and echoes of the past. [2,007 words] [Drama]
Outrun The River (Poetry) The snow was melting fast and he owed it to himself and his seld of dogs to make it to safety. [145 words] [Action]
Pact Of Joy. (Short Stories) Don't we all just want to be happy? [2,497 words] [Drama]
Play With Me Please. (Short Stories) - [322 words]
Return Of The Hellcat (Erotica May Be Offensive) (Short Stories) Please do not read this one if easily offended. Or even not so easily offended. Continuing sexploits of Dark Solitude. [3,390 words] [Erotic]
Room For One More (Short Stories) The dream was haunting and wouldn't leave Mike alone. [1,728 words] [Drama]
Rush Hour (Short Stories) - [419 words]
Sally (Short Stories) - [2,268 words]
Sinister Music (Novels) She had no psychic ability, so why had fate chosen her to foretell of the spate of brutal murders? [6,114 words] [Drama]
So This Is My Life Then (Short Stories) - [517 words] [Comedy]
Space Walk (Short Stories) May Cause offense. [1,290 words] [Drama]
Spirit Dancer (Poetry) - [514 words]
Sweet Child Of Mine (Short Stories) The old lady had been brutally mugged, her son was sucjh a good boy, but would his thoughts now turn to revenge? [1,843 words] [Drama]
Tangled Web (Short Stories) Treat `em mean and keep `em keen. [596 words] [Drama]
The Big Picture (Short Stories) The little girl was a great artist, but her subject matter was giving cause for concern. [776 words] [Drama]
The Comet. (Short Stories) Remember! [796 words] [Drama]
The Dinosaur (Short Stories) - [1,523 words]
The Half Empty Glass. (Short Stories) They had no idea of the horror they were walking into. [3,030 words] [Drama]
The Hhmmm Efect (Poetry) - [783 words]
The Iceberg (Short Stories) She had to break the hold they had on him... release him from his parents grip. [410 words] [Drama]
The Joker (Short Stories) - [2,032 words]
The Lovers (Poetry) - [124 words]
The Mark Of Jack (Short Stories) The start of something maybe. [1,044 words] [Drama]
The Old Enemy (Short Stories) I just hope I've got the names right. [253 words] [Drama]
The Rosary (Short Stories) May cause offense. [422 words]
The Spark (Short Stories) - [557 words]
The Thirteenth Station (Short Stories) - [8,024 words] [Horror]
The Village Green. (Short Stories) - [559 words] [Drama]
Three Mile Gap (Poetry) So close and yet... [285 words] [Drama]
Tomorrow Lies Beside Us (Poetry) - [239 words] [Drama]
Tusk (Short Stories) - [1,012 words] [Drama]
Under The Whether (Short Stories) - [1,626 words]
Watching And Waiting (Short Stories) - [1,253 words] [Drama]
White Icing (Short Stories) - [1,385 words]
Worlds Biggest Loser (Short Stories) - [114 words]
You Are My Sunshine (Short Stories) - [1,285 words]
The Band Played On
Sue (Sooz) Simpson

The sweeping rises of neatly kept grassy banks resembled immense Appaloosa horse flanks. The leaves of the aristocratic oak boughs were making stencils for the probing rays of strong afternoon sunlight to dapple the lawns and grasses of the park.
Couples and family groups, elderly people and children all being drawn by the magnetic pull of the music, urging them towards the bandstand.

It was a graceful park, an architect’s triumph and landscapers crowning glory. Each weedy sapling had been planted with a century’s forethought. An artists fantasy had been an image of a tree-lined walk. Oaks and beeches bending their heads to whisper to each other over the tops of people passing beneath. He had planned and planted accordingly.

The walk opened out into the focal point of the park, a circular clearing large enough to place seating for three hundred people, all facing the central bandstand. A bandstand surrounded by a Lilly-padded moat. The conical structure of darkened wood stately in its elegance, strong in its ability to withstand the elements of time, topped with a hexagonal canopy gently sloping to protect the musicians from the worst of the British summer weather.
 
They walked in the park that Sunday the way they had during countless other lazy weekends together. Her delicate hand looped under his sleeve and resting lightly on his forearm. The weight of it the merest burden. They walked in silence as all the words had already been spoken.

And the band played on.

It had been force of habit to come here. This was where they always came. They had listened to the band and held hands on many lazy summer afternoons. They walked by the lake and leaned into each others embrace on nights when the sky covered them from prying eyes with a canopy of Indigo Velvet. It was here, one crisp winter’s night, when his lips had fist brushed hers, his ice-cold nose resting against her cheek. It was here that they had fallen in love. Here as they stood in the deserted bandstand that he had dropped to one knee and asked her to be his bride. And now, here they were again. Today surrounded by other people. People living through their own drama’s and crisis, or merely stagnating on a Sunday afternoon.
 
And the band played on.

 He turned to her, his eyes beseeching and it was at that second that the last light of hope burning there flickered and finally sputtered out, leaving only an expression of dull acceptance blinking back at her.
 
And the band played on

Her pale hand cupped the weathered brown skin of his face, he leant his cheek into the familiar softness of her touch. She smiled at him. A sweet sad, smile and her clear eyes said the word that her lips could not muster.


Those beautiful, blue eyes that had once frightened him with the intensity of passion that smouldered there. Eyes that had locked his, holding them captive. Not allowing him to break their hold for one second as his need of her had exploded through his body to match hers at the mutual moment of release. Eyes that had not sparked with passion for some time but only managed to convey that one lonely word. Goodbye. Her lips when they touched his cheek were cold. She stood up, leaving him in his seat. He couldn’t have moved if he had tried. He watched her walk away. Her skirt swishing around her legs as she walked. She never once looked back. That was how Freddie remembered her. Walking back into the sunlight.

The band had stopped playing.

Many years later a different woman walked in the park. She pulled the collar of her fleece tightly round her neck, the clammy wetness of suede gloves touching her under the chin. She shivered. It was a bitterly cold evening. The icy-coldness seemed appropriate to her mood. She had felt compelled to get out of the house. She knew she was not going to be able to cope for much longer living with a man who’s touch turned her blood to ice. She had almost shuddered tonight as he had moved behind her and groped roughly at her breast. She was scared to stay, scared to leave, scared to breathe. He had pivoted her towards him, his fingers biting into the soft flesh of her upper arms. His leer and harsh feted breath telling her what was on his mind. His vulgar hardness stretching the material of his pants, a small darkened stain showing that he had already past the point where he could be deterred. He had fumbled at the buttons of her shirt mumbling coarse ugly words. His foul breath was causing her to turn her head. The stench of the drinking he’d done at lunchtime now stale and sour, it reflected the ugliness of his mood.

Growing impatient with his half-drunken fumbling he had ripped the material apart. He pulled the cups of her bra down so that he breasts fell free and then she resigned herself to what she knew would at least be a brief humiliation. His hot wet mouth had clamped itself to her breast. His hands rucked up the material of her skirt as he forced her back against the sink unit. Her pants were ripped from her body, the elastic cutting into her flesh before giving way with a loud rip. She closed her eyes, and prayed he would at least be quiet. He released himself, from the restricting material of his pants and took her savagely. Using his penis like a road worker might use a phenumatic drill. Devoid of all tenderness or love. To think that she had once enjoyed this kind of rough sex, it had been new and exciting. He had been exciting then, the naughty boy she thought she could tame. She had long ago stopped craving a gentle touch and slow soft easy lovemaking. These days all she wanted was to be left alone.
It was over in a matter of seconds. A grunt, a shudder a mess to clean up, but done. At least he hadn’t hit her. She had got off lightly. More importantly the kids remained glued to the Television in the next room oblivious to what had just taken place. She thanked the God she didn’t believe in for this small mercy.

In the shower she had scrubbed at the raised welts on her thighs where he had gripped her hard during his orgasm. She rubbed soap into the tender bruises on her breasts, amazed that anybody could describe these as “Love bites”. They were the brand of an animal.

She had to get free of the house, breathe some fresh air. If she didn’t get out surely she would take a knife to him as he slept.

She brushed a tear from her cheek with the glove, her face stung with the biting wind. It was a clean welcome stinging.
As she neared the end of the tree walk that led to the bandstand she heard the low rhythmic creaking. It sounded like a child swinging slowly backwards and forewords on a swing. She knew what this was. Knew that it was far more sinister than a child at play. The hairs rose at the back of her neck, and her arms became a mass of gooosepimples beneath her thick layers of clothing. She knew what she was going to see as she reached the clearing, yet felt compelled to keep moving forward.

The body hanging from the bandstand roof swung slowly to and fro. Head to chest arms limp. The ghost of Freddie Brown should have sent her screaming back along the path, as it had so many others. Yet she felt no fear. All she felt was a dawning enlightenment. She thought of her children.

The jogger heard the slow steady creak. She slowed but could not stop. Feeling herself drawn to the bandstand, she knew she was going to see the Ghost of Freddie brown, She was terrified and yet at the same time a little excited.
Sarah reached the clearing and screamed.
Her mother’s body swung from the roof of the bandstand, head to chest, arms limp.

Her Stepfather had insisted on holding a memorial service in her mother’s memory at the bandstand in the park. He really was a crass, vile little man. He had taken her mother, but more than that he had taken the respect she had always had for her mother. How could anyone leave their child to the unwanted attentions of a violent drunkard. Sarah had never felt less loved.
The service droned on, but she had switched off. All she saw was her Mothers body swinging backwards and forwards. Her thoughts turned to the length of rope in the garden shed. Later she would carry that same length of rope to the bandstand. She stood with the others to sing Abide with me.

And the band played on.
    
 

 

READER'S REVIEWS (2)
DISCLAIMER: STORYMANIA DOES NOT PROVIDE AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEWS. ALL REVIEWS ARE PROVIDED BY NON-ASSOCIATED VISITORS, REGARDLESS OF THE WAY THEY CALL THEMSELVES.

"Calloused 1’s Review: The Band Played On Sue (Sooz) Simpson The sweeping rises of neatly kept grassy banks resembled immense Appaloosa horse flanks. The leaves of the aristocratic oak boughs were making stencils for the probing rays of strong afternoon sunlight to dapple the lawns and grasses of the park. ***Quite a mouthful, would never play well to an American audience*** Couples and family groups, elderly people and children all being drawn by the magnetic pull of the music, urging them towards the bandstand. It was a graceful park, an architect’s triumph and landscapers ***Apostrophe*** crowning glory. Each weedy sapling had been planted with a century’s forethought. An artists ***’*** fantasy had been an image of a tree-lined walk. Oaks and beeches bending their heads to whisper to each other over the tops of people passing beneath. He had planned and planted accordingly. The walk opened out into the focal point of the park, a circular clearing large enough to place seating for three hundred people, all facing the central bandstand. A bandstand surrounded by a Lilly-padded ***I’m not so certain “lily” needs to be capitalized here.*** moat. The conical structure of darkened wood stately in its elegance, strong in its ability to withstand the elements of time, topped with a hexagonal canopy gently sloping to protect the musicians from the worst of the British summer weather. ***Excellent use of description, and well placed too since it is obvious that this will become the focal point of the story. Some writers make the mistake of overly describing things that have no importance whatsoever.*** They walked in the park that Sunday the way they had during countless other lazy weekends together. Her delicate hand looped under his sleeve and resting lightly on his forearm. The weight of it the merest burden. They walked in silence as all the words had already been spoken. And the band played on. ***My editorial eye is prophetically foreseeing the beginning of a motif here. I hope I’m wrong though, it never works that well outside of poetry, and for the post part was laid to rest at the beginning of the 20th century.*** It had been force of habit to come here. This was where they always came. They had listened to the band and held hands on many lazy summer afternoons. They walked by the lake and leaned into each ***other’s*** embrace on nights when the sky covered them from prying eyes with a canopy of Indigo Velvet ***Unless the canopy has some sort of marquee sign on it, I don’t see why you need to capitalize this.*** . It was here, one crisp winter’s night, when his lips had fist ***”fist” he whacked her in the mouth?*** brushed hers, his ice-cold nose resting against her cheek. It was here that ***as any editor worth his salt will tell you, get rid of “that” in most cases. It adds nothing. There are other cases in your work, but I won’t point them out, since I’ve already mentioned it. Just be sure to look for them.*** they had fallen in love. Here as they stood in the deserted bandstand that he had dropped to one knee and asked her to be his bride. And now, here they were again. Today surrounded by other people. People living through their own drama’s ***Why is “drama” placed with a possessive apostrophe? Nothing belongs to it in this sentence.*** and crisis, or merely stagnating on a Sunday afternoon. And the band played on. ***It looks as though I’m unfortunately correct about the use of motif. The author either has a strong background in very old work or in poetry. I’d suggest getting away from that if you want to write for a modern-day drama audience.*** He turned to her, his eyes beseeching and it was at that second that the last light of hope burning there flickered and finally sputtered out, leaving only an expression of dull acceptance blinking back at her. And the band played on Her pale hand cupped the weathered brown skin of his face, he leant his cheek into the familiar softness of her touch. She smiled at him. A sweet sad, smile and her clear eyes said the word that her lips could not muster. Those beautiful, blue eyes that had once frightened him with the intensity of passion that smouldered ***I’d suggest dropping all non-standard variations of words. I know that they are Old English, and therefore predate modern American English, but you need to remember that you are trying to convey your work to a modern day audience, therefore emulating Shakespeare wouldn’t do.*** there. Eyes that had locked his, holding them captive. Not allowing him to break their hold for one second as his need of her had exploded through his body to match hers at the mutual moment of release. Eyes that had not sparked with passion for some time but only managed to convey that one lonely word. Goodbye. Her lips when they touched his cheek were cold. She stood up, leaving him in his seat. He couldn’t have moved if he had tried. He watched her walk away. Her skirt swishing ***I’d use any other word “but” swishing*** around her legs as she walked. She never once looked back. That was how Freddie remembered her. Walking back into the sunlight. The band had stopped playing. Many years later a different woman walked in the park. She pulled the collar of her fleece tightly round her neck, the clammy wetness of suede gloves touching her under the chin. She shivered. It was a bitterly cold evening. The icy-coldness seemed appropriate to her mood. She had felt compelled to get out of the house. She knew she was not going to be able to cope for much longer living with a man who’s ***whose*** touch turned her blood to ice. She had almost shuddered tonight as he had moved behind her and groped roughly at her breast. She was scared to stay, scared to leave, scared to breathe. He had pivoted her towards him, his fingers biting into the soft flesh of her upper arms. His leer and harsh feted breath telling her what was on his mind. His vulgar hardness stretching the material of his pants, a small darkened stain showing that he had already past the point where he could be deterred. He had fumbled at the buttons of her shirt mumbling coarse ugly words. His foul breath was causing her to turn her head. The stench of the drinking he’d done at lunchtime now stale and sour, it reflected the ugliness of his mood. Growing impatient with his half-drunken fumbling he had ripped the material apart. He pulled the cups of her bra down so that he breasts fell free and then she resigned herself to what she knew would at least be a brief humiliation. His hot wet mouth had clamped itself to her breast. His hands rucked ***Another non-standard word*** up the material of her skirt as he forced her back against the sink unit. Her pants were ripped from her body, the elastic cutting into her flesh before giving way with a loud rip. She closed her eyes, and prayed he would at least be quiet. He released himself, from the restricting material of his pants and took her savagely. Using his penis like a road worker might use a phenumatic ***I’m torn between deciding whether this is OE or just a misspelling. In any event respell it “pneumatic”*** drill. Devoid of all tenderness or love. To think that she had once enjoyed this kind of rough sex, it had been new and exciting. He had been exciting then, the naughty boy she thought she could tame. She had long ago stopped craving a gentle touch and slow soft easy lovemaking. These days all she wanted was to be left alone. It was over in a matter of seconds. A grunt, a shudder a mess to clean up, but done. At least he hadn’t hit her. She had got off lightly. More importantly the kids remained glued to the Television in the next room oblivious to what had just taken place. She thanked the God she didn’t believe in for this small mercy. In the shower she had scrubbed at the raised welts on her thighs where he had gripped her hard during his orgasm. She rubbed soap into the tender bruises on her breasts, amazed that anybody could describe these as “Love bites”. They were the brand of an animal. She had to get free of the house, breathe some fresh air. If she didn’t get out surely she would take a knife to him as he slept. She brushed a tear from her cheek with the glove, her face stung with the biting wind. It was a clean welcome stinging. As she neared the end of the tree walk that led to the bandstand she heard the low rhythmic creaking. It sounded like a child swinging slowly backwards and forewords on a swing. She knew what this was. Knew that it was far more sinister than a child at play. The hairs rose at the back of her neck, and her arms became a mass of gooosepimples ***Switch from the British to the American and say “goosebumps”*** beneath her thick layers of clothing. She knew what she was going to see as she reached the clearing, yet felt compelled to keep moving forward. The body hanging from the bandstand roof swung slowly to and fro. Head to chest arms limp. The ghost of Freddie Brown should have sent her screaming back along the path, as it had so many others. Yet she felt no fear. All she felt was a dawning enlightenment. She thought of her children. The jogger heard the slow steady creak. She slowed but could not stop. Feeling herself drawn to the bandstand, she knew she was going to see the Ghost of Freddie brown, She was terrified and yet at the same time a little excited. Sarah reached the clearing and screamed. ***You throw out names and events at us. Obviously you know who they are and how they are related, but you expect your reader to guess.*** Her mother’s body swung from the roof of the bandstand, head to chest, arms limp. Her Stepfather ***Unless his name is Stepfather, no caps*** had insisted on holding a memorial service in her mother’s memory at the bandstand in the park. He really was a crass, vile little man. ***You’re telling not showing, which is especially bad here since it isn’t being narrated by a character, instead it is being narrated omnisciently and therefore why does a non-existent person have such strong feelings to interject into the story?*** He had taken her mother, but more than that he had taken the respect she had always had for her mother. How could anyone leave their child to the unwanted attentions of a violent drunkard. ***? required***Sarah had never felt less loved. The service droned on, but she had switched off. All she saw was her Mothers ***’*** body swinging backwards and forwards ***change to “back and forth”***. Her thoughts turned to the length of rope in the garden shed. Later she would carry that same length of rope to the bandstand. She stood with the others to sing Abide with me. ***Since “Abide with me” appears to be the title of a song, be sure to offset it.*** And the band played on. ***Alright the story in and of itself is interesting, but what is the point of it? You introduce some fine possible plot threads, but then nonchalantly toss them aside. The story then culminates in the reader asking what the writer wanted to say with the piece.*** " -- Cam Davis.
"I think the general idea was that this one was left a bit to readr interpretation. Can't really remember what i was trying to say it's a long time since I wrote it. thank you and thanks Cam." -- Sooz, Cumbria, England, Cumbria.

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2000 Sue (Sooz) Simpson
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
July 2002
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
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