Jim Miller Jim Miller
Recommendations: 29

What's mizzle. Not a word that I'm familiar with.

Olivia Chen Olivia Chen
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What is 'two foot six long'? I don't really understand American measurements, though I know how long is two foot.

Jim Miller Jim Miller
Recommendations: 29

2 feet six inches. That would be your 2 feet plus another 1/2 foot. (6 inches would be 1/2 foot; 12 inches to the foot) Clear yet?

Sylvia Merrett Sylvia Merrett
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Mizzle is a cross between drizzle (fine rain) and mist. Two foot six is an English measurement. A foot (12 inches)is around 35 centimetres. Hope that helps

Jim Miller Jim Miller
Recommendations: 29

Is cooker a British word for stove?

Sylvia Merrett Sylvia Merrett
Recommendations: 0

Yes, cooker is a British word for stove in that it is something you cook on.

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Sylvia Merrett Sylvia Merrett
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Black Thursday


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She had a friend.

This writing contains explicit content and is only for adults. You have been warned.

short story written as uni assignment.


Black Thursday by Sylvia Merrett


She started to come to.  Her head felt like a football that had had one too many kickings.  Her tongue twice as large as normal and tasting foul was like a peeled hedgehog squashed into a split coconut shell.


The room was cold, gloomy and smelt.  Lumpy shadows framed the windows and doors.  Coughing and spluttering she tried to sit up; aware that she was laying on something soft.  Where am I, she thought?  Slowly realisation dawned.  She rolled over and two shapes became visible.  One about two foot six long, the other a spiky ball of black; mouth open, eyes bulging.
Her mind struggled to comprehend for a moment what was happening.  Gradually realisation dawned.  She reached out to touch the bigger object.  She shook it, shouted at it.  There was no response.
Stuffing her hand in her mouth to stop herself from screaming out loud she ran down the stairs, out of the flat; her clothes in disarray, feet clad in only one slipper.  As she reached the fresh air her body heaved, vomiting violently over the flags.
Her brain was telling her to get away as quick as she could.  She stumbled off in the direction of the entrance to the cul-de-sac.   A cloying dampness on her skin was a combination of the sweat of fear and mizzle that was falling as dusk fell.   4 comments


****
Thursday morning.  Trevor was looking forward to a cup of tea, breakfast, and most of all sleep.  Yesterday had been long. Tired, feeling he was going down with a cold. His throat hurt and nose was blocked.

He had left home at 5am Wednesday to drive from Aldershot to Hartlepool; lorry loaded with furniture the day before.   Unloading beds, chairs, boxes, a woman, her little boy and a hamster with the help of mate Jim, he had a couple of hours sleep in the back of the removal van. They then hit the road home, driving through the night.


Trevor was used to being on the road, in fact he liked it.  If pushed he would say he preferred it.  Turning the radio on he and Jim would banter. The constantly changing scenery made time fly by.  


Turning off the A1 onto the car park of Tony’s 24 hour Truck Stop his stomach rumbled.  With half the journey still to complete his mouth watered with anticipation.  He enjoyed the camaraderie found in the transport cafes dotted about the roads and byways. Little homes from home run by cheery women, willingly slapping rashers of bacon and eggs sunny side up on thick white china plates, slopping strong sweet tea into pint sized mugs.

“‘Well they would be if home felt like home”.


Married life hadn’t turned out how he thought it would be.  Brenda was always miserable, didn’t like sex, and he would come home at different times of the day to find her in bed asleep.  Four year old Susan would be half dressed, playing with her toys talking to herself or listlessly lying on the bed.


He loved Susan in his own way, but felt he hadn’t really been able to get close to her as he was away so much.  ‘’Being the man of the house he had to provide the money to keep a roof over their heads, didn’t he?!’’   Having been in the RAF when he met and married Brenda – they had been writing to each other as pen pals - up until a year ago they had all been living with Brenda’s parents.  Crowded with no privacy and a crying baby to boot in their bedroom.  Three females spanning the generations;  his father -in-law out at work all day.  Home on leave he felt like the proverbial spare part!


Turning the Morris 8 into the cul-de-sac his watch said 9am.  He looked to see if Susan was  waiting for him.  Sometimes if Brenda had told her when he was expected home she would be looking out for him.  Waiting half way up the road, wanting to see her Daddy, and also wanting to hitch a ride on the running board.  Winding the window down to kiss her hello her little hands would hold onto the door as he slowly drove to the bottom.


She wasn’t there.  His shoulders sagged.  Pulling up outside the flat, opening and shutting the car door, he wearily walked up the path.  Putting the key in the lock he found the door ajar.  ‘’Silly cow forgot to shut it last night’’ he grumbled to himself and started to climb the stairs.  


‘’Hello, Brenda, Susan?  I’m ho-ome’’.  There was no reply.  ‘’In fucking bed again’’ he muttered.  Throwing his sheepskin fur collared black jacket , a legacy from his RAF days, on the hook in the hallway, he walked into the bathroom unzipping his flies as he went.  A long stream of piss arced its way into the pan ‘‘phew, that’s better’’.   Being on the road meant he had learned to hang on as much as possible, but he was sure it wasn’t good for his bladder.


Sighing, he washed and dried his hands knowing he was going to have to make his own breakfast if he wanted anything to eat.  Putting the kettle on however was his first priority…


Pushing the kitchen door, which was half closed, he felt it stick.  Leaning harder he realised there was something behind it stopping him getting in.   He squeezed round.  Blinking, trying to make sense of what he could see in the half light.   Tired eyes sent a myriad of confusing messages to his brain.


NO!

On the floor were a pile of red cushions from the second hand sofa he had acquired.  On those cushions were some rumpled blankets and what looked like one of Susan’s soft furry toys; the cat one she called Binky.

The curtains were closed, indicating that no one had yet been up so the light was dim.  Rather than turn the switch on he climbed over the cushions to the window, pulled back the curtains and let some light in.  


He realised he would need to clear up the mess that had obviously been left from some game that Susan had been playing; her mother couldn’t be bothered to clear up.  Realising he could smell gas he twiddled the knobs on the cooker, then punched the window open as he was starting to gag.  The air vent was blocked with newspaper. 2 comments


‘’Oh my God, what’s that I have trodden on?’’


Beneath his foot he felt underneath the blankets something hard but soft.  Pulling back the blanket he saw a yellow jumper.  Lying there was Susan.  Next to her what he thought was the fluffy toy was in fact their cat Bimbo.  Bimbo with his glassy staring eyes and wide open mouth as if trying to draw breath, was very much dead.


Trevor fell on his knees –‘’Susan, Susan, wake up Susan.  Daddy’s home, Daddy’s here’’, he was sobbing now.  His little girl.  There was something wrong.   An unexpected powerful emotion coursed through his body.    


He got hold of her hand, not able to comprehend what his senses were telling him.  He started sobbing.  Her little body was cold, her eyes staring lifelessly at the ceiling.  Susan too was dead.  


He leapt up and started calling.  ‘‘Brenda, Brenda’’.  Rushing into their bedroom he saw that the bed had not been slept in. There was no reply.  A quick look in the front room told him she was not there.


Running  screaming from the flat, knocking on doors, shouting.  Neighbours came out to see what the noise was.  Mrs C, downstairs at number 14, unable to get any sense out of Trevor ran into number 16.  She ran out, ‘’Police, ambulance.  Someone, dial 999!’’


It wasn’t long before blue flashing lights and waweep, waweep, waweep sirens materialised, clogging the small area at the bottom of the cul-de-sac.


Men in heavy boots and blue or green uniforms took charge.  Trevor beside himself was incoherent. “My” - sob-hic ” little” hic-sob ” girl”.


Sergeant Bob Clayton, the senior officer in the patrol car stepped up to Trevor.  “What’s your name Sir?”  


Tre-vor, Trevor Cook.  


”What is the problem Mr Cook?”


”It’s my Susan” he wailed ”she’s dead!”


”Is there a Mrs Cook – the child’s mother, Mr Cook?”


”Yes”


“Where is she?”


“I don’t know”.

By this time he was shaking - a mixture of shock, lack of sleep and hunger.  


“I only got back from work less than an hour ago. “She wasn’t there.”


By this time one of the ambulance men had come out of the flat with the other policeman.


“Stand back please everyone” said PC Les Graham.

There was quite a gathering of people outside the gate; all wanting to get a better look.  Whispering amongst themselves; wondering what had happened.

“Please go back to your homes, there is nothing to see.”  


The ambulance man Jack Hickman, spoke to the Sergeant.


“There is a female child in there, she is dead.  It appears she has been dead for some hours.  There is nothing we can do”.


Les Graham had joined them.  “There is no one else in the flat Sir”.


“OK” said Bob.  “You guys go back to your depot.   Les, you stand guard on the door until we have arranged to secure the scene and SOCO arrive.”  I have radioed for a car to come and get Mr Cook.


****


Across the other side of town Bill’s alarm clock went off at 6am.  He got up, looked out of the window into the darkness to see what the weather was doing.  “Not a bad day” he said to Helen his wife.  She had stirred at the sound of the big brass bell clanging out its noisy one note tune.  It was drizzling, that was all to the good.  Fish came to the surface better when it was raining.  


He pulled on his green trousers, check shirt and old pullover with the frayed cuffs and darned elbows.  His tackle box had been made ready the night before and Helen had prepared his pack up with his favourite cheese and tomato sandwiches. He poured boiling water into his flask of tea.  Shrugging  into his oilskin jacket and sou’wester, eager to get going and be sitting on the riverbank.


Rod, line and net all set up with bait hooked, Bill sat down to while away a few hours just as dawn was breaking.  The rain had stopped.  A soft mist hung over the wet trees and bushes.  The fish were quiet.  Needing a pee Bill got up and headed towards the bridge a few yards away to obtain a modicum of privacy.


Just as he was zipping up he heard a low moan.  Turning round quickly in surprise he heard it again.  It was coming from the other side of the abutment.


‘Hello, are you ok?’  There


was a louder moan this time.  Hurrying to have a look Bill found a bedraggled woman, soaking wet and shoeless, crumpled up.


Spotting a man walking his dog on the opposite riverbank he shouted across.  ‘HELP, HELP – please can you call for an ambulance, there is a woman here in a bad way.’


Back at the police station Trevor was sitting in an interview room.  On the other side of the door PC Graham at the station desk was taking a phone call.  “Could someone attend as soon as possible at Hop Bridge on the River Wey, a woman has been found.  Ambulance on its way”.


****


At Farnham General Staff Nurse Green pulled out the thermometer, nodded to the young policeman sat by the bed.

“She is starting to regain consciousness.  However she needs to rest so you cannot ask any questions yet”


The unknown woman, brought in by ambulance that morning on the verge of hypothermia began muttering to herself.


“Su.  Sus”.
She started to become more agitated.
  
“No.”  “No, No”


As the needle went into her arm her body relaxed.


****


Back at the police station Trevor Cook was being interviewed by DI Lupton.
A knock at the door and PC Graham entered.


“Can I have a word Sir?”


Outside the room the PC informed DI Lupton that an unknown woman found by the River Wey had been taken to hospital.  She had just started to regain consciousness.


Returning to the interview room the DI facing Trevor Cook said, “We may have found your wife”.


Trevor went white.


“Please can you give us a description of her?”


To be continued


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