You don’t think things through as a kid do you? You don’t consider the consequences or effect of your actions. It’s harmless fun when you are ten. Isn't it?
Hilda Hodge's shrieking voice still lingers in my mind. Even now I can see her waving her fist as we ran for cover giggling about out latest prank. After all, what harm could a firework through a letter box do? She hated kids, really hated them so we taunted her repeatedly. 'Grumpy Grandma' we used to yell, 'Grumpy Grandma'.
It wasn’t until last week that I felt the guilt; realised what we had done twelve years ago. I work for the council doing house clearances. You know; someone dies and nobody cares, so we go in and empty the place. We went to Hilda’s dilapidated house.
I pushed open the door, sweeping aside a pile of unopened letters and junk mail. I stood for a while taking in everything around me, realising that there was more to Hilda than the screaming woman I remembered. I felt a cold draft. I was surrounded by fragments of a life I never considered. A redundant walking stick, an empty bird cage, an unwashed tea cup. On a dresser stood several framed photos; photos of children. One holding a certificate, another dancing in a bright costume to an audience of applauding adults. One in a wheelchair. On the floor was a letter. It was from a children’s hospice charity; just a few sentences. Thank you Mrs Hodges it said, and below were dozens of children’s names; big, small, wobbly and neat, the way kid's signatures are. And kisses. Lots of kisses.
I hope we’ll meet one day Mrs Hodges. You know; up there. Until then there can be no conclusion.
Of this week's 12 words at Sunday's Whirligig, I used these 10:-
grammar (grandma) sentences, fragments, redundant, repetition (repeatedly) style, voice, draft, conclusion, lingering (lingers)