Summer of content - Chapter 4

Markthespark By Markthespark, 27th May 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

The relationships that are formed by people when they are young and how due to unforeseen circumstances they have to go their separate ways one day. And as you get older you sometimes wonder what happened to that person (s)

A sad day in Thorn Grove

The phone rings in the hallway of the Remington household. It’s a Saturday morning – the perfect time for local villagers to laze a bit after a busy week of farm life. Neither Remington senior nor Josh seem eager to answer the call. “ Josh, you want to get that!” Remington calls out from the study where he is busy reading. Josh is still lying in bed … he drags himself up and ambles down the winding staircase to the phone.

He picks it up thinking it might be Jamie asking him to come out cycling in the woods. “Yeah … ?”. There is a brief silence before the voice on the other side says: “ Josh? .. hi , Josh?”. Josh jolts out of his still sleepy state as though struck by a thunderbolt, and says more out of shock than surprise: “Mm .. Mill .. Millie IS IT YOU?” Millie is sobbing and sounds hurried in her voice. “Come quick Josh .. come over, quickly …” .

Josh, though equally concerned, doesn’t know what to make of her request. “But .. Millie your dad …” “Never mind .. just come .. please … come over quickly…”, she says before breaking down again. Before Josh can ask another question, Millie puts the receiver down on him. Remington, hearing the commotion from down the hallway, is standing in the passageway. “What’s going on … Josh?” he asks rather pertinently. Josh ignores his father’s question and dashes past him in obvious haste. “JOSH .. what’s happening,” he calls out as his son hastens to his room ...

“Millie wants me to come round,” Josh shouts as he rapidly ascends the staircase. Remington is alarmed by his son’s response. “Hey you’re not allowed to go there you’re banned …” Josh is already dressed in T-shirt, jeans and cycling boots; and says to his father as he runs out via the kitchen door… “Millie needs me .. I’m not sure what’s happening .. I have to go.”

Remington dashes out after him: “ JOSH .. JOSH!” Josh jumps onto his bicycle and races out the back gate and onto the gravel stretch of path that winds its way towards Kowsloski’s farmhouse. Remington comes running out in a bid to stop his son but is too late. Josh pedals away furiously, taking a short cut through fields, scraping his legs against bushes and getting annoying burweed stuck to his socks.

Thorn Grove basks in its picture postcard moment . The cattle are out grazing in the lush landscape that extends to as far as the eye can see. The surface of the river glistens as the little fish that lap the water create ripples that every now and then catch the sun’s rays. The daffodils that dot the landscape, with the clear blue skies as backdrop, give this canvas a colourful edge to it.

But Josh’s panic and haste are in sharp contrast to the breathtaking setting before him. He passes by the homes of Buster and Jamie but is so rushed he cannot stop to ask them to accompany him. Besides, it will take a lot of persuading anyway after their unnerving experience with Kowsloski a few days ago.

There is a freshness to the summer air … not too hot, not too cold .. the perfect summer’s day they’d say in Thorn Grove. Jamie’s heart is beating faster. All he hears playing over and over in his head as he negotiates the pathways next to farm meadows and stables, is the panic in Millie’s voice. A police vehicle from the local station with its red and blue flashing siren, brushes past him . They almost knock him off his bike. Josh doesn’t even notice he’s had a close shave. He can see Kowsloski’ s farmhouse in the distance as he pedals away frantically.

Josh is going so fast he almost crashes into a section of onlookers who have now gathered around the home. In one blink of an eye he sees, police in their uniforms on the fringes watching and keeping control of the scene, others with gloves walking around the home and he even sees a fire engine, with firemen standing next to it. He tries to weave his way through in a bid to get to the front of the farmhouse, but the crowd prevent him from doing so. “ I must get in.. ,” says Josh as he tried to work his way through the throng.

“Hey you freaking blighter .. you can’t just bulldoze your way through here..” says an irate onlooker. “But I must … Millie wants me…” says Josh at a older man blocking his path. “What, you little pipsqueak’ll get clobbered now off you go …” says another.

Josh, who’s chest is heaving from the recent exertion, gets off his bicycle and works his way around the crowd, He cannot even see ahead of him as they are obscuring his view. Eventually he asks a bystander with a chequered peak cap in between deep breaths.. “Mister …mister can you tell me what happened here..” The bystander looks down at Josh: “You need to know lad?” Josh takes offence and says …”Yeah mister … I know the family…” “Yes lad I bet you do … your family probably has as much money as the Kowsloskis … that’s the only way you’ll get to know them.”

“No … no! … I know his daughter, Millie, she’s a friend..” The man looks from under his peak cap and says: “Oh, then .. she’ll have it harder now … she won’t have a mom around anymore now…” Josh is just a little bit perturbed now … “What d’ya mean .. mister …?” “You mean you don’t know son .. her mom killed herself .. committed suicide I believe .. . hung herself in the garage …”

Jamie falls silent and looks down towards the ground. “Hey .. not sure lad, it must be a bugger living with a man like that ,” says the man. “Now get out of here .. no business here for you.”

Josh beats a hasty retreat and manages to find an empty space beyond the crowd. The yellow crime scene tape flaps around him in the wind. He sees Millie standing by the window looking towards him. She is emotional and crying. He can just about make out her father in the background attired in the same tracksuit pants and T-shirt, speaking to police quite animatedly. Josh is relieved. At least he has seen Millie. He throws her a wave and gesticulates he will call her later. Millie nods her head approvingly and turns away from the window.

Josh turns his bike around and starts pedalling determinedly back home. He can’t seem to stomach the day’s tragic events around the Kowsloski household – besides the boys’ run-in a few days ago with Millie’s father has not dissipated. And now this – Millie’s mum’s suicide! Josh cannot understand why the townsfolk should gather at the scene the way they did, - he thought it rather unsympathetic.

The sun has gone behind some cloud and the wind has morphed into a stiff breeze. The daffodils are swaying to and fro and the willow trees are whipped into a frenzy by the gusts of wind. The river looks too cold and deserted – a sure sign the weather is about to change.

Josh rides into his backyard; He cannot avoid Remington senior, who is standing on the front lawn beside the swimming pool. “What do you think you are doing lad … you are a true rebel” “Why did you go down there, when you are banned from the Kowsloski premises?”. Josh is in no mood to answer his father as he places the bicycle in the shed. He empties the dogs’ bowls and prepares to give them some dry biscuits. “Josh … Josh, I asked you what are were doing …"

Josh in a fit of anger asks his father: “All you are worried is about your stupid life … like someone owes you something?” “Do you know how Millie feels at this time?”
Remington is rather bewildered by Josh’s comments. “What do you mean, he asks?: “Her mother’s just hung herself … dad!” Josh is now looking directly into his father’s eyes. “Do you even understand dad?” Millie's mom committed suicide in their garage today.”

Josh throws the dogs’ food bowls to the ground in anger and rushes to his room. As he shuts his door, he wishes the ground could open and swallow him into the bowels of the earth at that moment.

And, as Josh falls onto his bed totally exhausted, Remington senior is still standing outside quite shocked by the news. It seems the weather is certainly changing for the worse in Thorn Grove.

Chapter 5 to follow/...


Article, Author, Content, Short Story, Summer, Writing

Meet the author

author avatar Markthespark
I am a 49 year old journalist, and have been involved in the profession for 19 years. I am currently a newspaper sub-editor at a newspaper group in Port Elizabeth on the east coast of South Africa. .

Share this page

moderator Steve Kinsman moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


author avatar Songbird B
8th Apr 2014 (#)

Your imagery is quite stunning Mark, and I like the way your story flows.. You can feel the emotions of the characters and how they react to a situation..Powerful..\0/x

Reply to this comment

author avatar Markthespark
9th Apr 2014 (#)

Thanks for that ... sometimes though I do get writer's block and I have to think hard - especially after a day at my work sitting behind a computer. Thank you. Please keep inspiring me - I am certainly moved. Have a blessed day!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Kingwell
30th Jun 2015 (#)

Wow! this is quite a chapter! On to the next. Blessings.

Reply to this comment

Add a comment
Can't login?