Nominated For The Real Neat Blog Award

neat-blog-award

Hi everyone,

It’s been awhile since we last had a non-fiction post! But I just picked up a message about being given this award and I wanted to announce it. A big thank you to Amelia over at http://www.youcanalwaysstartnow.com for nominating me.

Rules;

1. Post the Award logo and answer the questions asked by the person who nominated you.
2. Thank the person who nominated you in your post and link to their blog.
3. Nominate and link to some bloggers you’d like to see respond.
4. Create 7 questions for your nominees to answer & let them know they are nominated in a comment on their blog.

The seven questions I have to answer are;

What are you currently reading?

The Beast by J .R. Ward. I’m going to finish it tonight though and then I’m going to start Prince Lestat and Atlantis by Anne Rice. So looking forward to that!

What book(s) or courses are on your 2017 list to take?

I’m going to do a first level degree in blogging and a level 2 teaching assistant course. I brought them off Groupon a few months ago and as of yet haven’t gotten around to taking them! I also want to look at doing a Youth Worker course again and now maybe an admin or business one too. I’ve a massive book list, but I want to read The True Blood series next year now.

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be?

I want to go to Texas USA. I’ve no idea why I feel so drawn to Texas, but I just do.

What is one thing you would tell your younger self?

Don’t listen to the year 4 teacher who told you to give up writing stories because you weren’t good enough!

How/why did you get into blogging?

As a piece of homework at uni. It was to set up a blog and write a few posts, but I got addicted. Now, I’ve like 3 blogs!

What is your favorite decorating accessory?

Yankee Candles – you can’t go wrong with them really as they look nice even when they are not lit. If that doesn’t count then I’m going with fresh flowers.

What are your favorite Instagram accounts right now?

I’ve Instagram, I think, maybe…but I don’t use it much. So I don’t know.

 

The seven questions I’m going to ask are;

  1. What are you looking forward to most about 2017?
  2. Have you ever written a story about a pet you owed/owe?
  3. What’s your favorite thing to pin on Pinterest?
  4. Have you done all your Christmas present shopping yet?
  5. What book/s are you most looking forward to being published in 2017?
  6. Have you ever knitted something?
  7. What was the last thing you brought on Amazon?

 

I’m going to nominate;

https://scvincent.com/

https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/

https://yzhengblog.wordpress.com/

https://rumpydog.com/

Done!

Here are some links to where you can also follow me if you want to;

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thestoryfiles

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ironmaidenfan9

Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/user?u=327832

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=208056472&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/hails9/

Blogger: http://hailscrazyblog.blogspot.co.uk/

WordPress: https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/ and

https://negativitybreakout.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7400715-hayley-hardman

Google + : https://plus.google.com/u/0/+HayleyHardman

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/thestoryfilesblog

Also, I know there something up with the display bar on the right side, but I can’t figure out how to fix that. Might have to take it all down and re-put it up when I have the time.

Thanks so much for reading my stories, liking them, leaving comments and following this blog. I’ve 363 followers and even though it’s a push I’d love to hit 400 by the end of the year. So please share my blog and spread the word.

Tomorrow sees the start of December and Christmas/winter themed short stories. I can’t believe another year is almost over! That means I’ve been writing this blog for three years now. I still have plans to put together short stories collections for kindle

Also, if you’d like to submit a short story please do. I’m looking to really get some for next year now. The guidelines are here; https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/submission-guidelines/

Once again thanks to Amelia for giving me this award, see you all tomorrow!

Hayley.

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Working

Home Office, Workstation, Office, Business, Notebook

Was he working to live or living to work? He wasn’t sure, but he asked himself everyday in hope the answer would come.

Nominated For The Liebster Award

Hi everyone,

This is my first none story post and also my second post of the day. Breaking my run here! But as you can see from the title The Story Files has been given the Liebster award! And I had to announce it and commit to the rules.

Let me just say firstly a big thank you to all my readers and followers. This is now the third year of me writing a story a day, which means that there’s now 557 short stories (including flash fiction, parts of my two novellas – Trust and Church and longer short stories) on this blog. I have always written for myself, but the fact that so many people seem to be enjoying my writing is inspiring me to continue, even when I don’t feel like carrying on. Every time you like, comment, share and follow gives me the motivation to carry on. So thanks and please keep it up.

Before, I fully get into writing this, I’d also like to point out that I’m planning to put together three short story collections made up from all the most liked and best stories on here and available to buy via Amazon kindle publishing. I’ve just been super busy at the moment, but it’s still a dream of mine. I plan in the coming weeks to post up a voting or something post and ask people which stories they liked the most which should be included. There’s a lot of stories on here now and I could do with a hand picking.

So, anyway, I got nominated by Edward Drake. He’s over at http://drakesdrafts.com if you want to check it out. Secondly, here are 11 interesting facts about myself;

  1. I’m a nerd, but also into gothic stuff.
  2. I love bats.
  3. I almost moved to New Zealand when I was 12.
  4. I like baking, but I’m rubbish at cooking.
  5. I’m an ‘arm chair’ urban explorer.
  6. I’ve a BA hons degree and a Masters degree in creative writing.
  7. I’m dyslexic and also have dyscalculia and a short term memory problem.
  8. I play dungeons and dragons
  9. My lucky number!
  10. My favourite music is heavy metal and rock. It makes me write faster and inspires me.
  11. Wolves are my favourite animal.

Here are the questions he give me some answer.

What is your favourite book any why?

Interview With The Vampire. It always inspires me and I get so involved in the characters.

 Why did you start blogging?

One of my uni tutors suggest it 7 years ago and I thought I’d give it shot. I started a diary like blog, which I still have today and write book reviews and life moments on. The Story Files came about because I was suffering from depression and not writing much. I wanted to give myself something to do everyday which would help and also get me back into doing the thing I love the most.

What is your favorite blog post you’ve published? Why?

It has to be this short story called The Solder’s Piano. I don’t know why but this story, even after a year has just stuck with me. I just like the image prompt. https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2014/09/10/the-soldiers-piano/

 If you could time travel to any time period what would it be? Why?

I’d like to go back to the Victorian times because everything would be a lot simpler. Even though I know there’d be no steampunk, there’s just something about all those awesome clothes that grabs me.

 If you could live in any fictional world, what would it be (think: Hogwarts, Middle Earth, etc…)?

Middle Earth would be an interesting place to live. I guess I’ll stick with that.

 Where is your happy place?

I have this safe forest in my head which I go to when I’m feeling low. In the real world, my local woods has always been my happy place though.

 What is your favourite quote AND/OR word?

I’ve lots of favourites, but this one always makes me laugh: ‘Don’t run after a bus or a man. In either case there’ll be another one coming along in about 15 minutes.’

 Describe your blog in 3 words.

Story a day

 What is your guiltiest of pleasures?

Watching the Secret Garden film.

 What did you phonetically call the family of bears that were a series of children’s books? Started with a B? No idea what I’m talking about? Click here. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about… Do you believe in anything considered supernatural?

 I know these bears, but I’ve no idea what I called them. I mix a lot of words and letters up as it is still.

 

The blogs I’m nominating are:

http://www.misshani.com/

A photo, traveling, post every day blog.

http://life-honestly.com/

A blog about real life and coping with lot of problems, useful if you’re having issues.

https://beyondthebluecoat.wordpress.com/

The life of a student vet.

http://ridefireflyfarm.com/

A blog about horses. Really well written with some thoughtful posts.

https://samanthafidlernewby.wordpress.com/

A short story blog like mine!

https://lovewordie.wordpress.com/

A relationship blog with some interesting points to reflect upon for everyone.

https://geekthecat.wordpress.com/

Check out some of the stories on this blog. The Drunken cat ones make me giggle.

http://www.heartfulwhispers.blogspot.co.uk/

A blog full of poems.

http://liannewilliams.com/sketchblog

I’m not much of a draw myself, but I’m big into art colouring. Like the advice given on this arty blog though.

https://thegaslightavenger.wordpress.com/

A newly started comic book drawings blog, but already showing promise and inspiration. Very artistic too.

 

Here are my questions to them:

Do you have any pets and their names?

Have you ever written a novel or want to?

Do you believe in unicorns?

What’s your favorite character from childhood?

What’s your favorite quote from a novel?

What’s your favorite place in the world?

Do you keep a diary/journal/ log book?

How many books about how to write stories, blogs or getting published ect, do you own?

What’s your biggest achievement to date?

What’s your favorite band/music to listen to whilst you are writing?

 

Done and dusted! Lastly though, here are some links to where you can also follow me;

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thestoryfiles

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ironmaidenfan9

Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/user?u=327832

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=208056472&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/hails9/

Blogger: http://hailscrazyblog.blogspot.co.uk/

WordPress: https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/7400715-hayley-hardman

Google + : https://plus.google.com/u/0/+HayleyHardman

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/thestoryfilesblog

 

Thanks again and happy reading!

The Weeping Bride

It's not a wedding dress, write the story.

I wanted to ask her what was wrong, but I was just too nervous. Turning my eyes back to the game on my tablet, I tried to avoid looking back up, but I couldn’t resist one last peek. She was sat opposite and a bit further down, head buried in her hands and crying softly.

Her blonde hair was nicely done up, but some strands had come loose. Her white dress was crumpled around her and whilst some was hitched up over her lap, the rest flowed across the floor trailing around her. The gowned was water and mud stained, almost as if she had ran for the train not caring anymore and just wanting to get away. She reminded me of Cinderella fleeing from the ball and trying to get home before midnight.

Coughing up the stuck words in my throat, I stared hard at the screen before me and give it my full concentration. I heard her sniffing and rustling coming from the dress, but I avoided looking up. It was far too late to say anything now and beside from being curious about why she was dressed as a bride, I wasn’t that interested in hearing her story.

I had had a long difficult day too and wasn’t in the mood to pick up the pieces of someone else’s life. Still though, my mind wouldn’t let it go. Maybe, she’d been to some kind of fancy dress party and fallen out with her best friend or boyfriend? On the other hand, she might have gone to a party, found it not to be fancy dress and left in shame as everyone laughed at her. Or possibly, she was an actress who had been filming a wedding scene and something had gone terribly wrong, thus causing a sudden departure from the set and for her to end up heading home on the same train as me.

Perhaps, even if I had asked her she wouldn’t have told me.

Church (Chapter 2, Part 2)

Continued from Church chapter 2, part 1 and also the first chapter of Church in the November archive. https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/church-part-1/

I stepped from under the archway and into a paradise garden. Five long stone steps led down to a rolling landscape covered in a carpet of lush emerald grass, sprinkled with brightly coloured English meadow flowers. A few small red and yellow acre trees were spread out, creating another level of colour at the eye line.

Cutting its way through the centre, a babbling stream twisted like a serpent with the water rushing over or around shiny stones. The stream came close to the steps, then turned a sharp right and rushed off to the side. Also dotted about where large moss rocks, which I quickly realised were actually fallen and displaced parts of the cathedral.

Glancing up, I saw shafts yellow sunlight flooding through the high arched empty window frames. Above them, the roof stretched up in classic gothic ribbed vaults, which were painted to look like a summer day’s sky. Further along to the right side was a balcony, which seemed to run the length of the room. On the other side, I could see empty niches and towering columns.

My other senses became assaulted too, as I suddenly noticed that the garden was teeming with life. Small birds, butterflies and bees roamed the air, their voices and wings rang in my ears alongside the stream’s bubbling. The wondrous scents of midnight jasmine and lavender filled my nose, mingling with other flowers and fresh air. I just couldn’t take it all in and yet…the more I looked the more it seemed to be unrealistic.

I stepped down into the soft grass and swept my fingers over the top of the blades. They felt real enough to me. Moving to the stream, I did the same and dipped my fingers into the clear water. They came back wet and I pressed them to my lips and tasted a few drops of cool sweet water. I walked slowly through it all and found Rain waiting for me on a small wooden bridge going over the stream.

‘Is all this real?’ I asked as I joined her and waved my arm around.

‘Yes and no,’ she replied with a little smile darting on her lips, ‘we are on a different plane and I created this area, but it’s not truly real.’

‘But it seems it,’ I replied.

She nodded, ‘because I will it to be so.’

I looked around again and watched two brown rabbits appear from behind a rock and start nibbling at the grass. I felt oddly relaxed and calm, all my worries had slipped away and I had this faint recall of being back home. I turned to Rain and found her removing her black mask.

‘I’m going to get changed. There are rooms up there,’ she said, pointing to the balcony.

From this angle, I could now see four white doors and as Rain moved off, I followed her to an almost hidden staircase which was joined to the wall.

‘So, the ruins of the cathedral are not real?’ I questioned.

‘They are real. I wouldn’t have been able to make it so stable otherwise. Tourists sometimes stubble on here, but they normally can’t see any of this. I made it well protect from everything and only those I let in with me can stepped through the portal.’

We had climbed the stairs and come to the top. I looked out and saw an even better view then before. Rain turned her back on it and indicated to each of the doors as she told me what lay behind them.

‘The first is my room, the second is the bathroom, the third can be yours’ for now if you want and the four is locked. So, you can’t go in there and don’t ask what’s there because if you thought all this was a bit mind blowing, well!’

Rain tossed her hair over her shoulder and smirked. I nodded, never having been one to probe further into such matters. Rain straightened from her slight lean on the railing and walked to the first door.

‘Do whatever you like and we’ll talk whenever you want. Time is permanently frozen here,’ she called over shoulder as she opened the door and stepped in.

I nodded as it closed behind her and stealing a last look at the view, I walked to the third door and stepped inside. The room was large, with bare stone walls, dim lighting from a small modern chandelier and no windows. A double bed was before me, freshly made and there was a desk opposite with a wardrobe beside that. I walked over, opened the doors and saw an array of clothing neatly hung up.  I pulled out a simple, long white cotton robe and got changed into it.

Leaving my other clothes, armour and my sword on the bed, I inspect the bedroom more closely, but there was nothing else. Leaving, I went into the bathroom and found it very modern with its bright white and sliver sink, toilet and shower. I ran the sink tap and water gushed out. I drink deeply, before turning it off and drying my hands and face on a soft white towel. The idea that none of this could be real was far from my mind.

Walking out, I went and looked over the rail. Resting my arms across the cool marble, I tried to get my mind thinking about Rain. I really wanted to know who and what she was. However, I didn’t seem able to grasp or follow any trains of thought. It seemed that every few moments, no matter what I had been thinking, my mind went blank and the paradise garden filled my thoughts. Shaking my head, I wondered if she was a powerful witch, or else something along those lines that I’d just not heard about before. That didn’t feel right though and as I struggle to think deeper, the garden rolled across it and I couldn’t help but admire it again.

I went down the staircase and wondered through the area. The beauty of the flowers and animals was beyond description as well as the aromas, which were sometimes different in certain areas due to the clustering of the flowers. I have no idea how much time passed before I saw Rain again, but as I walked up a spiral staircase at the far end, I came on to a platform and there she was.

She was sat in a large chair that had been shaped inside the trunk of a living oak tree and there was another one opposite. A table gently shaped into that form from a very low oak lay between them, with a large basket of fruit on it, which Rain was eating strawberries from. She indicted to me with her head and hand to help myself and I gladly selected a red apple. I sunk into the other tree chair, finding it soft and cosy, then began eating.

‘How is everything?’ Rain broke into conversation and it seemed to dispel my constant thought problems.

‘Fine, thank you,’ I replied.

‘There’s a spell on the garden. I forgot to tell you before, though you’ve probably been feeling the effects all ready.’

I nodded and bid her to carry on.

‘It doesn’t affect inside the rooms or in this spot. I come here to clean my mind and soul, so part of the spell so to stop thoughts and memories from developing,’ Rain explained, she rubbed her left wrist on the edge of the table, ‘this is the only place I can find peace now,’ she sighed softly.

‘What?’ I asked.

‘No. I want to hear your story first.’

‘My story?’

‘Yes. Who are you and want are you doing here?’

‘Well…I’m Blaze,’ I answered then stopped, realising she hadn’t known my name this whole time, ‘I probably should have told you that before.’

‘You were districted and sometimes withholding your name is a good thing. Your enemies could use it against you,’ Rain said, pointing a watermelon slice at me, ‘it’s nice to meet you Blaze. I’m Rain,’ she added and held her hand out.

I went to give her mine then realised the table was too long for our hands to meet and shake. Rain laughed and threw a grape at me. It struck my chest and bounced on the floor. I looked down in shock at where it had hit and then back at her.

‘Saving your life makes us best friends,’ she responded in-between giggles.

‘The Demigod bear,’ I muttered as it all came back to me.

Rain fell silent and nodded.

‘I don’t think I thanked you probably for that…’

‘It’s fine. Go on, I really do want to hear all about you.’

‘All right,’ I replied and finished off the apple in a few quick bites, ‘I guess we should start at the beginning.’

To Be Continued…

Church (Chapter 2, Part 1)

Continued from the first chapter of Church in the November archive. I would recommend you read that if you already haven’t before continuing. Here’s the link: https://thestoryfiles.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/church-part-1/

Previously;

Blaze, a warrior angel, who is trapped on earth has made his home in a long abandoned church. He fights a taunting daemon, who leads him into a trap to battle a band of demons before facing a Demigod Bear. He is rescued from death by a strange female called Rain.

Chapter 2

 ‘Let light shine out of darkness’

2 Corinthians 4:6

Still sitting on the damp ground, I tried to study Rain, but she was completely wrapped in darkness both in body and mind. Letting that go for a minute, I gathered myself and stood up. My golden red feather wings stretched out then fell into place down my back. The dead Demigod bear had become a faint outline and the daemon that had led me here and his companions had disappeared. Glancing further around, I saw the destruction to the wooded park. Uprooted trees were lying scattered alongside broken branches of all lengths and the wet group was gorged with the trail of the battle.

I noticed Rain following my gaze and turned back to her. With a glance at the almost faded Demigod, her eyes settled on mine and for the first time I noticed that they were mis-matched. Her right one was light green and the left was crystal blue. Her light brown hair seemed shorter than mine and fell about her in choppy waves. Her face was softly rounded and her skin looked flushed, her nose was small and gently rose up, whilst her lips formed a straight pink line, which dipped slightly in the corners as if verging on a frown.

That concave curved katana of her’s was still out and gracefully aimed at the floor. I couldn’t see a sheath at either of her hips. Watching her closely, I got the impression that she was having a telepathic conversation with someone. Though I wasn’t sure how or why that suggestion had come to me.

‘Are you unharmed?’ she asked me sharply.

I nodded, ‘You?’

‘I’m perfectly fine, thank you. Can you please move back to the treeline? I need to cleanse the area.’

I looked behind me and saw the area she wanted me to go to. However, I didn’t know her or her nature and so was wary. I still held my sword, though it felt loose in my hand, so I curled my fingers around the pommel whilst glancing at her weapon. That blade looked wicked and both sides were sharp, though there was a large row of dark brown triangles along the left side. The guard was small and round, the grab black cloth and the pommel flat. The katana looked extremely light weight and completely different to my great sword.

I didn’t want to turn my back and walk away. Quickly, I tried to think of something I could say either to delay my moving or to seek peace with her. However, she seemed lost to a conversation of her own. Then before I could speak, she gave a slight shake of her head as if to say no and turned her back. The kanata dragged along the ground behind her, leaving a trail that seemed too deep for its weight.

Gradually and trying to keep sight of her as long as possible, I turned and walked towards the treeline. The wounds and aches I had received from my battle and fall were healing, though it seemed slower than normal, which meant that more Heavenly power had been drained. From behind me, I heard a soft voice whispering and I looked over my shoulder as I continued and saw that Rain, though she had her back to me, had drawn a circle around her in the ground and was holding the kanata out in front of her.

I made it to the trees and rested against a twisting trunk. I debated keeping my sword out and quickly decided that I should do, just in case. My thoughts turned to leaving and I realised I could do so, but would she follow me? And would we fight? I was in no condition for that, but I was curious about her and why she had saved me from the Demigod.

I saw Rain drop her weapon tip to the ground. A bright circle of blue light flowed out and away from her, rushing off along the surrounding ground and into the trees. Two waves of white light followed in its wake. They hit me, rippling through me and around, but I felt no effects. They vanished somewhere beyond the trees and my sight.  Fascination sparked within me and stunned I watched Rain turning and walking over to me.

‘I’ve not seen a cleansing like that before,’ I called out.

Rain seemed to lift her shoulders in a small shrug. Just before she reached me, she raised the kanata in both hands above her head. Panic shot through me and I readied, only she slipped the sword down her back and her arms dropped to the sides.

‘I’m not an Angel,’ she stated, ‘nor, am I your enemy.’

‘Then what are you?’ I asked, holding my position, ‘I can’t detach your spirit or aura.’

‘It’s complicated. And right now, it’s better you don’t know. Do you want to come with me? This place won’t be safe for much longer. They are gathering already and I don’t think either of us is ready for another battle.’

‘Come where?’ I asked, slightly lowering my sword.

‘I have a place, if you want. We can talk more there. You don’t have to though,’ she added. A trace of a smile crossed her lips then she turned and started walking away.

Frowning, I sheathed my sword and swept my golden red hair backwards. I felt a little tug to follow her and all ready my mind was made up. Just before she went into the other row of trees, I quicken my pace and fell into step behind her. Questions pressed in my mind and on my lips, but I stayed silent just as she did. We walked out of the park, through the outer skirts of the city and into countryside, which I realised lay in the opposite direction of my home.

Another hour later and still in silence, Rain turned off from the side road we had been walking on and led me down a semi-abandoned dirt road, which inclined gently upwards. We stopped at the top and I looked round. There was a touch of light on the horizon and I noticed that the night was passing. Now opposite us, on the flat top of another hill, I saw some large stones that seemed to resemble a ruined cathedral.

I heard her take a deep breath in and set off again. Carefully, I followed her downwards, though long wild grass and up the side of that other hill. When I got to the top, I saw her standing under a massive arch way. It must have once been the door to the cathedral and there was no doubt in my mind that this place could have been anything else.

‘You are welcome here,’ Rain spoke and disappeared inside.

I followed her, unsure what I would find on the other side, but not expecting what my eyes saw laying out before me.

To Be Continued…

Never Seen The Rain

Watching his expression turn into puzzlement, she couldn’t help but ask him, ‘have you really never seen rain before?’

*

You can also follow on me on:

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thestoryfiles 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ironmaidenfan9

Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/user?u=327832

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/viewid=208056472&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/hails9/

Readwave :http://www.readwave.com/hayley.hardman.7/

Blogger: http://hailscrazyblog.blogspot.co.uk/

Robbery

In the evening, James walked home from work. Snow was starting to fall, but as he only lived a few streets away from the office, he didn’t mind. He strolled past an alleyway and from out of the shadows a hunched old man stepped and threw a punch at his jaw. The fist caught him off guard, giving the man time to grab James’ wallet and flee. Turning after him, James saw that the man had a hook instead of a right hand and wondered if he had just been robbed by no other then Captain Hook from Peter Pan.

Streets

Norman watched the first snowflakes falling as he huddled in his sleeping bag. It was a bad sign, though he wasn’t surprised by it. Clutching the paper cup, which rattled with a handful of coins, he watched the city shoppers and business people hurry about. It seemed to Norman that only the children and teenagers turned their heads upwards in wonder and watched the snowflakes drifting.

‘Spare any change, please?’ he called in a croaky voice.

Legs moved swiftly passed him whilst eyes voided contacted with him. He dropped his head, pulling down the too small woollen hat at the same time. Breathing deeply into his wild beard, he thought about what he was going to do now the snow had arrived. There’s that church shelter, he pondered, that was good last year. Or that other shelter place…what was it called? He shook his head, the name completely escaping him.

He lent back and listened to the many voices all round. Most seemed engaged in exciting conversations, asking directions, or other questions, carol singing and bells ringing came from around the corner. He tried to make out the song, but couldn’t put his finger on it.

‘Spare any change, please?’ he muttered.

More feet passed by, arms swinging with heavy bags, bodies seemingly ignoring him. He sighed and wondered for the countless time how it had come to this. Bad turn of events, he concluded. Coins clinked and he glanced up. An elderly woman, wrapped in a large brown coat, was dropping money into the cup.

‘Thank you. Merry Christmas,’ Norman said.

‘You too,’ she replied, before turning away.

He watched her go and feeling slightly better, called out to other people for their kindness.

Postcard #5

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