I am remembering the very first story I ever wrote. I was thirteen and a troubled teen (aren’t all teens troubled from time to time). This story was written with big loopy writing scrawling across the pages, no computers in the late sixties. As the story got more and more exciting, my pen raced across the pages, my hand hurt, but I continued. eager to get the pain and hurt festering inside me, onto paper. It was a kind of exorcism. It worked too.
What was that story about?
I had a crush on boy who was of course very handsome, about five years older than me and completely out of my league. He didn’t know I even existed. Can you remember your early teens, and what that was like? It hurt didn’t it. When hormones took over your body, nothing or no one made sense. I don’t know how teenagers even survive, so difficult are those days. Writing was the only thing that got me through it. What was the story about……? You could say it was a train wreck.
When I look back on what I wrote, I realised I was writing this boy out of my life because I knew he would never even notice me. He was an exotic handsome looking creature, always surrounded by pretty girls. He didn’t even know my name and would never have time for anyone as average and ordinary as me, so I killed him with my pen.
In my story we were an item and very much in love. He lived in London and I lived in the far north of England. I would go and visit him every weekend. He was a musician and I was a journalist. As I write about it now I remember it vividly. Lets call him Matt for the sake of giving him a name.
Matt and I were on the London tube with a group of friends, on our way to a party. Suddenly our carriage shuddered and we heard the wheels screaming on the track as the brakes vainly tried to stop the speeding train. There was an explosion and we were throw around like matchsticks. We felt the impact as the train crashed head on into something, crushing the first carriage and mangling several more. I thought I was going to die as the carriages ahead of me seemed to be rushing backwards. Matt was in front of me. He put his arms around me and I waited to die. Next came the fire and smoke, then nothing. Was I dead?
I opened my eyes expecting to see the devil and the fires of hell (never expecting to go to heaven because I had dabbled with pot and LSD), but instead I saw the grimy face of my friend Julie looking down at me. I was lying on the platform surrounded by casualties. People were crying and moaning. The air we breathed was filled with smoke. I raised my head to look at the train, or what was left of it. “Where’s Matt? Is he okay?” I said to Julie. She didn’t answer me, but looked away. She was crying. I pushed myself up on my elbows weakly, my head spinning, trying to breathe oxygen and not smoke. A fireman came over to check on me. “Be still, you have had a nasty shock, and a lump on the back of your head. We will get you out as soon as possible”
“Matt, Matt Matt where are you? Julie where is he?” I managed to get to my feet. “Matt, Matt, can you hear me?” I collapsed into the arms of the fireman, who placed me gently back down on the ground, putting something under my head to make me more comfortable. I felt a prick in my arm. People faded in and out of my vision, voices came and went. At last I saw Matt leaning over me. He kissed me gently on my forehead. “It’s going to be alright” he said. “Look after the baby” Then he was gone.
When I opened my eyes again I was in a hospital bed. My head and back hurt badly. Julie was sitting next to me again, looking a little cleaner now. Sun shone through the windows. “How long have I been out?” I asked.
“About ten hours” she replied, smiling weakly. “They gave you something to calm you down. Do you remember anything?”
“Not much. Is Matt here? I remember seeing Matt, thank god he’s okay.” Julie took my hand and started crying “Matt didn’t make it. He was killed instantly when he threw himself in front of you. He saved your life.”
“No, I saw him. He kissed me and spoke to me, I SAW HIM.”
The doctor, probably alarmed my cries, came into the room. “Shhh, calm down. Don’t upset yourself. Your parents just called, they are on their way, they will be able to take you home in a couple of days. You will feel better soon, you have to think of the baby now.”
“Baby?” I said.
The doctor looked a me puzzled. “You didn’t know? You are almost three months pregnant.”
Then I remembered what Matt said “It’s going to be alright, look after the baby.”
Yes, that is what I remember of my very first story. I wrote about three hundred pages, all in long hand. It was my therapy and got me over my crush, preserving my sanity and allowing me to get on with my life. Seems a fairly healthy way of doing things to me. Better than drugs, or getting into trouble. I wish someone had encouraged me to continue with my writing, but they didn’t. Now, over thirty years later, I am writing again.
‘Dead of July’ my first full length novel will be released in July Preview Dead of July
My first short story, rough around the edges, but still a fun short read is still available from the links below:
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