We asked that the photo be used for inspiration and for completed submissions to adhere to the 1200 word count and our winners are:
1st Prize: £150.00 – Mr. D. Andrews
2nd Prize: £100.00- Elizabeth Morgan
3rd Prize: £75.00 -Martin Smith
4th Prize: £50.00 – Alison Price
5th Prize: Creative Inspirations Course – in place of the membership. – Karen Butler
Warm congratulations to all of our winners.
The Truth of the Matter
by D. Andrews
His granddad looked frail and shaken up by his fall. A large bruise displayed itself in all its glory on his forehead and his eye looked swollen too. Somehow he didn’t look like the large, powerful man that Jake had always believed. He looked….well, old. Jake bit his lip in agitation; he should have been by the bed watching over him. It was his fault. His mum had said for him to sit with his granddad whilst she had nipped out to the shops but when he had fallen asleep, Jake had grown bored listening to the gentle sound of breathing from the bed. He had wandered down the stairs, preferring the scenery outside in the large garden. His attention had soon been completely captivated by the colourful butterflies in the garden, flitting from plant to plant and he had searched then for other bugs to marvel at.
“You should be in hospital Dad. “His mother’s voice broke the silence. She sounded tearful and Jake looked up at her, noticing two tears rolling down her cheeks. He had never seen his mother cry, not once. Jake realised that things must be very serious. He hung his head, embarrassed, focussing on the coloured carpet with a million swirly patterns instead. He had a job to look at his Granddad, surely he must blame Jake? He wouldn’t have tumbled down the stairs if Jake hadn’t left him.
He had been waiting for the reprimand from one of them but there had been no mention of it. The accident had happened yesterday. He wondered if there was a set time for telling someone off or whether it happened immediately usually. His mother rarely raised her voice to him, she didn’t need to. He liked to do as he was told, it was easier. This time he had really mucked up. Jake couldn’t help but wonder whether things were really bad with his granddad and that’s why his mum hadn’t said anything to him. She was too scared to focus on the culprit but maybe that would come later if his granddad died. Huge tears welled up in his eyes at the thought and he ran from the room, misery emanating from every pore. If only he hadn’t looked out the bedroom window that day and become mesmerised by all the insects in the garden and mysterious pockets of land which were perfect for hiding away. Why had he left his granddad alone?
Jake picked up a toy. It was his favourite one. He had been allowed to bring it over when they were coming to stay and it reminded him of the time when his granddad had given it to him. It was a large lorry complete with driver.
“It was just like me when I used to be a long-distance lorry driver Jakey,” His grandfather had sighed with happy memories. “I drove all around the world and met some lovely people.”Jake had been amazed by the fact that his granddad had literally driven round the world. He pictured the lorry going round and round the globe that was displayed in the living room. Cool. Jake scrutinised his toy lorry, the little figure inside the cab really did look a little like his granddad and he smiled.
The day passed by in a blur. His mother seemed exhausted. Jake knew she was doing too much but she didn’t seem to want him to help. In fact, she wanted him out of her way. She wore a permanently angry expression but somehow he knew that she was just worried. If he heard ‘Just sit down Jake’ anymore, he felt like he would scream. He wanted to help her out but she seemed oblivious to his need to satisfy his guilt. None of this would have happened if he had just done what he had been told to do and so sitting quietly in the corner as the evening drew nearer, seemed like a good option.
Somehow even though his mother hadn’t stopped from running around all day, she had still managed to cook him his favourite meal. He heard her go upstairs to give granddad his food and then listened as she came back down. He just didn’t feel hungry though. It was hard to eat when he felt so guilty. He played with the baked beans on his plate instead.
“Don’t play with your food Jake, eat it all up please.” His mothers tone was sharp. She was so different usually, kind, calm, loving. He was responsible for this change. Jake felt his lips start to tremble of their own will. Tears started to well up again and he blinked them back. He couldn’t cry. He wasn’t a girl!
“Jake what is it?” His mum came round to his side of the table and put her arm round him, “Are you worried about your granddad? Honey, he will be ok I promise. I know it’s a shock.”
“It’s my fault mum, I left Granddad alone. If I had done as you asked, he wouldn’t have fallen.” Tears fell freely now that the truth was out. He couldn’t hold back any longer and pretend. She had always told him no matter what he had to be honest and that telling the truth was a relief and it was. He was glad his mum was still hugging him so she couldn’t see him cry like a baby.
Oh Jakey, it wouldn’t have made any difference.” She knelt down by his side, wiping away his tears. “I had just come back from the shop and was with your Granddad when he fell but I couldn’t hold him. He’s a stubborn old man.” She said crossly. “He didn’t listen when I said he was too weak to come downstairs.”
So you’re not cross?” Jake asked wiping away his last tear, “I didn’t nearly kill granddad?”
His mum threw her head back and laughed, “No Jakey, I promise you. Your granddad nearly did that all on his own, the silly man. But he is going to be fine. Bruised and very shaken but mending. I think he has learned that he has to listen to others sometimes.”
His mum gave him a kiss, “Why don’t you go and sit with him for a while? Take your lorry; he loves to see you play with it. Oh and take up these roses from the garden will you? They are his favourite flowers.”
Jake grabbed the lorry and the flowers and ran up the stairs. He was so relieved, free from the weight of guilt that had been hanging over him. Maybe granddad would be well enough to play with him or at least tell him some more stories of how he travelled around the world. Jake knew he had learned an important lesson about responsibility and truth and with a smile on his face, he opened the door…