Sunday 28 April 2024

Sunday Serial, 240 x 70, Gill James,14. The Other Children 19 November 2018, elderflower cordial,



This collection is a collection of seventy stories, each 280 words. They were inspired by the first picture seen on my Twitter feed on a given day.

She'd never managed to see them before.  Now they were there, dancing in circles in the bright moonlight. Their clothes were a little old-fashioned. And they were very pale. In fact you could almost see through them.

One of the boys stood still and looked at her. 

"Who are you?" she said. "Do you live near here?"

They all started running.

At least she knew where to find them now. They weren't there every night though. But she made her way to the clearing every night there was a moon. The second time she saw them she watched them for twenty minutes before they disappeared.

"Please don't go," she called as they ran back into the woods.

She had to wait another four nights before she saw them for the third time. Were there more of them this time? She hid at the edge of the wood. She could hear their voices but not what they were saying. Sometimes they sang. She wished she could join in.

When she sneezed they ran away. 

She didn't see them again for almost a week but on Friday evening she could hear them as she approached the clearing. She didn't hide this time but stepped a little nearer to them.  The boy who'd seen her before stared at her while the others crept away.

"I won't hurt you," she said.

He nodded.  "Come at the same time tomorrow and we'll tell you who we are."

The next evening they were sitting in a circle when she arrived. The boy gestured that she should sit down. "We are the ghosts of the children who have died in the Benton forest. Welcome to our world."                                

About the author

Gill James is published by The Red Telephone, Butterfly and Chapeltown.  

She edits CafeLit and writes for the online community news magazine: Talking About My Generation.

She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing and has an MA in Writing for Children and PhD in Creative and Critical Writing.


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