Dying Falls

My two speed-writing pieces based on randomly picked titles from last night’s Clacton Writing Group meeting –



“Hello, Mister, are you the postman?” asked the girl as she bowled a hoop along the pavement towards the man.

“Do you think I am a postman?”

“Well, we’ve been waiting for a postman to bring us a very very very important letter.”

He looked at both girls. The silent younger one not bowling the hoop was staring into her hankie.

“Have I got a postman’s uniform on, do you think?”

” Well…no.”

The older one’s lip dropped.

“Do I look as if I’m carrying letters?”


“I told you he wasn’t the postman,” said the younger one. “I told you so, I told you so.” She started to dab her eyes with the hankie.

“Sorry, that I’m not the postman. I trust he will come along soon. And I must be going. Didn’t your Mum and Dad tell you not to talk to strangers?”

The older one creased her forehead as if something else important had just occurred to her.

“Well, we’re not to blame, as WE thought you were the postman. And postmen are not strangers. But YOU knew you weren’t the postman. I blame you. You must have known you were a stranger, not the postman, so you shouldn’t have spoken to us and made us believe you were a postman, instead.”

They walked off hand-in-hand, the older one’s other hand still bowling the hoop.

“Before you go,” he called, “please tell me what is in this very very very important letter you’re expecting.”

The older one turned, stifling her own tears that had just started running, and said: “A picture of our Dad, Mister, and a letter telling us all about his life living without us.”

This time it was the man who started crying.



Scene: A mildly respectable lounge. A married couple of late season.

She looked at the wall. There was a tiny mark there – a bit like a wedge shape, slightly indented into the plaster.

“What’s that?” she snapped. “I’ve never seen THAT before. You must have backed your chair into it.”

“Not guilty,” I said.

“Well, however it happened, we’ll need to re-decorate.”

“Can’t we just patch it up? It really doesn’t matter. No one will notice it.”

“No, we’ll have to do the whole room, because you can’t get that colour paint any more.”

At that point, the door opened and in came an apparent stranger, because neither of us seemed to know who it was or how he had got into the house.

“Who are you?” I shouted, jumping up in a shock of hysteria. Nobody had just walked in before unannounced and uninvited.

“I am the minor skidmark on the wall mender,” he said. It was a small man and looked a bit like a large garden gnome. The long pointed hat with a bell at the end was a giveaway.

My wife meanwhile had fainted.

“Do it quick while she’s not looking,” I said.

But the man had gone when I looked back at him and so had the tiny indented wedge.

“Wake up, dear,” I said. “Sorry that I’ve been such a hopeless husband all these years.”

I expected her to say: “You’ve not been a hopeless husband, darling.” But all she did say was: “It simply doesn’t matter.”

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