Watch The Stars (#Fridayflash)

12 August, 2011 at 13:08 (Flash) (, , , , , , , , )

Come here, behind the swimming pool block.

It’s dark beneath the trees you need to clamber under to get here but right back here, between the breeze-block edge of the swimming pool and the red brick of the school wall, the light dances. It’s blue and shimmers in water-reflection making the space just that little bit weird.

Now sit right here with your back against the red brick wall.

You can see the slightly open window now, smell the occaisional splash of chlorine in the air, if it were still open for business you could hear those weird echoes that make it sound like children are playing in the pool even when it’s just grown-ups doing lengths. But it hasn’t been open in days now and it’s almost silent back here.

Raise your head slightly, look out over the roof, you can see the stars in the gap below the leafy canopy made by the trees. In a couple of days there’ll be falling stars, a meteor shower. They’ll look amazing from here.

He and I planned to see them together, creeping in here after dark when it was all closed up. Sitting together in the weird blue-tinged light. We always used to come back here after swimming club before our parents picked us up from town. Just a few minutes in this strange little space looking out at the stars. We were excited about the meteors and watching them fall from here.

We went swimming a few days ago, you might have heard about it. The truck that delivers the chlorine had a new driver and he didn’t know the road very well, or at least that’s what all the papers have said. He came down it too fast and he smashed right through the big glass windows.

I was showing off, doing a handstand. It’s funny how different you feel when your feet are above the water and your head is below. I saw the strange reflections and moving lights above me but I didn’t put it together as broken glass, not even when the droplets of red from my legs started splashing down into the pool. I didn’t really feel it, it all happened a bit too fast. I couldn’t see him, he’d been watching my handstand, timing me. I’d said I’d time him afterwards and we’d see who could do it longest. We were the only two in the pool, they’d said how lucky we were when we came in, to have all the space to ourselves. Then the truck smashed through the windows and it’s cab ended up in the pool.

The newspapers said the driver drowned, he couldn’t get out of his cab. I drowned too, not that I remember it, I remember falling over from my handstand but I don’t remember the rest. I didn’t see him, but the papers say he got out of the pool and then dived back in. I think he was probably trying to get me out but he couldn’t see the glass in the pool. The papers say bloodloss killed him.

We’d planned to watch the stars fall from our little space at the back of the swimming pool. Sitting with our backs up against the red brick of the school wall we were going to bring a chocolate bar and share it whilst we watched.

Now you know where the space is. On Saturday, when they fall hardest, will you come back and watch them for us?

Bring a chocolate bar.



  1. Foo said,

    Found this one really interesting in a beautiful/melancholic manner, it reminded me of Florence & The Machine’s “Cosmic Love” ( in a way — the mixture of stars and romance I think. Although mostly with this story I was interested by the slow realisation of what has happened, the horrible event contrasted with the light tone of the ending. The girl doesn’t seem to mind that she died, she’s only interested that others appreciate the special place and watching the stars and enjoying the company of others 🙂

  2. luvlymish said,

    I find I do sadness and nostalgia quite, it’s another reason I suspect publishers may not be into my work – I just can’t seem to get the ‘happy’ in there.

    I listened to the track and I agree it does seem to go quite well with the story. Thankyou! 🙂

  3. Spot said,

    It is a lovely melancholy piece. She should be sad, but she doesn’t seem it- just wanting to pass on her simple pleasures.

    Nice work.


    • luvlymish said,

      Thankyou so much. I find often when writing ghost stories that melancholy seems the right tone to take – sadness seems to ground them in life too much for the dead.

  4. Steve Green said,

    A wonderful story. I think sadness and melancholy work very well for ghost stories, a life lost before it’s time elicits sadness and melancholy.

    • luvlymish said,

      Thankyou. I think so too.

  5. Aidan Fritz said,

    Great opening. I like the somewhat distant voice of ghost-narrator who seems somewhat emotionally distant and that amps the impact.

    • luvlymish said,

      Thankyou. That was the aim – I’m glad it worked.

  6. Lara Dunning said,

    The begining pulled you in, the language very in the present as if you’re there with the narrator. Then the story answers your questions.

    • luvlymish said,

      I’m really glad that this worked that way for you. It was largely an experiment with tenses and pronouns used.

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