Archive | Imagine

The Test

YOUR CHOICE I’m MARK HAYSOM, author of LOVE, LOVE ME DO and IMAGINE, and this short story is a gift for my readers. It can be read below – or you can click here now for a FREE download to your Kindle. 1 Spring, 1964: South London At the end of the school day, they emerge like cannon fire: exploding through the school’s double doors with a running, tumbling, scuffling roar. Teasing, laughing, pinching, shoving – eleven years old and set free – they burst chaotically across the wide tarmac of the sun-filled playground and out through the gates before the bell has stopped sounding and while the laggards are still clearing their desks. On they run. Clattering their wooden rulers along the chain-link fence, they race ricocheting down School Lane: Tim Harden, Henry Phippard, Chris Bonfield, George Riggs, Tom Pushman, Lucy Kennison, Charlie Clark. At the end of the lane, they are brought to an unwelcome […]

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The Gift

YOUR CHOICE I’m MARK HAYSOM, author of LOVE, LOVE ME DO and IMAGINE, and this short story is a gift for my readers. It can be read below – or you can click here now for a FREE download to your Kindle. Christmas morning, 1963 Nanna Bird has been on her knees so long, they hurt. It’s been worth it though for the look on Baxter’s face every time his car slaloms through the Scalextric chicane and flashes past the finishing line while hers goes careering off at the first bend. It’s been worth it too for a morning of rare smiles from Megan as she’s played her records on her new Dansette record player. She can’t remember her looking so happy. Nanna didn’t have a clue which records to buy to go with the player. Her choice would have been Glenn Miller or Joe Loss; proper music you can dance all night to. But she’d […]

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Close Your Eyes and Count to Three

YOUR CHOICE I’m MARK HAYSOM, author of LOVE, LOVE ME DO and IMAGINE, and this short story is a gift for my readers. It can be read below – or you can click here now for a FREE download to your Kindle. 1. Devil’s Dyke, near Brighton, East Sussex: May 1962 Small and alone, Baxter Bird waits by the side of the narrow country road that meanders across the crest of the green rolling Downs. He shields his eyes against the glare of the noon sun and peers unhappily into the distance, following the route of the road as far as his eyes can see – to where it dips suddenly away and out of sight behind the billowing may-blossomed hedgerow. Still nothing. No one. Where is he? Baxter sighs heavily, bows his head, and swings a disconsolate foot at the tufted edge of the grass verge. It’s not the first time he’s done so since he’s […]

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A Song to the Sea

YOUR CHOICE I’m MARK HAYSOM, author of LOVE, LOVE ME DO  and IMAGINE, and this short story is a gift for my readers. It can be read below – or you can click here now for a FREE download to your Kindle. 1960: Rhosilli, The Gower Peninsula, Wales Light is fading fast from the biting February afternoon as the double-decked bus accelerates away from the last of the scattered cottages of the small cliff-top village. The bus gathers speed, begins to buck and twist along the narrow country lane that snakes away from the sea, and Clarrie Evans, settling hurriedly into a front seat, sways erratically with the motion as she fumbles at the buttons of her heavy winter coat with fingers numbed by the cold. Finally undone, she pats at her lap and Abby, needing no second bidding, climbs up and into her mother’s inviting warmth. With her daughter clinging close to her, Clarrie manages […]

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Oscar Oliver’s Christmas

YOUR CHOICE ‘I’m MARK HAYSOM, author of LOVE, LOVE ME DO and IMAGINE, and this short story is a gift for my readers. It can be read below – or you can click here now for a FREE download to your Kindle.’  1. Oscar On his tenth Christmas morning, Oscar Oliver sits alone on the sagging sofa in the dimly-lit front room, determined not to cry. He knows she wouldn’t have wanted him to cry. But the trouble is, he knows too that the house doesn’t smell like it should: it doesn’t smell like Christmas, warm and rich. On Christmas mornings before, it had always been heady with it – that mince pie, pine-needle, roasting-turkey, brandied-pudding, chocolate and orange smell. That and Uncle Jack’s cigar and Mum’s Christmas-present perfume. But not this year. This year it smells like any ordinary day. It doesn’t sound like Christmas, either. By now there should be singing – ‘Frosty the […]

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