Finding Fiction in Reality

When I was in my first year of Sixth Form I wrote a short story extract for my English Language A-Level called “Spritely”. The general plot revolved around a girl who had run away from her abusive family and boarded a train to somewhere she had never been before. What a wonderfully original, cliché-free concept…

She winds up in this strange, far-away village in which she sits in the park and thinks about what the hell she is going to do now. Out of nowhere she meets a boy in the park who offers her sweets. Nothing dodgy about that, then! This kid, whose second name was to be ‘Spritely’, which, if the book was ever to have been written would have been some kind of metaphor for the youth of today or something equally as self-indulgent.

This boy, in reality, was just a glorified imaginary friend of mine who I liked to believe lived in the woods with his other friends. They all actively shunned the outside world, apart from branches of Blue Banana apparently because they all dressed like Kerrang! listeners circa 2005.

I had forgotten all about this piece of fiction until yesterday, when I looked back at this photograph. I took it when I was just emerging from a path in some woodland onto an industrial estate (you can read more about this particular adventure in the previous post). Every so often I came across some abandoned tyres, old household rubbish and even items of children’s clothing.

In my less-than-sound mind I kept asking myself where the bodies had been dumped and what I would do if I found them. That’s what I get for surfing too many questionable websites when bored, really.

These abandoned shoes caught my eye in particular because they just got me wondering: why would someone give up their footwear? Would they continue their journey in just their socks? Was it something more sinister, or was it simply a case of someone being too lazy to go to the tip?

These were the kind of shoes the boy from my book would have worn, and the brick shack in the second image? Somewhere he would have lived. He would have taken off his shoes upon entering the woods and adorned them again when venturing out to the local shop for the sweets which he craved like heroin. He probably liked the feel of the mud beneath his feet.

After today I feel like I should adapt this old, long-forgotten idea into less of a ‘generically different’ love story for teenage girls (if you understand what I am trying  to say) and maybe write something new around this fictional character that I once loved more than I did real, living people.


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