Shared Story by Eileen and Ray


Eileen and Ray, Shared Story


So, there I was, hanging off this cliff. Not exactly part of the day I’d planned. Thank goodness the strap of my binoculars had held. For some reason, a line from Dad’s Army hit my brain whilst I was dangling.

“They make very good binoculars, them Germans!” Only now the strap was slipping, slowly, slowly, through the piece that adjusts the length. No point in shouting, I would never be heard above the gulls.

“Kittiwake! Kittiwake! Kittiwake!” I calculated that I had about 18 centimetres to live, not inches, these were German binoculars after all. My fingers were desperately searching for a hold on the millstone grit but the sea had worn it smooth. If only  I had listened to my mother! I don’t know what she said, I never listened. 16 centimetres to go now. I couldn’t get hold of the strap at all to slow it down.

My feet scrabbled against the cliff face, or rather my boots did. My feet were playing cowardy-cowardy-custard and hiding inside the boots. I could hear loose stones and shale bouncing off the rocks below and my heart pounded with the rhythm of the sea. I felt my fingers loosen and I fell down, down.

The strap had given up its last 15 centimetres in one short, fast “Zzzzzzzzp.” I didn’t feel I could fly, I only had time to think “!” before I hit the water, cold and salty, then went under. I know now how difficult it is to breathe water and it’s not that I am a swimmer of any note but I was then and I reached the surface, I saw the stars.

Most of them were round my head, like a bad cartoon but some shone in the sky above.

My saviour had a name, written on every part of their body, the name, difficult to pronounce, was Rnli! Rnli had saved me, Rnli had protected me, Rnli had rescued me. I felt like shouting their name.


Rnli was my guardian angel, granted, there were no wings and not a sniff or a sign of a golden aura but angels come in  many shapes and sizes and if it happened to be an overweight man with a boozer’s nose and a hook – he was an angel!


© Eileen Earnshaw & Ray Stearn 1st July 2021


Maureen and Jo, Shared Story

I feel as if I’m in limbo.  Normally I operate from the ‘here and now’, but everyone is being told, indeed being commanded, to live as in the future.  Far ahead, decades ahead, or else!  Or else what?


The people in the square shuddered as the person on the platform thundered his instructions.  They had been subjected to these rantings many times.  They were all dressed identically – black trousers, black hoods – indeed the only colour to be seen was black.  Was this the future then?  No colour, no light, no life as they had known it.  I look around.  Was there only me who could see?


I tried to speak to the man standing alongside of me, I tried twice but he did not respond at all.  I shouted but it was hopeless.  My words were falling on deaf ears.  I turned to the person on the other side of me.  She stared straight through me. I raised my voice and she slowly turned away.  By now panic was setting in.  These people were being hypnotised and only I realised it!


Why was I still left alone?  I felt under nobody’s spell, like these people.  I had been lucky enough to have escaped the brainwashing which had been going on from the stage.  Should I escape now while I had the chance?

I ran to my left.  People closed in around me, and the threat was intense.


Maureen and Jo – shared story.


© 1st July 2021 Maureen Harrison & Jo Femia


Psychiatrist -v- Patient (or is it?) by Maureen Harrison

Psychiatrist -v- Patient (or is it?)


As John related his story to the psychiatrist a feeling of unease pervaded the room.


John described the moment he felt he had lost it –  the driving rain hammering against the windscreen accompanied by a howling gale when he had no idea where he was.   Ghostly shapes gathered around but he quickly realised these were trees but what were the lights shining in the distance?


He glanced at the rear window of the car and felt for sure somebody was watching him.   He accelerated but quickly realised his mistake as the car tyres slithered across a slurry of mud.    Heart pounding he attempted to get out of the vehicle but fear made him hesitate.   Luckily the car had righted itself and he was able to resume his journey.


To the psychiatrist it became apparent he knew this scenario.   As John continued to talk he let his mind wander to a similar experience.   He knew what came next!   But how?   He didn’t think he knew John so how could he know this story?


John went on with his tale.   He drove a little further and saw a white shape ahead.   What was it?


I know this thought the psychiatrist.   Go on with your story but I already know the ending.  If your story is my story what are you doing here talking to me about it?


The vision became only too clear.   The white shape materialised and a gunshot rang out.  John slumped in the driving seat.  The psychiatrist looked at the patient, then down at himself.   John was dead!   The psychiatrist closed his eyes.


His receptionist found him later that day.   Blood was pouring from his chest but what on earth had transpired?   The room, apart from the dead psychiatrist, was empty.   She checked around the room satisfying herself all was clear.   She dialled 999 and said “there has been a terrible accident.”  Only she knew what had transpired and she was saying absolutely nothing !!!


She heard the sirens and readied herself …………..


© Maureen Harrison/Touchstones Writing Group/1/7/2021

Picture of Lady Lying by Mark Hales from Jennie Bailey Workshop 1st July 2021

Picture of lady lying


Are the roses in bloom? I am so tired

you work us so hard

Go cut me some roses,

we are so tired

I cannot go I’m stuck on the couch


The view through the window raise me high so I can see

no more we are too tired

you aren’t very caring, you hated me

we don’t hate you, but you work us too hard


If I get up I will fire you

there will be no job no money,

no food on your table

all you need do is pick some roses


© Mark Hales 1st July 2021


You Look Like Me Only Older by Mark Hales from Jennie Bailey’s Workshop 1st July 2021




You look like me, only older.


You are me?


That’s surreal




So what happened after 1st of July 2021? Is there anything you would have done differently?


There is? What is that?


You wouldn’t have killed your wife? This is Jenny?


You mean I kill my wife!!!!!!




Because she’s having an affair with Roger.


Roger Williams?


My best friend?


When did that start?


1st of July 2021, they met at the supermarket, in the evening, I was working late, interviewing a client, it just started from there,




In the back of Jenny’s car


I bought her that car last week, plenty of room in the back for kids and shopping, not entertaining her lover.


What time did they meet?


About 7pm?


It’s 6:30pm now, if I leave now I can get to the supermarket and stop it starting.


I can’t do that.


Why not?


I can’t interfere with time? The first rule of time travel, I must leave the world as I found it, there’s no knowing the havoc I will cause by stopping the inevitable.


Amanda? Rogers wife? Why?


We had an affair? We killed him, you mean Roger as well as Jenny? You say they didn’t suffer, much.


Amanda, now there’s a good looking woman, when did the affair start? On 24th of August, Amanda caught Roger and Jenny in an embrace earlier that week and she told me.


Well now you have told me about Amanda, I don’t think I’ll go to the supermarket.


How long does the affair with Amanda last? Two years?


Then we plan to kill, Roger and Jenny and run away together?


What went wrong?


Nothing, you said you would not kill Jenny if you had you time again, I assume you got caught.


No you didn’t get caught. You live with Amanda?


You do but she’s not Jenny, Jenny anticipated everything, Amanda does not.


You mean you killed the thing you love?


Then I am doomed.


© Mark Hales 1st July 2021