I’m the Guest Writer for Paul Kane’s Shadow Writer site. You can read my story “Frozen” here (not related to the fairy tale film). A sample is below. There’s also Horror 101, reviews, and loads more goodness.
They found a child last winter, frozen on a bench outside the community centre.
His mother, who was inside playing bingo and drinking tea, had left him to wait on the bench in spite of the freezing temperatures. It was her habit, to let him sit outside whichever venue she was patronising at the time, be it community centre, pub, Indian takeaway. She, I understand, lamented the loss of the social security income he had brought her; she’d have to find another way of financing her fags and lager.
The bench faces the sea, which at that time of year is grey and glassy – although not quite frozen. I think it a pretty sad view for someone to die with; cold grey water being the last image etched on your eyeballs. It doesn’t strike me as a gentle death; nor even a hard death … just a depressing one, a slipping away into a grey nothingness kind of death. It seems unfair for a young one to die so.
I used to sit on that bench quite a lot, before winter came and it got too cold. It’s nice in summer but I didn’t think I’d be able to feel the same way about it after the child. People lose their kids in all sorts of ways; it’s the careless ones that make me angry.