From my creative writing group’s second week of term social, which involved writing on the theme of Victorian England, prompt not reproduced. Here’s the fragment I came up with, all the while writing from my novel across the evening as well. Lovely to see some new faces there as well as some old ones!

There’s something oddly sinister about those people. You know, those people. The ones who dress up in that oldly worldy garb and dance around the streets, proclaiming that everything is just the way it is supposed to be. It’s just like the old days, you see, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

They are missing one thing out though.

When they skip around merrily, narrowly avoiding piles of dog mess and Big Issue sellers begging people to buy a copy, they avoid the truth. Back then, way back then, we’re talking about ignorance and avoidance. People just wanted to pretend that the poverty didn’t exist. And that was just fine.

Now though, it’s not exactly possible to do that. The house at the end of your street falling to pieces in front of your eyes, the tins of food to be gifted to the homeless precariously stacked on top of each other right by the tills, the signs are everywhere if you look.

And then there’s me.

See, even if that time is gone, there’ll always be remnants. Real remnants, I mean, not just those people who think that stealing costumes from the V+A museum is a good move.

Floating around in the ether, as incorporeal as a cloud, are just those embers. Burnt out husks of the past, not quite able to let themselves be forgotten. They aren’t the clothes that barely even mattered at all, nor are they the silly little things like storybook intrigues.

I wouldn’t call myself a ghost, because that would imply that once I had been something living and solid. That once I had held a complete grip on reality, without any sort of restrictions.


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