Inspiration: ‘A Walk to Destiny’
I submitted this short story for inclusion in an anthology in aid of Domestic Violence charities but it was not chosen although I am told there is a chance it may be used in later publications.
When Morgen Bailey asked if I would like to submit a short story for her new Saturday Short Stories spot on her writing blog, I was happy to do so. The maximum word count is 3,000 and this story is somewhat short of that.
As you may know, I love to walk and explore the countryside and woods and last year when out walking I came across an abandoned farm deep in the countryside. I had to cross a stile to reach it on a Public footpath and this story describes what I found and experienced during my walk.
I took photos as usual, and as I did they reminded me of a farm I used to know as a small child and how I used to collect eggs, feed the cows during milking, and how I used to run alongside the milkman from the farm, when he made his deliveries on an old bike which had a metal basket on the handlebars to hold the old-fashioned milk bottles.
The smells all around me – fields, earth and sheep – filled my memory as I walked and photographed, and the story took shape. Rusting farm machinery, the farmhouse with the roof gradually disintegrating, a tractor with part of a small tree growing through the seats all reminded me of that farm long ago.
Thinking of Domestic Violence and the terror women (and some men) go through began to leach into the story forming in my imagination. How hard it must be to leave a marriage or partnership, how frightening it must be to take refuge among others with similar stories when all a woman wants to do is escape, not be reminded. I thought of the courage it takes altering one’s life, habits, and behaviour patterns to make the break.
I came back to the stile I had crossed earlier and stood for a while, thinking. It came to me then that crossing the stile was like deciding to renew oneself, change one’s life and move on….and so that is why the stile features in the story.
Back in 1999, when I was managing artists in the Music Business, it was usual for artists to record ‘Charity’ singles – now writers are publishing books in aid of charities. Back then our artists were involved in recording singles to help bring awareness of Domestic Violence and also for other causes dear to our hearts. Since taking up writing I have tried to continue to do my bit and have had (to date) three short stories published in two anthologies raising funds for charity, one anthology (I Am Woman, vol 1), is in aid of Women for Women, Breakthrough and Women’s Aid.