I loved walking in the fresh almost electric air of the springtime morning. Endless school holidays, spent my early teens in Harlow Town Park with friends from school. Enjoying the freedom and the sheer size of the open spaces around us. Mostly around the stage area, pretending to be performing in front of a huge crowd, imagining how famous we were. Just in front of the brick-built stage was a huge drop into a moat like area, filled by the little stream that ran through the park. It would hold back the hoards of fans clamouring to touch us as we performed.
Our imagination ran like wildfire, each of us feeding on the other. I was pretending to be David Bowie, Ziggie Stardust, pale thin and interesting. The complete opposite of me, but my friends were all enjoying my accomplished routine. A perfect day to add to our memories.
Today was proving to be one of those days until Jim ran in front of me, to take over the show, wanting his slice of fame. He slid to his knees, electric air guitar in hand, but misjudged how close he was to the end of the stage and also just how slippery polished concrete could be.
He tumbled over the edge into the water below, catching his forehead on the edge of the stage as he plummeted down.
Suddenly our haze of pleasure and self-indulgence came to a screeching halt. David and Phil jumped down to haul Jim out of the water, not realising just how heavy an unconscious, water-soaked lad would be. We were all shouting, wondering who would be the best to run to the local pub and nearest phone. Lorraine was chosen, as she could run for England, not literally, but had won a medal recently at school. She was sent off and we all tried to keep Jim above the water.
It seemed like an age before we heard the sirens and saw the blue flashing lights.
A beautiful memory turned into a nightmare in a instant.
They filled in the moat just after that.
348 words – Sandy Bryson