Maggie’s Tale

by Jilly Allison


I’ll leave it half an hour and then call the polis, nasty mess, head smashed in, glad he missed that nice blue car though. Eighth floor, not much hope of survival.

That’s my son down there, why don’t I feel anything?

1980’s, as was I watched his father get ‘sent down’ for long time, then the social took my son. Didn’t know what a paedophile was, a ‘kiddy fiddler’ the copper said, ‘best place for him,’ nasty violent man, never seen him since.

Son was brung up well, fostered, he’s a teacher now. Came and found me, disappointed, I could see it in his face. Bit of a ‘slapper’ I suppose I am, used to work the streets, now I just have one or two nice old chaps who visit, alone or with a wife whose ‘gone orf’, older men still have needs, they see me right. Even a present at Christmas, M&S, in case I want to change it. Nice.

Richard, nice posh name, married ‘up’ if you know what I mean, never seen her, photos though and ‘the boys’. Private school, he works there as well, all boys.

Me and Rodg (my budgie companion) make him welcome here, cup of tea after rugby on Thursdays. You can see the expression on his face − this place is the pits, eighth floor, lift stinks of piss and pot, looks out over the factories, windows never clean. Try to keep it clean but my stuff’s old and tatty, whiten my nets, polish the brasses though.

He comes full of himself on Thursdays, wonderful game, then he gets that ‘look’. I’ve seen it before, on his dad.

I don’t really know when I decided what to do, maybe it was that look I recognised, maybe it was last Christmas when we had a sherry together (he brought it, cake as well, very nice.) We had a drink together in couple of lovely glasses I got from Oxfam shop, he had a bit much, over the top really and got what I call ‘leary’.

Told me about his ‘fancies’, if I was shocked he didn’t know about it, in my line of work you act a lot! I just mulled it over and talked to Rodg.

Councils been doing a lot to these flats, not before time. Came last week and looked at the ironwork on the balcony: ‘Should have been replaced years ago this sixties metal was rotten in months, I’ve put yellow tape round it, and a DO NOT USE sign, best if you keep the doors closed, then there’s no problem, the concrete’s flaking as well, very dangerous!’

Well that was me told!

It was only a little shove, of course I’d moved the tape and stuff (never did like yellow), opened the doors to let a bit of fresh air in. He wanted a look out, OK.

It’s in the genes, you see, and I can’t let another woman suffer as I did, can I?

3 thoughts on “Maggie’s Tale

  1. constancebourg says:

    I personally struggle a little with stream-of-consciousness type writing. I find it less accessible at first. But with a little persistence I found myself drawn into the mind of this character and could see the scene played out visually. I found this very strong and compelling.


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