An example of a story



Once upon a time there was a mantelpiece. And between a crumpled five pound note that was out of circulation, and a black and white photo of an old woman, there sat a jade frog. The frog was quite large and was cold to the touch and had eyes made of jet that shone even in the gloom of that rather ordinary room.

The room itself was unremarkable, a bit dark and sometimes smelt of some kind of rather acid cleaner. The house that the room was in was also ordinary. It was just like the house next door. Just like all the other houses. The children were small and played up and down the road, the women talked in their kitchens and the men talked in their pubs.


It was a really long time ago and the eyes and minds of the people on that street were different from how they would be now.


The Jade frog watched and the kettle boiled and the sun rose and set.


In this house there lived a family. Mum, Dad. Brother, and Rose herself.


Lets not get bogged down in detail and get past this “once upon a time”, lets drift back through the decades, back to the rooms and the smells and the textures of that time. Do you remember?


To be honest they weren’t that kind to Rose, at least that’s how the story goes - apart from Dad that is.


Mum was angry a lot, and the smell of her breath would change depending on the words she was using.


Brother’s shape would change depending on his mood. Sometimes he was shaped like something big and dangerous at other times he looked like a child that was in trouble.


Mum would shout at Rose.


The Frog was watching.


Brother would look at Rose and poke her with his thoughts or his eyes or his finger.


The frog was watching.


Dad was kind to her calling her his little time machine….


The Frog heard that too.


Mum would give away anything of Rose’s that she felt like giving away. Usually to girls in the street. Just like that. So that Rose felt that nothing was truly hers. If only she could keep what was hers.

The strange thing was that Rose could only think of how much she wanted cakes. If only her mother would give her little cakes.


You might think this strange – why would she think of cakes when she’d had her things given away? Surely she must have known the real thing she was sad about? But as she fell asleep she would mutter as her dreams took hold.


“Oh The cakes we never ate”

The Frog never blinked.


Mum would bathe Rose in a tin bath in front of Brother, and Brother’s eyes would look at her and he would switch between his two shapes.


One day Mum decided to take her on a visit to her aunt in the city of Pastchester. They went on a train. Mum gave away most of Rose’s clothes before they got there, but she managed to keep hold of the ones she stood up in. I wonder what drove Mum to behave like this? Maybe she had some unresolved acid that needed to be poured into the world, or maybe she was uncaringly disturbed by something that happened to her? I don’t know.


In her Aunt’s house Rose was transfixed by her Aunt’s lovely eyes that were open and seeing in a way that he Mum’s were not. She was amazed by the atmosphere of her Aunt’s house that smelt of hope and warmth, and the way the sunlight rained down upon the house so softly.


Unfortunately Mum and Aunt fell into some kind of heated argument about the difference between an ass and a donkey and before she knew it  Rose was on the train back home with Mum.


Mum gave Rose’s shoes and socks away to a stranger.

Later in another year as the dusk settled over the house, Rose heard Dad’s bike outside the house. She waited for him to appear in the house, hearing him moving his bike around to the back of the building. He didn’t come in. She waited for him but he did not appear. Maybe she should go and look?


The Frog saw it all.