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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Day the Fish Died: A True Story

Written at Colchester Write Night, on Monday 22nd May 2017, the first meeting at our new venue, Firstsite Gallery. We looked at the story behind Grayson Perry's Julie Cope and did a writing exercise  inspired by this. Here is mine...

A young boy likes fishing in the river behind his house; that is a shop at the bottom and a flat at the top. He lives there with his mum and dad and sister, and a big white dog called Penny. Many years later the young boy’s dad remarries and his new wife is called Penny, which amuses the much older but still not very grown up man-boy, but not his dad when he reminds him of it.

The young boy used to fish in the river behind his house that was a shop at the bottom a lot. He would often walk up the road and buy maggots for bait. He (the young boy) used to put the maggots in the bin outside, until one day his mum lifted the bin lid to put some rubbish in and lots, and lots, and lots of big black flies came out. This was not the first, or the last time, that the young boys mum was cross with him, but it was the last time he put maggots in the bin.

One day, long ago, the young boy was fishing in the river behind his house that was a shop at the bottom, and the fish started to float to the top of the water, which was going blacker and blacker.

The young boy was upset, and went back to the bit of his house that was a shop, and told his mum and dad who worked in the shop (and who lived above it with their son and daughter) what had happened.

On the other side of the river that the young boy used to fish in, and loved to wade across in his bare feet and look down at the crayfish in the water and the fish he used to try and catch, was a factory. This factory had leaked some chemicals into the river which had poisoned the water and killed all the fish. The young boy never fished in that river again.

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