Monday, 10 August 2015

The Locked Hoard

Silhouetted against the sky, the cast iron cockerel fantails the winds from within his pagoda perched on the old schoolhouse. 

The streets shuffle up hill, red brick Victorian villas with box hedges. The only exception to the rule is a shopwindow that proves an irresistible attraction to the children flowing out of the school gates.  

Blindingly dark inside the cool interior aromatic with sugar and dust. A grey woman in a grey smock stands on sentry duty in the gloom. The centrepiece of attention is a vast table with a locked glass top, the sort of thing that jewellers display their wares in. Sherbet dips like yellow sticks of dynamite with liquorice fuses are indeed a dazzling treasure. As are the hoards of ha’penny chews - Black Jacks with their connotations of piracy, Rhubarb & Custards in yellow and pink wraps and the compact little packets of Beechnut chewing gum. The illicit joy of sugar stick cigarettes, edible tobacco that looks remarkably like the real thing along with reels of pink bootlaces. Outrageous packets of squidgy pink bubble gum and packets of Space Dust, orange crystals that explode on your tongue. The forbidden Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit. 


  1. Kicking-youth... yes, the lovely of "sugar and dust." Lovely evocative writing... with "The forbidden Wrigley's Juicy Fruit." And, good golly, I remember back slightly further than half-a-hundred years to Juicy Fruit kisses from the girls in high school... late dances after baseball and basketball games. Yes... this evokes so much of youth. Wonderful writing.

    1. Red, thank you so much. Glad to have brought back some happy memories!



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