The year was 1967. Tony Andrews had just left the *SAS. He was still single, aged 45 years, mostly because the SAS was not conducive to married life. He had been tempted many times, and on one occasion had been engaged to a very attractive local girl in Hereford, home of the SAS in England. Now, though, he had found a new home in Brighton, a city on the south coast where he was born, and close to the sea. Tony was fairly well off as he had never been one for spending his money wastefully and had saved all through his army career. Tony’s one big problem was loneliness, so far he had not secured a job and had yet to make many friends. The other terraced houses alongside his were occupied by mostly single working people, so he tended to go up to Devils Dyke, a favourite beauty spot on the south downs just a bus ride from the town centre. On a weekend one could see many people paragliding on the south escarpment using the thermals to keep them in the air. Tony had done the sport in the army when he was younger and loved to watch the younger fliers manipulating their craft.
It was now imprinted into his mind - the morning of the wind. It had been Saturday 21th of July on a lovely sunny morning. Just a light breeze blowing when suddenly there was such a strong gust of wind that it almost blew him over. Just as suddenly it was gone! During the gust Tony was certain he heard the words, “Look out for the boy.” Tony had looked around but there wasn’t anyone there. He shook his head and thought, “I am going barmy.” He continued to watch the Paragliders a while longer and then went to “The Dyke” pub for a coffee and a sandwich. A guy came and asked if he could sit at Tony’s table. Tony had no objection and they started to chat. After a short while Tony found out the guy Charlie was a paraglider. Tony suddenly brought to mind the gust of wind and mentioned it to Charlie, to see if he had felt it. Charlie said he had not felt any gust of wind all morning, just the light breeze. Tony was more puzzled, then just shrugged his shoulders and forgot all about it.
Elsewhere in Brighton on one of the big social housing estates a young nine year-old boy was cooking a meal for his dad who was sprawled out on the couch in the front room, drunk as usual after all day at the local pub. His dad had been very mean to him lately. The boy David could not understand why. Maybe because it was coming up to a year now that David’s mum had died. The cancer had struck her very quickly and in just three months she was gone from their lives. David’s dad, to start with, had been very protective of David but over time had become morose and started to drink heavily. Suddenly, David could not do anything right, getting strapped for any small thing. Although he tried, nothing seemed right for his dad. David finished the spaghetti Bolognese plated it up and took it to the table. He then went to wake his father up. “Dad, dinners ready,” David said shaking his father.
With a snarl David’s father sat up and punched David very hard in the stomach. “Sod off brat and leave me alone. In fact you can f**k off out of my life.” David heard the words though the pain in his ribs and stomach. Understandably he was crying. “Stop crying and sod off like I told you. Go to your Aunts and let her look after you. I don’t want you here.”
David’s aunt was not a lot better than his father, she seemed to enjoy making his life misery as well. David got his thin coat and went out into the rain. Walking slowly because of the pain by the time he got to the bus stop he was soaked to the skin. He caught the bus into town, getting a few glances from fellow passengers seeing his distressed state. Of course not a soul cared enough to see if he was alright.
David got off the bus at the sea front and walked along above Marine Parade by the railings that overlooked The Parade. There was quite a drop down of almost 30 feet, David stopped walking, climbed up onto the railings and looked down. Looking down at the road below David’s mind was in overtime with pain, hurt and anger. Slowly, he decided that he wanted no more of this life. “I will join mummy in heaven where she will love me like she used to.” Then, looking at the road below he pushed himself off the railing.
End of part one.
* SAS. Special Air Service. The British elite army force, based at Hereford.
Comments will be most welcome. Flames to file 13:)