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(My creative writing piece I had to write for MMU application under the topic “A woman digging in her garden finds something unexpected”)

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Geraldine was in her late forties, carried with a thatch of dark brown hair, a full set of teeth and had a great interest in bird watching. She lacked the time for a mid life crisis and had spent the previous fifteen years working as a primary school teacher. A woman warm at heart and warm in mind Geraldine’s life was one of blissful monotony, played out in constant routine. Wake up, get dressed, drive to work, dredge through the day, return home about five and cook the dinner. Times in-between were perhaps the only element of spontaneity within her life, but she relished in them all the same.

Today, however, was not a day dictated by regime, but a Sunday.  Although religious at heart, Geraldine grew weary of church, or rather those who attended. Geraldine usually spent Sundays ironing, or cleaning, or one of the many archaic ‘house wife’s chores’.

Today was to be spent gardening. Mick, her husband, had unravelled the garden to a rather magnificent state. His early retirement had seen him attempt to latch onto any activity which might release him from the mundanity of life at home. Writing hadn’t worked; Mick believed his ideas far too spontaneous and fickle for such nonsense. Painting had swiftly followed in its demise. Therefore gardening had now taken their place. Mick had gained himself a false sense of authority over the garden; dictating when, where and most importantly who should govern it.

Today however Mick was absent from his garden. Out of sight; out of mind. Geraldine saw no harm in toying with the garden. She managed to convince herself that, if anything, the garden needed one final turn-over.

A tree was to be planted in the bottom right hand corner a metre or so from the garden shed. The soil appeared to have recently been disturbed around that spot, so a tree would surely be easy to plant. Brushing the previous night’s dirt from her hands and with one foot on the base of the rusted spade, she pressed hard down. With the pressing of the spade came a sharp exhalation of breath. However the breath could not cloak the noise which proceeded it. A crack splintered the air as the spade coincided with a solid object; forcing.
She stopped, without looking at what she had hit and screamed into a second of thought. A second which would encapsulate the moment perfectly.

Mick spent almost every day in that garden. Taking joy in seeing the blossom of each and every flower he had planted. He was rarely seen without a cigarette arrogantly protruding from his cold lips. He claimed to love his wife, however the time spent on the garden was at the expense of time spent with her. By her 30th Birthday Geraldine had come to the assumption he was having an affair. However without any proof, the accusations were never raised. The notion simply wallowed in her conscience. Out of sight; out of mind. Because of this, Geraldine never felt entirely secure in her relationship. Mick would spend large amounts of money when he went out. Geraldine was never quite sure of his whereabouts, and dared not ask him. When arriving home Mick would occasionally be carrying a sack. Sometimes he would return at awkward hours of the night and wake his wife. But Mick didn’t care. Why should Mick care?
The two had married on the eve of Geraldine’s 23rd birthday; their parents claimed it too soon. She however shrugged it off in a moment of post-teenage arrogance. Geraldine had questioned this dismissal of her parent’s warning for the past few years, and as each day passed the questioning grows stronger.
Today however, the question was absent from her thoughts.
Geraldine briefly glanced at what her spade had hit, however there was no time for a full examination. The doorbell chimed. The front door the directly opposite the garden.  From there Geraldine would frequently observe her husband packing away the gardening tools when she returned home. She left the spade portentously protruding from ground as she walked to the door. The doorbell impatiently rang again. Geraldine removed her right glove and opened the door. The Policeman on the doorstep had short, shaved hair, and a look of false innocence about him.

“Good afternoon Mrs White?” enquired the Policeman, “I’m Sergeant Stoke, may I come in?”
“What on earth for” demanded Geraldine, unable to disguise the panic in her voice.
He paused; “It is concerning your husband”. Geraldine’s eyes flicked to the right, glancing at the spade, and then slowly returning back to the presence of the policeman. She hesitated for a brief moment in thought; perhaps she had not dug the hole deep enough last night.
Out of sight…


1 Laura | on 04 February 2010

ooooooo this is so good! I really wasn’t expecting that ending, it’s great.

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