Wereham Sign Gary Trouton

The Story So Far

May 2002

Les returns with chapter two, but so has the ghost writer...

Some compelling instinct has drawn Les back to the banks of the Stoke River which holds so many memories. As he watches the river slowly wandering by so to does his mind wanders

'Cheer up it might never happen!' Les looked up and there was his work mate. 'You were miles away, you look as if you could do with a pint' And with that he headed straight to the bar. Les had known Stan all his life, both having been born in the same Village, they worked on the same farm, the only jobs they had since leaving school at 14, some three or four years ago. 'So what's the problem then?', asked Stan as he returned armed with two pints of mild. 'I don't know about you Stan but I'm fed up, there's got to be more to life than this'! Les picked up his glass, 'Cheers mate', and now he was in full cry. 'Look what we have been doing all today, and yesterday, and we shall be doing the same tomorrow, and for the next two or three months'. Stan nodded in approval. It was sugar beet time, and it was dammed hard work.

All they wanted now was for know all Charlie Nixon to walk into the Social Club and start rambling on as usual. He only knew one subject and being an engineer that's the only thing he talked about. How often had they both heard him going on about the future? 'I'm telling you the day will come when you two will be redundant, they won't want you, it will all be done with machinery'. If Les and Stan had heard that once they had a dozen times, and what a lot of hot air that was. Sugar beet had to be taken up by hand, it always had been, and always would be, and while both of them worked on the farm that would be their lot. Looking at the clock on the Club wall Les decided he would call it a day. With that, Stan looking at his fixture list, suggested 'We've got one thing to look forward to, the match on Saturday. It's at Wereham. That should cheer you up Les'. For the first time that night a slight smile crossed Les's face. Yes Wereham! Didn't a certain young lady live there? Someone who kept reminding him of some American film star? What was her name now? That's it Anne. Stan was right. Les seemed to now be a much happier man. 'See you in the morning' and with that he headed for home. Playing football at Wereham on Saturday, yes that had some appeal. But then he always liked football, not to mention Ava Gardner.

Les Lawrence

Its evening and Les is under Stoke Bridge again. The water is calm; the river just like a long twisting mirror - even the rats and birds seem asleep. Anne and Les are sitting on the grass and reminiscing. All warm and cosy. She cuddles up to him as he sits puffing away at his Embassy cigarette. She's forgiven him for leaving her in Wereham pond that day, and still hasn't told him who pulled her out. Not Ken English, that's for sure.

He sits wondering if he should kiss her again, when suddenly the silence is broken by laughter and the rattle of bicycles on the bridge. Les held his breath and held Anne more tightly, hoping whoever it was would soon move off. He heard names spoken and realised it was the village gang. Eric, Vic, John, Morrie and Phil - they probably just left the Crown Pub or George's Cafe, and no telling how long they would stay. Looked like Les was in for a long night. Then someone called "Les, Les." How did they know he was here? He went further under the bridge dragging Anne with him.

Then again: "LES, are you going to wake up and come and get your tea before it gets cold?" He opened his eyes and realised it had only been a lovely dream this time.

Ghost Writer

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