Bill’s List by Arthur Hall

Prompt 1:The List | Word Count: 1500 exactly | Genre: Childhood fiction (1950s)

The small cottage was dark but it was my safety, my home. The hallway was where I marshaled my armies and fought imaginary battles. Marbles were my cannon fodder and mother’s saucepans the targets. The kitchen was also the bathroom. Like magic you lifted off the work surface and underneath was the bath. My mother did that for me.

The neighbors were strange; the Turpins shouted and screamed at one another all the time and mother said they were disturbed and better to “stay clear of them”. So I did. The lady on the other side, Margarethe Baumgarten, was a picture framer and restorer. It said so on her wall which jutted out in front of our house. I think her nerves were not good because when I played football against her wall for hours on end, she became angry and said things which made me think she didn’t like children. Sally watched me play and kept an eye on me. She was under instructions from mother. Sally was a beagle mongrel bitch and my best friend.

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