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Bound For The Dark Side (standard:action, 1386 words) [1/3] show all parts
Author: Brian CrossUpdated: Dec 28 2005Views/Reads: 2825/1452Part vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
opening chapter of novel in progrss - childhood events have turbulent repercussions in the life of Barbara Blandford

1                  BOUND FOR THE DARK SIDE By Brian Cross CHAPTER ONE 

A Saturday morning in April 1959, and rain begins to sprinkle onto the
pavements of a middle class residential street in Chelmsford, Essex. A 
pretty eight year old girl is pushing her model pram and burbling to 
herself as the droplets begin to fall on her long black curly hair. As 
she nears home, the precipitation begins to intensify and a concerned 
mother can be seen at the gate of a spacious detached property 
beckoning urgently to her daughter. Barbara Blandford does not know it 
yet, but as she hurries along, this overcast and wet day would mark a 
beginning - a formulation of an attitude and outlook which was to have 
far-reaching effects not only on her own existence but that of so many 

‘Barbara - I told you not to stray...' 

‘Sorry Mummy.' Dark eyes widened appealingly within an angelic face, as
she confronted her mother before turning away and pointing along the 
street, 'I was only playing with...' 

'Yes well come inside, it's pouring.' Dianne Blandford rushed her young
child up the broadening path, 'Look at your hair it's soaking wet,' she 
chastised, 'you're asking for another cold - up to the bathroom with 
you my girl and dry it thoroughly.' 

'Alright.' A small hand stretched out for the bannister and running
upstairs, she paused at the top, sneaking a glance back to ensure that 
mother had returned to her chores before enquiring eyes gazed to the 
left, to her parents' bedroom, where the door was ajar. Halting outside 
for a moment she knocked and pushed it cautiously open expecting to 
find her father who she'd not seen that morning. 

Empty - 

Perhaps after all he was downstairs. Though he always visited her room
first thing in the morning, except that today he hadn't. She trudged 
through to the bathroom and duly obliged her mother by towelling her 
hair furiously. As she did so, Barbara heard the sound of the front 
door opening and closing, followed by the recognition of her dad's 
voice, raised in greeting. Failing to hear a response from her mother 
the youngster flung herself hurriedly down the stairs and into his 
arms: 'Hey angel, steady on,' he hoisted her up, 'you'll be giving me a 
hernia the way you're growing.' 

'What's a hernia Daddy - and where have you been - you always...' the
girl stopped in mid sentence as the scullery door opened and her mother 
appeared, the look on her face looked severe to say the least, putting 
it mildly, she seemed cross, as cross as Barbara could remember. 

‘I think you'd better run along to your play room angel,' her father who
always appeared so in control, suddenly seemed worried. At that 
instant, glancing between them uncertainly, Barbara for the first time 
experienced an apprehensiveness, a curious anxiety was forming within 
and, though the sensation manifest itself in her dark eyes, Dianne and 
Martin Blandford were too enveloped in their own burdens to detect it. 

Barbara slipped silently away, passing through the dining room and
heading for the conservatory to which her play room was annexed. But 
she didn't complete the journey - at least not immediately - because on 
her passage through she began to make out her mother's agitated voice 
as she made for the scullery closely followed by father. 

Barbara returned to the door she had just closed and hovered. She'd
always been taught not to eavesdrop, but something was wrong in her 
organised and safe little world; she perceived it with all the keenness 
of her young mind. She could hear murmurings, but was unable to make 
them out. Her parents' voices weren't raised, she could never recall 
them being so, but nonetheless there seemed an intensity about the 
tones - mummy's voice sounded angry - Daddy's in contrast apologetic. 

They were returning. Barbara hurried through the conservatory and into
her play room, closing the door. She could hear nothing now, but as she 
gazed out onto the carefully cultivated lawns, with their array of 
daffodil, crocus and tulip swaying in the strengthening wind, creating 
a cascade of colour, a vision of a different kind came to her - 

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This is part 1 of a total of 3 parts.
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