We holidayed in Dorset that year. When I say we, I mean me – Luke; my little sister – Beth; my father – Oliver; and my mother – Katherine. Our parents drove our estate car from our home in Brighton to our rented holiday home in Dorset on an overcast day. It took us nearly three hours to get there. By the time we arrived, Beth and I were very tetchy with each other. We pulled into the driveway of our rented cottage and I was the first out of the car, looking the place over, checking it out for potentially interesting things to do, to see, or places to explore.
It was a two-storey, three-bedroom stone cottage. There were four such cottages, and the one that was ours for the week was number four – on the far right end, and overlooking meadows and fields. It looked good.
I was about to go off exploring, when my father called me back and insisted I help unpack the car. I ran back and forth, emptying things out of the car, carrying items into the cottage, putting them in the relevant rooms – making sure I did my bit to help. After being designated a bedroom, I stowed my stuff away in the wardrobe and the drawers, and looked out of the window into a flint-walled garden that looked interestingly overgrown – and which seemed to lead onto a meadow via a metal-banded wooden gate. Across the meadow I could see a stream overhung with willow trees. Beyond the meadow was a field, a small copse, and past that a path that lead towards the beach. About a mile in the distance I could see the sea. It was a slate-grey colour. Read more…
R J Dent says: “I wrote Losted in a white heat. It took me five hours to write it. It’s one of my favourites of my own stories, despite its unpleasantness. One writer, whose criticism and feedback I respect, said Losted was ‘beautifully written but ultimately so sad and nasty as there is no good left after that ending. Every person in the story is irrevocably damaged by what happens.’ It’s a review I totally agree with.”
Copyright © R J Dent 2015
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