It made the national news.
For a year after, the residents of the picturesque seaside town talked of little else. Friends of Robert’s family kept copies of the newspapers his disappearance had provided headlines for. The headlines ranged from shrieking alliterative tabloid sensationalism at its worst, to a slightly calmer, more informative recounting of events. Some included an appeal for information. However, in all reports, the details were the same, for despite their different political biases, newspapers always treated an inexplicably missing child in the same way.
Such a thing is an outrage and all newspapers sell outrage.
Robert Taylor, an intelligent and reasonably popular twelve year old, had left his house one sunny Easter holiday morning and met up with four friends at a pre-arranged meeting place. From there they had gone to the beach of Carbis Bay to play amongst the rocks and the rock pools and in and out of the small caves dotted along the cliffs. After a while the five children had decided to play hide and seek. Robert had asked to hide first – in fact, according to the other children, he’d been very insistent about this one particular detail. His fervent insistence had unnerved them and their acquiescence had been nervous and hurried. Robert had promptly run off into the afternoon air to hide as his friends counted to two hundred. Then they searched for him.
They have not found him yet. Read more…
R J Dent says: ‘ I wrote Echoes for a number of reasons. As I walked along a cliff path in Cornwall I saw some children throwing shells at a boy. He was laughing. Later on that same day, someone threw a rock at the cliff and when it hit, it made a very distinctive ‘tok’ sound, which I wanted to incorporate into a story. I also wanted to name a story Echoes, after my favourite Pink Floyd song. After my walk, I hand-wrote the first draft of Echoes in about three hours. It’s one of my stories I like best.’
Copyright © R J Dent (2010 & 2016)
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