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The Big Imagination

When I was a child, my father said I pried into the crevices of other people's lives. I didn't mind him saying that, because it was true. Where else would I have found enough gold nuggets to feed The Big Imagination?

Take Clive and his wife Pru, who lived at number nine. Everyone in our end of the cul-de-sac called them The Outsiders. They were rich; we were not. They kept to themselves; we did not. Nobody said it to their face, but we did spend many teatime conversations debating how Clive earned enough of The Big Ones to afford the Signal Red Ford Cortina that upset the Starlings, and the other husbands, every morning it roared into action.

In truth, I didn't take part in much of those discussions. Occasionally, I would interject an opinion or some useful piece of information I had gathered on expeditions along the outer regions of our cul-de-sac domain. Mostly I was told to mind my mouth, which was a pity - it seemed I was the only that noticed Pru disappeared not long after Clive lit the bonfire and bought the Cortina.

The Police called at every bungalow to ask for witnesses but I didn't come forward. Instead I recorded everything in The Nosey One, the notepad Clive gave me after I helped him rake his back lawn.

I wrote down the colour of those leaves; blood red.

Yesterday, I turned 18. I wonder if they will listen now?

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submitted at 11:13am

14 April 2011

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