At The Playground You Meet Someone Amazing – A new short story


My mother had a stroke. Luckily, it was quite minor. She was still able to read, though more slowly. There was a gap in her vision – an absence where sight simply didn’t take place. Because of this, she wasn’t able to drive.

My mother’s stroke changed our family. None of her children had started families of their own. Within a few years, my mother had three grandchildren. Eventually she had six. We weren’t waiting any longer.

And so, when I was asked by A Thousand Word Photos to take part in their project, I was very happy to accept.

Here is what they do  –

A Thousand Word Photos invites photographers to share a photo with a writer who in turn is asked to create a short story of a thousand words inspired by the image they receive.

Selected short stories are then published online here, and read to stroke patients at Hospitals across London by actors working with the charity Interact.

From four or five photographs sent to me, I chose this image by Sara Naomi Lewkowicz. It was immediately intriguing and atmospheric. The green of the interior is a great colour. The light the girl is touching seems otherworldly.

I knew I wanted to write something that left the listener feeling better – better about life – than when the story started. (Not an aim I normally have.)

I hoped that – like Alice in Wonderland – it would transport them, for a while, into a different world with different rules.

Here’s the story.