Promises, Promises.

Promises, Promises

The bleak landscape extended to the horizon. The usual heavy grey mist settled over the city. Dulled and suffocated, life had ceased to struggle here. Glenforayne lay before me, crumbling evermore from the inside out. In the 1950s, families had flocked to the promise of Glenforayne. New industries, new opportunities; council sponsored incentive schemes to attract labourers to the steel mills. And we came. Housing, schools, parks for children. An escape from the impoverishment of the big city, from unemployment and squalid bedsits.
Ten years later we had failed. We had lost the international investment so crucial to the steel works. The economic outlook for Glenforayne buried deep in the silent tunnels of the silent mines. Our men had toiled ten hours a day in the grime and grit, but after all, when the company pulled out, it was our fault, our failure.
Sometimes I feel compelled to return here. I stand in the casing of the town clock, high above the promised land that was delivered of a dead child. The cogs and wheels of time grinding behind me. Time has aged us. The city, the lost souls in the unemployment queues, the unkempt, wind blown streets. Minutes move past my vista, hours turn. Eventually years have gone but nothing has changed.

Promises, Promises.

Joanna Beilby

East Bentleigh, Australia

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Short Story

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