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The Widows Blade Excerpt

the widows blade excerpt

The Widows Blade Excerpt

This is a work in progress titled, The Widows Blade.

It was only three months after their second son, who they named Matthew, was born that Kathleen’s husband was given a tour of duty in Afghanistan. The tour was to last twelve months. Kathleen was devastated. She was now to be on her own with the two boys for an entire year. She had been aware that this could happen but never in a million years thought that it actually would.

Somehow, though, she managed to get into a routine of getting Ben to school, Matt to Child Care, do her own job as a teacher, collect both children from the after school care facility and cook, clean and maintain a decent household. She really did not have any time to worry about her husband, But she was overjoyed when his tour of duty was finished and he was back home where he belonged. She was now guaranteed to have him by her side for a year, possibly, hopefully, more.

Kathleen’s husband was given a second, and then a third tour of duty in Afghanistan. They both knew that no-one ever did more than three tours and were even slightly pleased with this last posting because that would nearly take Matthew to the end of his ten-year contract. She and the children all waved goodbye to him happy in the knowledge that this would be his last time away from home.

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Mother Love


Fifteen minutes has passed

The sun is streaming through the window

Warming her face

The brightness of it pains her eyes

She looks away


Noise outside the window

Droplets of water that formed on the leaves

Now become rivulets on the central pathway

Travelling to the leaf tip and dropping

Splashing into the gathered puddles on the ground


Small birds flitting through the branches

Slaking their thirst with the freshly fallen life

Now chirping announcing their presence

For those who would listen


She turns to the sweet melodic sounds

Unable to see from where she lay

Kicks with delight making her own sounds

Still dazzled by the light there are shapes

Shapes and shadows on the reflective pane


Oh if she could make them out

A familiar sound approaches

She giggles and in her happy oblivion

The absence of knowledge blissful


Fifteen minutes had passed

Since she was placed here

Since the first drops of the summer shower

Driven to hit the window by the wind

Entertaining her eager mind


The large shadowy shape is here

There is a familiar pleasant scent

She burbles with pleasure at the touch

She floats effortlessly upward

Grasping the cloth in her tiny hand

She nestles in the bosom of her mother

© Hamish McKenna

Read The Widows Blade Chapter One Scene 1

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The Widows Blade Chapter Two Scene 2

The Widows Blade Chapter One

The Widows Blade Chapter Two Scene 2

A few days had passed since the boys had been at ‘the site’ but Ben was determined to go back. “Mum will skin us if she finds out that we went back to the site, Ben.”

“Do not worry, she will never know. It is our secret, OK?”

“I guess.”

“Let’s go then.”

The boys kicked the ball around for a bit in the factory yard, but their curiosity got the better of them and the ventured back inside the derelict building.

“It stinks in here,” said Ben.

They wandered over to the far left of the warehouse and found an office cubicle that still had a couple of desks and chairs plus two cupboards. They started opening the doors and drawers looking for nothing in particular.

After five or so minutes of rummaging, Ben said, “Let’s go. We can have a look through the rest of it. We might find something.”

“Like what?” asked Ben.

“I do not know. Just something. Anything that might be worth having. No-one else wants what is here, do they?”

Matt shrugged his shoulders in agreement and they wandered off down the far wall towards the other end of the factory. There was a fair bit of light coming through the windows today so it was not too gloomy.

Matt caught Bens arm, “What is that over there?”

“Dunno. Let’s go see.”

As the two boys approached the form on the floor ahead of them, the foul smell grew in intensity and they began to hear a buzzing noise which got more intense the closer they got. The small was really bad now and it made Matt and Ben gag a bit. As the took a few more steps, they realized that the buzzing was from flies and the stench was from the shape that was, in fact, that of the body of a man.

Unable to tear their eyes away, they saw flies covering the dried blood that was all over the man. Then they saw his face. It seemed at first to move a little. Then they realized that it was covered in a writhing mass of maggots.

They both threw up simultaneously and ran for their lives.