Death by DVD

(850 words) Horncastle boasts a plethora of antique shops, from the smartest emporia of expensive furniture and rare porcelain to a converted church, shared by a number of dealers, with a myriad illuminated cases displaying bright, enticing jewellery and knick-knacks, to the chaotic and mind-boggling maze of bric-a-brac and junk that is Archer’s. But this picturesque town and its surrounding villages hold a dark secret. In the past two years, since January 2016, there have been twelve suicides, predominantly of young people under the age of twenty-one. An astonishing SIX times the national average.

Scene in a Lincolnshire Churchyard

(500 words) Eyes, beady all-seeing eyes, watched from above as I stood at my father’s graveside. I turned my binoculars to watch the bird circling high above an adjacent field. It was russet with white patches at the end of each elegant, outstretched wing, a span of at least five feet, I adjudged. Although too distant, I knew there to be bold pupils within pale eyes and flared nostrils in a hooked yellow bill. A majestic red kite. Now he (I imagined a male) was gliding effortlessly in a circle - looking for prey, whilst doubtless keeping a wary eye on me.

Tetford, No Ordinary Village

(500 words) -A shiny green ‘Welcome to Tetford’ sign, embossed with a church amongst hills, stands on each of the three approach roads. Information states that Tetford is ‘twinned’ with Juillé, though it’s doubtful anyone cares. One approach to Tetford, situated in the Lincolnshire Wolds and home to 400 or so, brings you through woods down Tetford Hill, until you emerge to a panorama of neat green, yellow and golden fields beneath a huge sky.