Open Windows

An extract of my short story published in Unthology 7 as promised and I hope to share some other stories from writers in this lovely collection…


Open Windows


All children except one grow up.

                                                                        J.M Barrie

We change the world just by being here.

Your words; but not scribbled on the Post-it notes that cling to everything in your bedroom, fluttering like yellow butterflies.

Nor are they the words posted on Facebook or Twitter or that blog of yours, a testament to a life that, for all its restraints, had more freedom than ours.

And nor are they the words sprayed in electric blue on a sea wall.


These are the words that hang unspoken on our brandy-coated lips as we reach for our coats. These are the words that pound in time to our heavy footsteps as we march from your nan’s to the seafront. And these are the words that rattle like dice and when they settle form other words like: how can you be gone, yet be everywhere?

But it’s not these words we remember now as we pull our coats tighter, braced against the chill of the sea air.


The words we remember now are the very first ones.


I remember you shaking that can of spray paint; the clicking, the rattling. I remember the smell; aromatic, intoxicating. I remember the hiss as you reached up tall (no wheelchair then) and staked your claim on a tiny corner of this island; on the side of that old café, while we all looked on hoping no one would see.

Those first words are long gone – faded by sea air and then painted over when the café was refurbished. Yet somehow they remain.

Over time you refined the lettering, more artistic, the D in your name enlarged, reversed like a mirror image, your trademark (stolen from your hero and namesake – Adam Ant). I remember you scribbling it over and over, trying to perfect it, because you said everyone needs a unique signature. I did try to tell you you needed to invent your own then; not copy the Ant.

But thing is, it was you. It is you.

Only you.

As we turn the corner the lights on the oil refinery look like the New York skyline (if you squint) and I know we will all look for that signature on the wall and remember those first words we watched you write, thinking we were so grown up, about to start at the big school. Terrified of being caught.

Those first words might have gone but they speak the loudest of all.

Adam woz ’ere.

Buy the book to read more…

©Debz Hobbs-Wyatt, published in Unthology 7, Unthank Books, 2015 (Release June 20). This extract can not be reproduced without permission of the author and/or publisher


Canvey Sea Wall

Canvey Sea Wall


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