Shattered.Anna was always quiet, but very polite. From the moment she was born, a tremendous weight was put onto her shoulders- she was to be the woman Mrs. Ashton never grew to be.

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                Tracy Kelly


“Why?” Mrs. Ashton sunk from the sofa onto the floor in tears. “I gave her what she wanted!” she put her head in her hands.

“Mum, this was something none of us could’ve done anything about,” replied Liam, placing himself next to her on the floor. “We didn’t know.”

“We should’ve known,” Mrs. Ashton sobbed into the sleeve of her jumper “I should’ve known.” She paused as she looked down at the pile of food in front of her. Uncertain whether to believe what had just happened was true, Liam stared vacantly at the fireplace. Silence filled the room. I watched as the heartache set in and the grief fell over them. There was nothing I could do, I tried to help, I’d been there and listened, but it wasn’t enough to save her.

Flustered and uneasy, Mrs. Ashton suddenly rose to her feet and started pacing up and down the room.

“She could’ve talked to me about it, I would’ve understood. Why didn’t she tell me? What did I do wrong? I only wanted the best for her, did I push her too hard?” her voice was shaking and her hands were trembling. In silence, Liam sat, dismayed, watching Mrs. Ashton pace faster and faster, clenching her fists, tears streaming down her face, the veins on her head protruding far enough to cast a shadow on her forehead, her visage turning a vermilion shade of anger. The pace of her voice became faster and faster when suddenly, in a fit of unforeseen rage, she picked up the vase from the mantle behind her and hurled it across the room with such tremendous force it could have broken through a wall. Unfortunately Mrs. Ashton never had a brilliant aim; the vase I had always admired from a distance, the china one with meticulous patterns painted from top to bottom, was coming straight for me. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think. I was frozen. As the vase hit, my life shattered along with the memories.


From the moment I was brought into the house I felt welcome. The Ashton’s were willing to accept me into their amiable home and family from the beginning, they trusted and confided in me. They never seemed to mind me being there when I thought I shouldn’t. It was like I was part of the family. Anna and Liam took a fondness to me from the moment they were born; both of them would often just sit and stare at me inquisitively, making faces at me, as if I were a cameraman, ready to take a photo.

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One of the most cherished memories I have of the Ashton’s was the first night I spent in the house; Mr. And Mrs. Ashton had both finished unpacking the boxes that filled the living room. Nestling on the sofa in front of the fire, neither of them spoke a word to each other, and all you could hear was the crackling of the flames. It was so warm and cosy, similar to a scene from a movie. I admired the couple from a distance as they fell asleep, totally exhausted, in each other’s arms. It was from that moment ...

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