Woollen shawl

red woollen shawlRoger grasped the red woollen shawl in both hands, feeling the tension in the soft threads, until his knuckles showed white and he realised he was about to tear it in half.  “Where did you find it?” He could barely force his voice above a whisper.

“Then this did belong to your wife?”  The policeman was trying to sound sympathetic, but it came across as simply bored.  To him, a missing person was a case.  To Roger it was his life fading away to be replaced by something unimaginable.

“My…Yes, her shawl.”  It seemed so odd to hear Lucy described as his wife; they had been married less than a day when she left him at the hotel for a walk to clear her head.  And now this shawl that she always carried with her on cold evenings had been brought to him by a policeman.  It had been just after noon on a baking hot day yesterday when Lucy had gone for a walk – why had she taken the shawl with her?  Why had she gone out in the first place, instead of staying with him?  So many questions, and even the simplest ones were not getting answered.  He caught hold of the policeman’s hand, squeezing the fingers tight.  “Where was it?” he insisted.

The policeman took a step back and cleared his throat.  “It was on the beach.  Just above the high water line.”

The beach was half an hour’s walk from the hotel.  They had planned to spend the afternoons lazing on the sand, after the mornings spent touring the town and nearby places.  Plans that now laid in ruins.


Roger deliberately loosened his grip on the shawl, leaving it to dangle from the policeman’s fingers.  He turned his back on his visitors and strode to gaze out of the window at the sun which was just beginning to rise over the taller buildings in the town.  He jumped as he felt a hand on his shoulder.

“Sir? I’m afraid I must ask you to come with me to the station.”

“I can’t.  She’ll be back any moment, I must be here.”  Even to his own ears the words sounded desperate.  He adjusted his angle to try to see past the buildings to the horizon in the direction of the beach, even though he knew that a series of streets lay between the hotel and the seafront.  He struggled to understand what it all meant.  Her shawl – left on the beach?  Where was Lucy? And what happened to his wife of only a few hours?

As he moved towards the door he jostled the small table that held the bottle of champagne that had been waiting for him, and did not even notice as one of the glasses fell from the table and shattered on the corner of the four poster bed as it fell.


If you want to know how the story started you’ll have to go read Vikki’s blog as it started in answer to her prompt.  Not sure about the POV here – I’m trying to get more inside my character’s head, but if it’s truly from his POV it’s not right to comment on the glass breaking without him noticing…

Written in response to a prompt but it seemed to fit well with continuing from Vikki’s prompt as well.  Constructive criticisms/tips etc always welcome 🙂 


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1 Comment

  1. Oooooooo, intriguing 🙂

    I did a story about a woman who had lost a baby, literally! She left it in town outside a shop and it vanished, for my shawl prompt 😉



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