The Broken Boys

This week’s ‘The Prompt’ is ‘I read the news today…’ which reminded me of an assignment I had when I was doing a creative writing course to write a piece based on a news item I had come across that week without using dialogue. Here’s the piece I wrote:


The Broken Boys

Well, here we are again, sitting on green plastic chairs in the local A&E department, waiting for a doctor to come and see us. We should have our own reserved seats in this place by now – I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve sat here with James and Matthew, our two boys. They’ve always been a wee bit accident prone, you see. I guess it comes partly from the fact that they’re sports-mad –I’ve spent many a freezing Saturday standing alongside a muddy pitch cheering them on.

They take after their dad you see. Nick still likes a kick-around with his friends every so often even though he’s now pushing 50 and somewhat less fit that he once was (although God forbid that anyone ever hints as much to him – in his head he still thinks he’s about 21!) Mind you, Nick can be pretty accident-prone himself – in fact it’s his fault we’re sat here yet again, flicking through the same old magazines (do they ever get any new ones, I wonder?), whilst the message board flickers in the corner, informing us that this time we should be seen within three hours. They need a new coat of paint, I think, looking around at the chips on the magnolia-coloured walls with their tatty posters. I could really do with a cuppa right now – shame the vending machine is out of order – and why didn’t I bring a book with me?

Nick’s being pretty grumpy about it all – mind you, he looks like he’s in a fair amount of pain with his wrist and I don’t need a doctor to tell me that he’s broken it this time. I should have known it would all end like this when he told me he was going to be putting up the shelves in the garage. Ten minutes later, there was this almighty crash – you’ve guessed it, he’d fallen off the ladder and so back to casualty we go – for the third time in ten days.

They’ve been even more accident-prone than usual lately. Just the other Saturday, there I was cheering on James at a local football match and the next thing I know, he’s on the ground after a particularly nasty tackle with his foot bent underneath him at a bit of an unnatural angle and a face as white as can be. That was the first trip to casualty – broken ankle that time. James won’t be playing football for a few weeks, and boy, is he grumpy because of it!

Three days later, I’m about to start cooking dinner when I get a phone call from my mate Sue, whose youngest Sam had been out for a cycle ride with our Matthew. Turned out Sam had dared Matthew to cycle down a set of steps in the park. Well really, that was a disaster waiting to happen – Matthew fell off his bike halfway down and broke his arm.   Needless to say, he won’t be trying that particular trick again.

So here we are, waiting yet again. Let’s hope with all of them in plaster and out of action for a bit that we’ll not be seeing this place again for a while.

Prose for Thought

16 thoughts on “The Broken Boys

  1. I just had a flash forward ten years Louise! I have a feeling my boy will be like this. He’s not even ten months yet and already trying his best to walk and he brings new meaning to the phrase ‘into everything!! Great little piece of writing, really pulled me into the story and I felt the pain of all concerned xx #ThePrompt

    1. Thank you – ah yes, once they start walking and getting into everything, it’s a challenge isn’t it? Sophie is quite similar when she’s not poorly. Glad you liked my piece of writing – I enjoyed that assignment 🙂

  2. Good post!
    I’ve done my fair share of sitting in the A&E with my boys and their various injuries, not to mention my ex hubs with his cricketing injuries. Hospital vending machine coffee should come with it’s own health warning. I try and avoid if possible. 😀

    1. Thank you – sounds like you could really relate to this piece then! I usually try and avoid hospital vending machines although it depends quite how desperate I am for a cuppa!

  3. This is a great piece Louise. What particularly impressed me – having read quite a lot of your blog – was how despite being a wife and mum, the ‘I’ of the piece didn’t sound at all like you. I think everything else of yours I’ve read has been from your perspective so it was interesting to read this! Am hoping my boys don’t end up this accident prone – thankfully we’ve avoided A&E so far! #theprompt

    1. Thank you – I had quite a different character in my head for the narrator of the piece so glad that her voice came across as being very different from mine. Fingers crossed your boys don’t end up this accident prone too – the news story I heard that inspired the piece did sound a little extreme! 🙂

  4. Great piece of writing Louise, you drew me right in, and I really felt for her! We’ve managed to pretty much avoid the ER so far, and no broken bones yet… I’m sure it will come though 🙂 Thank you so much for linking to #ThePrompt x

    1. Thanks Sara – glad you liked it and fingers crossed you continue to avoid the ER. Lovely to link to #ThePrompt as always – thank you again for hosting 🙂

  5. This is a very believable character that I’m sure many mums of boys or accident prone children will relate to. I like the sense of resignation that comes through from the narrator: it something she has just accepted is and always will be a big part of her life.

    1. Thank you – I’m glad the sense of resignation came through, that was part of the character I had in mind for the narrator.

  6. Love it. We’ve been pretty lucky with Arthur so far (frantically touching wood!), but I’m really not looking forward to the inevitable trips to A & E. A great little piece of writing with a very engaging voice 🙂 xx

    1. Thanks Sophie – glad you liked it and fingers crossed there won’t be too many trips to A&E in the future for you! x

  7. All three in plaster in the same time. That would be quite an achievement yet entirely believable! In fact that’s the beauty of this tale, I think anyone with kids can relate to it with ease. Nicely told. #theprompt

  8. Love this, like Maddy said it’s not your voice at all – and as it’s a creative writing piece, that’s a great thing! I’m sure it’s an account of the all-to-familiar A&E trips many parents can relate to xx #ThePrompt

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