So at the moment, I’m doing a Creative Writing course, which is sort of fun. Last night we were asked to write a descriptive piece about a setting to really bring it to life vividly in about fifteen minutes. We could use a real place, or make one up. This is what I threw together out of my imagination… I was pretty proud of it, and it went down well so – BLOGGING IT.
The cliffs in the dark are my favourite place to stand – my back to the worn down hotels and desperate neon signs that scream “Rooms to Let”, the light pollution swallowed by the sea, which churns, indifferent to the lives on the shore. Shrill, tinny music kicks out from the ghost-town arcades that litter the seafront – money hungry mouths with no teeth. No-one has money for that nonsense. Tourist season is winding down, and the polystyrene whirlwinds of takeaway packaging have flown south for the Winter. Behind the garish promises of fun, the knock-off cartoon characters and the leering, cash clutching claws, the old Victorian buildings still lurk, a stoic reminder of a nobler time – and a tragic shell of a beautiful seaside town that’s drowning in poverty. The drunks will be out soon, jobless and bitter and spoiling for a fight. I should get home, but up here on the cliffs it is still, the inky black sea powerful beneath me. An ice-cream van stands, bright and conspicuous at One AM. I doubt it’s Ninety-Nine Flakes he’s selling. Handfuls of multi-coloured pills make you much better money. Above, a seagull cries, just a desperate for food as any of us, just as angry, just as confused. I can see highstreet shops from here, some shutters down as a barricade against the night’s aggression, others with shutters down because the income runs out, their metal eyelids closed forever. Charity shops thrive, and against all reason, there’s a Blockbuster still trading on the corner of Newsham road. I long to leave the town, to escape being trapped here like so many others – but there’s as many jobs for me as them – none.
Beyond the town, criss-crossing skeletons of steel works and industrial parks loom menacing and ugly. They seem to pen me in – threaten to keep me forever. They’re science-fiction landscapes and barbaric ancient monsters rolled into one, the opposite of the calm, pure sea they stand watch over.