Short Story: On the Move: Under the…

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About this Short Story

Written by
JP Creton


Paul, a young Scots boy, encounters the manifold mysteries of growing up in a small community on the edge of Dundee, the Scottish 'Jutopolis' that once was. Part one of Under the Stack deals with his early family life in a one room home.


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  • 80% Community Rating
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The sun set, the stars moved across the night sky, the sun rose, and Saturday dawned as bright, brittle and inevitable as the removal van that stood in the street at the end of the close. The boy's prayers were left unanswered.

His head knew all was for the best but his heart beat out a dull, desperate tom-tom of protest. This was his home, this was his happiness, what did he care about a newly-built, three-roomed council house in a tree-lined square at the other end of Lochee?

"And the toilet's actually inside the house."

"Big deal."

The boy lingered in the bedroom, their bedroom, that had for so long been the 'boys room' where he and his brother had fought out the wars of childhood. Only the double-bed in which they'd snuggled up like contented rattlesnakes remained. He pressed his skinny eleven-year-old body into the mattress, his face into the pillow, breathing in the old familiar smells of safety, security and urine…

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Rosamunde Pilcher Guest Editor said "In my early years of marriage, my husband worked at the huge Camperdown jute mill in Lochee, Dundee, and JP Creton’s tales of childhood depict perfectly what life in Lochee was like at that time. Not easy at all, rough and hard, but there was always an unyielding spirit of community. Peter Drummond Hay’s narration takes the hard edge off the Dundee accent for us all, but never loses the momentum or wit that is underlying in these stories. "
7 years ago
Red Barn Studios said "We had the pleasure of recording this story with narrator Peter Drummond Hay a few months ago. A lot of fun to record and a lot of fun to read. On the Move really captures the atmosphere of Dundee, during what many would argue was it’s heyday, a time when the city was famous for the three J’s; Jute, Jam and Journalism. "
7 years ago

Ian Boyd said "Ian Boyd....a Lansdowne boy and fellow Pupil at th Harris: Touched my heart and soul :"
12 months ago
Keith Snell said "Excellent stuff, a few Scottish phrases that escaped me, but a superb piece of descriptive writing with great characterisations. Has a vague echo of my childhood with the outside loo and older brother. It was many years before I discovered my jealousy of him was reciprocated in equal measure - he had a job, cash, a record player, motorbikes and nights out at the local Mecca ballroom whereas he saw me as the spoilt young brat who went to grammar school and didn't have to go to work at sixteen."
2 years ago
Hajar Bakeet said "Thanks"
3 years ago
Diane Selker said "I don't know Dundee, but I do remember childhood's perspective and Creton captures it so well."
3 years ago
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JP Creton replied saying "Thanks, David. The stories are doing the job if the do give insights into the boy's life in Dundee. Fiona has done a wonderful job in getting all six recorded and up for Christmas. She's also inspired me to get on with Section2 of the novel. Best wishes for the festive season!"
7 years ago
Lisa Maynard said "Ah I loved this! I'm Dundonian and have an unusual surname too - I always wished I could be a McDonald or something! It's a different generation apart but I can relate so much to this - my mum was a jute worker when she was younger and the poverty was all around us growing up. Beautifully written, I'm looking forward to reading more of your work."
7 years ago
Lisa Maynard said "Ah I loved this! I'm Dundonian and have an unusual surname too - I always wished I could be a McDonald or something! It's a different generation apart but I can relate so much to this - my mum was a jute worker when she was younger and the poverty was all around us growing up. Beautifully written, I'm looking forward to reading more of your work."
7 years ago
JP Creton said "Thanks! - Thanks, Susan, for your very generous comments. I still vividly remember running into the clothes line that frosty night. The best way to write is to start writing. Pick and incident from your childhood and tell it like it was/is. You may be surprised how quickly your find your voice! Cheers Paul "
8 years ago
Susan Donim said "You must read this story! - This has to be one of the best stories Shortbread has to offer. A wonderfully written story, which captures youth so brilliantly. I loved the part about Paul losing his money for fish and chips, and the panic which ensued. A heart-warming story which stays with you long after you've finished reading. I implore Shortbread to make this one an audio!! "
8 years ago

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