Margaret the heroic wasn’t a name that she had given to herself,
rather it had been foisted upon her by the local newspaper. Secretly she didn’t mind the title but she felt it was important to try to maintain an air of modesty in public so if anyone said it in her presence she waved her hand dismissively and told them off for being silly.
It had started during Henry, her only grandson’s Christmas holiday. Henry was affectionately called a bouncy boy by his mother. Margaret loved his visits but often found herself sitting with the lights off for a good half an hour before making herself a cup of Earl Grey and listening to the shipping forecast when he had gone.
“Come on Nanny” he cried “you promised!” he wailed, and she couldn’t deny it, she had rather foolishly agreed to take Henry to Paignton pier to play on the arcade games. They set off from her house into the bracing wind and walked the short distance to the pier. Henry was particularly fond of the teddy bear grabbing machine that never actually grabbed the teddy bears, but on this occasion his eye was drawn to a large eyed, pink dog sitting on top of a stack of 2ps.
“Please Nanny?” he looked up at her, their eyes meeting in agreement. She pulled out her purse and handed him her 2ps. Together they set the first 2p rolling towards the system of pins that would determine how it landed on the shelf. Plink it landed in the middle and in doing so pushed a number of coins forward off the first shelf, they landed pushing even more 2ps forward and more importantly tipping the pink dog straight down the chute and into the chubby hand of an exceedingly happy Henry.
Margaret couldn’t believe it, she never won anything on these machines.
Before she had time to reflect on her winning streak further she realised that Henry was now running full speed with the toy dog held tightly in his hand. “Henry she called but it was too late he was already out of the front door “Henry!” she shouted this time running after him, her breath caught in her throat as she left the arcade. The toy was now somehow sitting on top of the handrail and Henry was clambering up the railings to get it back. “Henry, no!” she half screamed, lurching forward like a prop forward from the All Black rugby team, her hand grabbing her grandson just as he reached the top. They landed back on the decking in an ungainly heap.
“That was amazing” said a spotty teenager with a camera phone pointing at her.
If you read that and felt inspired to write a story, or thought goodness I could definitely write something better, then here is your chance. Ageing Well Torbay is looking to team older and younger people up to write and record stories. Contact the office on 01803 212638 after the 4th January if you would like to be involved.