The Lido. Fiction by Alex Keegan


The Lido

My father, and my mother took us to the Lido: a yellow bus to Caerleon, then a walk, down a dirty, too-tight lane. Keep in, Ronnie!

I don’t remember my sisters, perhaps they were paddling, but I, I was a boy and dad insisted. The other pool!

The other pool, huge and deep, insistent, murderous, and my father said hold on to my back you bugger as he went deeper, with his crude ignorant breast-stroke disdainful of his son.

I cried, and cried, if I fall off! He was so fucking angry: I’ll drown you, you bloody baby! And my mother had to intervene. They left me clinging to the side, a coward, my father sloughing away from me, disgusted.

Later, he dived over me, knees out like a frog. Because of shrapnel, my mother said.

I was so scared of my father, but years later it would be my mother, by leaving us, who would hurt me.


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Novelist, short-story writer and poet, Welsh-Irish Alex Keegan recently started submitting again after a three-year hiatus.

He lives near Reading, England and looks after two asylum-seeking refugees. A tough, warts-and-all critic, he teaches creative-writing at Alex Keegan’s Boot Camp on line and F2F.

Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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