Pete’s stories never fail to elicit strong emotions in me. Whether it’s laughter, wonder—or in this case—tears, he is one of the most gifted writers I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.

beetleypete

This is a work of fiction, a short story of 980 words.

The group of teenagers carried on walking. They hadn’t even noticed the old man they had bumped into, or realised that the collision had made him drop the small string bag containing his groceries. Manny bent down to gather up the handles of the bag, hoping the big tomatoes hadn’t been damaged by being dropped onto the street. He didn’t bend as well as he used to, and felt the need to support himself against a shop window as he straightened up.

For the rest of the journey home, he stayed close to the edge of the road, avoiding the crowds jostling in the street market. There was a time he could have bought anything he needed there, but now most of the stalls sold phone accessories, cheap clothing, or loose sweets. Opening the door to his flat…

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