Contemporary Fiction Sad

This story contains sensitive content

Please note this story alludes to paedophilia and incest.

‘They say robins are dead souls that come back to visit the earth’

‘If you’re thinking it’s her, why would she?



‘Why’d you come?’

‘She was still our Mam…and I didn’t think they’d be many here.’

 ‘You got that right.’

‘How’d you hear?’

‘Letter from a solicitor.’

‘Me too…’

‘D’you reckon they’ll be any money?’

‘Nah…Come on…We’d best go in.’


‘Welcome everybody. Today, family and friends are gathered here to say a sad farewell to Linda Frangopaulos. We’ll begin by joining together and singing The Lord’s My Shepherd.’


‘Take your time, pet.’

‘Who’s that?’

‘My foster mum…She’s been good…always stayed in touch…most don’t bother once you leave…Where’d you go?’

‘Went into supported living…at seventeen they reckoned I was old enough to fend for myself.’

‘And was you?’

‘Nah…not really…I was lonely…got in with the wrong crowd and into a wee bit of bother.’


‘Doing all right…working as a used car salesman…got a girlfriend. You?’

‘It left its mark…I’ve had a few problems.’

‘How’d you think the authorities found out about him?’

‘Don’t know…Did you tell anyone?’

‘There was nothing to tell…Did you?’

‘As far as I was concerned, we were all right until he disappeared’

‘Do you think she knew...you know…what he did to us?’

‘Probably…but I don’t think she understood that it was wrong.’

‘How so?’

‘Well…Uncle James, her brother… He was always a bit…odd.’

‘You mean…how he kept stroking her arms…and sniffing her hair?’

‘Yeah…and then there was the age difference between Mum and Dad…he was fifty-eight when she had me, and she was only twenty-six…and I think she was…you know…a bit simple.’

‘Yeah…everything fell apart when he left.’

‘That’s the thing…before he left, we all went to school, there was enough money…outwardly we were a ‘normal family.’

‘And then when the net started closing in…he ran…and she couldn’t cope.’

‘She tried to carry on as she always had…doing the washing, cleaning the house…’

‘But she couldn’t manage the money…or drive…and I don’t think she could read very well, she used to ask me to read the letters that came.’

‘And the rumours started…people called her names when she went out…our windows were egged…It must have been awful for her.’

‘And us…don’t forget what it did to us.’

‘I think she really loved him.’

‘Do you think, you know…when she left…that she went and found him?’

‘Definitely…do you know what happened to the others?’

‘Izzy came with me, to the same foster home…when she was old enough, she left and went to Australia…we WhatsApp each other sometimes.’


‘He was only little…I was told that he was adopted…How could she do that...Just leave us?’

‘I don’t know…D’you remember how we tried to manage on our own.’

‘I remember how you tried to fry those eggs without any lard in the pan!’

‘All that black smoke…nearly set the house on fire.’

‘How long before we were taken into care?’

‘Not sure…I really can’t remember…I guess your mind blanks out some of the most painful stuff.’

‘Not all of it… Here, look at the time. I’d best get going.’

‘Me too…give me your mobile number…we’ll keep in touch.’




‘It’s me Jamie…’

‘I know.’

‘Have the police been in touch?’

‘What? No, why?’

‘They found him…Dad…He was at the funeral…And so were they…They picked him up …He’s been arrested…They want us to give statements.’

‘We did all that years ago…Where’s he been?’

‘Cypress, apparently…Mum was with him, but when she got sick, she came back to England.’

‘And she never contacted us.’

‘In truth, it would have been hard for her to find us…and I gather she was pretty unwell…more or less went straight into hospital.’

‘Did he come back with her?’

‘I don’t think so, I think he just came back for her funeral.’



‘Nicos George Frangopaulos, you have been found guilty of three counts of rape, two counts of indecency with a child and six counts of indecent assault. Your three victims have had to relive their ordeal by giving evidence at your trial. At no point have you shown any sign of remorse, despite the fact that two of your victims were related to you and dependent on your protection. I therefore, have no hesitation in awarding you an eighteen-year custodial sentence.’


‘You all right pet?’

‘Yes, yes…I think so…just feel a bit numb, that’s all.’

‘It’s been an ordeal…It’s all over now, though…Why don’t you come home with me?…Have a cup of tea…’

‘Miss Frangopaulos, Miss Frangopaulos! Simon Gesting, Medway Gazette. Would you like to say a few words about your father’s sentence?’

‘Fuck off.’

‘Come on, pet…Let’s get you out of here.’

‘I need to find Izzy, talk to her.’

‘’Course…There she is, over there, standing with her husband.’

‘Izzy, Izzy!...Hi Justin…What are you going to do now?’

‘Go back to our hotel…Start looking for flights back to Oz.’

‘Will you have time to meet up before you go?’

‘Yeah sure…but Caitlin, I don’t want to rake it all up again…I don’t want to talk about it…I just want to put it all behind me and get on with my life.’

‘Ok…I understand.’

‘That’s what counselling’s for…Got mine already booked…Haven’t we babe?’

‘Yeah, yeah…gonna cost me a bloody fortune.’


‘Your parents still alive, Caitlin?’

‘Mam passed away ‘bout five years ago.’

‘Sorry, to hear that…Dad?’

‘Lost touch with him years ago.’

‘Ah, that’s tough…did him and your Mum split up?’

‘No…well, yes…sort of.’

‘Mine separated when I was three…Dad saw us every weekend though…I’m still close to him, he’s still my lovely Daddy…brothers and sisters?’

‘Yes, a sister and two brothers.’

‘See much of them.’

‘My sister lives in Australia…so, no, not her, although we Skype every now and then. I see my older brother occasionally.’

‘What about the other one?’  


‘Sorry…touchy subject?…didn’t mean to touch a nerve.’

‘No worries…I’m lucky…I’ve got a good circle of friends, I don’t need family.’

‘Yeah, yeah, with you there…You can choose your friends, but not your family, right?’ 

February 20, 2023 19:09

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Eshawnial Lowry
18:45 Feb 25, 2023

A very touchy subject, handled well I think. It's so sad that this is the story for way to many families, and individuals. They say the number is one 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men but I suspect the number is higher. Death has a way of exposing the truth. Well done!


Sharon Williams
22:02 Feb 25, 2023

Thank you for your kind words Eshawnial


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