Trifecta 107 – Urban Clearance


Our flat was on the corner of Methodist Lane. It was a typical red brick corner upon which pressing issues of the day would be discussed and argued over cans of the cheapest beer money could buy. Nearby stores sold cigarettes and booze to kids barely big enough to reach the counter. It was rough. The rest of town said it was dangerous. However, it was my home; it was where I felt safe.

Across from Methodist Lane was the park. After school it was where we all gathered. Fumblers in the bushes, pushers over by the toilets, the rest of us in the playground. The swings forever hung loosely on rusting chains; the seesaw hadn’t seed or sawed for years as it lay snapped in two. The roundabout creaked and wobbled slowly as we lay back staring at the stars – planning a way out.

One freezing cold night my view of the skies was obscured. In their way a set of shining, bluey green eyes. Eyes which instantly began to melt my previously uncontested heart. I’d seen her before in the park. She was hard to miss.

“Gotta light?” she pouted, one bejewelled hand resting on her narrow hips – the other cradling a cigarette between red tipped fingers. She looked like a rock star, and she was talking to me!

I began to stutter something unmemorable, underwhelming, uncool. The words were there but they wouldn’t come. Before I could answer she laughed: a callous, hurting laugh. One of the older boys suddenly appeared: slicked hair, a golden earring glinting, offering his silver plated lighter. As she cupped her hands round the flickering flame he leered in a way she seemed to like. They both giggled. I resumed spinning slowly on the roundabout as their voices faded.

Today I’m back. Behind the fluttering tape I watch on. Unsure whether I’m sad, happy or relieved. As the bright orange bulldozer fires up her engine it is the end for Methodist Lane. The memories though will stay forever.


These 333 words, based on the third definition of the word ‘melt‘ , form my entry into the Trifecta 107 writing challenge.

11 thoughts on “Trifecta 107 – Urban Clearance

  1. jannatwrites

    What a depressing place. I think every city has place(s) like this. I could understand how feelings would be mixed – it needs cleaned up, but it still holds childhood memories.

  2. Jo-Anne Teal (@jtvancouver)

    Paul, I was swept up in the memories and atmosphere, particularly struck by the first two paragraphs. Really enjoyed reading this and I’m left wondering how the character actually did make his “escape” from the neighbourhood, and where he is now.

  3. Momo

    So many phrases I loved…”my previously uncontested heart” “hadn’t seed or sawed in years”. You really captured the desolation of the place.

  4. trifectawriting

    Those Methodist Lanes are the places where character is built. We pray they get bulldozed down until they actually do, and then we tend to realize how much strength we learned there. I really enjoyed this one, Paul.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Pleased you enjoyed my tale from Methodist Lane. I’m fairly pleased with this piece. Might even be tempted to write more stories in this type of setting.


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