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U3A Writing: Deja Vu

Lee Cohen tells an "Alice In Wonderland'' tale.

It was a while since I’d been to the writing group. I was hardly prepared for the strange event that took place on my return.

Work had interrupted my attendance for some weeks so I had not written anything and I suppose I’d become a little slothful. However, two days before the next class I opened my computer and told my brain that the sabbatical was over and it was time to print again. Wasn’t an easy exercise, but eventually a story was born.

So on Tuesday morning at the appointed time, I picked up my small creation and took a stroll to the usual venue. I walked into the building and proceeded up the stairs.

“Not so fast!” came a voice from, well I don’t really know where. I looked around, did not see anyone and passed it off as not being my business, as it were. I carried on up. “Where do you think you’re going?” came the voice again. This time, although not finding anyone around, I answered just to humour whatever it was. “I’m on my way to the writing group,” I replied. And then to humour the unknown even more; “Not that it’s any of your affair.”

“Oh but it is, you see. Do you think you can just enter, put your foot on us stairs and vanish through a door?”

Then I realised what was objecting. The stairs. Remembering that stairways often had their ‘ups and downs’ it wasn’t surprising that after an absence these steps would not welcome me back quite so joyously.

“Okay dears. It’s been a while, but I’m back now and have to climb a few floors. Will you grant permission?” One needs to be diplomatic when addressing such characters. They could get mean and trip you up.

“We will have to put it to the superiors,” was the answer. “It’s taking a liberty, decisions will have to be made.’’

“But I don’t have time,” I stammered. “The class will be starting any minute now, please let me go, just this once. Please, I beg of you.”

“How long will you stay?” they demanded.

“Oh, a couple of hours only and it’s the same each week,” I protested.

They seemed to be mumbling around each other before giving me a reply.

“Okay. But we’re doing you a special favour because we could be in a lot of trouble if the powers-that-be find out. DON’T TELL THEM!” was their final word.

“All right,” I agreed. “I don’t even know who they are!”

“Well, guess what? Neither do we!” they chorused back, and began to roar with laughter.

“What was this?” I thought I was back in Alice in Wonderland. Was I dreaming? No, no this was real, but surreal at the same time.

I rushed up to the apartment in question, greeted everyone and sat down.

After a short friendly conversation, the story-tellers began to read. Finally it was my turn. I began.

“I know it’s been a while since I’ve been to the writing group, but I was hardly prepared for the strange event which took place on my return...”





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