Monday, 17 June 2019

Write-In 2019: 'Last lines' by Virginia Moffatt

“So there you have it, openings from, ‘a truth universally acknowledged’ to ‘it was the best of times, the worst of times’ and the many that have followed, play a vital part in enticing the reader into the story, capturing our imaginations, drawing us in. Next week we’ll look at the impact of last lines, equally important narratively, as they close the circle begun all those pages ago, starting with...starting with...well, I think I’ll just leave it hanging, give you a reason to show up.” The minute he completed his sentence, the lines of Gatsby came back to him, the ‘boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly in the past’, that always reminded him of his father’s descent into dementia. Fiona always frowned when he mentioned the ‘D’ word, saying he was far too young for that, and just because his father had it, didn’t mean he would succumb too.It hadn’t stopped him making an appointment and now he was going to find out the results, he had a horrible feeling she was wrong.

The doctor was young, brisk, and kind, but honest enough not to spare his feelings – rapid onset dementia, progressing fast.The symptoms were manageable now, but best get his house in order while he could.

Fiona was predictably stoic as the disease took hold quickly. After all, she loved him, she had no choice. It was hard though, watching his behaviour change. Harder still to see him lose words. The great lecturer and intellectual, speechless.

But partial memories were worse...

...Boats against the current...

...Borne back ceaselessly...

...In the..


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