i had no idea2

I Had No Idea by

I had no idea where I was. I looked around for familiar landmarks. Anything that might help me get my bearings. There was nothing at all that I could see that might point in the right direction. The street could have been anywhere.

I told myself not to panic. It was getting dark, some lights were coming on, but there was no reason to be unduly anxious. So I just started walking. I told myself that sooner or later I was bound to come across somewhere I recognised.

I crossed to the other side carefully and looked back. But it didn’t help. There were a few people walking on both sides of the street, but no-one I recognised. I was thinking of going up to someone, but decided against it. Some children surprised me as they emerged from a shop doorway, but hadn’t seen me; they turned and walked away. A woman opened an upstairs window. She looked at me, but didn’t speak. The wind was getting up. I noticed how it blew the leaves around in small circles. Winter was surely on its way.

I walked on, and after a few minutes I saw a man heading towards me. I carried on walking and tried to look as though I knew where I was headed. I didn’t make eye contact, though I sensed that he was glancing at me. A car passed along the street. Just ahead, rooks were gathering in the trees. 

The rain began, lightly at first and then with a growing intensity. I really didn’t like the rain. I found shelter underneath a large oak tree, made myself comfortable and waited for it to stop. I sniffed at the damp autumn air and thought back over my life. It had been a long and largely happy one, and I knew my family really cared for me. Over the last few months I’d been feeling very poorly. I was given medicines that seemed to help, but still the simplest things became more of an effort and I had difficulty sometimes remembering how to do things right. I looked up at the night sky with a sense of wonder. I knew that my life wasn’t going to be straightforward any more.  But I felt comfortable and safe where I was, and drifted happily off to sleep.


The woman was walking along the street. She seemed concerned about something, looking from side to side as though searching for a missing child. She stopped opposite a large oak tree and noticed a large long-haired cat sleeping near the base of it. The animal must have been sheltering from the rain. She rushed up to the cat with a sudden flash of recognition. 

‘Freddie, what are you doing here? I’ve been frantic! I’ve been looking for you everywhere.’

But it was too late. Her cat, she soon realised, had succumbed to the illness of old age, but he would always have a special place in her memories. 



Ian Coldicott lives in Lichfield, England, and enjoys writing short stories and reading crime fiction. He is keen on photography, studying philosophy, researching family history and transcribing old wills. Before retiring he worked for a local authority as a Demographic Analyst.




Photo – Ian Coldicott



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