When John Harris saw the swastika, his hand clenched until the knuckles turned white. He imagined some jumped-up little gobshite coming here in the dead of night, giggling while he drew this monstrosity. The sheer disrespect made his teeth grate. Salford Lads Club used to be a place of hope. Windows were now cracked or faded and the brick work was rotting. The painted roses that once hung proudly above the door were chipped away. The Dangerous Building sign completed a tarnished picture of childhood memories. A place of gymnasiums in the evening and choirs in the morning. Knitted scarves and free meals at Christmas. Eighty years of breaking his back and he’d returned to a miscreant paradise. John gripped the railings, took a breath and turned away.
Jamie Ryder is the author of Bluebirds.
I’m an aspiring writer and journalist from Manchester England. I’ve recently graduated with a 2:1 Creative Writing degree at Edge Hill University. I’ve written for several online magazines such as theinflectionist.com, apy2hyc.com, thepositive.com and mediaprint.com. I’m currently working on my first novel while studying for my MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Author Q & A
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this story?
The inspiration for Bluebirds came from memories from my granddad who fought at Anzio. I wanted to create an authentic WW2 background for the protagonist John. So I asked him about his experiences and worked some of them in through flashbacks.
I wanted to create a love story that isn’t conventional in the sense that it has an open and shut ending. I wanted to provide a sense of hope but leave the reader to draw their own conclusion by the end of it.