A Christmas Story

The man put down his shotgun and stared straight ahead.

Every target had been shattered and now were laying dead.

With only hours left till Christmas, how could he be so cruel?

Was he really a seasoned murderer or just a crazy fool?


Across his arm, the gun lay broken feeling hot from being used.

Now his eyes were tired, his arms heavy and his shoulder felt bruised

He told himself it was time for home, travelling with no one at his side.

At least, the journey would be silent with no tears having to be cried.


Slightly trembling fingers zipped closed the carrying bag

The weight of it on his shoulder made his body falter and sag.

How could anyone think of death only hours before such a day

He hadn’t! He was coming home from shooting one hundred clays!


© 2015, Danny Kemp. All rights reserved

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About Danny Kemp

I was at work one sunny November day in 2006, stopped at a red traffic light when a van, driven incompetently, smashed into me. I was taken to St Thomas' Hospital and kept in for a while, but it was not only the physical injuries that I suffered from; it was also mental ones. I had lost confidence in myself let alone those around me. The experts said that I had post-traumatic stress disorder, which I thought only the military or emergency personnel suffered from. On good days, I attempted to go to work, sometimes I even made it through Blackwell Tunnel only to hear, or see, something that made me jump out of my skin and that's when the anxiety attacks would start. I told my wife that I was okay and going regularly, but I wasn't. I could not cope with life and thought about ending it. Somehow or other with the help of my wife and medical professionals, I managed to survive and ever so slowly rebuild my self-esteem. It took almost four years to fully recover, but it was during those dark depressive days that I began to write. My very first story, Look Both Ways, Then Look Behind, found a literary agent but not a publisher. He told me that I had a talent, raw, but nevertheless, it was there. His advice was to write another story and that I'm delighted to say, I did. The success of that debut novel, The Desolate Garden, was down to sheer hard work, luck, and of course, meeting a film producer.
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