When I stepped out of the teleporter, the first thing I saw was my mother, her back towards me. Her hair permed and snow-white. Well, it always had been, and she was wearing the vermillion cashmere sweater I had bought her for Christmas over her knee-length crimson skirt. She was always one for the classic look.

“Your late, son,” she said hearing me step down from the pad. “I made your favourite,” she continued unaware of my hesitation, stooping to take something out of the oven.

The sweetness of blackberries, the thickness of caramelised sugar, and the warmth of crumble baked to perfection drifted over me. Cocooned in a cloud of warmth, feeling like her arms were holding me again when I was just seven years old with a bruised knee and tears in my eyes. I just stood there, mouth open slightly.

She looked at me, tilting her head inquisitively, a smile forming amidst her powder-puffed wrinkles.

“Well, sit,” she said, gesturing towards the table with an oven-mittened hand. Eddies of steam lazily drifted above the pie in the late-afternoon light through the net-curtained window.

I sat down.

The teak dining table was polished as usual, with a few specks of dust drifting in and out of the sun’s light. The clock ticked slowly on the wall. A few pots waited in the enamel-coated butler’s sink for their inevitable wash-down. A glass of white wine glinted in the light, frosted on the outside. The teak wall-cupboards were all closed, the terracotta tiles wiped clean and everything else neatly in its place.

I hung my head and started to cry. “What’s wrong, honey?”

“The teleporter malfunctioned.”

“It’s OK, honey,” she comforted. “We all do. That’s why I made your favourite.”

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By Edward

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    About me

    About 40 years ago, I discovered role-playing and Dungeons and Dragons in one of the after school clubs. It revealed a universe that allowed me to flex my storytelling muscles and enjoy a mixture of fantasy and sci-fi and feed the escapist dreamer inside.

    Over time, I played (and story-led - marked with *) many systems including Call of Cthulhu*, Shadowrun, Dungeons & Dragons*, Middle Earth, In Nomine*, Bushido, Chivalry & Sorcery, Chill, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Gammaworld, Hawkmoon, Stormbringer, Immortals*, Marvel Super Heroes, Paranoia, RuneQuest, Vampire: The Masquerade*, and a couple of systems my own devising (Medieval* and Parody*).

    I explored live-action role-playing – eventually running my own club and creating my own LARP systems (Fools Gold and Dream Conquest) – and usually found myself in script-writing or game-master duty, writing over 500 individual live adventures over the period (usually weekly), many linked into the world events of the fantasy land we created. I also volunteered for Curious Pastimes and Lorien Trust at their main LARP events (special effects at the Ritual Circle), and did a little script work, cameos and improv for Curious Pastimes. I was also the South East's Editor (UK) for the LARP magazine The Adventurer. The biggest event I ran was a 10-month modern-day "murder mystery" LARP set around parts of Kent where characters were "always-on" and could get updates and interactions at any time outside of scheduled events. That was in the 1990s.

    I was also the artistic director for English Heritage for their live Halloween Horrors events at Fort Amherst in Kent from 1998-1999.

    Now, I write as the mood takes me with occasional competitions and challenges, and this year (2020) I will be taking on #NaNoWriMo.

    Here's to the future!