Tell A Tale in 500 Words

Unkempt Houses By Julia Hodson Hodson

‘Adult safeguarding, how can I help you?’

‘Oh hello, I’m worried about the people living in a house on the Ring Way.’

‘Can you tell me what is the nature of your concern?’

‘Well the house is covered in ivy, right over the windows, the front garden is over grown and there is a car with flat tyres abandoned on the drive……’

‘What’s the address madam?’

‘Its just between the Chinese take-away and the church on the Ring Way, I pass it every week and the ivy is getting worse.’

‘And who lives there madam?’

‘I don’t know but I am anxious about them. There is another house like it near Newark, all dirty with massive cobwebs on the inside of the windows.’

‘Newark isn't our area madam, if you can get an address and prove that an adult is at risk I can help you, don't hesitate to call again.’

‘Hello, news desk, Evening Standard, how can I help you?’

‘Hello I have a story for your lead reporter - I’m sure that he will be very interested, can you put me through please?’

‘You can tell me love and I will make sure the right reporter gets it.’

‘Yes I’m worried about some houses on the Ring Way that look like they are the homes of people that might not be able to look after themselves ….’

‘Can you be more specific, are there any children or animals involved ? Any alcohol, drugs or violence?’

‘No just you know rubbish piling up in gardens. Houses that are getting dirtier and dirtier, curtains grey at the windows. Perhaps the owners are old ……..they might need help.’

‘Thank you madam, I will pass that info on to our local reporter.’

‘Don’t you want my number? I’d like to know if the people are ok, I worry so when I pass the houses do…………………’ Click.


‘Hello, who is that ?’

‘Are you the mad woman that put a letter through my door saying that my house is dirty and my garden is full of rubbish?’

‘I was just worried……’

‘I’ll give you something to worry about you nosey old cow, now f off and mind your own business.’

‘Hello is that Jane?’

‘Who’s speaking?’

‘I’m Mr Harrington, someone called Jane has put a note through my door, was it you?’

‘Yes it was me, I’m sorry.’

‘Don't be sorry, it was nice to get a letter. I could do with a hand with my garden, but since my wife passed on its been very difficult, with my legs I can’t get out. Its been a long time since any one called.’

‘Perhaps I can help?’


‘First I am coming to come round to help you with your garden. Then you can help me to write a story about what it’s like when you can't manage any more. We are going to enter a competition, get some publicity and then people will notice when things don’t look right and do something about it.’


see more submissions for the Tell A Tale in 500 Words click here