Ever Decreasing Circles


Our Story of the week comes from the eloquent short story author Kathryn Marie Halton.

Kathryn’s passion for writing began at a young age. When she was nine she wrote a charming tale about a lost mouse who eventually ends up floating down the river on the back of a swan. Her family loved it and told her to write more, so she’s been writing on and off ever since.

She continued to explore her interest in writing with a BA in English Literature and History from the University College of Ripon and York St John before working as a librarian at a local college. She now works in local government and has written about her position as website co-ordinator for the Guardian’s Working Lives series.

A proud member of Burnley and District Writers’ Circle, Kathryn usually writes short stories and in the group’s externally judged, annual competition she placed second in their Short Story category.

We’ve found Kathryn’s writing to be beautifully descriptive and thought provoking. In Ever Decreasing Circles she brings characters to life and invites readers to reflect not only on their own lives but of those around them.


‘Winter snow deadens sound. Not the persistent ringing in my head though, the volume of which has gradually increased with age. That sound is always with me. My perverse comfort blanket.

Today it accompanies me as I walk, alone, through the park. The grass lawn surrounding the duck pond lies like a soft baby’s blanket, in gentle undulations of pure white. For now, at least. Once the toddlers have been down with their wellies, and their inattentive mothers, and their bags of bread for the mallards, the sublime surface will be churned beyond recognition.

I look as if I am without purpose. I have no grandchild on a bike, no dog on a lead. I have a book – large print – and enough money in the pocket of my fleece for a hot chocolate in the café. I can make one hot chocolate last for approximately thirty of my large print pages. Forty-five minutes, or thereabouts. The walk from my home to the café in the park takes twenty minutes. The walk back – uphill – takes thirty. If I stop at the newsagent’s for a newspaper on the way back, and Mrs Potter is behind the counter, not Mr, then I can easily kill another twenty minutes. Add in the shower I have every morning, and the porridge I make on the stove top – I don’t have a microwave – and that’s my morning almost gone.

How my world has shrunk. Once it was filled with school runs, the nine to five of a job behind a desk in a town hall, football coaching ten-year-olds at the weekend. Now, I’m lucky if I speak to another human being once a day. My social outings have been reduced to the funerals of old school acquaintances and colleagues from my former life.’  Read more…