First of all, I made the bear. The teddy on the front cover was one of over 100 some friends and I made for the local Fire and Rescue Service to give to children who have experienced a trauma. A good friend said there’s a story in that. I disagreed. So you give someone a bear – what next?
What next indeed? I wondered who would get the bear. Why they were given it – a fire, obviously since we’d made them for the fire service. But what happened to the child later? How did it impact on her life? How did it change her? The bear was truly a story seed.
As I wrote about Muriel I came to admire her. She took the bad hand that Fate had dealt her and made the very best of it, with regrets, yes, but not self-pity. I didn’t foresee the ending until much later in the process. No more details or I’ll spoil the story. I hope you read it and it makes you think.
At the age of eight, Muriel Bradshaw lost her parents and little sister in a devastating fire which left her horribly disfigured. Her life and her face were left in ruins. A lady from the Red Cross gave her a knitted teddy bear which became her only friend.
In her eighties, Muriel finds the bear again when packing to live in sheltered accommodation. When she and her bear arrive there, she finds someone who knows about the fire.