My granddad saved the carved wooden cupboard door from a skip. He said it was too nice to throw away and he could easily build it into something. The carving sat in his shed for years and each time I saw it, I asked what it was of and he’d tell a different story each time;
‘It’s a knight saving his village from a monster attack.’
‘The windmill’s on fire and that guard is charging in to save the man’s family.’
‘A staving solider is raiding a farm.’
Those stories stuck with me and when granddad died, I tried hard to find the carving wanting to save it. We searched everywhere with no luck but I couldn’t believe granddad would have just gotten rid of it.
Then my older brother removed a small cupboard that was in the hallway and on the back of it I saw the carved panel!
‘So, he did finally get to use it!’ I cried, hugging the cupboard.
I took the cupboard home with me and placed it in my bedroom. I can see the carving all the time now and recall all those memories of granddad.
Our laughter sounding across the garden, mixing with the sound of the sweet summer rain. Our racing footsteps to the old family mausoleum, the closest shelter around. Us standing in the doorway, watching the rainfall as the drops dripped off us like it did on the tree leaves.
We cuddled together upon one of the cold marble beaches that formed a broken circle around the staircase that led down to the tomb. You kissed me with the softness of first love. I said we shouldn’t, but we both wanted it and it felt so right.
Laying naked on the stone floor, staring at the mosaic on the ceiling, not thinking anything. Listening to your gentle breathing and heartbeat, realising my own was right alongside. We kept warm by shared body heat, dozing on and off. How I wished that moment could last forever.
Time and life don’t wait for anyone. At least we had all those years together and now we can finally be together once more.
Please ignore the picture on the front. It’s an old postcard I had to dig out of my stash! This is a sign of how bad things are becoming down here. The weather has slowed delivers coming in and only wants needed has been arriving. The shop is sold out of almost everything and the village council are handing out supplies.
I have been raiding my chest freezer and finding all the wild berries, fruits etc we picked over the years. Knew they’d be handy some day, but not like this! Don’t bother to send anything, it won’t get through as they have stopped all personal packages and none important mail. I’m sneaking this one out!
The statue in the garden always caused arguments. Some of the family liked it, the other half hated it but I loved it and the sweet sad story that went alongside.
Great granddad Joe had gotten it made after his wife, Arabella, had died but the cemetery owners wouldn’t let the statue become great grandma’s gravestone. So, he placed it in the garden and had her buried there instead. He then joined her ten years later.
Arabella had been a famous ballerina and Joe saw her perform one night and knew he had to make her his wife. They were married forty years and had eight children but for the last ten years of her life Arabella was wheelchair bound. She had fallen off a horse and broken her back. All she ever wanted to do afterwards was dance again but being unable, Joe would pick her up and dance with her in his arms.
The statue was a tribute to this but also a symbol of true love. Every time I saw it, I was reminded how powerful and pure love could be. It was my hope that one day I’d met a man like great granddad Joe.
I watched the rain and the sun through the oak tree’s branches and leaves. There was going to be a rainbow somewhere but I didn’t care to look for it. Wiping the tears from my face, I wonder how this had all happened to me. How could I have misread the signs of his affections? All along he had wanted my younger sister!
The oak’s trunk was damp and rough at my back, I had been ignoring the discomfort but now I eased off the tree. I looked at my muddy shoes and skirts. it would be hard to hide them when I returned. I gazed around the woods but no solutions came to my foggy mind.
I should go back to the house but they were all there celebrating the engagement. How was I ever going to face him again? I couldn’t call him out on it, he would deign it. So, I had to live with this the rest of my life; the man I loved, married to my sister and lost to me forever.
From his window, safe and warm in his house, Peter watched a mixture of hailstone and snow falling. In a few blinks, everything was icy white as if someone had dropped lots of tins of paint. Cars slide across the road and people tried to battle against the snow storm.
A bright flash of light nearly blinded him and Peter looked up, confused. Had that been lightening? He listened, but could hardly hear the rumble of thunder that followed. Two storms at once? he wondered. Searching, he soon saw another lightening strike but this time he didn’t hear the thunder.
He searched his mind and recalled something, he had once heard on the news in another country; thundersnow. It happened in winter, during a snow storm and the lightening was brighter then normal due to reflection off the snow and the thunder was quieter. Was this what he was seeing now? Peter wasn’t sure, but it seemed possible.
It was all ready a week into the new year and I still hadn’t decided on any resolutions. Though as my best friend had delighted in telling me, ‘goals of the new year,’ was now the fashion. Instead of being negative and ‘giving up things,’ make what you want to do more positive. So like saying ‘this year I’m going to go on a strict diet and really going to lose this weight,’ turn it around and say ‘I’m going to buy that dress one size down to inspire me eat less everyday.’ It didn’t seem to matter to me though, they both meant the same thing.
Tapping a pen from my new stationary set on the blank piece of paper before me, I wondered why I needed to write down some yearly goals anyway. What was behind this tradition of setting these goals in a new year? Why couldn’t you write them down some other time? What if you had no goals?
I slide the piece of paper away and placed the pen on top. I folded my arms over my chest and stared at them. This year, I wasn’t going to set any goals. I was just going to live how I wanted to.
Thank you for your lovely letter. Sorry that I don’t have enough time to write. We have been super busy on the farm, it never stops! My prize sheep dog give birth on Christmas morning, shocking us all, but the puppies are so cute. I have already picked out the best one for you, if you want it. Then on New Year’s eve, two of the goats had kids; twins and triplets!
The weather has been bad here with heavy snow, gales and some flooding in the lower fields. There’s snow on the ground at the moment and it looks like there’ll be more soon. It really does make life harder but the scenery is prettier. So, if you fancy some snow you know where to come too!
It was nice to sit by the lake, watching the lapping waves and the cold blue evening sky above. A dusty layer of snow lay on the ground and at some of the lake’s edges thin ice had formed. Winter’s chill was heavy in the air, promising more snow in the night but for the moment it was safe to be outside.
There was hardly any noise, just the distance sound of late dog walkers, joggers and cyclists, like myself. I could hear the soft cracks of the ice as the water moved underneath. Looking at a patch close by, there was a glazed spider web pattern of crazing across the smooth surface. It seemed almost artistic.
Turing my face to the sky, I wondered how badly it would snow tonight. The clouds were slowly coming in, turning everything darker. I felt a drop of wetness then it started to sleet. Balancing on my bicycle, I watched the icy rain fall into the water. Little ripples bobbed on the surface and on the ice the sleet seemed to start sticking.