‘Here are the plans for the wind farm and new pier,’ Tom said and hung his drawing up.
A ripple of sniggers and giggles went around the boardroom.
Tom turned to look at his drawing…
It wasn’t his!
The picture showed a line of wind turbines out at sea and a pier below them and were those stick people on the pier?
It looked like one of his children had tried to cope his finally draft.
‘Erm…sorry,’ Tom mumbled, ‘wrong drawing.’
Shuffling through his papers then his briefcase, Tom tried to keep his cool. He need this to go well and nothing was going to stop him. Realising all his drawings were gone, he coughed and turned back to the boardroom and indicted the drawing presented before the stern business investors.
‘Anyway,’ Tom picked up, ‘as you can see this gives us the rough idea of what is going to happen….’
Working from home sounded great but in reality it was horrible. The kids always wanted something then the dog wanted something, then the wife was yelling at the kids or the dog of just in general.
Having a meeting was like dealing doing a deal with the devil. I was tried of telling people to un-mute themselves or turn there sound out or was that a fire happening in their background?
I just wanted a few minutes peace to write this report. My children stuck stickers to my back, I ran the dog’s paw over with my chair and my wife was asking what time I’d finished work because it was my turn to cook tonight.
The house was always a mess, the children kept moving my things and I just wanted my nice clean office back!
Right, enough is enough! I’m going to empty the shed and turned that into a office. I could lock the door and be at peace in there. I could carry my briefcase across the garden each morning and pretend I was going into work. I could get a radio and a coffee machine….
Yes, that’s what I needed, an office away from office.
Jo had forgotten all about the house. During a ramble, she came across the place and memories bloomed. It was a warm summer’s day with a breeze ruffling the trees and the wild flowers making the air so fragrant. Jo had been walking without thinking, listening to music and enjoying wandering about.
She came across a fallen barb wire fence and thought it was just some old farming boarder. Then came more discarded fencing and overgrowth of nature. From behind tall bushes and trees, a building poked out.
Frowning, Jo came closer and slipped her headphones off. She looked up at the house and she remembered once living there with her other parents before the nice lady and grinning man had taken her away.
It had been years since they had seen rain. The sky was was always clear, icy blue and the black ground dry and cracked. They, the plants and animals survived by the deep holes drilled into the ground and the pumps that let the water come up.
The water was heavily restricted; only two water pots per house a day then additional ones for people with animals and plants. In summer, this was further restricted as the need to make sure the water was saved became a priority.
The look outs, who normally yelled the sightings of travellers and enemies, were the first to spot the cloud back. Only one of them could remember the last time the sky had changed.
The message spread like birds taking flight in a panic. People gathered, faces to the sky then they hurried for anything that would contain the water. The streets became cluttered with pots, bowls, cauldrons and all manor of other things.
With held breath and quietness, everyone waited and after what felt like a life time, the sky became dark and grey. Then the first drops fell, a few spots here and there like a soft cast off of spray.
Crossing another task of my long list of them, I looked through the pages; some computer typed and others handwritten which were stabled together, at the other jobs there. They were all D.I.Y tasks like; paint the fence, fix the bottom draw in the kitchen, put the wheel back on the shelf unit, replace the doorbell.
It was was strange to think that once I hardly had the time or else I would say I’d do it tomorrow and now I needed to fill the daytime up because my job was on hold. What better way to pass the time then getting through my lists?
Everyone else was in the same place and constantly I would hear the whirl of drills, the teeth-on- edge scrapping of a spade against rocks and the blasting chugging of a chainsaw. Voices would drift from other back gardens; children playing, neighbours talking loudly over their fences and the wind slapping shut doors.
I frowned over a scrawling of words at the bottom of the list but couldn’t make them out. The one below it appealed to me more then anything else; build wood plants for herbs and butterfly/bee liking flowers.
The abandoned theme park was where we hung out. I loved the creepy feeling of the dilapidated buildings. All my friends were daring each other to do stupid things and I got picked to slide down the helter-skelter.
I climbed the rusty steps and held on to the blue painted chipped handrail. I made it to the top and hurried into the dark mouth. I felt the helter skelter shaking as I shuffled downwards.
There was a snapping and groaning of plastic and metal. I tried to run but my head hit the tunnel top and stumbling down my belly I blacked out.
Screaming from the girls outside brought me back to then all sound faded as I shook the pain from my head.
I carried on sliding down, feeling all the bumps of the joints underneath me.
Finally, I reached the end and slide out into a dirty puddle topped with leaves. Breathing deeply, I waited for the cheers of my friends but none came. Instead, other voices crowded the air welcoming me to Fun Land.
I fell through a puddle and ended up in a world that was the same as my own but different because everything was backwards.
I walked the streets and saw the names of shop signs were written backwards. People, cars and animals moved backwards, never seeming to look where they were going but still reaching their destination without accident. I listened to conversation and realised that all the words spoken were backwards too.
‘Why is this?’ I cried.
‘Dlrow noitcelfer a si sith esuacbe,’ a man explained.
I didn’t understand him and laughed.
‘!Edur,’ the man said and walked away.
Going to a playground, I saw children playing and tried to join in but they were all going backwards and I kept going the wrong way! The children shouted at me and pushed me out of the playground.
I fell into a puddle and the world tipped the right way again.
‘Are you all right, love?’ an old lady asked me.
I sat up, looked around and saw everything was right again.
‘Yes, thank you. I’ve just come back from that other world down there,’ I explained and pointed at the puddle.
The old lady winked and said, ‘the reflective world is a fun place to be.’
I’d never destroy a book, they are like precious stones to me so when I received a book who’s sole purpose was to be drawn in and have pages abused, I was stunned. How could anyone, let alone me, do what this book was demanding?
Flipping through the almost blank white pages, I read the title on each one and my mind turned of the suggestions that the book was wanting; fold this page, draw dots, create a pet, write a list of things you have lost etc.
‘How can I do this to you?’ I whispered.
‘Because I want it,’ the book answered back, ‘I don’t want to be empty. Fill me with your pens.’
I shut my eyes, took up my pens and made my first marks on the cover. I was expecting to recoil in horror by what I had done but actually, I smiled at my crude drawing of a tree.
It’s okay, I thought, this book was made for this and the pages want me to bring them to life.
The low tide revealed the secrets that had been underneath the sea for a long time. At first it seemed nothing but old stones that had all ways been there, covered by seaweed and sand.
The more the sea retreated, the more the stones became something else. It was clear that someone had placed them here and made structures out of them. The stones weren’t naturally placed or random, the formed something long forgotten.
Archaeologists came and explored things. Flags and ropes plotted things out, these then went on to hand drawn maps and on to computer programs for further study. Tents appeared in the car park and along the top of the beach. Radio voices crackled through the air mixing with the digging of spades and scrapping of trowels.
Finally, the archaeologists gathered sun burnt and covered in sand to declare a Roman road and town.