Hugo looked around in awe at all the city folk gathered together, lighting the paper lanterns and sending them drifting into the the pale evening sky.
‘Why are we doing this, mama?’ Hugo asked, tugging on the skirts of a heavy pregnant woman.
‘Because, the princess has been born today and it’s been written that she will become the warrior who saves us from the eternal rage of the gods, so we are giving thanks for her safe arrival,’ Hugo’s mother replied as she lit a red lantern and let it fly upwards with the hope.
Eva reached into the display case and pulled out another item. In the light, she saw it was small crystal wine glass. She twisted and held the glass up towards the old woman balanced on the edge of a fading armchair.
‘Granny, what’s this?’ Eva asked.
‘It was a gift…’ Granny uttered.
‘No, it was…’ Granny trailed, her face crumpled as she tried to remember.
‘That’s okay,’ Eva replied sadly.
Eva cleaned the glass and set it aside with the other items. Granny hadn’t been able to recall any of them, her memory was too gone.
He hadn’t wanted to retire, he didn’t like having nothing to do and his wife was happier without him getting in her away at home. Luckily, he had taken that walk down by the docks that day and seen the sign for volunteers at a boat repair shop.
He’d always liked boats and working with his hands. He decided to go it ago and see what happened.
Now, he spends days outside, enduring rain and sun, fixing up boats and painting them. He couldn’t think of anything else he’d rather be spending time doing and he felt useful once again.
The egg shell lay abandoned on the grass. I wondered if the baby bird had survived. I hoped it was and safe in a nest somewhere. The likelihood was that some animal had snatched the egg and eaten it. I walked away, never knowing the answer.
The doors didn’t seem real but she knew they were, for they had house numbers on them and real steps leading up to them, though no else seemed to see them.
She knew that what was behind the doors though were not normal houses but passageways to two different countries not marked on any maps and she had visited both countries now often enough.
Today however, was different, she had a mission to try and complete; the uniting of the two places through a royal marriage and that if everything went perfectly, would stop the thousand year of war between the two countries.
Jenna was meant to be writing but she couldn’t do it. Every time she tried to sit at her computer nothing happened. She tidied the house and did the chores she had been putting off. She watched TV, telling herself she was looking for inspiration.
Finally back at the desk, Jenna tried to get her into the story. A loud squawk distracted her and she looked out of the window to see a large bird staring in at her. Wondering what it was doing, Jenna got up and went into the back garden, story officially abandoned.
Rusty knew the cave was here, the map told him so. Avoiding the red rocks that littered the landscape, he weaved his way on. Brown-red peaks rose to the blue jean washed sky and the sun beat down like a determined enemy.
He felt the sand shift under him. Rusty tried to go back but the sand movement dragged him down. He landed heavily, drifting in and out, luckily, he was only bruised and in shock when he came fully to.
He looked up and saw the entrance to the cave ahead of him. He had found it after all.
The young boys were still sat on the bench as I jogged around the fountain pond for the third time. I slowed down once more, noticing the lack of an adult with them. In the early morning, there seemed to be only us here.
‘Where’s your mummy?’ I asked them.
They looked up at me shocked. They couldn’t have been older then three and six. The older brother hugged the younger one tightly and shook his head.
‘Your daddy then? Who are you here with?’ I pressed.
The older one shook his head again, the younger boy started crying.
‘Do you know where you live?’ I asked.
Another shake of the head.
I sighed and tossed about what to do. I could jog on and leave them here, get on with my life as if I had never seen them. Or I could do what was right, phone the police and tell them that the boys had been abandoned.