The writing won’t come today. I have words and ideas enough in my head but they won’t come out onto paper. My headaches with trying, my hands shake with holding the pen tightly. I shut my eyes, try to relax, to clear my head then focus but the paper stays blank.
I had a dream about a rocking horse burning. I stepped through a door into a nursery and there under the window, where sunlight blazed in was a large white rocking horse. He had a grey mane and tail, grey spots on his side and an open red mouth. He had a leather saddle and reins.
If it wasn’t for the bowed wood his hooves were upon, he might have been mistake for a real horse. As it was he was made of wood and paint; a child’s toy. When he rocked there was a loud creaking sound and the floorboards underneath him squeaked.
I wanted to go over and touch him but then the sun seemed to shine blinding bright and flames sparked up. The rocking horse was vanished under red, orange and yellow fire. The wood crackled, the paint peeled away and the leather blackened.
The urge to save the horse grow but I couldn’t move. The whole nursery became alight and I had to escape but I couldn’t. There was crying and shouting, the fire and smoke blurring the sounds. I didn’t understand that I had gone but I had.
The dream haunted me for nights until I had to figure it out. I couldn’t just be a random thing it was some kind of memory. I looked it up online and found that in the 1874, there had been a girl who died in a nursery fire which had started when the sun shinning too hotly on the back of a rocking horse had caught fire.
The Victorian greenhouse in the middle of the park had probably seen a lot in it’s time. Lovers coming and going, children wowing over the growing pineapples, gardeners complaining about the weather and waves of visitors to smell the exotic flowers.
Now, the whole building was rusted brown and most of the windows smashed. The council wanted to demolish the greenhouse, claiming it was too expensive to renovate.It seemed dooms day had arrived but there was an uproar from the people and fund raising and projects began to save the greenhouse.
Ava had never been into girly things, I had tried to get her into ballet and dance but she wasn’t interesting. Her first year at school, Ava was tested for autism and the results were positive so I became a devastated mother because my child was dumb.
The teachers said, ‘Ava is an intelligent child, she just thinks differently and her autism should be embraced not placed in an negative light.’
Years later, Ava proved this statement to be correct when she won the County’s Children Chess Championship.
I looked out of the motorhome window, rubbing sleep from my eyes. The sky was becoming light but the streetlamps were still on. I could hear water in the dock lapping the boats. Birds were singing and a car engine was fading into the distance.
I couldn’t remember arriving, I must have slept through. I got up, dressed and went outside. Cold air bruised my face, I smelt the salt off the water and I felt glad to finally have escaped.
The windows were crazed by icy lines as if a spider had gone hyperactive and spun it’s web madly. Frost lay inside the house as well as out, showing that this place had long been abandoned to nature.
My breath fogged before my face and I had cover my mouth and nose with my scarf. Dust lay thick and a crumbled calendar on the wall was dated ten years ago.
I didn’t fear the homeless, drug users or anyone else who might be here because the house wasn’t suitable. It was colder then outside and the water was frozen in the pipes. Plus, this house was far from anywhere else. My guess was it could have been the game keeper’s home from what had once been a big estate before the land had been sold off for the building of new houses.
I photographed what interested me, taking my time and enjoying this experience of untouched urban exploring.
A lone mug stood on the windowsill as if someone had been drinking tea whilst looking out at the winter snowstorm. I captured that moment feeling like it summed up the atmosphere in the house.
The smoke rose above the trees. That was how he was able to find them. He followed the smell of burning wood and cooked beans.
He moved through the night like a shadow, staying strangely silent for a beast his size. He knew how to quieten his feet, body and breath. He knew where everything lay in his forest and could avoid the nosiest bushes and dry branches of fallen trees.
It was always best to wait, he knew that but sometimes there was no time. Tonight, the people were camping, sleeping in tents. It was the perfect and easiest hunt.
He arrived, slowed and took in the scene. The fire was burning low, orange embers against the black ground. The two tents were together, sheltered under the trees but not from him. He listened and could tell they were sleeping by the sound of their breathing.
He licked his lips and crept forward. All ready he could taste their blood.
He pounced. The tent collapsed underneath and he ripped into the fabric.
Screams rippled through the air then faded into night.
There was a demon in the basement. I didn’t think anyone else but me knew. At first I just left him alone when I went to do the laundry down there. I would hear him snipper, hissing, moaning and giggling. Sometimes he would shuffle about, moving from one dark patch to another or else edging into a puddle of light to peer at me.
He was a small demon, about 4 foot and he was bright red like a burn. He had a curly, long tail with a spiked end, flat feet but wedded toes, he sometimes walked on two feet other times four. His hands were like his feet only with longer fingers and sharp like dagger nails. He’s body was bone thin, his neck long and his head too big. Huge black eyes stared out, his nose was snake slit and his mouth wide and full of needle teeth.
We never spoke but we both knew each other was aware of the other. I don’t know what he was doing down there and I didn’t wish to know. He could go about his business and I prayed he left me alone to get on with mine.
Well, the New Year has got off to a great start! We are stranded in New Zealand because on the way home from the fireworks, I fell down a flight of concrete stairs and broke my leg!
Yes, I might have had a bit too much to drink, you know how it goes! Got to hospital via ambulance as Winnie thought I’d damaged my back and neck, I was in too much pain to focus. Hospital is nice but no idea when getting out.
We’ll keep in touch, see you when we finally get back!