Lavender #First50Words

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Lavender ran fingers over the purple flowers she was named after. A heavy scent clouded the air, she breathed in deeply, felt relaxed but also a bit head-achy which due to being in this field. Too much of a good thing! Getting a lavender sprig she took it home.

(Inspired by; https://first50.wordpress.com/2019/01/07/lavender with thanks).

Between #Writephoto

I don’t remember much about the Between, but mum said I spent a lot of my childhood there. I was an only child and Mum was a single parent on the run from her abuse ex-husband, a father I never knew. We moved around so much, not having much contact with anyone. Years later, I asked her why that was, couldn’t she have gone to the police or someone for help? She said, things back then were just different. It was normal for a husband to hit is wife.

I didn’t go to school and was only let out sometimes, so the Between was my imaginary world. Mum said it started when we stayed in a semi-abandoned farmhouse when I was around six. She let me out to play in a wild meadow and I came back talking about fairies and unicorns.

From then, I would often talk aloud and play with the things from the Between. I drew pictures too, to show mum what the animals and people were like. She kept some of them that I had drawn in a small sketch book. There was a fairy princess and queen, a unicorn, strange dragonflies and butterflies, gremlins, goblins, imps, pixies and other fantasy creatures.

‘You must have told me about them and I just imagined it all!’ I laughed to my mum.

‘No. I never said anything about any make believe things,’ mum explained, ‘not even Father Christmas or God.’

‘Oh…Then I must have read about it somewhere,’ I wondered.

‘Perhaps. I don’t remember,’ she replied, ‘I was sad when you grew out of it though.’

I hummed as I thought back. It was hard to remember clearly, but I started high school in one of the towns we were hiding out in. Something about being forced to go…But it meant that town became our permanent home. I had something of a normal life then and the Between was lost to me.

‘I guess it was a childhood thing,’ I added with a shrug, ‘but why were you sad?’

‘Because it meant you were grown up.’

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/02/15/thursday-photo-prompt-between-writephoto/ with thanks).

The Light

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I hadn’t walked in Crow Woods since we had moved away thirty years ago. Trailing my fingers across the rough trunk bark of the first tree, I took a deep breath. The heavy scent of damp soil and green nature with a hint of pine was all too familiar. Underneath me on the single track, mud coated my boots and there was touch of frost and ice in places no one had yet been.

The sight of all the trees like old friends, made me recall my childhood. Everyday, I’d come here to play, my imagination fuelled by the nature and freedom. I hadn’t needed anyone else or any toys, I had searched and used what the woods had. Sticks had became swords to fight off monsters, the stream became a mighty river that I sailed on and tree hallows had turned into deep caves.

I smiled at the memories. I had been so lucky. Pausing, I looked around and admired the bare trees as they reached skyward. Birds were singing in the distance and there was a breeze now knocking things together. I shut my eyes and thought if I listened hard enough I could hear the ghost of my mother’s voice calling me home.

Mum didn’t like me staying out once it got dark. I had to agree with her as once the light had gone from the sky something seemed to happen to Crow Woods. It was a hard feeling to describe but it was like the atmosphere changed to a dark, grim feeling. You could no longer trust the trees or the ground, they harboured shadows with ill intent. But the light was the worse part.

Reaching the last stretch of trees, I ducked under their shade as if I was a shy child again. Stretching in front of me was a low raise, framed by a rusty wire fence then wild fields surrounding a hill with a flat top. I couldn’t see it now because of all the growth but this was Crow Farm and up there had been the house.

A lingering fear grew in my stomach as I remembered everything. Only once, I had been up to that hill and stood in the ashes of the house. I had told my parents and they had forbidden me to return. It was dangerous and trespassing, if anyone catches you they could shoot you! Despite my fear, curiosity stayed with me but I didn’t leave Crow Woods again. Though I came close countless times.

I heard a woman singing sweetly, often on cloudy afternoons when I had followed the stream too far down. I would go looking for her but I would never find her and instead end up on the boarder of Crow Farm. On Sundays, I would hear children playing and laughing when there was no one else there. When it rained and I tried to go home, some strange wanting to be in the woods would overcome me and I’d have to fight it off.

Then I started seeing the light. It was a single beam from a high window, but it was so strong that it shone out over the trees. It came on cloudy and rainy days, in the evening whenever the daylight was low so that It would be seen more clearly. I followed the light sometimes, when I was feeling brave and I would end up at Crow Farm. There on the hill, I would see the shadow outline of the the house with one of the upstairs rooms lit up.

I didn’t tell anyone. I thought at first it was just my imagination but it was just too real to be. Later on, fear kept me away as I started seeing figures and hearing piano music coming from the house. I stopped following the light and thought that would solve everything. I tried to go back to normal but I could never play in Crow Woods like I could be before.

One winter night, I woke up and found the light in my bedroom! It was shinning through my window and the beam was leading straight out to the farm house. I screamed and screamed but It didn’t stop. Only when my parents came in would the light leave and they thought I was having nightmares. There was no pattern to when the light would come but I knew it was not going to go away.

My parents tried everything; doctors, specialist, moving my bedroom, moving schools then finally we had moved house. Mum had always wanted to live on the coast and it was there that I found peace after six years. The light had become a faded memory, nothing more then a childhood accident that I grew out of.

Standing here now, all that was hard to believe but I knew it was true. The Light was still calling me, it always had been.         

Postcard #41

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Dear Kay,

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!

Hope you have a great new year!

All the best, Pippa.

Mini-Vacation

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House-sitting for the farmer next door, hadn’t seemed such a bad idea at the time; what a nice min-break it’ll be! Now though, I’m chasing a fox, who’s chasing the hens around the yard and I’m really not having a good time at all!

(Inspired from; https://first50.wordpress.com/2017/08/25/mini-vacation/ with thanks).

Somewhere In A Farmer’s Field

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Tony walked through the pumpkin field, looking for the perfect one to turn into a prize winning Jack O’ Lantern. However, he couldn’t seem to spot one. All the pumpkins seemed too small and dis-formed. In fact, only a handful were orange colored and the rest were yellow, green, white, brown and black.

He stopped in the middle of the field and looked around. Deep down he knew the perfect pumpkin was out here. He put his hands in his pockets and began walking again. Rain began to fall, softly at first then harder, but he ignored it and fixed his eyes on the pumpkins passing his feet.

In the distance, he could hear a tractor and the sound of cows. For a few madding moments he thought Farmer Jones had taken the perfect pumpkin for himself. Of course everyone wanted to win the Harvest County Fair. Surely, the farmer had better things to put in then a Jack O’Lantern though and hadn’t they always had a good deal with buying products over the years of being neighbors?

Tony shook his head and carried on walking. Out here, somewhere, he knew the perfect pumpkin was just waiting for him to pick it up and carve out his final master piece.

Unfinished

Red and White House Near Green Tree Photo

Kez didn’t like the unfinished and abandoned house at the end of the lane. Yet, it haunted him. There was just something about all the stories that surrounded the house and the way it looked rotting away. Even though it was unassuming, there something totally off putting about it. Maybe it was the torn up grassy front garden, the half boarded up windows, the open doorway that looked like a dead mouth…

Whenever he went passed it, Kez would always stop. He would peer over and through the overgrown hedges and bushes to look at the mysterious house. Today though, he felt there was something different the place. He looked into the garden and saw the rotting house. The roof tiles hadn’t fared well in last night’s storm and some were broken on the ground. He saw a flicker of movement and looked closely. Was that a person hiding at the side of the house?

Whatever it was moved and began to take more of a form. It took Kez a few seconds, but then he realised it was a donkey. The brown and white animal plodded across the grass and came to stand before the abandoned house’s doorway. Kez frowned, how had a donkey gotten in there?

Maybe, he thought, it had escaped from a nearby field? The house was boarded on three sides by farmland and it would have been easy for a donkey to push through the hedgerows to get in. And now it’s trapped in there, Kez trailed off the line of thought. He watched the donkey for a few more seconds then left the animal nipping at an over turned grass clump.

Someone would come to get it soon, Kez thought as he walked away.

 

Prompt inspired by:

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/unfinished/”>Unfinished</a&gt;

Mud

Mud, Earth, Red, Nature, Rain, Winter

Watching Teddy, the chocolate Labrador, lying down in the large puddle, Amy recalled something her granddad had always said during their muddy walks together.

‘Mud, mud, glorious mud. There’s nothing like mud for cooling the blood of a vampire!’ Amy said loudly.

Teddy stopped covering himself in brown water and looked at her. He cocked his head, decided she wasn’t speaking to him and began lapping the water up.

‘Do you really have to drink that?’ Amy cried.

Teddy ignored her, but gave a wag of his tail to indicate he’d heard her. He splashed about in the puddle then got out and headed to the next one.

Amy shook her head and trailed after him. As he entered the next puddle, she didn’t stop but carried on walking along the pathway. Tall trees, just getting their new leaves back, seemed to crowd both sides and blocked the surrounding views of the woodland. Birds darted from branch to branch, singing to each other whilst grey squirrels scampered about.

The sound of rain caused Amy to stop and open her umbrella. Teddy bashed into her right leg then trotted proudly on. Tutting, Amy wipe at the small splattering of mud on her jeans then followed him again. Teddy spotted something and gave chase, nosily charging through the undergrowth.

Amy left him to it and let her mind drift back to her granddad. He had brought her up after her parents split and got with different people. She would have gone into care without him. Amy slowed her pace and walked along the edges of a wide puddle. She glanced back, wondering where Teddy was but at same time grateful he wasn’t rushing past her.

Moving on, she spotted the small farm attached to what had once been the estate manger’s house, back when the woods had been privately owned. Holding her umbrella against the now pouring rain, she decided to turn around and go home.

‘Teddy!’ she called.

Listening she heard a distant bark. Rolling her eyes, Amy retraced her footsteps and went back to where the dog had disappeared from. Teddy came bounding though the bushes and mud, tongue rolling out and looking like he was having a whale of a time.

‘It’s home time,’ Amy said.

Teddy ignored her and dived into the nearest puddle. He scooped the water up with his tongue then flung himself down. Some of the dirt washed off him, but as he stood up, Amy could see he was still covered in dripping mud.

‘Bath time for you,’ she added.

Postcard #19

Spring, Crocus, Hare, Lamb, Sun, Cherry Blossom, Tulip

To Celia and family.

Hope you are all okay. The farm is in full swing at the moment and we are expecting lots of new arrivals. I’m glad the weather seems to be clearing up too! I hope you’ll be coming over soon, I know how the kids love the lambs and chicks. I’m sorry to hear about Alfie. He was a good dog. Speaking of, Tilly had six puppies last week, so if you fancy a new friend, I’m sure I can keep one for you. Looking forward to your next letter.

Berta. X

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Farm

The pumpkins grew in the field like full orange moons. Dark green leaves and twisting veins sprouted alongside them, trailing on the plough lines. A scarecrow stood over them all, failing in his job to scare the birds away. A cloudy night rolled in, a storm threatening.