The days were getting warmer and brighter, it was finally time to dust off the garden furniture and spend more time outside. The weather though had other ideas. No sooner had the family got everything out, cleaned and set up, snow clouds appeared and winter frozen their plans. The family sat watching the snowflakes falling and wondering if they’d ever see spring again.
Finally, the snow and the cold were banished. Blazing sunshine brought the garden back to life. The family could enjoy their own paradise once more with tea parties glory and long horse rides through the grounds.
It had been a silly idea to come this way in the car. There wasn’t even a road! But dad had insisted he knew a short cut around the mountain. Rounding the bend though there was a small sign off to the side. There was a red circle with a line through it and underneath was a figure with a large black hand. It could only have meant stop. I tried to tell him this and so did mum, but he just carried on.
Hours later, we had to be rescued off the mountain top. Dad claimed it had been a successful adventure though!
Friday night and I was stood outside looking up at the sky. Most people were out drinking, partying or at home chilling but here was I, shivering in my coat, trying to get a good look at the stars. It was a dream, turned hobby, turned job and I was so lucky to be here right now. Only tonight, the constellations weren’t playing. There was too much cloud cover for a good enough footage. The weather forecast hadn’t been wrong about more snow a coming. I signed, there was always tomorrow night to try again with.
As I waited for the lock to fill up so we could get the narrow boat down the canal, I noticed the strange trees and house behind them. I wondered what kind of trees they were, for I’d never seen just a bare trunk then a puff of green leaves like that before. The house must be a rich person’s home.
I shook my head, that kind of living wasn’t for me, I needed the flow of water, the experience of the elements, the escapism from this technology driven world.
Looking out of the bus window at the gloomy winter day outside, I signed deeply. I was tried of the cold, darkness and snow, a change was needed. Then my eyes caught something a a patchwork blanket of green, purple and white on a small hill. Could it be? I fixed my eyes as we passed by and yes! Early spring flowers were shooting up and defying winter! This was it; the hope I craved! Smiling, I settled back in my seat, the knowledge the spring was almost here comforting my thoughts.
Looking out of my window, I was surprised to see deep snow covering the street. It was early in the morning, so the streetlamps were making the falling flakes sparkle. Frowning, I wondered how unpredictable snowstorms were. No one had said anything about this and though a few people would be happy, I wouldn’t be.
My wedding was in a few hours. The idea of cancelling, drifted into mind but it was impossible. Rain would be worse, I told myself and at least the wedding photos will look really pretty. It was hard to feel sure though.
It wasn’t what the holiday brochure advertised but I wasn’t one to be picky. Everything worked, it was clean, the view was nice and the hotel staff friendly. It didn’t seem a bad place for a single traveller to stay in during a sunny holiday. Though the building looked really ramshackled and about to fall down. It creaked something awful which the sounds of the river and boats couldn’t counter. The feelings of danger never left and I just couldn’t relax. Sad to say, but I went home early and back to my country gripped in the blast of winter.
As evening arrived, the sound of an axe chopping wood could be heard. The echoing noise carried throughout the night and only fade as first light touched the trees. For months, the chop chop sounds continued and no one could find the source.
In whispers, the rumors started about a woodsman who murdered his family then himself. As punishment the Devil had him cutting down trees to make firewood for Hell.
It’s now said, that if you walk into that forest you would see the remains of the trees the woodsman’s ghost has cut down.
It was hard to imagine that anyone would want to stay in a city destroyed by war but some had no choice. Driving down the once busy roads, framed by pleasant buildings which were now bombed out hollows, I spotted the smaller corner shop where I had spent most of my money as a child. Surprisingly, it was still open! Though the attached home of the owners was ruined.
I slowed and saw people moving passed the windows. They were shopping despite the empty shelves. Life was carrying on as normal.
I thought my mum had thrown all the photos of that day away but I found one in the bottom of a shoe box. Mum had mis-timed taking the photo so instead of our smiling faces were the backs of our heads.
Tears clouded my eyes and I was there once more at the theme park, riding the wooden ‘run away’ roller coaster with my younger sister. Our cries of delight echoed in my ears as we raced around the track and then my sister flew out of the cart as we rushed down the hill. Her fingers briefly touched mine then she was gone.