Meow

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Beth heard a cat meowing and hurried into the garden, Was that Shadow calling because he was hungry? Beth’s eyes fell onto the small pile of turned up soil at the bottom of the garden and she remembered, he was gone.

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Invitation #WritePhoto

It was a last stab at things. Pulling up outside the gates, I looked at my Sat Nav telling me I had reached my destination. The scene around me looked like something out of The Secret Garden. There were trees and bushes growing wild, moss covering everything, a sense of abandonment and wild beauty.

I got out the car and smelt the air, it was fresh this afternoon and flowers were just being to open. I went to the wooden gate, there were no signs or locks, it opened easily enough. The stone pillars ether side were badly weathered and moss covered, but some of the carved designs could still be seen.

I turned the stone, felt coldness and grit under my fingers. I questioned if I was in the right place. Maybe this was just a decorative gate that led nowhere? Just like the single track lane I was now standing on. I wouldn’t know if I didn’t walk on.

I stepped through the gates and with difficult walk down a half hidden path which was really over grown. Once through, I came out at the bottom of a field? I looked and realised it was actually a huge lawn which rolled down a hill on top of which sat a large looking manor house.

There was no path now, so I trekked up the lawn and arrived breathless and sweating at the side of the house. Catching my breath, I really hoped there was a better way up to this place. Scaling all of that in my wedding dress wasn’t going to be good!

I walked around and came to the front of the house. There were large, flat white steps leading up to a double wooden door in a archway and other side were massive vases of flowers. It was a perfect place for wedding party photos.

The driveway was huge, a half circle with lots of parking and there were a few cars all ready here. There were open iron gates at the end, leading to a wide road which seemed to fade under the trees.

I heard the door opening behind me and I turned feeling guilty and nervous as if I had been caught doing something. I tried to stay calm as a woman in her mid-to late forties, wearing a very fitted business suit and greying hair tight in a bun, came out of the house.

‘Miss Sadie Laker?’ she asked.

I nodded.

‘Mrs Rose Crompton,’ she announced and came down the steps to meet me.

We shook hands and I felt more at ease. We had spoken on the phone yesterday, Rose was the manager of the house and a descendent of the current owners who’s family had lived here for three hundred odd years.

‘Did you find the place okay?’ Rose asked.

‘Yes. It looks so perfect,’ I spoke, ‘thank you for this. You’ve saved my wedding day.’

‘It’s all fine,’ Rose said, waving my words away like dust, ‘it was lucky we had a cancellation! Unlike you though and your venue being double booked, the couple decided not to go through with things.’

‘Shame.’

There was a pause and I knew she was staying at me but I didn’t know what else to say.

‘Where is your car?’ Rose asked me, ‘you didn’t walk all the way up here from the road did you?’

‘Erm, no. I think I missed the turning and came through a side entrance,’ I explained.

‘Ah. I think there’s something in your hair….’

I touched my hair, embarrassment flaring and pulled out a few leaves.

Rose smiled and turned back to the house.

I crumpled the leaves, let them fall and joined her going up the steps.

The rooms for the wedding where lovely, actually lots better then the venue I had chosen originally. By the time I left, I know my dream wedding was going to happen two weeks today. Trekking back to my car, there was only one thing left to do now; resend the wedding invitations with the new venue address on them.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2019/02/28/thursday-photo-prompt-invitation-writephoto/ with thanks).

Fragrant #WritePhoto

When all her tasks were done and the Big house was busy with other things, Nanny liked to take the children for a long walk. In the winter and autumn months the time spent outside depended on the weather and the fussiness of the six children. In spring and summer, whole days could be spent in the vast gardens.

Elizabeth the oldest at fourteen did not like her hair and dresses getting wet and muddy. Often, she would take shelter in one of the many alcoves and read romantic fiction. In contrast her twin brothers; Henry and George aged ten, loved getting as dirty as possible. They would scamper through gardens left wild, splash in the brook and hunt for bugs. Getting those two back inside was a trying time for Nanny.

Mary, seven, and Anne, five, liked picking flowers to make necklaces, crowns and give as bunches to people. This was highly frowned upon by the gardeners! Whilst the youngest, two year old, James, would sit in his pram or on a blanket and try to join in with his siblings play.

Nanny would find nice comfortable seats to rest on and she would knit, sew, read, join in with games and sometimes nap in the hazy heat of the afternoon. Nanny liked the fragrant scents of jasmine and roses, her favorite though was lavender because it was so calming.

The children liked to bring Nanny handfuls of lavender whenever she was cross at them. Nanny in return would use dried lavender in bedding and clothes to keep things fresh.

As the children grew up and left the Big house to led their own lives, the smell of lavender always reminded them of time spent in the garden with their Nanny.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2019/01/31/thursday-photo-prompt-fragrant-writephoto/ with thanks).

 

 

Mossy #CCC

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Something attracted me to the stone bull statue in the antique shop so I decided to buy it. The age couldn’t be pined down, 1900’s area maybe and where it had originally stood was lost too but judging by the moss the bull had spent sometime outside.

I searched for a history but couldn’t find one, perhaps there was none? I stuck him in my garden and he seemed fine guarding over my flowers. I wondered if the local cats would be scared, thinking he was a dog and finally stay away.

(Inspired by; https://crimsonprose.wordpress.com/2019/01/30/crimsons-creative-challenge-12/ with thanks).

Crow Song #FirstLineFriday

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It sounded like birds were being murdered, the noise of their cries was that loud. I opened the blinds on the kitchen window which looked out onto the back garden. There on the lawn were four large crows fighting each other.

I had no idea what to make of it, other then they were fighting over food. It was too late in autumn for them to be mating. I knew nothing of birds though, nor put any food out for them. I was aware my neighbours did though, so perhaps that’s why they were attracted to my garden?

A half reminded, old poem came into my mind; one for sorrow, two for mirth or joy, three for a boy and four for a girl. Wasn’t that how it went? I couldn’t remember, it was something grandma sung. It didn’t matter.

I didn’t like the birds fighting out there and making all that noise. I went to the back door, calling my cat as I did so. He was old and lazy now but the sight of him might spook the birds into flight. I unlocked and opened the door, the cat came slowly towards me.

We stepped out almost together and the birds saw us both. Their horrible calling screeched upwards as if they were unhappy to be disturbed from their argument. One of them took flight, large black wings beating and the others quickly followed.

‘Make sure they don’t come back,’ I told the cat, ‘damn birds.’

I hobbled back inside, my knees aching and my chest heaving. It had been worth the pain to stop that racket. I settled into my arm chair, relaxing into the peace. I shut my eyes and began to drift off, exhausted all ready.

A tap tap on the window, stirred me. I didn’t want to awake but it could be important. The nurse coming to check up on me or my daughter visiting. I opened my eyes, moved my almost ninety year old body and looked towards the front window where the tapping sound was continuing.

A large crow was sat on the window sill outside, tapping it’s sharp beck against the glass.

 

 

(Inspired by; https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2018/10/12/first-line-friday-october-11th-2018/ with thanks).

Circle #WritePhoto

The music from the ball floated along beside us as we ran through the back garden. Lights of all colours glowed and twinkled as they decorated the house and gardens. The musical tinkles of the fountains and the voices of the masked guests faded into the background as we reached the final hedges.

I stopped to get my breath and his hand slipped from mine. The shadows were long and dark this far away and there was hardly any noise from the party now. I pressed my hands to my stomach, the pain of my corset digging into my ribs.

I surprised that I had been able to run in the huge gold and sliver ball gown with the large gold wings on the back, but then love makes us do things we wouldn’t normally be able to do.

He was looking to find a way through the hedge, his blue and green male fairy costume no longer sparkling. He held the candle in it’s coloured glass cage up, the only flicker of light here. He turned his masked face to mine, took my hand again and led me through a gap where once there might have been a doorway.

Then we were free of the staring eyes and accusing whispers. The Lord’s daughter and famous poet’s son. We were alone at last and could do what we wanted. I laughed, overwhelmed. He laughed too then came closer to me. I felt the heat from him, the brush of his skin against mine. The touch of his lips.

We walked. The candle light showing that everything was darker and wilder on this side, the plants left to their own devices. Branches scraped against us, slowing us down, almost as if they we warning us to go back. We didn’t listen but wandered on to a place we had visited repeatedly over the last year; the small stone circle at the heart of the woods.

It took a few minutes then we almost stumbled on the stones. The trees hadn’t kept away, their roots spreading and saplings growing. There was a patch of tall grass around the stones but nothing more.

He placed the lantern down on the flattest topped stone and we sat down on the widest one which had possibly fallen on it’s side long ago.

‘Help me take off this mask and wings,’ I said quietly.

‘No,’ he replied, his fingers curling around my chin, ‘I like you like this. I can pretend you are a fairy queen and I’ve just snatched you away from the fairy court.’

I giggled as we kissed and we soon became lost in each other.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/08/16/thursday-photo-prompt-circle-writephoto/ with thanks.)

 

 

Tea #TwitteringTale

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In the time it had taken to break off the engagement the teapot had go cold. I wasn’t bothered, never be a fan of tea. I picked up a wedge of Victoria sponge cake and ate. Strangely, my mind was clear, it had been the right decision for us both.

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2018/08/07/twittering-tales-96-7-august-2018/ with thanks).

Gardeners #FFfAW

It had been a long four months but the last of the flowers were finally planted. Denise sighed with relieve and tidied away her tools. It had been a hot day and she just wanted to get home and have a long, cool bath.

‘It’s done,’ Maria spoke.

Denise turned to her business partner and nodded. She was too tried to speak.

They gathered their things and with a last look, they left. Tomorrow the gardens would open to the public for first time in years and they would see if all their hard work paid off or not.

(Inspired by; https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2018/07/02/fffaw-challenge-172nd/ with thanks).

Chain #TwittingTales

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She walked down the hardware shop’s aisle of chains and selected the thickest, heaviest one. She brought some other things too, just so it wouldn’t look suspicious. Back home, she fixed the chain to the metal clips then attached it to her Newfoundland’s collar.  No longer would he been escaping the garden.

 

(Inspired by; https://katmyrman.com/2018/07/03/twittering-tales-91-chains-3-july-2018/ with thanks).

Dear Diary #46

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Dear Diary,

I know I’ve been writing this for the last few days but summer is officially here! A heatwave has hit and today it was 27 degrees outside. I know, I should be doing some more job hunting but I had an interview this morning and I have one tomorrow and one next week now. So I thought I’d take a break and enjoy the sun.

The garden wasn’t was quiet as I was hoping though, all the flies were out and being loud. I watched a butterfly for awhile and I saw some bumble bees and honey bees and they were all quiet, so why do the bluebottles have to be so loud?

I read a few chapters of my new book – the supernatural detective one. No way am I going to finish that before I go on holiday. The words are a lot smaller then the last two books though the thickness doesn’t look increased. Anyway, it’s a good enough book to take away with me and I ordered the next one today, so I can go straight on with it.

The heat got too much for me and I had to come inside for lunch but then after answering some emails and some texts from the job agencies, I went out again. The new next door neighbors’ cat was drinking from the bird bath. We both got a start!

Then he came over to sniff me and say hello.  He’s a really nice ginger tom, I bet he’s a Casanova with the ladies though! After a few minutes of petting, he went under my shed and into the shade. I didn’t see him again after that.

I long for a paddling pool! Some place nice to dip my feet into. Maybe I’ll go and get one tomorrow after my interview. My brother won’t mind. He’s not due back until Friday then he’s off to visit our parents and girlfriend then back again to fly off to Germany. I was wishing I could fly off some place but with this weather who’d want to do that?

I had a quick look at some more jobs this evening but I didn’t really see any I liked the look of. Everyone keeps tell me not to be so picky, but I want to find the right fit for me and I’m okay for money right now. My part-time job keeps giving me more hours. Also, I just can’t imagine being able to work in this heat!

I might go out for a walk now as it’s not so hot. Though there might be more bugs out there. Have to put some anti-bug spray on. It’ll be nice to get out for a bit though. I might see if there are any cute men around! If not there’s always the internet!