What was behind the shuttered door of the abandon building?
It looked once to have been a church or other place of importance. It was wedged in-between apartments. The windows were strangely placed down each side and in the middle was a large circle window under an arch.
It couldn’t be a house, it was too weird but maybe it had been converted at some point?
I wanted inside. I wanted to see what lay behind the bricks and glass. I wanted to know what secrets were hidden there.
The sun was dipping low and reflecting on the lake’s still surface as if there was a second sun setting on another world under the water.
I didn’t look back as I walked on the planks towards the small blue painted wooden boat that lay in the tall rush reeds. I was calm in mind; empty headed my grandmother would describe it as.
Untying the boat, I pushed it out so the bottom wouldn’t get stuck then got in. I rowed out, noticing the thin mist parting around me and the ripples the oars created. It was all ready freezing out here and a thin frost was settling were it could. I could imagine the morning sun making the frost glitter like candlelight on crystal.
Stopping, I lay down in the boat’s belly and listened to the lapping of the small waves. I shut my eyes and let the cold come to me. Tomorrow, they would find me with frost on my eyelashes and lips. My yellow and gold lace trim ball gown frozen to my body and his last letter against my heart.
The squirrels were out in full force. They roamed the fallen colourful leaves and chased each other up trees. Sometimes one would stop to eat a nut or seed, sitting on hind legs and holding food in tiny front paws. Others choice to bury their prize in the hope it would help to see them through the winter.
I was rushed off my feet in November and early December, it was Christmas present time and I loved it.
Hampers were in my speciality, my business and I didn’t just do food ones, there were all kinds. From baby and child items, to pets to spa days to brides to be, birthdays but there was something magical about my Christmas ones.
Maybe, I wondered packing one of the baskets up, it was the smell of the dry cinnamon sticks, the tang of bottled mulled wine, the scent of the holly and green door wreath and heavenly ginger snap biscuits. Perhaps, it was in the feel of the pair of cosy socks, the fluffy snowman teddy or the wooden angel decoration.
All this and more tucked in the white paper shreds within the wicker box then sealed with red bowed ribbon with two large brass bells tinkling on the ends.
I just could never lay a finger on why but that’s how my Christmas hampers were.
The sight was elegant and exciting, bring forth the urge to untie the ribbon and see what was inside! It was the perfect gift for anybody. Straight from my heart to your’s as my slogan went.
Mulch, the autumn fairy, stirred up the fallen leaves with his wings and laughed as he become wrapped in a snow globe like effect. He dropped in a heap against a tangle of tree roots. His mole skin tunic, leggings and mouse skull hat were splattered with dirt but he didn’t care.
A chilly wind shook more leaves down and Mulch dated upwards and danced with them as they fell.
This was his favourite time of year. The woods rang loud with Mulch’s laughter but to human ears it sounded like the babbling of the brook.
It was fun to mess around in the abandoned factory. There were holes to jump, beams to climb and ‘treasures’ to be found. They were playing there when the Earth began to shake, white beams pierced down from the sky and everyone started disappearing.
He was running late for his meeting, so he didn’t check his briefcase before leaving the house. All his paperwork was in there though as he had put it in yesterday afternoon, so why wouldn’t it still be?
He got to the meeting, flustered and feeling unprepared. He had to present the company’s finance report to the board, so today was not the time to be panicking.
Everyone was all ready seated, he apologised for being late and got on with things.
He pulled out the paperwork and looked for his notes but what he saw instead was brightly coloured children’s drawings.
The child rubbed her eyes as smoke from the fire began to irritate her. In blurred vision, she saw dark shapes moving around the orange-red fire. The figures were dancing slowly in time with the movement of the tips of the flames which sent flickering embers into the night sky.
The child shouldn’t be here. Her parents had told her no and left her with grandma. She had escaped as soon as granny fell sleep in front of the white noise displaying TV. The child had never been out this late but she had come to find out a truth she all ready knew within her heart.
From her hiding spot under a spiky bush, the child heard the rise and fall of voices. At first she couldn’t make out what they saying then she realised it was not English being spoken. It was another language, one from the deep past that belong to ancient peoples.
Lulled by the song and tried, the child fell sleep. She had nightmares, swirls of black and red shadows trying to grip her but she couldn’t escape because the fire blocked her at every turn. Smoke got into her eyes and blinded her, it filled her mouth when she tried to scream. Something grabbed her legs, dragging her into a hole that opened up in the ground.
The child woke and was disoriented. Slowly, she crawled out from the bush and went towards the dying fire. The people were gone now, fading into the night as if they had never been. The sky above was becoming lighter but rain clouds were gathering.
Looking into the last of the flames, the child picked up an un-burnt stick. She knew, somehow what had gone on last night. Touching the stick into the fire, she waited till it began to burn then removed it.
Waving the stick in the air, the child said aloud, ‘I won’t be a dark witch. I will be a white witch.’