Arch #WritePhoto

Walking around, I imagined the ruinings whole and humming with life. Men shuffling around in brown robes, saying prayers and gardening. A bell tolling, the smell of smoke and tingle of food.

I entered the main part of the Abbey. I touched a cold, grey brick in the huge stone wall. How many other fingers had also pressed here? I looked at the archways on either side, stretching down the nave which ended in a massive empty window. I thought once, coloured glass depicting scenes from the Bible glowed in the sunlight there. Now, a single tree was framed perfectly.

I went over, the illusion of the framed tree breaking. I felt the draft more and wondered what had happened the window. The ledge was too high for me to lean out of. I turned and looked back. What had people thought as they stood on this alter stand?

Had God ever been here? Had He abandoned the Abbey when the monks had? Did He still come now and wonder through these empty arches? No one could answer those questions but Himself.

As for me, I enjoyed the peace that still remind in places liked this.

 

(Inspired by; https://scvincent.com/2018/03/08/thursday-photo-prompt-arch-writephoto/ with thanks).

Cosy

plush-boots-3013700_1920

She was glad she had worn her new cosy winter boots on the walk. They were wool lined, waterproof and with a good grip so dealing with the snow was much easier. The afternoon outing, with her husband, of a romantic tour around the abbey ruinings and a nice hot chocolate at the cafe before heading home however, hadn’t gone to plan.

Instead, they had been caught up in a snowstorm and had to huddle under a crumbing archway. The cafe was closed – staff sickness- and waiting things out had seemed better then trying to battle through them. Nestling together, they tried to keep warm and out of the worst of it.

The wind howled about them, finding many holes and hallows in the abbey ruinings to echo in. The snow fell like a thick fog; blinding and cruel which was made more wild by the wind. In addition, darkness had began to fall too and the sky that had been an icy blue with tinted grey clouds was now a dull black.

She thought about trying to leave. It wasn’t far to their house and they had both lived in this village their whole lifes, so even in weather like this they could find their way. She looked up at her husband and yelling as loud as she could told him, ‘maybe we should try to go back!’

He stared into the storm, weighing things up before answering, ‘no! We need to wait till it gets better. It’s dangerous. But perhaps, we could move to somewhere better. That area were the stone coffins are.’

Holding hands they walked through the archway and around some low stone walls. The wind and snow whipped around them as if to make them go back, but they struggled on till they reached the enclosed chapel space. Here, through a single doorway, four solid walls and half a roof blocking out most of the storm. There were also two examples of the stone coffins in a corner.

Shaking off the snow as best they could, they settled into the other corner and watched the snow rage through the open section of the roof. They were far enough away not to be as effected though. She snuggled into him, trying to grip some of the romance back but it was hard when you were both frozen and just wanted to go home.

‘Do you think it’ll last much longer?’ she asked.

‘Hard to tell. We’ll try and stay for as long as possible,’ he replied.

After sometime had passed in which they had held each other and shared kisses, the storm dropped a little. The snow was still coming down but the wind wasn’t as wild. Deciding now was the time, they headed out and made their way slowly back home.

 

(Inspired by; https://lindaswritingblog.wordpress.com/2017/12/28/a-good-word with thanks

The Burning

Burning Coal

Godson stood at the edge of the burnt grass and looked over what remained of the church. There was a lot to see, but also very little. He sighed deeply and wonder why people did what they did.

Huddling into his thick red Parker coat against the late autumn wind, Godson stepped on to the blackened ground. The dead grass crackled loudly under him, just like the fall leaves. He took a deep breath and smelt smokey, earthy air. Even though it had rained in the early hours of the morning, the scent of the fire was still strong.

He came to a large stone, the first of many scattered around. Inspecting it, Godson tried to figure what where it had come from. Maybe from the door arch or one of the windows? It was impossible to tell. The stone had a large black scorch mark across one side. The fire must have been raging hot.

Godson moved on towards what had been one of the front windows. He spotted something and knelt to pick it up. It was a shard of red glass. He rubbed it between his fingers and straight away he could see the stained glass window that had been just above his head. He looked for more glass, but couldn’t find any bigger fragments.

Slipping the glass piece into his pocket, he walked fully into the church ruins. The floor was still mostly in attached but covered with soot, burnt things and fallen stones. He walked carefully over it all and towards were the alter had once been.

‘What devil compels someone to burn down a small community church?’ Godson said a loud.

He balled his fists and gritted his teeth. The anger that he had been trying to subside was rising. A small part of him had been hoping there’d be something left, but now it was clear there was nothing.

The smell was worse here and it felt like the smoke was clogging his lungs. He coughed and had to turn away. He had to leave. Even though he didn’t want to. Perhaps, under all this destruction was something that could be saved?

It started to rain again and Godson give up. He walked back out of the burnt church and to his car. Getting in, he sat looking over for a few moments then drove home.

Days later the police report came through. Godson sat at his desk and read it. A gang had actually been stealing the brickwork, wires, roofing and in fact everything they could get there hands on, just before the fire had started. It seemed they might have caused it and so far the fire bridge had said it was accidentally. Not the news Godson wanted to hear.

‘I won’t rest till this is solved,’ Godson muttered, ‘God. You must help me to bring to justice the people who did this.’

Falling into prayer, Godson saw the image of a burning church in his mind. Somehow, he knew the answers he seeked where there still.

Castle

Alnwick Castle, Castle, Alnwick, Northumberland

It felt good to step back into history, even if is was only in May’s imagination. Approaching the draw bridge, she pictured herself a top a white horse. She would be wearing a plain dress, maybe red and white, with a matching cape? Not like the bright pinks she had as a child dreamed Princesses worn. She knew better now.

The wood bridge did not make a sound under her feet, but she imaged a horse’s hoofs would be pretty loud as they clopped over. Breathing deeply, she thought about what the castle would smell like. Horses and sweaty people for sure, maybe smoke from a fire, cooking food, hay and all the unpleasant smells of a large group of animals and people living together without sanitation.

‘Pretty impressive, huh?’ her boyfriend, Rory asked.

She glanced across at him standing to the left of her. His eyes were fixed on the raising medieval walls and towers about them. His cap was low over his face, but she could still see the excitement in his expression. She took his hand and guided him off to the side as the large family which had followed them in rushed passed.

‘It really is,’ she added, ‘let’s explore.’

May tugged on him like a little child eager to be off. Rory laughed and let her take the led through the nearest doorway. They entered the reminds of some room or another. A notice board on the wall did say where they were, but May was all ready heading off again.

Stepping through another doorway, she let her hand touched the rough wall. She wondered how many others had done the same. Getting back to imaging again, she thought about the sounds she might hear. Now, she saw herself wondering about the castle as it once was; full walled and roofed, doors actually being in place and people dressed in medieval clothes.

May pictured knights standing around or gruffly chatting, their servants helping them with armour, horses or other things. The castle staff roaming about doing their jobs and official looking people on the King’s business getting ready to leave.

‘The church should be quiet,’ Rory spoke out, breaking through May’s daydream again.

She nodded and they followed the signposts to the large chapel area. It was quiet there and very cool. Rory sat down in one of the alcove spaces and pulled May into his lap before she could do anything about it. He nuzzled into her hair then swept it away from her neck and started kissing her.

‘Rory, stop,’ May muttered.

She tried to break out of his grip but he only tightened it. May settled back, letting the kisses get longer. She shut her eyes and thought of her Princess self meeting her Prince. Though really, she did not have to imagine that any longer.

Abbey Ruins

Buildwas Abbey, England, Great Britain, Columns, Ruins

There was something about returning to the abbey ruins that made him go cold. It had been his childhood playground for so many years, it had become like a second home. Now, stepping off the bus and entering the abbey grounds after twenty years it still smelt the same. He breathed in summer grass, warm soil and a hint of sweetness which came from the visitor building and shop.

He walked slowly down the stone path, noticing the groups of young families. Everyone seemed so happy and completely oblivious to the past that was rising up around him. Going around the back of the Abbey, he found it quieter and further out some ruined walls that marked separate houses and buildings which the monks had used for guests and storage.

He stopped in front of a corner wall that was about three foot off the ground. He looked around with a lump in his throat, but there were no signs or flowers marking the spot. Strangely, he thought there would still have been. He looked over the top and across to a low tree, there was a bench just in front of it.

He walked over, not remembering a bench ever being there before. He looked at the bronze sign and his heart sink. She had not been forgotten. He sat down on the bench and thought about that summer. He had been ten, one of the oldest in the group, but there had been nothing he could have done.

It had been the normal game of  climbing and jumping, but she had gotten scared and not wanted too. He could not recall her face, it had faded, but he remembered her cries and mumbled nos. Someone had pushed her. One of his friends, but no one could ever say who.

She had fallen, hit her head somehow and landed on the ground never to get up again.

Behind Every Door

Door, Building, Ruin

I stare at my front door then whisper, ‘my high street. Let me open the door and walk into my high street, please.’

Gripping the heavy brass knob, I twist it to the right and pull open the door. My totally normal three floored terrace house street flashes by and is replaced with a desolate countryside scene. I grit my teeth and look at the tall waves of grass rustling against the ruins of a giant stone doorway.

I close the door and press both hands to the three hundred year old wood. Praying to anyone and everything that’s listening, I wonder why I’ve been cursed with a magic door. To be honest there are more upsides then downsides. Last year, I spent two weeks in Italy, travel and hassle free. Also, when I had to escape from a blind date that went completely wrong. Well, there’s not much of a comeback after announcing you only have one ball and spilling red wine on my favorite dress.

Opening the door again, I keep my eyes shut and picture my high street. All those lovely little shops and fancy cafes, who’s window displays beg you to enter. The large flower pots and trimmed baby trees, looking far too good to be real. With the normal people going about their daily business, free from inconvenient magic doors.

A soft wind and swishing causes my eyes to pop open and I see the same scene before me. I growl and open the door wider, as if that makes any difference. The grass stretches before me leading to the other doorway. Nicely framed in the empty opening is an oak tree, looking smaller in the distance. There’s nothing else around, expect for some birds which are singing somewhere.

‘Why here?’ I ask, ‘I want to go to my high street. I’ve shopping to do!’

Of course, there’s no reply to my demands. The door has never given me any answers. I think if it did, I’d freak out and there’d be no leaving the house after that.

I close the door and lock it.

‘Now. My high street, please. No more funny business. You got it door? Or else…Chop chop for you,’ I threat then grab my shopping bag and handbag.

I take a deep breath, unlock the door and touch the brass knob. Holding my breath, I open the door and….

The long grass sways in a cross wind and the framed oak tree looks like a photographer’s dream.

I sigh, tug my bags higher on my shoulder and give in. I walk out, closing the door behind me and began to make my way through the grass. The sky is bleak grey above me, so I have no idea what time it is, but the wind is warm and dry, which is a good. I approach the other doorway, my thoughts badmouthing my bad luck.

The door frame is a lot bigger then it seems. Huge square stone blocks that surely could have only been placed by a monster crane guard the way. I touch one and find it cool. Staring through, I see the oak tree in the distance and surrounding it is nothing but empty grass fields. How am I meant to go shopping here?

I turn back and see a matching stone door frame. There is nothing to even indicted magic or anything. To the normal eye that is. I see the faint glinting gold outline of a door with a large brass knob matching knocker ring and letter slot. It looks the same wherever I end up, but only appears in the place it opened up in.

I have no idea how long it stays for or if it comes and goes at will. It certainly doesn’t listen to me. The only time I’ve came close to testing this was when I ended up being caught in the 2011 Japanese tsunami and earthquake. I thought the apocalypse had arrived for sure and here was me just wanting a quiet few days away…by sheer luck or maybe it had something to do with the door itself, I found it in an old tea shop and got back home. I didn’t leave home much after that.

Frowning, I walk back, running my hands over the grass. The ground is soft underneath me and I’m glad I decided on flat shoes this morning. High heels wouldn’t have stood a chance. I reach my door and grab the handle. Opening it, I see a flash of my hallway before a high street rolls out before me.

‘Thank you, door,’ I say and step out.

Avoiding a rush of people, I move out of the doorway and look around. It’s not my town. The sky reaching buildings and traffic packed road confirms it. I sigh and turn back into the archway, but something catches my eye. A coffee shop sign. Going over and looking through the window, my reflection smiles back at me.

Well, there’s nothing like a good cup of coffee in New York on a Saturday afternoon…even if a magic door did just transport you here.