I’m not exactly sure where this story is going but I’ve been thinking about it fora few days now. I don’t think it’s going to be a book, I think it’s going to be a long short story, but who knows, I’m waiting to see!
We took a break from working on the house. It was going to be a much bigger undertaking than we had realised in our naive enthusiasm and over-excitement. When a small fortune unexpectedly drops in your lap, you think you’re capable of anything, It wasn’t really a small fortune, only to us, but it did allow us to buy a house, buy our own house, buy our home. We wouldn’t be able to live without working, but we took a three month break from the day job to get the house in some sort of livable state before the autumn became winter. It would have been better to have started in spring, but we didn’t have the money, we didn’t buy the house.
However many months ago, before the house was ours, we cycled out of town on a late spring day. I was more keen on going on the bike ride than he was, remembering how I used to cycle miles with my friends after school, picnics in our satchels, out into the green countryside and finding woods or meadows or a river to spread out the old blankets and lie in the sunshine being ridiculous and laughing, we always seemed to be laughing.
Driving out from the town we used the main roads, but on our hired bikes we found the quieter roads, the little roads, sometimes the very ancient roads. I could tell he was getting a bit fed up so when I saw the track leading into a wild sort of woody place I suggested we followed it, and found somewhere to picnic. He was all for that and overtook me, speeding bumpily ahead. I caught up with him and he had stopped by an entrance into a meadow, a sea of tall grass waving in the slight breeze, verdant in the sunshine.
“This looks a likely place,” he said, his grumpiness banished. It did look a likely place, and we wheeled our bikes inside the hedge and propped them up, ready to explore. “I wonder where that leads, he said, pointing back across the track.
Opposite the entrance into the filed was a pair of once magnificent stone gate posts, with a sagging wrought iron gate between them. It looked like something from one of the comics I’d read as a kid, i guess this adventure which had been triggered by remembered school days. We left the bikes and went over to peer through the gates, secured by a sagging rusty chain. There was a building, maybe a barn, maybe a house, we couldn’t make it out, just a grey roof snuggled cosily among an abundance of green.
“Hey, Lol, what are you doing?” but it was obviously what Lol was doing, he was scrambling up the wall to which the gates were loosely attached. It wasn’t a high wall, and the old stones were perfect for climbing so I followed him and then jumped down the other side, and picnic forgotten we wandered along the barely visible track to explore.