This is the last part of a three part story, set again in my fictional village of Angle Mort. This third episode is quite long, so I’ve split it into two. In the first part, ‘The thing which happened last year’, Zandra talks about her family, and gives the background to why she has gone to stay for the summer with her aunty, Jo. Zandra and Jo go for a picnic at a place called Horse Grave.
I was in a funny sort of mood. We’d headed back in the middle of the afternoon, back from Horse Grave. We’d eaten our picnic pretty much in silence – we’d chatted non-stop coming from Jo’s house, through the village and through the wood. Maybe we’d run out of chat.
It was quite warm, and I’d lain back on the grass, and it was probably that I’d stayed up too late last night, or been up too early to catch the train, but I proper nodded off to sleep and had full on weird dreams. I guess it was in my brain about this meadow being called Horse Grave, but I dreamt about a massive horse, don’t know what I dreamt about it, just that it was in my dream. I was walking somewhere, down towards the wood, and I seemed to glide across the grass and when I looked back, Jo had gone, but the horse was there, the giant horse and it had such a brilliant gloss on its coat it was almost as if it was shining, glowing, lustrous.
Lustrous. My English teacher had said I had a talent with words, I should think about writing in the future, and even though we neither of us liked each other, she gave me the English prize. I guess it was because I use words like lustrous. Maybe I should do English instead of dance – I can dance anyway, I don’t need to do it at school. I’ll ask Jo what she thinks.
We went back through the wood, and it was cooler, pleasant, maybe my weird dreams were from lying in the sun… but I couldn’t get the dream image of the massive, shining horse out of my mind.
“Shall we pop into the Hart for a drink?” Jo asked as we walked in single file down the little green lane which led back into the village.
“That’s an awful idea,” I said, and we laughed.
It was a nice old pub, a really old pub, The Hart in Angle – hart as in a sort of deer, not a misspelling of heart. There was a piano in the bar we usually went in for a pub lunch, but today someone was playing plinky-plonk annoying music, and Jo said we’d sit in the other bar. It was smaller with only half a dozen old round tables, bench seats and a few stools.
I pulled off the back pack, lighter now, and sat down by the fireplace; of course there wasn’t a fire, but a display of dried flowers. I sat looking at the bracelet Jo had given me; it was obviously very special, and seemed to have some significance, but she’d not really answered me. I took out my phone, it had been quite a thought to do English not dance, and for the first time since I was a kid I began to write something which might be a poem. I couldn’t shake the image of the horse, and I began to write about him… Him, how odd I should write ‘him’. Burnished, what does burnished mean? Shiny, shiny metal maybe, polished metal…
“I got you a cider, I hope that’s ok, I never thought to ask if you like it,” Jo put two glasses down on the table and a couple of bags of nuts and crisps. Cider was fine, lovely, thank you, I replied. “It’s a local press, Angle Amity – there’s cloudy and clear.”
I was actually quite thirsty, and this cider was not like the usual cheapo stuff I necked back when I was out with my mates, this actually tasted apple-y.
Jo told me about the local cider press, she said we could visit it if I was interested, maybe buy some to take home for Mum, although there was no hurry for that. I wondered what she meant; I’d come to stay with her, but actually, I had no idea how long I’d be here. We weren’t having a family holiday this year, thank goodness, and there was nothing else planned, most people had holiday jobs.
I said that sounded great, I was certainly liking this cider and she said it was called Flout, I imagined going to the bar, two pints of Flout, please! The other, the cloudy, was called Saner – but most people reckoned it should be called Insaner, as it was very strong.
I gave myself a little mini-challenge when I wrote the first part, of including words from an Octordle, puzzle, and I’ve done it again on the previous section, and in this one. Here are my Octordles:
- amity, awful, prize, glide, piano, flout, gloss, saner