{scraps of things from the pocket of an old coat}

Sunday, August 14, 2011

aeolian harp - prompt #2

written in response to the prompt over here...

The Secret of Crossthwaite Boggle  {chapter one?}

Dorrie heard their voices first.

Not long after came the clattering of boots on the wooden floor.

She smiled grimly, knowing that Aunt Cliona would feel the need to lecture them all at supper about the desperate difficulty of preserving three-hundred year old floors when young people insisted on trekking mud and manure across them. 

‘If only Aunt Cliona knew the real reason for the old farmhouse crumbling,’ thought Dorrie, ‘she wouldn’t spare a thought for the muck on the floors,’

Still, Dorrie wished the twins wouldn’t give their Aunt any more reasons to find fault. Every day that Gran was gone, their overbearing Aunt added to her list of how Things Ought To Be.

The children’s great-uncle had fallen ill earlier that spring and Gran had gone to help with the running of his farm while he convalesced. Every time she phoned, Dorrie hoped to hear the words, “I’ll be home on the next train, my Dorrie-love.”  The twins didn’t mind Aunt Cliona as much, busy as they were with looking after the ponies and planning adventures across the Moor.

Sighing, Dorrie got up from the tapestry armchair, spilling the one-eyed cat, Maugrim, and crumbs from a clandestine chocolate biscuit to the floor. Ignoring the petulant glare of the old orange tabby, she put her book and a sheaf of notes on the worn desk.  She opened the tiny door and stooped through, bracing herself for the onslaught.

“Dorrie! There you are!” squealed Pippa. The oldest of the twins by three and a half minutes, her loud, abrasive exterior hid a heart of pure gold.  Her sharp green eyes scanned her younger sister’s pale, drawn features worriedly. “Have you been locked up in that stuffy little room all morning? I thought we’d find you here. We’ve come to fetch you for a ride, haven’t we Tris?”

Her younger brother nodded his blonde head and smiled gently at Dorrie. “I got Tamsin ready for you, Dor. She’s lovely and gentle you know. She’ll look after you.”

“Yes, you really need to get out into the air, Dorrie. You know what Gran says about the air on the Moor – it’s great for what ails you!”

“We can take the coast path down to the sea, if you like, Dor. You know how much you love the shore,”

Tristan’s eyes were the blue of a rain-washed sky and his blonde curls the envy of every girl in the village.  What his twin lacked in decorum, he  made up for with his quiet, retiring nature.  Besides Gran, Dorrie thought that Tristan understood her best.

Dorrie sighed again, not wanting to go, but not wanting to disappoint her brother.  That was the trouble with the twins, they thought a mad ride across the moor on a wild smelly pony was the answer to every difficulty. It was as if they thought they could outrun the very thing that was staring them all savagely in the face.  And they knew Dorrie wasn’t keen on riding, in fact it terrified her, but she knew they were just as worried as she and were coping in the way they knew best.

Still, she doubted very much that careening across the sand on one of their shaggy ponies would fix anything.

Glancing back at the dusty book and her stack of papers, she ran her fingers through her hair. 'So much left to do,' she thought anxiously, 'if she was to find the answers they needed to save the old farmhouse.'

“Oh never mind your smelly old books for an hour,” said Pippa, linking her arm in Dorrie’s and gesturing to Tristan with a jerk of her head. “Won’t they be here when we get back?”

She drew Dorrie further into the parlour as Tristan closed the door to the secret library. “You’ve plenty of time to bury your nose in silly old faery stories when it’s too cold to ride out.”

‘No, thought Dorrie as she allowed herself to be led away, ‘time is something we really don’t have a lot of.’


 ...from the Anthology of Beginnings :D}


sarah elwell said...

thank you for contributing! :-) I have commented over at AH.

Rose said...

Atmospheric as always with the promise of wonders yet to come and magic in the pages beyond....