Day 20: Your favourite hiding place

Wooo. 20 whole posts. Tomorrow makes it three weeks worth of writing! Exciting times, I feel. 

In my old back garden, there was a privet hedge that ran along the left hand side. A vibrant, green barrier, desperately trying to keep me contained. It met a drystone wall at the bottom, swarming over it in an emerald embrace, caressing the rough texture tenderly, like a lover exploring scars on a new partner’s body. Three damson trees stand their ground on the right, their boughs drooping like a tired man’s eyes under the weight of the unpicked damsons.

There was a run down shed, it’s roof having partially escaped to the high winds of earlier in the year, the lock broken by thieves who wanted nothing but to pillage the insides for anything of worth. All they eventually took were two lawnmowers, worth nothing in my immature eyes. But nobody went down there apart from me. Which is why only I knew about it.

Just behind the shed, on a day when the wind was blowing strong enough in the right direction, an opening would appear. There was a tree, its roots firmly planted six feet below me, whose branches made up the final part of the boundary of the garden.

But on a day when the wind blew just right, there was a doorway. A secret passage, if you will, that only appeared when the wind itself decided you were worthy of entry. Somewhere special, somewhere, to paraphrase Keane, only I know. You squeezed through between the shed and the wall, climbing over the debris of abandoned sleds, firewood and gravel, before you reached the passage.

I always called it the Underwood, being the imaginative person that I am. But you pass through to the Underwood, the wind howling in your ears as you do. Then there was a space between the trunk, set as it was six feet down, and the wall. That was my favourite hiding place. I could tuck myself away for hours, hiding from the world. Wrapping myself in the silence and the calm that that space provided, I could read a book, write a story, or just… wait. Listen.

I could just feel. That’s what the Underwood was. All the way up until that day. The day I found something in the Underwood that I hadn’t put there.

Something in the Underwood that shouldn’t have been there. It shouldn’t have been anywhere.

The Idiot in Tin Foil

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