Wrapped inside the most beautiful , old, musty farm-house conversion, kneeling in the window seat of an elevated lounge, pushing vision to the extreme, either soaking up the scene before me, or straining my eyes to see a utopic World I knew wasn’t there, would never be there… A late summer sun set wearily, at first painting the horizon and the few clouds that rested on it warm shades of pink, orange and black, whilst their backdrop grew a warmer red. A gradual climb would see the sky painting cooler hues as night pressed and stars, not yet visible, moved patiently into the void the sun would leave behind – they would nestle and sail gradually with the Earth’s turn, usurping the vacant firmament for a few hours at least. Grass in the meadows before me, long since green, turned navy as the sun finally nipped below…
I was sat in my first eldest sister’s new home. A very well converted farm-house with all mod cons. A fire burned idly in a range that whilst practical and useful then, would only be humored as ornamental now….or retro-decoration. My sister, quite foolishly had left me in the flat alone while she set out to meet her best friend Barbara at the bus stop not too far away – surely not that far that her little brother could ever have time to cause havoc…? Barbara was coming to see the new home for the first time, and, as my sister and her friend hadn’t been together for a good long while, they were to catch up on gossip and exchange what each other had been up to.
Proudly my sister had lavished money, sparing no expense on the decor, especially the carpets and the rooms she had put so much into were her pride and joy. I was there simply because she used to get a little lonely and a little anxious about being on her own, especially at night; although what I could have possibly done to deter any horrors in the night is beyond me – you’d almost certainly find me cowering under a bed or in a cupboard somewhere in the building. Nevertheless, we were closer than close and she always wanted her little brother around her. Our favourite thing was to cuddle up on the sofa with pop and sweets, paying no attention to the old black and white television that would only be on to fill up the air at the other side of the room with noise, perhaps to keep that space company – or maybe just that between our chattering we cold stare at it. We’d play Scissors, paper, stone, or Slaps (ask me if you don’t know), word association games, rubbing and pressing our tummies in the hope we could compete in a trouser cough competition, you know, silliness like that. She would sometimes run through lists of words, which at times could take a while, until one would prompt me to make up a story….once started, we’d take it in turn to each add a paragraph. We’d travelled the World, enjoyed the riches of the famous, lived in the most exotic places, shared wild and dangerous adventures, admonished many a foe on Earth and in Space and flown over far off places on the backs of dragons until ideas and thoughts were exhausted….then we’d rest.
Whilst she was out collecting Barbara, I decided to stoke the fire in the range, causing just about the whole burning, seething content of the grate to come flowing out, like some angry, spitting flow of lava and burning such huge holes into ridiculously expensive, new carpets. The only thing she could do when she came in to find me sobbing, with a blackened face and burning fingers – carpets smouldering – and after she’d added her stamping to smother that which still glowed, was to squeeze me in, cradle my head and calm me down.
Eventually she would threaten to kill me – precisely one week later when I let the bath run over and the electricity cut out!