The Angel

The Angel wakes at sunset. Barefoot she walks past the sleeping dead, in the cold of night, searching for Love Everlasting.

In memory of our lost ones who live on in our hearts.

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Excerpt from ‘The Manor’ draft

She stands in front of the full length mirror near the window, adjusting her coat. It is loose and falls to her slim midcalf, just below her dress.

She glances out of the window, past the lawn, and the forest, and the hills beyond to a cloudless sky.

She is pleased – not just because it’s not raining, which is unusual for this part of the country – it’s her birthday, and her darling husband has bought her a wonderful present.

She picks up her white gloves from the dresser on the way out.

She can hardly contain her excitement as she runs down the stairs. At the bottom she looks up at Uncle Bertie’s portrait, frowning on her modernity, with his stiff collar and whispy side-burns.

She picks up keys that are on the dark oak table in the hallway, near the door.

As she steps out onto the drive she feels like a naughty schoolgirl. She had promised not to do this until Billy gets back.

He is over in the next Dale, shooting with her brother and Tinker his spaniel.

It’s Sunday, and most of the staff have the afternoon off, so no-one is about to see her break her vow. The house is too sombre and dull after the soiree they had the previous evening.

It was most satisfying to engage in conversation with their visitors from York – friends old and new. The talk was food, art and music, rather than sheep and horses.

But now she is in front of her wonderful present. It is a Duesenberg Model A, in shining yellow.

She sits with her hands on the soft leather of the seat for a moment, inhaling the distinct aroma. She moves her fingers around the wheel, and touches the dial on the nutmeg dashboard.

Her heart is pounding with pleasure as she starts up the engine. It purrs with a soothing vibration.

Clutch in, first gear.

She checks her wing mirror and sees a stray guest emerging from around the side of the house. She puts her head out of the window and waves at him.

There’s something familiar about him – what was his name?

She ponders this as she turns left, into the wood, and drives along the pebbled track that winds its way through the trees to the road.

She changes gear. The track has recently been resurfaced, and runs alongside a small beck to the lake, near the gatehouse.

She changes gear again and smiles.

Riding a horse across a stubble field is rather satisfying, but the power in this engine exceeds the animal experience by 100 fold.

Come on Daphne,” she says aloud, “let us see what we can achieve.”

She puts her foot fully on the accellerator and pushes it through its gears.

Exhilirated, watching the trees pass her in a blur she laughs. She will have so much fun with this. Time to be herself, not the demure wifey thing that people believe her to be.

The lake appears quicker than she expected – of course, she is going faster than the old Model T, but she manages to brake and negotiates the bend with skill.

A deer has run into the road directly in front of her. Its gentle eyes fix upon hers.

Without thinking she pulls on the steering wheel. The car runs over the bank and tips mid air with the velocity of the turn.

The cab is upside down, and she is disorientated for a second, before her head impacts on the car roof.

The last thing she hears is the rush of water as it enters the car, swirling into her ears and mouth.

Traigh an t-Suidhe

Iona beach
Strand of the Seat

This is a picture of the northern beach on Iona – Strand of the Seat.  We didn’t expect white sand.  On a small island in the Inner Hebrides?

Someone had been there before us – solitary footprints weaving across the beach and back – and that made it more special.  A place to wander, to still the mind and watch the waves.

Welcome

Welcome to my page of words. I will be publishing excerpts of my writings, short musings and other activities of life.

I am currently finishing a tale of mystery, with strange goings-on in an old manor house in the Yorkshire Dales. The past meets the present, as the main characters become caught in a web of deception and devastating decisions. More of this later.

Many thanks for reading.

Julie

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