At Etruria today

Grey day on the canal,

Leaves float,

Cygnets shelter from the rain.

Boats huddle near the bridge,

Wrapped in old tarpaulins.

Smoke drifts up from stoves

that sit below the water levels.

Tea kettles boil and whistle,

Stained hands make a brew,

wiping off excess oil on grubby teacloths.

Leaves create mosaics of moist greens and browns.

Trees splinter into the sky,

Bursting like fireworks

But wet black,

No sparkle

Just grey, wet, dank…

And beautiful.

Just had a real fright!

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When you are sitting in your home watching TV at 2.30 in the morning you don’t expect someone to knock on your kitchen window. But that just happened. I shouted up to my husband who had just gone to bed. He came down and went to the back door–and let a young man in!… He said he was being chased by some other men. What could we do? I went to the front door and shouted that I was ringing the police-which is what I did. They dispatched a patrol who arrived after about twenty minutes. In the meantime my husband decided to go outside and have a look round! I was standing next to the young man, in my living room on my own! Luckily I was speaking to the police and trying to keep the man calm. I could feel my chest getting tight, I was quite shocked. At one stage the police dispatcher asked if I needed an ambulance! Anyway the police came and took him away to safety. They checked no-one was in the garden. I’m still shaking. Writing this to calm down and get it off my chest. It’s a case of what could have happened but luckily didn’t !

Another sleepless night

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Waiting for the night to turn to light,

For my breath to calm,

For the rushing noise in my ear to stop.

Anything to keep me from harm.

Let me sleep through nights eternal flight,

Let me sleep and miss the noisy road.

My lids are heavy, I start to nod

Leave earth in dreamland

But then I thud

Back into reality

Wide awake

Pull into alarmed wariness

By a noise in my head.

Howling

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The building was old. You could tell that by the wooden shutters over the windows, more like prison bars than anything else. Not a scary place to walk past in the daylight, but on the odd occasion that she walked past it at night she made sure she walked fast, just in case.

In case of what? No one knew much about the building, but it was attached to an old windmill and there was a tall wall leading off into the distance where the building ended. Just one gate, made of old and rotting wood, that was half way down the length of the wall..

When she had walked past before she could swear she had heard snuffling  like a dog, and something scratching at the gate. As she walked past her clicking heels would speed up to get her past. A rush of adrenalin enough to make her heart pound.

Tonight the alleyway was lit by a dim street lamp at either end. Slipping from behind the clouds a full bright moon gave extra illumination. Tonight the cobbles were wet, with a gleam in the light of small puddles reflecting back the moon.

No choice really, walk along the alley and cross the road to the car park, or walk half a mile round the one way system. At that moment a dreary drizzle started. It was the alleyway tonight. The quicker to get home and get warm. Her feet clicked and splashed as she walked along, she almost twisted her ankle on the cobbles. She passed the old shuttered window and heard, what exactly? Snuffling? Panting? She hurried on. Almost at the gate, just over halfway along the alley, point of no return. A sudden rushing sound, like a dog running, then a howl. She froze, there was the sound of something large hitting the old gate. She pulled off her shoes and ran….. The howl followed her…..

In the dark (part three)

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I had walked into my bedroom and seen the shadowy figure of my partner sitting in a chair by the window. I tried to see his face but the full moon in the window behind him cast darkness across his face.

“What’s up with the lights?” I asked, trying to keep my voice calm.

“I took out the bulbs” he replied..

That was something I had not thought of. “Why?”

“I need the dark” was all he would say.

I felt the chill air seeping into my body, something was wrong with the heating, it had been playing up before I went out to choir practice. Now it was as cold inside as it had been out in the night.

“It’s cold” I said simply. “Do you want a coffee?”

“No”

I was getting worried and scared, Henri was usually a happy, talkative man. His manner now was just not like him.

“I’m going downstairs” I said,

“No” again..

“Well this is stupid” I started to edge towards the door.

Then he opened his eyes….they were glowing gold….

I ran. Down the stairs, tripping and falling but catching the bannister I managed to halt myself. I felt a bone crack in one of my fingers, but I found I felt no pain, I just wanted to get out. Get back in the car, get away……

(To be continued…..?)