The First Story

As we are fast approaching the Easter Holidays, I have been on full studying lock down. More storytelling, less domestic around these parts recently. I have two deadlines before our holidays start and have been manically typing on my laptop all day.

Writing is strange. I love it and know it to be my true calling in life. But I still have to gear myself up for it and force myself to sit down to scribble. I use the luring technique of copious amounts of tea.

But the slog has been successful and I have a draft that I’m more than happy with ready for the final session tomorrow. It’s for my Children’s Fiction module, my favourite one this year.

 

Care to take a peek?

 

Adam was supposed to be at football club. Aunty Elaine was very keen on sports, exercise and nutrition. It was just a shame she wasn’t that keen on Adam.

            He shuffled along the road, kicking his PE bag as he went. The club wasn’t meant to finish for another half an hour, so he had some precious time to himself. As he dawdled along, he tapped each beech tree in turn, a ritual he performed when he walked home from school. Adam lazily started kicking about a pebble, thinking up more excuses for why he didn’t go to football.

            The pebble spun off Adam’s boot and hit the metal gates with a loud twang. The stone lay forgotten as Adam stared up at the overbearing structure. They towered above him, the charcoal iron twisted into rows of curling claws. The pair of gates was bound by a thick padlock, hefty and strong. They could have been carved from black ice as Adam quickly withdrew his hand from the metal bar. Adam looked past the intimidating barrier and gawked at what it was guarding.

            The house stood alone. It had to have been at least three stories high, but was the type of mansion that could be hiding an attic and cellar too. But it was unlike any old houses Adam had seen on television dramas. This house had a spiralling turret on one side with bejewelled Indian domes on the other. The front of the house was a mish mash of exposed brick and cream stone.

            Adam walked down Greymear Street every day on his way home from school. There had never been a house in this spot before, just piles of rubble and “under construction” signs. Even at the start of the week, Adam remembered seeing a vague structure under a nest of scaffolding. The house had sprung up so quickly, but Adam failed to remember if he had ever seen any builders at the sight. It was hard to think back, Monday was so long ago.

            His desire to see more of the house led Adam to lean heavily on the gates. They surrendered to his touch and slowly opened. The padlock had vanished. Adam stepped inside, treading softly. He opened the gate wide with an echoing screech. Adam looked around to see if anyone had been disturbed, but there was no one to be seen. He kept a hand on the cool gates. Adam couldn’t afford to be late home, it wasn’t worth the nagging that he would receive from Aunty Elaine. But the house barely looked solid, he just had to check if the mirage was true. A closer look and then off home, no one would notice.

            Adam tiptoed up the sandy driveway, ready to bolt if he saw an angry foreman. But there was no trace of workmen anywhere, no forgotten jackets or lone machinery. As Adam got closer, he realised how tired the house looked. The floorboards were faded on the porch and the fence that surrounded it was desperately seeking a paintbrush. The lion head knocker in the middle of the huge front door was covered in dust. Adam turned once more to search for any owners, but it was still silent all around him. He noticed that the gates had sneakily shut themselves, securing the house once more.

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