Saturday, 10 March 2012

Solace in the Past

“To the untrained eye this would just look like a lump of grass...”

Guinevere watched herself on the monitor in this homemade video for the new website. It carried on droning in the background while her anger rose inside her. It felt like she was selling her soul; to make money off the back of others misfortune was about as low as she could stoop. How had she let Riddick talk her into this? Ok so she was 23, jobless and sleeping in Rid’s box room, but is that a good enough reason to sink so low??

“Sooo, wha da ya think?” Rid asked with a very pathetic look on his face.

“I hate it” Guin hadn’t meant to be so blunt, as her best friend, Rid always got the brunt of her moods.

“Come on Guin, make an effort here”

“Do whatever you think Rid! I’ll catch up with you later” Guin called over her shoulder as she ran for the door of the pokey flat they shared. All Rid could do was stare after her open mouthed.

Guin needed some peace, away from the machines, buildings and people. This was easier said than done. All her life there had never been any quiet space, no peace or solitude but there were places where that didn’t matter. Places where Guin could drift away and forget the world around her.

Up on the hill the air was clean and crisp; Guin took a few slow, deep breaths and stared out at the view. You could see in all directions from here, behind her was a view over the moors out to Yorkshire but currently she was taking in the majesty of Pendle hill with its summit lost to the mist, which hadn’t lifted all day. She sat at the edge of the Iron Age hill fort and as she relaxed and her breathing slowed the smell of burning logs drifted over her, mingled with the sweet smell of that nights stew in the pot. This was closely followed by the sounds of the settlement; it was like the sound of a radio slowly being turned up and tuned in all at the same time. It was calming to listen to the gentle chatter of the women going about their chores and the children playing with the dogs. Guin had been coming here since she was allowed out of the house alone; she would wander the countryside trying to find that elusive moment’s peace, but she always seemed to gravitate back to this spot. Sometimes she felt like some kind of strange peeping tom; a 21st century girl who hangs out with the apparitions of people long since gone. Today Guin didn’t care, she needed its rhythm, no matter how strange it was.

The sun starting to set and was turning the sky a hundred shades of pink and purple. All the tension that had been creeping up on Guin for days in her shoulders and neck was starting to dissipate. She knew this cool and peaceful moment wouldn’t last; she had lived this day over hundreds of times. She turned just in time to see the few bloody and injured men stagger home to their wives and families from the Yorkshire side of the fort. The tears began to roll down Guin's cheeks, the final release she needed. She knew this was the battle that had claimed Lugo, her first teenage crush; it always brought a tear to her eye. Why did she find it easy to cry at these moments but never about the present?

“Why do you go back to that moment if it always makes you cry?” His voice came from the path in front of her.

Rid knew her too well! Of course he knew where she was, Guin thought.

“How do you know when I’ve been?” Guin asked, firing the question like some kind of accusation at him.

“It’s the only remnant from here that makes you cry”

Guin looked down rather sheepishly and hugged her knees to her chest as Rid sat down beside her. The commotion of the reunions continued behind them as they sat in silence. Guin thought for a moment how other groups of friends never seemed able to do this, just sit in comfortable silence. There was no need to talk, he knew her and she knew him. Rid had helped her through so much they didn’t need to explain things to each other. He knew she needed this place; sometimes the dead are just more comforting.

“Guin” Rid said as the sun was just disappearing from view, “what’s wrong? I know you don’t like this idea but if it’s a choice between this or starvation which would you prefer?”

“I know! I know all of that. To be fair that is a little overly dramatic though. I just can’t help but feel I am betraying some kind of trust” Guin replied sounding deflated, “who am I to tell their story to any Tom, Dick or Harry that will pay enough?”

Rid just sat there looking out at the sun dropping behind Pendle Hill, he knew better than to interrupt, there was more to this and she would let it out if he just waited.

“Rid, I’m a freak” Here we go he thought, “It’s the reason I’m in this mess, I can’t hold down a job, I can’t keep friends, besides do I really want to put myself out there again? I tried that once, remember and as I recall it didn’t go so well!”

“First, we are all freaks Guin, it’s what we do with what we have that counts. Second, you need to decide on that pretty fast.”


“We’ve had a call.”

“Excuse me?”

“Brigantes Investigations is officially up and running, if you are willing?”

Let me know what you think!!


  1. Ooo! You left us a the perfect spot! I was reading, reading, then...what? What happens next? Ha, good for you.

    I like your development of the characters so far, both as individuals as well as friends. You give us clues into seeing a little bit of how their relationship works which can get complicated, but you do a great job.

    And I like this quote: “First, we are all freaks Guin, it’s what we do with what we have that counts." This helps draw the reader in because he includes everyone, accepts everyone, and this unconciously makes us feel more comfortable, included in the story somehow...

    Great start. Thanks for sharing, and keep going, for sure.

  2. Firstly thanks for letting me share the journey with you x I have to agree I have been left here hanging wanting more, I'm intrigued wanting to know how Guin and Rid's friendship develops but also what had gone on with Lugo too! And just what is going to happen with their business venture. Is this as far as you got or are you holding back on us!!!!!!! x x x x

  3. Thanks for the lovely comments. I promise there will be more, the ideas are there I just need the time to get them on paper! It is a boost to know that I have written something that you think is as good as I think it is, certainly encourages me to carry on ;-)


Penny for your thoughts

PS Thanks for taking the time to stop by