Snippet from Dreams of Gold for All Hallows Eve:
"All that time life kept putting its face around the door, but never came into the room."
There had been a gale in the night, a faint moaning and soughing gathering force until it screamed round the chimneys and blasted against the windows. The weathered frames juddered, the whole house shook. Slates slithered off the roof and landed in a broken heap by the door. Jude was on edge. It sounded worse inside. The tremors were amplified. Any minute now, the chimney stack would give way and come crashing through the roof! He imagined wreckage strewn about the garden and tried to recall what insurance we had. He said the premiums were astronomical, but would this be counted as an Act of God? That was the last thing we wanted, he said, to have to fork out for extensive repairs, the price of construction work what it was at present. He suddenly saw all his dreams in ruins, smashed by some arbitrary and unforeseen stroke of fate. Lightning! It couldn’t be, could it? Not at this time of year? He jumped out of bed and parted the curtains. Clouds thick as pewter tore across the sky. Pylons swayed down the full length of the glen, cables flailed one another sending out flashes of bleached light. There was a sense of desolation about the little town silhouetted against the darkness. Squares of light pricked the black mass of buildings huddled together, like candles lit in skulls or vacant pumpkin heads on hallowe’en.
He soon realised there was something amiss. There was an openness about the scene. “Hell’s bells,” he breathed. “It’s Fairlie’s barn. It’s gone! Wiped clean off the face of the earth!” He’d had a good harvest, had Fairlie, and had set on extra hands to help with the reaping. The bales were packed, right and tight, neat as bricks, up to the roof and anchored down with ropes. “There’s few this side o’ the glen set up so fine,” Fairlie had boasted in the pub. Jude could see the arterial hands, oak-apple brown, scooping up change and gripping the beer mug. “Aye, and that fusionless gowk, Oliphant, can haver about moth and rust! Damn’t mon, tisna sense tae chave from dawn tae dusk if tis only tae doon and dee a pauper!”
And there it was, Fairlie’s barn a heap of sticks, Fairlie’s straw castle besieged, Fairlie’s haycocks that stood guard beside it, bowled over, dissolving strand by strand, flying in the wind.
Causes Rosy Cole Supports
World Vision, International Prison Outreach, Salvation Army, Emmaus Project, Poor Clares, DogsTrust, BUAV (against animal testing) WWT (Wildfowl &...