The fabric of this land

Old mine workings near Pontrhydygroes, Ceredigion - copyright Freya The Writer

Old mine workings near Pontrhydygroes, Ceredigion – copyright Freya The Writer

Touch the walls, feel the past reach out to you. Push away the stone, the plaster, the layers of paper upon paper and molecules of paint. Hear the voices rise from the earth, seeping between flagstones, carried on the air, drifting through the sightless windows. Feel the door’s rough grain, its paint bleached and crackled by the elements, year after year.

Step back, take it all in.

The mountains, bleak and sparse, each tree a skeletal surprise, a victory against the wind, the rain and unforgiving sun.  Notice how, at one side, the roof has triumphed over the elements, sheltered by the nearby slope. Here, a solitary sheep nestles, chewing the grass, untroubled by the wind. Turn your gaze back to the roof, see the sudden break in its spine, slates snapped, shattered and tossed to the ground. Like the broken ribs of a long dead animal, the rafters are exposed, silvered by the biting wind.

Now look away. Look out into the distance.

Tear up your romantic notions of this country idyll. The industrial roots of this land burrow deep into the earth. Still your thoughts long enough to hear them skulking and slithering, grasping hold of the boulders beneath your feet. They will not be silenced – they refuse to hide. See the heaps of spoil, punctured by wooden pilings, markers of tunnels and structures abandoned long ago. Open your eyes and heart to the rusted iron carcasses resting, now dormant as the streams continue roaring ceaselessly in the valley below.

Here broods an industrial land, exhumed by man’s hand.

Here is a land of secrets, laid bare if you care to look.

Welsh Mountain Magic – Friday Fictioneers

Last week I made my first entry into the weekly challenge brought to us by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields – I enjoyed taking part so much, I thought I’d do it again. I loved reading others’ offerings! Here are the rules: Use the photo as inspiration, write a hundred(ish) words – and share! Here goes this week’s – and I welcome your comments again!

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Copyright Danny Bowman

Copyright Danny Bowman

Welsh Mountain Magic

I stood, staring into the distance, feeling the rage build up inside. I kicked the flat tyre and arrows of pain shot from my big toe, burying themselves deeply in my knee.

This town mouse had forgotten that mobile phones were completely useless in the depths of mid-Wales.

I rubbed the tears of frustration out of my eyes and blinked. A telephone box appeared out of thin air – a little bit of Celtic magic to save this modern-day damsel in distress. Plus, there was even ten pence in the slot, ready to make a call.

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Click the blue froggy to read other writers’ offerings – and enjoy!



Holiday Flash Fiction

I’m on holiday, so have penned three short pieces inspired by my countryside idyll. I hope you enjoy them all!

 

This perfect patch of blue, framed by curtains flung wide. The big city, frenetic with self-importance, lingers only as a distant fragment on the edge of my thoughts.

This perfect patch of blue, punctured by a bird of prey, intent, suspended, focused on the earth below. I too am suspended, in splendid isolation.

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We are mesmerised by her sudden twist of friendliness. Her tail twitches imperiously.

Follow me.

We take the cat’s eye tour – the cow barn, the hens, the sheep scattered over the mountain fields. Finally, we reach her boundary, a nodding dandelion not quite at the end of the meandering lane. A final writhe of fur around legs, and she is gone, trotting back to her fireside sanctuary.

Goodbye for now, puss.

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A tractor, bouncing on man-tall tyres – the driver waves us past.

A ewe and her twin lambs, scampering to the steep verge, eyes wide, stopping to chew on grass, just in case.

A mud-splattered van, straining to chug to the top of the hill, clouds of fumes belching from a rusting exhaust.

This is rush hour in the countryside.