other stuff


My Summer

I’ll always remember that Summer. I was only seven years old and my outlook on life was not tainted by money nor death. Still pure and innocent, I had waited for the last three weeks of school to roll by and then I would be free. Free of stuffy old classrooms with rickety chairs and ancient desks, losing the battle against the woodworm which would in the end be the cause for them to be thrown out, fed to the ever-hungry fire; the flames dancing with anticpation for more fuel to be added.

Though each day seemed long and tedious then, as I look back time truly did fly by as I daydreamed of the adventures that I would have during the Summer. This Summer would be mine, the weather would be sunny during the day with a light breeze, so as I would not be too warm nor too cold. The night skies would be clear and I would be able to look at all the constellations from ‘the great bear’ and ‘the little bear’ to ‘Orion the hunter.’ My father had many times pointed them out to me the previous Winter, but most of the Winter had been cold and cloudy. Spring had been no better with the fresh rain-clouds hiding from view the glittering stars. But my Summer would be different.

Finally the day came and I was set free, like an animal that has been set free after long years in captivity, I loped through the fields skipping and jumping. My heart was joyous for my Summer had begun.

During the Summer, I was in grave danger many times from bright-green dragons breathing red fire and old, shaggy trolls with their yellow teeth trying to bite me. As I was invariably a shining knight in armour or a great warrior with my trusty shield and gleaming sword I would always beat those who wished to harm me. I could defeat all of these magical creatures except one who hypnotised me into doing things that I didn’t want to do, well that’s the way it seemed.

Though the days were long, their end always drew nigh far too quickly. I would only have started my adventure in the morning when already dinner-time had arrived and with it twilight and my mother. She would walk down the garden path, her apron tied tightly round her waist and when she reached the garden fence, with her golden voice she would call me. Her voice always carried over the fields to where I was and hypnotised I would return, reluctantly at heart, to have a bath if I was dirty but always to change and to go to bed.

But my mother didn’t get her way every night and my father would take me out to lie in the garden or fields and look at the constellations with him. Every so often he would point out a new constellation or ask me to point out to him some of the ones I knew. Other times he would tell me the constellations that he had made up himself. These were always funny and we would laugh at our little joke. That Summer, I was also able to make up constellations as I was able to fix the stars into a specific picture. We would often spend long periods of time in silence, our thoughts kept to ourselves. No other sounds but our own calm breathes and the old farm dog howling at the moon.

My summer was drawing to an end when my father announced that we would be going fishing the next day. The following morning, we rose early, packed our lunches and set off for the woods which was two leagues away as my father would say. He knew of a secret pool deep in the woods surrounded by willow-trees whose branches stooped, straining to touch the smooth and still surface of the water with the tips of their leaves. As we walked through the hay fields, freshly cut, the sun shone down on us as we whistled cheerfully. Though I tried to hide it, I was tired after a while and my father without saying a word hoisted me up on to his shoulders and carried me without grumble nor complaint. We spent that whole day fishing and laughing in the sun. It was late when we returned home to my mother standing in the golden light from the kitchen.

The school year returned far too soon after and my Summer ended. On the first day back my father drove me to school in his new shiny car. On the way, we were in an accident. I was the lucky one, or so the doctors said. My father died, his body had been flung through the windscreen sending fragments of glass flying. The doctors told my mother that he had died quickly and painlessly, they hadn’t heard him scream and then groan and then give one last dreadful sigh as he left the world forever. I had lived but at a price, pieces of glass had flown into my eyes damaging them badly. I never saw again. I had known that I never would as I sat in the car, my eyes screaming at my brain in pain. Nothing around me but blackness. Never would I see the sun again, nor my constellations; all was lost. My father was lost, my Summer was gone. All I have are memories of that Summer, my Summer and my Dad.