…Mother said, “The spiral patterns on the gate don’t mean anything, dear, they’re just decoration.”
If life is a search for meaning then it would be as well to point out from the start that there is none to be had, that way more people would be able to relax and appreciate their surroundings.
The gate of number eight Teesgrove Road did not mean anything but at least it now existed for me in some sort of meaningful way. Those spiral-line pieces of metal made me think that they were a pretty beautiful and elaborate way of saying absolutely nothing…
In fact those spiral-line pieces of metal made me wonder just where the gate of number eight Teesgrove Road stood in relation to the other gates in the street and the very short answer to that question was that the gate of number eight Teesgrove Road was unique.
The Urban and Suburban Town Planners sit around tables drawing up each new uniform vision of the future and the people they have designed the latest uniform homes for move in and immediately start turning meticulously planned dreams into their own personalised versions of heaven or hell.
At some point in time between the construction of number eight Teesgrove Road and our arrival in the street, the previous owner must have flicked through brochures, or paraded around showrooms, ‘hummed and ahhed’, and eventually plumped for the intricate, metalwork, spiral-line design which was, years later, to become a source of such wonder.
People, I have heard it said have no grasp of what they do.
The metalwork spiral-line design on the gate of number eight Teesgrove Road did not mean anything to mother but it must have been having some sort of an effect on her reasoning because when she finally got around to transforming the stairs and hallway of number eight Teesgrove Road the metalwork supports she chose to adorn the newly scraped, sanded and varnished wooden banister rail comprised a spiral-line design.
“Ooh look,” I said when I first saw it, “the banister rail now matches the garden gate.”
“Oh yes,” said Mother, “so it does, I hadn’t realised.”
The spiral-line metalwork design of the supports for the newly scraped, sanded, and varnished wooden banister rail were black but of the twisted metalwork slats which were to alternate between them and which had come through the post at the same time, some were black and some were white.
Someone at the Mail Order Firm had made a mistake.
“Tutt… look at this,” said mother “they’ve sent the wrong ones… I ordered black… Damn and Blast it… Now, what am I going to do? They’ll have to go back, it’s no use… They’ll have to go back… I’m not having ‘em… Flaming Marvellous… it’s not damn difficult, is it… I mean, black is black isn’t it? It’s definitely not… blasted white…And I wanted to get it done this weekend…”
I started laughing.
Mother started laughing too, “it’s not damn funny,” she said, and then her laugh started to turn into a sob…
“Try it anyway,” I suggested, “the skirting board and the picture rails are still white, you never know, it might look okay.”…
The Mail Order Firm had sent ten twisted black slats, five twisted white slats and ten black spiral-line designs which we arranged in a three to one ratio, starting at the bottom of the stairs with two twisted black slats, a spiral-line design followed by a twisted white slat and proceeding in like manner until we finished with a twisted white slat at the top of the stairs.
Now when mother was vacuuming and I huddled into the corner of the dog-leg two thirds the way up the stairs so as to feel the full effect of the vibrations rattling the floor-boards and juddering the stair-well, I could also trace the spiral-line design with my eyes… and amid all that noise, with cold shivers traversing the length of my spine…
I could think of black…
and then think of white…
Lands of Exile:
KITH ‘N’ KIN
Stuart France & Sue Vincent
The Beeley Stone, ‘liberated’ from the churchyard at Bakewell, stands proudly in the centre of its village green once more. While the locals enjoy the fruits of its restoration, Ben, who had led the daring raid against authority, still languishes in jail.
Don and Wen, arrested and released without explanation in Ireland, now plot an erratic course through the wild places of Wales, while Jaw-Dark and Kraas, seeking the legendary stone of Fergus Mac Roy, have been separated in the most uncanny of circumstances…
As the darkness closes around them, the Black Shade haunts the moors above Beeley and, in the shadowy rooms of the old tower, an ancient and even stranger story begins to unfold…
Other Books in this series by France & Vincent
for Kindle and in full colour illustrated paperback
Triad of Albion
The Initiate ~ Heart of Albion ~ Giants Dance
Don and Wen thought it was just a day out in an ancient landscape wrought in earth and stone, walking the sacred ways of the Old Ones. They could not know what mysteries would unfold as the birds led them deep into the legendary history of Albion.
As the veils thin and waver, time shifts and the present is peopled with shadowy figures from the past, weaving their tales through a quest for understanding and opening wide the doors of perception for those who seek to see beyond the surface of reality…
The Ætheling Thing ~ Dark Sage ~ Scions of Albion
What exactly were the Norse gods doing on a supposedly Christian artefact that looked more like a standing stone than a cross?
Don is drawn to investigate, questioning the history of the Blessed Isles of Albion, while Wen determines to restore the position of one particular stone.
Which would have been alright if Ben hadn’t gone back for the gun…
Lands of Exile
But ‘n’ Ben ~ Beck ‘n’ Call ~ Kith ‘n’ Kin
While Ben, fast becoming a folk hero, languishes in Bakewell Gaol, Don and Wen are on holiday… or ‘on the run’ if Bark Jaw-Dark and PC 963 Kraas, hot in pursuit, are to be believed.
From England to Scotland and Ireland, the officers of the Law follow the trail of the erratic couple.
But who is the shadowy figure, hovering beyond sight?
What is his interest in a small standing stone and just how many high-level strings can he pull… and why?