The house unchanged was just as she’d remembered. To see the house was good, unlike the town it had always been a haven. It was a place of freedom and free expression, a place of learning and safe keeping, for hiding, for biding time, for secrets.
It gave an impression of being in the sky. Even standing beside it to look at it was to look up. It held its back to the mountain as if set into its walls and standing at the front door you could see the town about ten steep miles down a sweep of green and fields, of dark forests and golden whin. As a child she’d often thought to fall and her aunt borrowing and changing words from Tennyson as she went would laugh and say…
‘She clasps the crag with crooked hands; Close to the sun in lonely lands, ring’d with the azure world, she stands. The wrinkled road beneath her crawls; she watches from her mountain walls, And like a thunderbolt she falls.’
It had been standing for a hundred years and on the same spot a house had stood for hundreds of years before. The site had been carefully chosen or predestined? A mountain stream and well, a rowan tree beside.
It had a curious air of complication. Even the few who knew its insides would find it hard to place everything, to say exactly what windows went with what rooms. To add to the feel of foreboding there were straight steep steps up to the door. They didn’t invite the visitor. You’d have to be in great need to come knocking and with good reason.
Over the years subsequent generations had added new parts, new extensions. Life was hard here. They always had to think survival, self sufficiency and protection but inside the cornucopia of rooms large and small offered many warm comforts and surprising delights. It had to serve many purposes beyond that of a normal house. For generations it had kept people safe within its walls while keeping dangers out…
This is an excerpt from the first draft of my first novel, not yet published. I hope you liked it. Keep up to date with my progress here on the blog. I love to hear your thoughts so feel free to comment. Thanks for reading 🙂