‘Definitely don’t have to check the weather,’ I thought, as I did my morning stretches and found clothes. It was hammering with rain; big, fat, wet rain. The kind of rain you feel in your bones. The kind of rain that sounds like loud. As I brushed my teeth, I subconsciously looked up to check the ceiling wasn’t leaking. That kind of rain.
I think Willow felt it in her bones too, she stayed curled up on the bed in such a way that she looked like she was pretending to be asleep. I left her and went to the front to open the curtains. I opened a small window and a great waft of rain smell breezed in. Like wet stone and salt. I stretched my neck from side to side.
I have one of those wall-mounted fake fires in the front. Gives out a great amount of warmth and the flames look real. I turned that on and immediately the darkness was filled with dancing shadows.
As I was making my tea, my mind wandered back to my childhood. We’d often tow a touring caravan to some place on the map for some caravan club event. Once on Halloween I remember we carved turnips, pumpkins were too expensive back in the seventies. I remember the smell after the candles had been lit in them. We’ go out wearing pink raincoats and green wellies with our turnip lanterns, which had little lids. We made ‘woooo’ noises, and pretended there were spooky things around. When a cow in the adjacent field made a noise, we sprinted back to our caravan.
On other nights we’d be huddled in our caravan telling each other ghost stories, and Dad used to creep outside and shove his face up against the window making us all scream and laugh all at the same time. At school the following week, I’d write a fourteen-page story about a haunted house. October and Halloween always felt magical to me.
As I finished making my tea, Willow wandered in and sat dead-centre in the floor facing the fake fire, so I sat on the floor with her and she jumped in between my legs as I crossed them. I took a gulp of hot tea and then straightened myself and closed my eyes.
The light danced behind my eyelids as I took some deep breaths. The orange light soon turned into warm light, wrapped itself around me and in through the top of my head. I swirled the light around, willing the light around my achy neck and shoulders and then through all my joints until I imagined myself sitting in a big, fiery bubble, warming and renewing.
‘Plenty of time to walk on the beach,’ I thought, as I opened my eyes and enjoyed the warm, fake fire.