Slightly belated Happy Easter everyone! And a slightly belated Creative Writing Ink exercise to go with it! I actually had this pretty much finished and ready to post last week but I kept getting distracted and ended up sort of, well, not posting anything… However, here’s my effort, a (very!) short story for a change
Steph couldn’t wait. It was Easter and that meant one thing – the annual family get together at her grandparents’ place down in Cornwall. It had become something of a tradition over the years, ever since her grandparents had decided to retire and move back to where they’d grown up, met and lived until her grandfather’s job had taken them away to London. Every year the whole family would make their way from wherever they happened to be and stay from Good Friday to Easter Monday – even Uncle Dave would come over from Connecticut, so important was this weekend in Steph’s family calendar.
She wasn’t sure what it was she looked forward to most about these weekends. Certainly, getting away from the bustling pace of city life for a few days of Cornish sea air was part of it – walks along the beach, BBQs on the terrace, camping in the back garden; what Ivy Pine Cottage lacked in bedrooms, it more than made up for in outside space. Her grandmother’s cooking was another; she couldn’t remember ever coming through the front door and not being greeted by the smell of freshly baked bread, cakes or hot cross buns. She loved catching up with her various relations, finding out what they’d all been up to, and fussing over Bonnie, her grandparents’ playful and much-loved labrador.
Perhaps what she looked forward to more than anything else though was Ivy Pine Cottage itself. It was a quaint, old place, that looked as if it had grown from the land on which it stood, so naturally did it blend in with its surroundings. Steep stone steps led up, past the ivy and beneath the old pine tree that gave the cottage it’s name, to a wooden front door with a wrought iron knocker. Going inside was like stepping back in time; a crackling fire and ticking grandfather clock stood either side of a small black-and-white TV, the furthest modern technology had been allowed to intrude into the living room. Watercolours and oil paintings lined the walls; faded sepia photographs stood in frames on the mantelpiece. Tiny doorways that her dad always had to duck through connected the various rooms and nooks and crannies, each filled with more photos and memories. At night, the place echoed with the sound of Bonnie’s gentle snoring as she lay asleep on her rug in front of the fire. If a house could be a hug, or a favourite pair of slippers, this was it.
The conductor announced her stop then, forcing Steph to abandon her daydreaming and get her things together. She smiled and waved at her parents, who’d come down the night before and had offered to meet her at the station to take her the last few miles. She turned to look at Paul and smiled; this was to be his first Easter at Ivy Pine Cottage, and she very much hoped it wouldn’t be his last.
© Catherine Smith
Comments welcome – somewhat new territory for me, this!