Where the Ghost Grass Grows.

Where the Ghost Grass Grows.

Charlie Wildfire had inherited land and went to the valley to find it. He drove along the road and parked by an old church, now a modern house. He double checked the directions on the map and headed off around the bend to the other side. The entrance to a track appeared and he followed it through thorn bushes that seemed to open and lead the way.

The thickets ended at a hillside and the moorland on the other side stretched far to the distant black mountain peaks. The sun shone in a clear blue sky but a shadow hung over the place, clinging grey, hiding the colour there. An old house stood where the old map said it would. Half the roof was missing and Charlie peered though the broken rotting windows that framed a time gone by. The upper floors had collapsed onto the furniture below and time mulched it down into a smell of damp fungus. Where the kitchen once was, only a cooker stood complete, leaning awkwardly against a door, a pair of footprints were clearly imprinted standing in front of it. There was a creaking sound and a beam fell, knocked the cooker over and squashed the footprints flat.

There were no other signs of life, not a single soul had been here for a long time. The sun still shone in the clear sky and the shadow still cast grey on the land. He walked towards the acreage, the inheritance and felt it growing inside him, until the breath was taken out of his body and made his head spin. He fought for air and his eyes saw the change and enveloped the scene in front of him, like a fairy tale in a paperweight. A great hand must have shaken it up, a new land appeared, the shadow was gone and clouds filled the sky and cast a new shadow over the surrounding world.

A harrier hung over the moorland grass now a luminous white that glowed. The were sounds that came from a place he struggled to see and the grass moved violently in waves but not a breath of wind blew. He reread the letter that hadn’t made sense when the lawyer gave it to him but now he read the words out loud and the land shimmered as he read.

“Now you must go and watch for flow in the place where the ghost grass grow and watch for sights, your inheritance rights.”

Then he read the last line to himself. ‘Take it with the love from your mama Hazel Wildfire. Till we meet again.’

He had no memory of his mother, they said she was insane after the killing of her husband in a churchyard. They sent her to prison and one night she disappeared from a sealed cell.

Then a breeze did stroke his face and he looked out across that glowing sea and there through it, a line grew , the grass pushing side-wards as if by single steps one after the other and it was heading towards him. A flickering apparition came in and out of sight and he saw a young woman, hair like fire, wearing a long skirt, waving a flat hand, stroking the heads of grass, a piebald horse followed on a long halter and she looked up and stared and smiled at Charlie Wildfire.

 

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