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Peter Simon


Peter Simon, Author of Edith's Journey

Peter Simon is a British social support worker. He has published many short stories and some health-based articles. He is currently working on a novel.

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Edith's Journey by Peter Simon

 

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Edith's Journey by Peter Simon

A woman returns to the village of her youth, finding it much changed. There she encounters excitement, wonder and danger. Finally, she meets her former husband—but in vastly different circumstances from how she had last seen him.

                                                                     Excerpt
Word Count: 3369
Pages to Print: 16
File Format: PDF
Price: $2.99
 
    

   
   

Excerpts
Edith's Journey

When Edith first stirred from her sleep, great frowning shadows stretched across the land. Huge lakes of unbroken darkness eclipsed her whole world.

Soon, though, she became aware of the faintest light; rays from the outside world were filtering in opaque waves through the blackness, growing brighter and fuller, and bringing her at last to full waking.

Edith looked out on the world. A glint of golden fire burned on a vast blue horizon, and the shadows were retreating.

It had been a long, long sleep and she felt wonderfully refreshed.

Light had returned to the land at last. The scent of spring filled the air; a fresh thrill of dewy grass, and the rich sweetness of blossom.

She laughed. It hardly seemed a moment since the autumn!

Now as her senses sharpened, she could see the blossom flying through the air, flaming up a perfect white in the sun. A few stray pieces wafted past her, tumbling and dancing in the breeze. She wanted to catch some, to feel the moist silkiness against her fingers, but of course she could not. Instead, she just blew, and laughed as the petals whirled and buffeted.

Edith rested for a few moments, gathering her strength. It was an excellent day. The sun was full and bright, and the grass of the hilltop sparkled with millions of tiny watery jewels.

She hadn’t been out for a while. In the grey seasons, she withdrew from the world; but now she was ready to roam again. She had missed her travelling, and the heart-warming beauty of this spring day brought her a sudden wild joy.

And there, down in the valley, the village lay like a huge luscious garden, partly shrouded by a blanket of shining mist: silent, surreal, a vision.

Yet as the mist slowly began to clear, the little place seemed to solidify into reality. She could see the church steeple and its golden weather vane, the meandering rows of cottages, the plowed farmlands and the fields alive with yellow-golden crops. The village no longer seemed like a dream; it was a true, living place.

Once, that place had been her home.

Then a sudden wonderful thought occurred to her. She might see Bill down in the village. She wouldn’t intrude on him, of course, but she might come across him by chance.

That decided it. Edith dressed quickly, and began the long walk into the valley. She could have easily found quicker ways of getting there, but a walk would be lovely.

Her quickening senses detected a little sharpness in the air; the ghost of winter still lingered. Raw icy days had gouged out jagged potholes in the road. Just as well she wasn’t cycling. Mind you, today’s bikes would probably be more reliable—not like the rusty bone-shaker she used to ride.

Cirrus clouds lay in serene strands over the valley, glowing whitely in the morning light. Wisps of mists crept silently around the cherry trees, and a sudden breeze picked up the fallen blossom, scattering it across Edith’s path.

The village was nestled in the mist like a timeless bubble, yet there were changes in the landscape.

Farther off lay the foul smoky stain of the city, with its sea of ugly concrete and glassy weather-beaten skyscrapers. The sun seemed powerless to illuminate those grimy wastes, and a hazy brown line of pollution snaked along the horizon.

The city was bigger than she remembered, and its swollen blot had obliterated far more of the countryside. There had always so much corruption in those places! Probably it was even worse now. She hoped, at least, that her beautiful village hadn’t been touched by it.

A huge road circled the metropolis, its brazen line scarring the fields. A million tiny cars flickered and gleamed in the sunlight, an insane metal caterpillar. Cars, cars, cars without end! What had happened to the railways, the buses, the trams?

Edith turned her gaze away from the city, and back towards the village.

Deep in the trees, she could hear the soft woody cooing of pigeons, and the bright warble of sparrows; and from somewhere down in the village, there was a little distant laughter—children’s laughter. Her spirit leapt. Maybe the place hadn’t changed too much.

Walking seemed to be unpopular these days. The old road was unused now, and crumbling. Baked, frozen and blighted for season after season, weeds were pushing up through its tarmac. The unthinking crawl of time, patient and inexorable, would finally grind everything to dust. Time always won.

In some places, the road had been worn away to crazy paving. It would have been rough to have cycled down there. She might even have fallen off. That wouldn’t have been disastrous, but it would certainly have been unpleasant.
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