Knock three times

The snow that had collected just above the window frame drifted down in a fine powder, dislodged by the loud knocking coming from the door. Inside, they lady and the girl looked over to the door where the banging was coming from. The knock was repeated, this time with more force.

“Stay here, and please; don’t say a word.” The lady said, and the girl nodded in reply, taking a sip from the tea cup; her throat changing colour as the liquid fell inside her, like a fading rainbow. The lady ambled to the door and grabbed a walking stick she kept by the umbrella stand. She didn’t need the stick of course, her bones were weary but her health was fine, she merely liked how it looked walking along in the snow sometimes; inspecting things with a gentle prod. Now, she held a tight hold on the top of the cane (shaped like a giant snow globe) and cautiously opened the door, catching the knockee mid-knock.

“Oh!” she said, a smile widening like that of the door. “Timothy, what brings you this way?” She looked out into the snowy gloom; the disappearing light had blanketed the world in an encroaching grey, like soup lapping at a bowls rim. A small boy stood on her doorstep, his feet in wellington boots far too big for him. He was wrapped up against the storm, but his nose was as red as a holly berry.

“Oh, hey. Sorry, I didn’t think you could hear me, thought you might be sleeping.” Timothy shouted, compensating for the wind by yelling like only a child can. The lady chuckled.

“Well, if I were; I’m sure it would’ve woken me up. Anyway, come in come in.” she said, beckoning him inside out of the cold.

“Is Stacey here yet?” He asked, remaining on the doorstop.

“Stacey? Why would she be here?” She asked him, puzzled somewhat.

“Well, it’s Thursday. You said for us to come for the stories on Thursday, remember? I even brought some biscuits my mum made.” He replied, shaking a small tin he held in his hands, containing, now no doubt, shards of biscuits. “I just wanted to know is Stacey was here yet, if not I would go to her house now and walk with her.”

The lady could see the twinkle of opportunity in his eyes.  Her mind flickered to her calendar and checked the date. Nope, he was a day early. Timothy was always over anxious. She chuckled a little and told him he’d gotten the wrong day. As his face fell she took something out of her pocket. She handed him the small purple glove, its index finger was slightly frayed with a long loose thread which looked like a long woollen nail.

“She left this here last week though, perhaps you might be so kind as to drop it by to her today.” She said. His eyes grew large as he took the little mitten, holding it like a small treasure. He set off straight away back down the little path calling out to the lady as he went,

“Thanks, see you tomorrow!”

The biscuits beyond repair now, flung this way and that in the little tin as he rounded the corner of her fence and disappeared up the lane. She stood and watched him go, enjoying the scene of the darkening light and the heavy snow which spread a happiness inside of her.

But then it stopped. Cut off quickly as she saw the shadows. They reached up and under the little fence she had at the bottom of her garden. Tall and thin wisps of dark, like the fingers of a demon. It all grew suddenly quiet as the wind dropped and the silence that accompanies snow descended.

She couldn’t see him, she only felt he was there. The presence. The energy she could normally feel bubbling way off over the woods, but marked on every page of her treasured magic book. Like a compass it pointed the way to the light and dark, and she felt the shadows creeping nearer and nearer to her. She shut the door hastily, warding off the nefarious nature by her own incantation and signs that keep her little cottage safe.

She never saw the gentleman of the boxes, though she knew he was there. His little eyes peering at her from the trees as he skulked around to her backyard.

Blueberry tart and tears

“What’s wrong?” The girl asked, watching the lady step back inside and lock her door. She was muttering something under her breath when the girl asked again. “Are you okay?” concern showing from a mask which beheld no emotion. It travelled in waves to the lady, she felt it in her bones. Looking over, she smiled back quickly, calmed by her presence.

“Nothing I hope. We’re safe inside her my dear, I just felt some bad energy from outside just now, that’s all.” She said, putting the cane back to where she found it and coming back towards the fire. “I’ll let you know if it builds to anything we need to be alarmed by. But this little cottage can handle a lot thrown its way.” She came back over towards the fireplace, the flames roaring nicely still. “Why, you’ve drunk all your tea. That calls for more, and a little cake too I imagine.” She said, taking a little blueberry tart out of the tin by the tea tray.

“Who was at the door?” The girl asked, curiously.

“That was a little rub of a boy called Timothy Sanderson. He came around today in the hope of tales and stories. But alas, one is being invented now as I sit here with you and might just be finished in time for him tomorrow when he comes back again….and gets the correct day.” She said, sneaking a blueberry tart for herself from the tin.

“I could feel his warmth for you, but also something else. Infatuation?” The girl asked. The lady couldn’t help but laugh at this. Bits of the cake spraying onto the copper coloured rug on the floor.

“Oh my, that would be his growing fascination with a little girl called Stacey Izzana. He really does have it bad. No, me he sees as the crazy old woman who tells stories and feeds the other children chocolates and biscuits when they should be eating fruit.” She said, eyeing up another cake in the small little tin.

“He seemed like a pure soul.” The girl sad, tasting her own cake.

“Yes, they all are the ones that come here. Eager minds looking for adventure and intellect. These books fill them with both, and I’m happy to be the tool in which to help with that.” She leaned forward slightly, inching to the edge of her seat. “But you, you my dear are an Imamiahi are you not? It is you that will bring us that adventure, and the change I’ve felt coming for some time.”

The girl finished her cake before replying, all the while looking deep into the soul of the lady before her. She knew where she was heading of course, before she even left Europa. She knew the journey would be the way it was and what type of soul who would great her when she stepped out of her cocoon. Best laid plans. But the lady surprised her still. The house and the energy was not something she’d come across before. This woman only wanted to help. It was a selflessness that she had not come across in her previous encounters. She could read the makeup of another being like you would read the ingredients on the back of a cereal box. Formulating and registering the light levels that contained within. But much like the box, it could not tell you the taste, the character or how it might make you feel. Inside the girl felt something she hadn’t felt before.

“Yes, I’ve been called that in the past. You are a kind person, I know that; I can feel it.” She said, blue tears leaving her eyes, falling upwards to the ceiling.

“This, this feels like home.”

To be continued……
(read the other parts here)



  1. How intriguing! I am scared for the little boy and unsure of the old lady’s intentions… that little girl… she feels magical, an old soul? a deity?

    I tend to be suspicious when I read stories. You don’t have to answer those questions. I am sure the rest of the tale will quench my quest for a resolution.

    You write prose as richly as you do poetry. There are so many images that add a mysterious atmosphere to the story line. I enjoyed every word and look forward to reading the next installment 😊


  2. oh where do i even begin to say all the nice things?! you take the simple things and infuse your magical wonder, only you can do this. I felt I was in a John Green meets Enid Blyton story. the lady is definitely my favourite, you have developed her character so solidly, she cannot be mistaken for her idiosyncrasies define her totally. my favourite bit is the spraying biscuits as she munched and giggled, so endearing! you manage to give each character a distinct voice, one of the hardest things for a writer to achieve, and you do it very artfully, I think it’s the descriptions after the dialogue that create that particular quality of voice. and the words only they can say or think to say. you really know your characters. each segment of this story shows a different side of your talent. like a lazy susan spinning slowly, the colours strong and yet blending as they whirl along. good job my friend, i took so long because i started reading from the start again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Phew, glad it’s getting your seal of approval. And thank you, i’ve never really thought i had a concept of developing characters, i usually just write how i see people…their actions. I guess behaviours sometimes are more interesting than stories. I love Enid Blyton so to be in that sentence, makes me happy. I love The Enchanted Wood! I’m trying to keep the girl slightly distant, so i’m glad you see the lady showing through. I had to look up a Lazy susan, i love those 🙂 Filled with cakes of course. Glad you’re enjoying it all

      Liked by 2 people

      • yes and the Farway Tree and the Wishing Chair, oh all part of my growing up reading and i might now realise where I get all those fairy tale ideas from! She was brilliant and i devoured her books like biscuits from a tin! haha yes the lazy susan came to mind as i imagined you sitting and spinning this tale. yes cake please! very good for inspiration! clever strategy to focus on one character at a time, it really keeps them in the reader’s mind and becomes an image without a photograph. I like writing like this so I can create that person in my head. yes more than approve, I am inspired by you to continue my series I left since 2016, the coloured lines thingy.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Do you know, I was thinking about coloured lines the other day and went to look it up. Think some of the links weren’t working. But yes, reinvent the series, give it life again… You have a talent for such writing. I think I watched a documentary about E. Blyton once…. Will try to find for you as was pretty interesting. Know she got. Lot of crap from people trying to make her conform. Have a blue and white weekend… Another part drops today at one gmt. 😀

        Liked by 2 people

      • yes i have left it too long, now inspired and encouraged by you and Nara I will have a go soon, thank you for the kind words. yes i did read somewhere people saying things about the golliwogs and stereotyping but we grew up reading them and I think have more tolerance and empathy than those making the hurtful comments. yes saw the next part floating down my way last night, waiting for coffee to brew and have a good read. it looked very delicious I might not even have cake but devout white/blue instead.


      • Oh, always include some cake…words always taste better with it. Hope you like it. But yes, hope you have Coloured lines backed up somewhere…that could be your next physical publish also!
        Yes, i think people are too quick to comment and ignore the context of history in a lot of things. Doesn’t excuse, but perhaps explains.

        Liked by 1 person

      • yes I have them backed up, have solved the missing links but keeping them stashed away for now to work on, will reveal when ready. Sounds very enticing to want to make it “publish” worthy, afraid it may take me a dozen years to get that done though, but we never know how time can be lenient and kind to us. prejudice explains a lot about upbringing and also personal fear of the unknown. But she gave me the gift of imagination and knowing how kids my age (at that time) lived, played and grew in a faraway land.


  3. This is becoming more and more delightful. I love how her blue tears fall upwards. A beautiful imagination you have. Love these characters! And I miss the colored lines also Gina.
    You both are brilliant and gifted writers.

    Liked by 1 person

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