I am trying something a little different for this post. The below picture is from
This is a short story that came to me whilst looking at the picture below (1680 words).
I hope you enjoy the read.
“Come with me” Robert held out his hand to Mary, who eagerly took hold.
“Where are we going?”
“To a special place nosey, you’ll love it”, he smiled reassuringly.
They had already parked the car and had been walking for over half an hour through the woods. Suddenly the trees came to an end and they reached a clearing at the waters edge.
Mary stood motionless, her gaze transfixed at a broken weather beaten old house with an equally dilapidated bridge that meandered it’s way to a small island on which the house stood.
“Whose house it is?” she asked.
“Mine” Robert replied. “Come on it’s safe, trust me”.
“It doesn’t look that safe, what if the bridge breaks?”
“Then we shall get wet, I suppose”, he chuckled.
Mary edging her way across the wooden planks looking down at the water below, holding tight onto his hand, till she set her feet safely on land once again.
“How long have you had this? You have never mentioned it at all”.
“I bought it 3 years ago, it was up for sale for so long and it was cheap, too isolated for most, but for me, it’s a place where I can write and paint to my hearts content, far from the madding crowd as they say, my little sanctuary”.
Robert retrieved the key from his jeans pocket and placed it in the lock. Mary stood behind him looking out at the water, the forest from where they came. This was indeed a secluded part of the world, where you could retreat to, but not really her cup of tea.
The door creaked open.
“After you madam,”he politely suggested holding his arm out in a gesturing manner.
“Why I thank you kind Sir”, she grinned.
Inside was dark and lacked furniture, an old wooden desk strewn with various pens and pencils, a copper lamp and some note-pads. A fireplace that was dusty and full of ash from the previous fire was centred on the far south wall. A small kitchenette, with the same proportion of dust over a saucepan left upside down on the steel sink. A couch, rocking chair and paintings on the wall completed the picture. She smirked giving a slight ‘tut-tut’.
“I know it needs a woman’s touch, I haven’t been up here for over six months,” Robert said trying to wipe down the desk whilst gathering the papers in his arms.
“It’s ok, you don’t have to do that on my account, you do have a bathroom though I hope”? she asked.
“No, I go in the ocean…joking.. yes right through that door,” he laughed, pointing to a small door off the main room.
“I’ll get a fire started, it’s turning a bit chilly in here”.
Mary went to the bathroom she sat, looking at the corrugated iron walls around her. Thankfully there was toilet paper, though she wondered how old it was and if in fact it was still sanitary enough to use.
“Feel better now”?
“Yes, thank you”, emerging from the loo, blushing slightly
She looked around the walls upon which hung, mini paintings of boats, the ocean and the island itself. In the corner, stood a small easel not noticed on her first inspection, with a rather dirty palette containing dried up paint.
“You do these”? she said pointed to the paintings.
“Yes, my first pieces, so please don’t look too closely, I believe it’s best if one stands back to capture the image properly”.
“They are good Robert, no seriously, really good”. She walked along the wall admiring them. “What on earth is this one”?
Robert walked up behind her, the smell of his after-shave was almost hypnotic, she felt his breath on the back of her neck.
“That”? “That my dear is my chest fridge, I just love the way the steel has been hammered and…ok I was particularly bored one afternoon, had enough of painting the boats”.
“Fascinating”, she responded, trying so desperately hard to sound convincing.
He smiled. “Why, I thank you Mary”.
“So, no phone, no TV?”
“No none, the last thing I want is to be contactable when I’m in an artistic throe!”, Robert flung his arms in the air with mock grandeur.
“So much about you that I do not know”, she quipped.
“I’m not that complex, really I’m not, just an ordinary run of the mill kinda guy” he said giving her a slight wink.
She tried to ignore it, maybe he had something in his eye..was it a wink. “So how long do you stay here, at one time I mean?”
“Sometimes a week, sometimes a month, depends on what I have going on and how much time I can get off. Of late it’s just been the weekends and holidays, as work has been so bloody busy” he said placing more wood and paper into the fire-place.
“Please sit down woman, you’re making the place look untidy”, he smirked.
“As if!” she retorted.
Mary obliged and sat down on the small couch in front of the fire place, watching Roberts lean forearms even more closely, the strength in his arms, the tendons, she shook her head to stop thinking this way, she had only known him for two weeks.
“Right then, that should do nicely, drink?”
“Yes please, and what would you recommend?”
“Let’s see, warm coke, water or red wine, I’m afraid the parlour is substantially lacking at the moment. Normally I bring supplies in from the mainland and bags of ice for the chest fridge, but this was spur of the moment to bring you up here, so I’m afraid it’s rather slim pickings”.
“How very primitive of you”, she giggled.”Then I shall partake in some red wine, I would hope it is vintage”?
“I think you will be pleasantly surprised madam”, he said bending down to lightly kiss her cheek.
She gazed into the fire, watching the lights flicker off the timber, the smoke curling its way, into the bricks above. We haven’t been intimate yet, she thought, which is rather odd, but why rush these things, possibly now, here, that will change, thinking of the kiss planted on her cheek.
Robert entered the room, holding the glass of wine.
“For you madam, I hope it is to your liking”, he said handing her a goblet of cherry red nectar.
“Thank you”, she put her nose to the inside of the glass and inhaled the aroma deeply.
“Oh I have wine connoisseur on my hands do I?”
“Not really, I’m just showing off”, she winked back.
“No electricity out here either?” Mary asked inquisitively, noticing no light switches, I honestly don’t know how you do it, I couldn’t, even if it was only for a few days I’m afraid, I like the luxuries in life, be they ever so humble. This is way too primordial for me”, she said taking her first sip of wine.
“That’s why I love it, I have no need for anything, a bathroom, a desk, a fire-place, a couch, a kitchen, the fridge to keep my food cold, oil lamps and my easel, what more could a man ask for… I mean really?” There was that edgy smirk again, that seemed to hit right in her groin area.
Mary sipped more wine, it was slightly bitter, which she put down to being either, not a very expensive drop or past the ‘use by date’ even for a red.
“Hey, you’re not joining me?”
“No, I’m not much a red drinker, I just had some water.”Please don’t let that stop you enjoying, is it drinkable?”
Mary swallowed a mouthful. “It’s fine Robert thank you”. “Do you get any visitors?” she asked gulping more wine, for some reason he was making her a little nervous, she had no idea why, probably because they hadn’t known each other that long. The wine was helping waylay any notions that sprung into her head as to where this little relationship or being privy to his private corner of the world was leading.
“More wine Mary?” Robert asked lifting the bottle to her glass. “You seem to be a little thirsty”.
He smiled that broad, delicious come hither smile and the only answer to that question was.
“You are trying to get me drunk and have your wicked way me kind Sir”, she replied hoping that yes that was indeed the plan, instead the only other thing to spring from her mouth was “Yes, please”.
Another glass was consumed, her head was starting to feel heavy, the speed in which the alcohol was taking effect was far quicker than what she anticipated and she was normally good at holding her liquor.
The room started to spin, her body starting to slowly sway and her eyes closed and opened several times as she gazed deep into the fire.
“You ok Mary?”, Robert held her hand “You don’t look very well, perhaps the wine is was too much, you didn’t eat much at lunch today did you?”
She couldn’t speak, she tried too, but no words came out, her mouth was dry and her body felt like lead, the thought of being lain on his bed, with him beside her was all she could think about. The fire pirouetted before her and just before she passed out into his arms she swore she saw the devil dance in the flames.
Robert picked her up and carried her out of the room, she was so groggy, so unaware of her surroundings, but she heard him speak.
“Let me introduce you to my chest fridge my love”. She barely recognised his face contorting as he spoke.
Kicking open the lid, he gently placed her body inside, she couldn’t speak, could not yell, could not move, what had he done, what was he doing.
“I am sure you will be able to sleep that wine off”.
Locking the lid, Greg whistled as he casually strolled back into the house, grabbing a fresh bottle of red, he walked towards his easel and grabbed his finest red sable paintbrush, smiling.