Running a little behind today. I know not the best way to start a Friday, but there you go. It couldn’t be helped and for once it wasn’t because I was resisting the alarm clock. So without further delay, let us sink our teeth into the Friday Writing Prompt. Ready? Good.
Kind of interesting. I always find it intriguing when people go back to bad places. The reasoning behind it.
Friday, September 17th: The window cracked.
The window cracked. I stared at the jagged line through the pane. ‘Well isn’t that just great,’ I thought.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Of course the glass broke. Why wouldn’t it break, everything else around here seemed to be breaking. I held in my deep breath until my lungs started to burn and I felt a little wobbly in my self-imposed darkness. I slowly let it out, my lungs still crying out for new intake. I drew in another deep breath and opened my eyes.
The tightness in my chest subsided as it always did. The word ceased to wobble. The crack was still in the glass, but in my skin I was less cracked. It was an old habit. My childhood had been filled with uncontrollable things, things that shoved me this way and that for no discernable reason, other than the fact that I was small and at the mercy of others. The one thing I could always control was my breathing.
I long since reached the age where my daily life was controlled by others, or at least I thought I had, and it had been years since I’d needed to use my breath to regain control of my skin.
‘It’s being back here,’ I thought.
I didn’t need a degree in psychology to understand the reasoning. This was the place where I had no control. This was the place I left and now this was the place I was once again called back to. Even to the less intuitive, the logic was hard to miss.
At first the house and grounds were exactly as I left them. It was an old house, one of the first in the area. Well the first in the area built on such a grand scale. There were other older houses in town. Smaller things that were built with everyday wealth and not the grand fortunes that Summerset needed to lay its foundations. Others followed and Summerset became the Grand Dame of the district. If district you could call it.
Then the country estates were scattered about. As wealth dwindled, the grounds around the estates were often sold off, allowing newer, lesser buildings to be established. That of course was Summerset’s true claim to fame. While its decree of being the first could be debated, the fact was obvious to all that it was the only one that remained a true estate.
While there were ups and downs over the generations, the downs had never been low enough to succumb to the necessity of selling off lands. Summerset house, its grounds and even its attached fields and pastures remained intact.
It was splendid in its isolation.
Summerset was a world away from the rest of town. The other grand houses were now surrounded, even their support buildings like carriage houses and stables were sold off and repurposed as independent properties. While Summerset’s carriage house had been converted to suit the needs to fit motor car and boasted its own mechanics office, the stables still held horses.
A few of the horses belonged to the estate, but the bulk of them belonged to the riding club. They were stabled here, for a fee.
‘And the riding school mucks out the stalls.’ I thought. It was a way of getting free stable hands as well as the fee and something the family took full advantage of. It has also been one of the changes since her last visit. Focusing on the changes helped her settle even further. There were other changes too of course.