The Kissing Gate

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Photo by ali pazani on Unsplash
A thick grey mist cloaked her grave. The fog burnt off in the warm sunshine, heralding dawn in all its glory, a new day burst into life. Her grassy burial mound sparkled with crystals of dew. A young man knelt before her black marble headstone, the garland of red roses etched around her beautiful face, broke down and cried.
Shush, my love, don’t cry...
(contains intimate sex)
from the forthcoming online anthology: 'Is It Today?'

Submitted: March 07, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 07, 2019

A A A

A A A


Is It Today?

The Kissing Gate

TWO TRAILS: 3½ miles (5.7km)  

Take the path across the old churchyard to the swing gate. After 100yds climb stile and turn L onto footpath around field. At the yellow waymark turn R and cross the field. At mid-field fingerpost, where the crossways meet, by a dead oak, walk to the line of trees. Follow the track skirting the woodlands. Until you find the Kissing Gate.

Beltane:

A thick grey mist cloaked her grave. The fog slowly burnt off in the warm sunshine, heralding dawn in all its glory, and a new day burst into life. Her grassy burial mound sparkled with crystals of dew. A young man knelt before her black marble headstone, the garland of red roses etched around her beautiful face, broke down and cried.

Shush, my love, don’t cry.

He looked round the graveyard. The church was a silent ruin. The hallowed grounds were empty.

Hold me, my love, hold me.

She was with him once more. He gripped her headstone with both hands and held her tight, lying on top of her, his head resting against her damp, earthy grave. Her dead heart gave out a single beat six feet underground and she fell asleep forever. Forever in his thoughts.

He was alone in the wilderness with only memories to comfort him. Searching for a new life, a fresh start. The footpath stretched far into the distance across a vast expanse of ploughed mud. He took a half-left turn, following a narrow cross-field path. That was when he stumbled, catching himself on an overhanging bramble. He pressed a hand to his neck, fascinated by the bubbling beads of blood. His tee shirt stuck to his back. He felt weak, dizzy. His head spun in the heat. He slumped to his knees. Blood trickled down his legs, soaking his thick lamb’s wool socks, coursing into his sturdy sky-blue rambling boots. He steadied himself with both hands, soiling them with cloying mud as he tried to haul himself off the ground.

I love you, darling.

He glanced round. No one there. Before long, he arrived at a tall, dense hedge of dark green cypress encircling a red-brick farmhouse with a mossy, black slate roof. Well-established ivy climbed its walls. The air was rich with the aromatic scent of pine. He knew the place well, it was Marriage House, her house. He shook his head, instinctively rubbing his neck. The wound had gone. Had he dreamt, hallucinated, the whole episode?  Where to next? he wondered.

Find me, my love. Find me.

She stood before him. His fading, guiding light. He felt giddy. Light-headed. Overcome by emotion: love, regret, despair. The wayfarer’s guide swung heavily from his drainpipe neck on its red-string lanyard, the directions as clear as the transparent plastic cover:

At mid-field fingerpost, where the crossways meet, by a dead oak, walk to the line of trees.

He looked out across the field. There was no mid-field fingerpost. No dead oak. No-one.

She was standing in the middle of the field where the crossways met. At first, he thought she might be a scarecrow. A shock of rich auburn hair cascaded over her bare shoulders onto her crow black dress, gathered tightly at the waist. She wore thin gold bangles on her wrists, thick furry bracelets around her ankles. Intrigued, he trudged through the quagmire towards her. She watched him with a vacant expression. His heart sank. What did he expect?

He talked to her more in hope than expectation. ‘Can you help me, I’m lost.’

She glared at him, looking hostile, shook her head, raised her hand. ‘No, I can’t! Leave me alone! I’ll scream! I’m carrying my pepper spray and personal alarm!’

Her voice was shrill like a blackbird’s. It occurred to him that he might have just scared the living daylights out of the girl. After all, there had been reports of suspicious incidents in the woods. He felt a complete idiot.

‘I’m sorry, I meant you no harm.’ He sounded like an astronaut meeting an alien. ‘Please?’

She sounded impatient, unconvinced. ‘Where are you trying to get to anyway?’

He gesticulated at her, opening his palms, ‘I don’t know!’

‘Don’t know? No wonder you’re lost!’ the girl giggled.

Her eyes twinkled mischievously as she realised that he was harmless. He told her he had lost everyone in his life, everyone he had ever loved: his beautiful wife, his precious, little boy. If she was surprised by his frank admission, then she didn’t say so. Her irises clung to him like limpets, scanning his face in earnest. She squinted and shielded her face from the hazardous midday sun, wrestling with her inner conscience, her minds in a turmoil. He still couldn’t tell if she trusted him. After several minutes’ deliberation, she appeared to reach a decision and told him she might be able to help.

He couldn’t seem to shake the girl from his mind. He studied her closely, never having seen anyone so disturbingly beautiful in his life. Her freckled face looked as if a miniature cameo artist had painted her on as an afterthought: an inverted triangle with cloudy-green doe’s eyes, a long snub nose, and wild strawberry lips which longed to be kissed. The damsel read his intentions like the pages of a good book, turning him over in her thoughts. What she said next blew his mind.

‘No! We’ve yet to kiss! We’ll kiss in time and space!’

He was stunned, couldn’t take his eyes off her. He didn’t know what she was, why she was.

‘I come from another dimension!’ she cried, ‘I’m a telepath! Cool, eh?! Come on! We must go! Take my hand!’

The girl led the way, padding barefoot, as silently as a snow leopard, her brows furrowed with concentration. Her forehead stretched high into her scalp. The head itself was shaped like an inverted filbert nut: a smooth, round dome at one end, a sharp, pointed chin at the other. When they had negotiated half the field’s circumference, he asked her where they were going.

‘You’ll soon see the wonder of it!’ she shouted. She didn’t elaborate further. And yet he felt the strangest thrill. They meandered dreamily along the rambling path, skirting the muddy field, hedgerows bursting with may. Soon, they reached a shady wood, carpeted with bluebells, riven by fallen elms. The first cuckoo of spring sang greedily in the distance. The man gazed into the girl’s beatific face, his spirits uplifted. He hadn’t felt so well in years. Her love of nature, the vibrant renewal of life all around them, revitalised him. Realizing that he hadn’t introduced himself, he went to speak. But she pressed her soft fingertips to his lips and whispered:

‘I know who you are, Adam. I’m sorry that you lost so much love when you were alive.’

*****

High Summer:

The beach was almost deserted. A red flag was flying. No-one swam. A handwritten scrap of paper flapped in the breeze, a makeshift warning nailed to a shuttered beach bar door, saying the beach was closed. The maelstrom sea churned up cauldrons of turbulent water. Giant rollers crashed against the shore foaming with spume. White horses raced the tide, carving craters in the sand. He spotted her statuesque figure riding unsteadily along the crest of a wave, wobbling, toppling into the bottle-green water. Just watching her surf made him feel queasy. If anything, the sea was growing wilder, raging against the few die-hards who dared to venture out. Black storm clouds smoked on the horizon. Soon, squalls of rain would drench them, before the sun returned to burn them dry. He watched a surfer clamber out of the swell to safety on the tide-line leaving only his woman to rule the waves, having the time of her life. 

He thought of the hard times that lay ahead when they went home. She had led the product testing and inspection team at Avian Aeronautics, a small family business specialising in the manufacture of bespoke, personally-manned aircraft. He had managed production. Until the factory became fully automated. And they were replaced by robots. Joining the growing hard core of unemployed skilled workers. In fairness to Avian, they were paid generous severance pay in recognition of their loyalty and service. For the first time in years they had the time for a holiday. Jane preferred water sports. Adam enjoyed rambling. True, they were different. But opposites attract, and they both loved children.

Adam hoisted his little boy up onto his shoulders so that he could watch his hero surf. ‘Look, Tom, isn’t she brave?’ 

‘Mummy!’ Tom cried, waving his pudgy arms.

‘Yes Mummy,’ he frowned, rubbing his bristly chin. ‘Come on, let’s make a sandcastle, shall we?’

Adam lifted the tomato-red bucket and apple-green spade. Tom grabbed them back again.

‘Let me! I want to!’ he insisted, his cherubic face drawn and glum.

‘Alright, soldier!’ Adam laughed, ‘Here, you take the bucket.’

They squatted peacefully in the sand. Tom, sensibly dressed in trendy turquoise dungarees with striped turn-ups, cream polo shirt and floppy blue hat. Adam, sporting designer, polarised sunglasses, aqua trunks and t-shirt. The toddler dredged up the wet sludge, tipping it out ready-mixed while dad patted the sand into turrets.

Jane staggered out of the sea carrying an enormous blue-and-white-striped surfboard. Her short, straight, teak, hair swept back off her face. Brine trickling down her cheeks. Her chest heaving with effort. She dropped the board and tiptoed over the hot sand to gather up her bundle of joy. Pecking his salty face like an oyster-catcher prising out a ragworm.

‘How was it?’ Adam asked admiringly.

She rubbed her sore right elbow and gasped for breath. ‘Sensational! Thanks! Invigorating!’

He loved her deeply. Her lust for life. Her inner strength. She meant much more to him than just a soul-mate. He had never really gotten into those love-tags. Jane was his life-force and he couldn’t imagine life without her.

‘Who’s my little boy, then?’ she coaxed, bouncing her baby on her lap as he chuckled with glee. ‘Either you’re getting too big, Tom, or I’m getting too old.’

He kept shouting, ‘More! More!’

She turned him over in her aching arms, sighing, ‘Let’s play teddy bears now, shall we?’

‘No, I want a robot!’

‘You can’t have one,’ Adam interjected sternly.

‘Why not?’

‘Because you can’t. That’s why not.’ He tried to explain that robots, synthetic personalities, virtual reality and social media were scientifically proven to corrupt, dull and contaminate children’s brains. But the three-year old couldn’t understand and started to cry.

His mother struggled to hold him still. ‘There, there, Mummy give you a hug.’

‘Don’t want a hug,’ he sulked, shaking off her affection, ‘Hugs are silly. I want a robot.’

Exasperated, Jane glanced at her husband, grinding her pearl-white teeth, flashing him a jaded smile. ‘Be a love and fetch my towel, would you?’

He could tell from her strained voice, she was shattered. Her mood changed like the weather. One minute, she could be moody and withdrawn. The next, she’d be bright, vivacious and bubbly. Right now, she was placid, exhausted. He trudged up the beach. When he returned, she was sitting quietly on the sand, her beloved son in her lap, bearing up under the strain. He offered her the towel.

She shivered. ‘Thanks! Dry me off while I sort this one out, will you?’

‘Sure!’ He dried her wet hair first, roughly with both hands.

Jane opened Tom’s tightly clenched fist. ‘Round and round the garden, like a teddy bear,’ she sang, marching her crooked fingers stiffly round his perfect palm. He giggled, spellbound.

‘Mind if I join in the fun?’ Adam asked as he dabbed her face.

She blinked her amber eyes. ‘Of course not, you can be my bear anytime, honey.’

Groaning at her weak joke, he dried under her chin, wishing he had a buttercup to hold there, gently patting her sunburnt neck.

‘One step, two steps!’ Jane’s fingers stepped up Tom’s arm like injured stick insects on a twig.

He dried her sloping shoulders. ‘You were brilliant out there, by the way.’

‘Tickle thee under there.’

Tom gurgled as his mummy’s teddy bears attacked his little armpits from all angles.

Jane was all over the place. ‘Always do, don’t you Adam?’

‘Sorry, what do I always do?’

‘Think I’m brilliant!’ She lifted Tom up so that he could rub her hairy armpits, her chest, the glistening crease between her breasts. Adam stood in silence, looking out to sea, as she let the boy slide down her front to the ground. She arched her thin brows, turned, and kissed him fully on the lips. He flushed. Her flavour amazed him. Jane tasted syrupy-sweet, as fresh as the day they first met. Their micro-climate turned clammy in the stifling heat. He desperately wanted to take her in his arms, but she peeled away, strutting up the beach to the hide-out. Frustrated by her teasing turndown, he reached for the bucket and spade, and returned to playtime with his cherished child.

‘I know!’ he suggested, ‘Let’s make some more sandcastles!’

The sand dried quickly under the sun’s baking heat. The castles crumbled as soon as Tom poured them from their moulds. Adam felt sad for his little boy. Tom had been forced to attend day nursery from the age of two, while his parents worked. For what? he thought. For love, or money? Father and son were virtual strangers. They barely knew each other. Their holiday in the South of France was the first time the three of them spent quality time together as a family. Adam surveyed the woeful trail of collapsed turrets, strewn catastrophically across the beach. Then he saw Jane, changing out of her navy swimsuit. 

‘We need more water, Tom,’ he decided, ‘Go fetch me some water. Buy you an ice cream!’

It was a hollow bribe. The beach cafe was closed.

‘I’ll get it, Dad!’ his son chirped willingly.

Proudly ruffling his boy’s tangled curls, Adam handed over the bucket and watched his little man toddle up to the water’s edge.

‘I love you, Tom,’ he muttered haltingly under his breath. Then, with a guilty heart, he turned away and trudged up the beach.

*****

Summer’s End:

Adam’s eyes grew wide when he saw Jane, smouldering in her fishnet vest and neon pink microkini, stretching her strong legs, flicking dry grit off her scorched toes, her calves socked in sand. She’d acquired a healthy, bronze tan. He stashed away his sunglasses, stripped off his t-shirt and joined her on the beach mat. Jane smiled approvingly at his rugged good looks: the sunken cheeks, lean brown torso, smooth chiselled chest and flat stomach: finding his manly physique appetising. Apart from his sexy, swarthy, facial growth and scruffy copper hair, his body was naturally bald. His ruby lips demanded closer inspection by her discerning tongue, as did the dark honey nipples. A lust-lump formed in his throat as he watched her disentangle her floppy breasts from the netting.

‘Rub some oil on my back, would you?’

He placed the bottle of suntan oil near her body. The squeezy bottle was half-full. He’d need to apply its contents sparingly to make the fluid last. He squeezed a blob of oil onto his palm.  

‘Lie on your front then.’

She tied back her hair with a pink elastic band and rolled onto her front, with her chin resting comfortably on the backs of her hands. Excited, she gripped the edge of the beach mat. One of her knees slid off, burrowing a round hole in the sand. Although his tender touch would caress the whole of her body, he lightly covered her buttocks with a soft towel, to protect them from the sun. He would soon strip it off when her skin fell under his soothing magic spell.

‘Like this, you mean?’

He nodded. Delicately, he glided his hands over her burnt shoulders and neck, up and down her arms, kneading warm oil into her sore flesh. He rubbed her back, using long, deep strokes, pressing himself against her with his chest. She felt his breath on her cheek, fleeting kisses on her ear lobe, jaw, neck, spine. Slowly, softly, his tongue licked her lower back. She quivered as he removed the towel and spread her legs apart. Gently he massaged her inner thighs, his fingertips lightly brushing her groin.

‘How does that feel?’

‘Mmmn. Feels good!’

The flaming hot sun beat down, searing their bodies. She rolled onto her back. Once she’d settled, he lubricated her chest, pouring oil between her breasts which were ruddy brown, still puffy from the sea’s kiss.

‘Be gentle with them, they’re sensitive.’

He massaged her shoulders, working up and down her arms, using balm to lightly skim her breasts with the palms of his hands, pausing to tease her stiff teats, circling the erect, bronze nipples, sending blissful sensations tingling up and down her stimulated body. Breathing heavily, taking in deep gasps, she slipped out of her microkini. His jaw fell at the sight of her, naked, uninhibited. Her beauty intoxicated him. She licked her lips salaciously, eyes half-shut.

He held her chin and stared at her eager face. ‘We can’t, Jane, not here.’

‘Why not? It’s a nudist beach, isn’t it?’

‘Someone might see us.’

‘The beach is empty?’

He heard the far-off cry of a lonely seagull, the wash of sea on sand, they tenderly embraced. She held him tight, enjoying his proud flesh, buried in her soft belly, pressing his mouth with her dewy, rose lips. Their membranes adhered, bound in an infinitesimal moment of intimacy. They paused to catch their breaths. She was crying. Tears of joy moistened her fiery cheeks. Her smile illuminated her face. Her soft lips brushed his ear. She delved her hand into his trunks and pulled him out, straining, rearing for her. His manhood was speckled with silt from where he had squatted on the surf line. She reached for her gaily-coloured beach bag, took out a bottle of water and rinsed him, rubbing his hard shaft with her closed hand, then lay back and arranged herself on the crumpled towel. He licked her tummy, tasting the sea salt in her navel. With her leg hiked over his shoulder, he kissed her inner thigh, massaging her soft outer lips. By now, she was dreamy, dripping wet, and smothered in oil. Her hairy tuft was dusted with sand. He brushed it off, then knelt between her legs and gazed into her shining eyes, the luckiest man in the world. Her face flushed. Her breasts swelled. Her heart raced. She gritted her teeth, flexed her hips, and arched her body upwards.

‘What’re you waiting for?’ she slurred, ‘Want you.’

After they’d had intimate, loving sex, they lay with their bodies entwined, her head snuggled against his sweaty chest. She vowed to love him until the end of time. He promised to love her for all eternity.

*****

The Fall:

He was restless, couldn’t settle.

‘What is it, Adam?’

‘I thought I heard a noise.’

They both heard a child cry.

‘Tom!’ Jane slid out from under Adam, scrambled to her feet, and searched the beach.

‘Where is he?’ she trembled, ‘Can’t see him. Where’s he gone? Oh, God. Please!’

He joined her, he held her close, trying to stay calm for her sake. ‘He’s probably just wandered off…’

She ignored him. ‘Can’t have got far. Must be here. Tom!’ Doubt coursed through her veins like strychnine, obliterating the bliss of their lovemaking. She stood fretting, praying by the wind-break. ‘Please, God. Let him be alright.’

Fearing the worst, they sprinted to the shoreline. The sea raged and cursed them, as if to say: ‘Come and get him if you want him.’

Adam recalled how his son had looked at him and smiled, ‘I’ll get it, Dad’. Tom’s short existence, crumbling castles of sand. The tide washing him away while they played their selfish love games. He became irrational. His thoughts turned to death’s morbid practicalities. The prohibitive cost of shipping the corpse home as cargo. The extended family send-off. Catering arrangements for the wake. Scattering his son’s ashes in the woodland burial park. The future of the boy’s bedroom: redecoration in pink? Donating Tom’s sad, inflatable, plastic dolphin to a marine life charity shop. His deliberations were shattered by a shrill whine.

‘Tom! I’m coming to get you!’ The trauma of her son’s disappearance had decimated Jane, exploding all the motherly love in her heart in one torrential outpouring of undiluted grief, reducing the woman to a hysterical, gibbering wreck.

‘Going in to get my baby!’ she screamed.

‘No! It’s not safe!’ Adam held her arm in a vice-like lock, swinging her round to face him. ‘Look at the sea!’ he said, ‘There’s a huge swell! It’s too dangerous! You’re not going in!’

Jane glowered at him, bonfires of defiance, sheer hatred burning in her eyes. ‘Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do! That’s my child out there, damn you!’

She wrenched herself free, streaking into the surf. Her arms flailed in the swell. Her breasts lifted with the chill, as if beckoning baby back for motherly comfort. For a moment, she stood in the shallows, steeling herself for her impromptu dip like a high diver who’s going for gold.

Adam could tell she was frightened. Not that he was much help, standing on Pampelonne Beach, flapping his arms at her from the side-lines.

‘For heaven’s sake, Jane, be reasonable! Come back!’

She dissented over her shoulder, ‘No! I’m going in to find Tom!’

Jane always did play the leading role. Adam was her shadow man. He felt for her, waltzing into the dancing waves, staring with admiration as she dived in and cut through the punishing swell, punching the water in frustration. She submerged for a full two minutes, came up for a lungful of air, pushed her face into the brine, then bravely ploughed on. Given the distressing nature of the body search, he considered her can-do attitude inspirational. Adam waded into the shallows as far as he dared to watch her. She resurfaced, gasping, panic scrawled across her whiteboard face, treading water, thrashing her arms and legs, desperately trying to stay afloat.

‘Help me, Ad!’

He stared at her, helpless. It started to rain: a teeming, driving rain that hissed on the hard sand. His eyes stung. He gawped blearily at her limp body, rolling in front of him, battered into submission, contorted by the swirling eddy, catching the spectre of mad fright which lurked in her swollen eyes. It was the rip-tide that finished her off, callously hauling her out to sea like a thick trail of rubby dubby behind a shark fishing boat. Adam thought he heard a siren, indistinct above the crashing din, but the sound faded. Suddenly, his sweetheart came sweeping back to him, bobbing up and down like a red float. She turned barrel shapes for him, just out of reach, her trunk corkscrewed by its own body torsion. Jane’s fighting spirit finally deserted her, she succumbed to the cruel sea. And drowned!

Adam waded back to shore and sat, huddled against the storm, crying salt-streaked tears, wishing he could swim. Soon, the rain stopped, the clouds drifted away, and the sun came out. He walked into the sea till the waves crashed over his head, then let his body drift into oblivion.

*****

Midsummer’s Night:

The girl put her slender arm round his shoulder to comfort him.

‘Try not to blame yourself,’ she mourned, ‘We all make mistakes. You’re only human.’ She checked the sun’s position in the sky. ‘I think it’s time for us to enter the Kissing Gate, don’t you Adam?’

They stood before the Kissing Gate. There was nothing particularly unusual about it - just a rusty, circular iron railing with a squeaky, hinged gate that admitted one wanderer at a time. The girl held his hand until they safely reached the other side. She showed him the Future. Sixty crystal towers shining in the distance. A silver stream of driverless cars cruising down a mandarin-lit motorway. Air-cars, jet-packers hurtling overhead like wasps to the nest. Laser-guided bullets shooting to distant galaxies in search of alien lifeforms. Reachable moments, a synthetic personality, real-life play toys, nostalgia holograms, virtual dreamlands. An infinite realm of possibilities:

The Kissing Gate where Science and Magic are as One.

‘Kiss me!’ the girl cried, her lamprey lips puckered, green eyes shut, arms outstretched.

Adam examined her speckled face. Why would she kiss him, a stranger?

The girl grew impatient. ‘We’re supposed to kiss?’ she said, ‘To reach the garden? It’s a kissing gate? Get it?’

He didn’t get it. He shook his head, stupid man, none the wiser.

‘Men!’ she sighed, ‘What am I going to do with you, eh?’

Time stood still. She took him in her arms and kissed him. Her lips were wet as the summer morning dew. Her taste as sweet as mellow autumn apples. Her breath cold as winter’s frost. She stroked his cheek, drew him close. Their hearts beat in unison. They left the Kissing Gate far behind, never to return. They ventured into unreality: impossible shimmering golden shards, flaming blood-orange heatwaves, shocked-up bolts of iridescent indigo. The sky turned black. Burst into swirling kaleidoscopes, glowing suns, shooting stars, careering comets, sea-green living planets. They travelled in time and space. Past spiral vortices, alien galaxies, new-born star systems, cloudy primordial steam, cosmic dust. To the furthest boundaries of the universe.

Adam never saw the girl again. He found himself before a wooden gate. It swung open, noiselessly, revealing a beautifully-appointed garden bristling with primroses, cowslips, tulips, bluebells, daffodils, every kind of spring flower you can imagine. The place looked safe enough so he followed the pink gravel path as far as a cast-iron swing gate.

The flame-haired maiden was waiting for him in the churchyard, clutching a ripe apple to her chest, her moon face alight with life, her skin as pale as freshly-churned cream. He watched, mesmerised, as the solid gold asp wound round her wrist came to life, curling itself up her arm. The woman stared at him momentarily, then bit into the crunchy red apple. A streak of dark, crimson blood dribbled down her chin, pooling between her breasts like a huge ruby.

‘Do you find me attractive?’ she asked him.  He was beguiled by her, couldn’t speak. ‘Then hold me, my love, hold me.’

He held her. His heart thudded and thumped against her breasts. Her love overwhelmed him. Brushing a lock of gold behind her flappy ear, he nuzzled her, and asked: ‘Who are you, really?’

Her sapphire eyes glistened with tears.

‘I am who you want me to be,’ she said, sadly. ‘Who would you most like me to be? Your beautiful wife or your precious, little boy?’

Adam agonized for several minutes. Atoning for his guilt, he sank to his knees and wept.

Jane appeared before him and said unto him, ‘I forgive you, I love you, and I always will.’ She took his hand and led the way.

He felt as if he was dreaming. ‘Where are we going now?’ he asked.

‘You’ll soon see the wonder of it!’ They crossed a lush lawn until they reach an orchard of cherry trees, brimming with snow white blossom. At the heart of the orchard was a mossy red brick well with a battered oak bucket that swung and creaked in the cool evening breeze. They went and stood by the well. She kissed his eyelids shut and told him to make a wish. He harked back to when he was a child of six. Mum had made a birthday cake. He had made a wish. Dad had helped him blow out the candles. His friends had all sung ‘Happy Birthday’.

He made his wish: ‘I wish! I wish!’

A bewildered little boy walked out of the shadow of the swaying trees, ‘Mum? Dad?’

‘Tom?... Tom… Tom!’ Jane and Adam cried in unison.

The sun set like a red rubber ball on the crimson horizon, heralding twilight in all its glory. A mystical, magical moon rose in the starry sky and smiled down happily at them.

The Kissing Gate, where Love and Magic becomes as One… and Life begins Anew. 

She vowed to love him until the end of time. He promised to love her for all eternity. They swore, they would never leave their son again. They hugged and kissed and laughed and cried, long into the dark, dark, night. Forever, in each other’s arms…

Forever in Our Thoughts.


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