Through the Wall

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
How a group of people come together for a common cause.

Submitted: April 14, 2013

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Submitted: April 14, 2013

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THROUGH THE WALL

There had always been a wall wherever Jocelyn had lived throughout her life. The trick was to find the part that let you pass through into a place with peace and harmony. The ideal was that parents and other adults were not around to upset your plans, whatever they were at any particular time. There was no beginning and no end to the wall, it was a wall, that’s all it was.
Jocelyn had moved to her new abode when she decided she wanted out of a relationship. Now she was in middle age with the odd silver hair showing up among  the dark ones, and she wanted a new life, if that were possible. The longest she had been with any member of the opposite sex was two years. Her staying power was not that good. Jocelyn always set out on a new romance with good intentions to make it last, but none had done so far. Nevertheless she still kept her hopes high for the next one who would come into her life, that he would be the last.

The wall at the end of her garden was very old, made of brick, and covered in ivy. Logically, the wall had to continue along the ends of her neighbours’ gardens, too. Jocelyn put on her sports shoes and a hoody, hung her binoculars round her neck, and went for a walk of discovery. She had to know where the wall began and ended.
Leaving her house, Jocelyn turned left and walked past the next house. Heavy curtains hung at the windows and there seemed to be no activity. As the houses were detached there was a slight gap in between them. Jocelyn peered through her binoculars at the gap between her neighbours’ house and the one after them, and saw that the wall was still there. And in this way she strolled past each house till she noticed that she had come to a corner. Turning into another road she went on repeating the process of using the binoculars till she understood that she was moving in a circle. The wall went on and on. The question she formulated to herself was, What did the wall surround? After walking a rather long way, Jocelyn saw she was outside her own front door. She opened the door, entered and closed it behind her.

Neal was sitting on the sofa with the two things he loved most in the world, his laptop and his yellow Labrador, Matt. There were problems brewing. Neal’s father had told him that the dog had to go. Neal had responded that if that were so, then he’d go, too.
His father was at work and Neal was frightened that when he returned he would try to enforce Matt’s expulsion. What to do? Went through Neal’s head. He saw Jocelyn passing along the street and stood and stared at her. He had seen her several times outside, and she had stroked Matt’s head and said what a nice dog he was. Would she help him, he wondered. There was no harm in finding out. He closed his laptop, put the lead on Matt, opened the front door and let himself out. He turned right and walked along till he reached Jocelyn’s house. He knew where she lived as he had seen her unloading shopping from her car. He walked up to her front door and rang the bell. She opened it straightaway.
“Hello, Neal, please come in, and you too,” Jocelyn patted Matt on his head. “Out for a walk? Like orange or lemon juice?”
“Orange juice, please,” Neal answered, following her into the kitchen.
“Let’s sit in the back it’s much nicer looking at the garden than in the front with the odd car going past.”
Neal, Jocelyn, and Matt went into the back room which she used as a living-room and was very comfortable. They shared an agreeable silence and then Neal started talking, “Jocelyn, would you do me a favour, please?” Neal was hoping for a positive answer so that he wouldn’t have to ask anyone else. If Jocelyn was OK with his suggestion then he’d be delighted.
“What does this favour entail? If I can’t do it, then we’ll have to try and find someone who will. All right, go ahead.”
“My father says Matt has to go, and I told him that if Matt goes then I go, too. The only problem is that I have nowhere to go, yet. Could I stay here for a while, till I've sorted things out?”
Jocelyn wondered what to say, she wasn’t used to such carryings on. then, “Of course you can. But you’ll have to be careful your father doesn’t see you. Does he know that we are known to each other, if so he might come round here, and then what?”
“He knows nothing about me really. He’s only interested in making money for the moment. Don’t worry.”
The woman and the boy looked at each other, “How old are you, Neal?”
“I’m seventeen. Is that a problem?”
“No, it isn’t. I wanted to know whether you are old enough to leave home, that’s all. Have you lived in this area very long?”
“For five years, why do you ask?”
“I’ve been wondering what’s the other side of the wall at the end of the garden. This afternoon I walked round the perimeter and discovered it runs round in a circle. There are houses all round the outside of the wall. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?”
“It’s getting dark now. Maybe we can take a look tomorrow.”
“Come on. I’ll show you your room,” Jocelyn said.

Crispian and Mina had lived in the same house since their retirement some years before Jocelyn’s arrival. They were a strange couple, apparently without anything much to them. They kept themselves to themselves. Nobody in the area had ever been invited to step inside their house for a cup of anything. If only the neighbours knew! The two old folk had found the secret way through the wall one day when out for a walk, and had maintained their discovery out of the sight of prying eyes. They lived in the house next to Jocelyn and had had their curtains shut when she had passed by, but had seen everything. From the direction she had taken they had guessed that Jocelyn was on the hunt for an entrance through the wall. They had also seen Neal and Matt go to Jocelyn’s house. When Neal failed to leave Jocelyn’s, Crispian and Mina turned to each other questioningly.
“What do you think is going on between those two?” Mina asked Crispian, while still keeping an eye out for Neal’s appearance.
“Something’s afoot, I shouldn’t wonder if we get involved, being her next door neighbours. There’s always been some sort of bad situation in that house with his father. If he asks us anything, we just say nothing. His son looks old enough to know what he’s doing,” Crispian commented.

Jocelyn, Neal and Matt were upstairs in her house. Neal had been given the back bedroom. Jocelyn had said that it was so that Neal’s father wouldn’t see him looking out of the window or hear Matt barking. Fortunately for Jocelyn, Neal in his zeal to leave his father, had packed his rucksack with clothes for several days, until he could sort out his future. He had also included Matt’s dry food and his water bowl. Neal felt that he had nothing to fear from his father if he turned up at Jocelyn’s. He was, when all was said and done, old enough to leave home.
“What would you like for dinner?” Jocelyn asked Neal, happy to have the company of the young man.
“Whatever you were going to have.”
“I don’t usually eat much in the evening, but as you’re here I’ll prepare something a little more substantial. Let’s go downstairs and see what’s in the fridge. Or do you want to stay up here and unpack? I’ll call you when it’s ready if you prefer.”
Neal stroked Matt’s head, and said, “ Matt needs to eat, too. I’ve got some of his dry food with me, so I’ll come down with you.”
They went downstairs and into the kitchen. Neal served Matt some of the dry food and a bowl of water. Jocelyn went to the fridge and looked in the freezer and took out some frozen fish and chips. “This do for you?”
“Yes, lovely, thanks,” Neal said grateful, that he wouldn’t have to think of what to prepare. For a minute he gave a thought of what his father would eat that evening now that he was gone. Do him good to fend for himself for once, thought the boy.
After dinner and the dishes washed up, the odd couple watched television. Jocelyn went up to bed, and Neal with Matt followed behind. Jocelyn was lying in bed reading a book when she heard a knock at the door. It was Neal, “Jocelyn come and see this, please.”
“Can’t you tell me what it is?”
“No, it’s better you see it for yourself.”
Jocelyn got out of bed and put on her dressing-gown and slippers. She walked behind Neal to the back bedroom. He pushed the door open and said, “Don’t turn the light on. Just look through the window, what do you think it is?”
Jocelyn went up to the window and stared in the direction that Neal was pointing to. At first she could not see anything out of the ordinary, and then she understood what he was trying to tell her. There were thousands of tiny moving lights in the mixed darkness of trees and night. Jocelyn went back to her bedroom, and got her binoculars and went back to where Neal was still standing by the window. She looked through the binoculars at what was on the other side of the wall. Only lights showed up.
“Here, you take a look your eyes are better than mine. See what you make of it,” Jocelyn said, handing the binoculars to Neal, who trained them on the wall and what he was able to see.
“It’s too dark for me to be able to see anything other than those lights and if there’s something else there I just can’t distinguish it,” Neal said handing the binoculars back to Jocelyn.
“Thank you, Neal, I think that tomorrow we’ll go on a hunt to find out what all that was about. What do you think of my idea?”
Neal stared at Jocelyn and thought that he had done the best thing in coming to her house. “I think the idea is smashing, and now I think I’ll sit and stare at those lights till I fall asleep. If I see or hear anything I’ll let you know. OK?”
“OK,” said Jocelyn closing his bedroom door behind her.

The next day Jocelyn, Neal and Matt left the house early and began their excursion to see what  was inside the wall, and if possible what had caused the dancing lights. Their exit didn’t go unobserved. Crispian and Mina were watching them through their curtains as the trio made their way down the street. The elderly pair decided to follow them at a discreet distance. There was no sight of Neal’s father, which meant one of two things: that he was glad that his son had gone taking the dog with him, or that he’d left it up to the authorities to find Neal. Jocelyn showed Neal the route that she had taken and pointed out how the wall went round in a circle.
“May I have the binoculars, please?” Neal asked.
Jocelyn gave them to Neal without question, “You are younger and taller than me so you’ll probably see over the wall better. Can you see the back of my house yet?”
“Not yet, but don’t worry we’ll come to it. See that there? It’s the back of your next door neighbours, so that one must be yours. Let’s see what’s over the wall.”
Neal tried to climb the wall without success. A voice said, “You won’t see anything by doing that, you have to find the magic entrance,” it was Crispian talking.
Jocelyn and Neal spun round to see her elderly neighbours standing beside them.
“What’s this with the magic entrance?” Jocelyn asked them.
“There’s only one way to get through the wall, you have to find it. We can’t help you,” Mina told her.
“I’ve come across this before but thought it was a joke,” Jocelyn commented.
Neal, who was puzzled by this conversation, said, “I know, we’ll let Matt find the magic entrance.”
“That’s cheating,” said Crispian. “Everyone knows that dogs and other animals have an instinct for these things. So leave him out of it, please.”
Jocelyn and Neal ran their hands over the ancient brickwork in an attempt to go through the wall, knowing full well that it would no doubt take up the whole day.
“Has anyone else ever tried to go through?” Jocelyn asked Crispian and Mina.
“Many have tried but few have succeeded because they either don’t believe in magic or give up easily,” Mina answered.
“So maybe we’ll end up like all those others aspiring to go through the wall,” Jocelyn said.
“Not necessarily, just keep on trying,” Crispian added.
“I’m afraid the people who live in these houses might see us and call the police,” Jocelyn said.
“I think they are all on holiday, so you’ve got nothing to fear. Come on, don’t take all day,” Mina grumbled. “I have to start making lunch soon.”
Jocelyn and Neal hearing the urgency in Mina’s voice, pushed themselves more and more along the wall. Jocelyn thought to herself that the entrance had to be right where they were standing as neither Crispian nor Mina made any move to dissuade them. She put her hands under the ivy and then felt a slight movement and pushed her hands gently against some bricks. A hole large enough to allow an adult to enter opened up, even so it was not easy to see it. She turned to the other three, “This is it, isn’t it?”
Crispian and Mina exchanged looks, and said together, “Yes, it is. Would you like to come in. We guessed you would be the one to find the entrance when we saw you walking round the perimeter the other day,” Crispian told her.
Neal and Matt were waiting impatiently to be given permission to go through. Crispian and Mina went through first, followed by Jocelyn, Neal and Matt.

There was a large, grassed area with tall trees, in the centre of which was a huge fairy-ring, large stones were scattered around on the grass. There was little light that penetrated the trees which had made it difficult for Jocelyn or anyone else to see what was through the wall. The three new visitors walked round the place wondering what it was.
“Last night I saw tiny lights from the back bedroom,” said Neal.
“Those were fairy lights to pretty up the place. We were having a wedding party,” said Mina.
“Do you mean to tell me this place is used for parties?” asked Jocelyn.
“Oh, yes it’s the headquarters of the club for people who believe in fairies and magic. This is a place to come to when the outside world fails you. Like it has with you two,” replied Crispian.
Jocelyn and Neal stared at the elderly couple. “How do you know anything about us?” asked Jocelyn.
“You have only ever had one visitor, and that’s Neal, so we gathered that you two must have something in common. Are we right or wrong?” Mina asked them.
“You are right,” said Neal, stroking Matt’s head. The dog had been quiet since entering the fairy glen and was quite relaxed.
“There’s one young lady who reads the cards and tells fortunes. She’s not much older than you,” Crispian said looking straight at Neal.
“Are you matchmaking? They’ve only just arrived here. Can we count on you two to not go around informing all and sundry what this place is?” Mina asked impatiently.
“We thought you had already trusted us,” Jocelyn replied.
“Just one other thing, once a person has been through the wall they are never the same, thought you’d like to know,” Mina said, looking at Jocelyn and Neal.
“What happens, do we sprout wings and start flying about?” asked Neal.
“No, you don’t. You begin to see things from a different perspective,” Crispian said. “And now it’s time to leave,” Mina declared.
The quartet went back through the wall and out into the street. They all returned to their homes.

Neal saw his father’s car in the street and went to speak to him.
“Hello, Dad. How are you?”
“Where have you been? I was thinking of calling the police, till I realized you’re old enough to leave home.”
“I’m staying with Jocelyn for a while. I don’t know how long. She likes Matt and he likes her, so that’s where we’ll be if you need me.”
“I can’t say I approve of this arrangement, but I’m not going to argue with you. I still don’t like the dog, so you’re better off with Jocelyn. I suppose we’ll see each other, living so near.”
“Yes, Dad, any time you like. Bye,” Neal said to his father before turning round to return to Jocelyn’s.

Neal knew that he would never be able to tell his father about the fairy glen right under his nose. He’d just laugh and say they were gone in the head.
 


© Copyright 2018 Georgina V Solly. All rights reserved.

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