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by Nydas


The Dead Line


Twenty seven years since she’d last set foot in this place. It was barely recognisable.


Twenty years old Sarah had been then, brand new, hardly knew a thing about the world having lived all her life in a small village just West of Bath. She’d come here for a day out with her cousin Rachel, they’d worked hard all week in the bakery and saved enough to get the bus out to Claverton Down. It had been wooded and wild in those days, the girls liked the feeling of escape, getting away from the hum-drum life of the village into the wilderness.


That was the day she’d met Dan. Tall, rugged and rather unwashed if she remembered rightly. He was up a tree at the time, busily cutting a stray branch that was a bit too ropey to be safe. Too ropey was right, the branch crashed down landing just inches away from her. Dan had been so apologetic.

“I shouted you love, didn’t you hear me?”

“All I could hear was cracking wood as it crashed towards me, you idiot man!” She hadn’t been too keen on him that moment, but his startling blue eyes had won her over and she was soon being mollified with half a pint of cider in the nearest pub. Claverton Down had become their special place after that, most weekends they would escape there and grab a few hours of privacy away from prying eyes. They went there the day after they were married and he carved their initials into the same tree that had nearly killed her with it’s branch. Of course, they hadn’t needed the privacy as much after that so they didn’t go there as often. They took the boys there when they were old enough to be vaguely interested in the story but they were more keen on playing football.


She wasn’t sure what had brought her here today, perhaps it was the enormous row they’d had the night before that sent her flying off to find something to remind her that they had been so in love. There’d been a lot of rowing since the boys left home, it was as if they had forgotten how to be alone, life as a couple was something they hadn’t done for years now. Sarah wondered if it was too late to get it back, the love feeling, did it really last for some people?


She looked about her at the once familiar landscape, there were so few trees now, no easy way to find the one Dan had carved into all those years ago. There was only a small clump of trees, most of the place had been turned into a golf course. There was a row of tree stumps in front of her, reaching towards a bunker where more than one golfer would have come a cropper.


“It’s a dead line.” Dan’s voice came from behind her, “they cut our tree down.” His face was lined with life though his eyes were just as blue.


Sarah looked at him, then down at the stumps,

“Not quite dead look, there’s a shoot growing out of this one. Some things aren’t meant to die.” 


© Nydas 2011


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