Critique: Something different.

Discussion in 'Writing' started by Susan Boulton, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. Susan Boulton

    Susan Boulton Edited for submission

    Mar 8, 2002
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    Just put up something very different than my normal type of story.

    Several years ago I wrote a number of short stories which contained the place and characters in the story. I read them to my girls as they were basically children’s stories. They even decided where the stories were set and which character got put into each. One of them was a bit of a land mark for me, it was the first of my stories that made it over 50,000 words. The story was called The Boggart’s Convention, it was written on my first, even then old computer, sadly, lost when that machine crashed. So the mad cap characters and the strange, beautiful place they lived in only exists now in mine and the girls’ memory and in the rough notes and scraps on one single floppy disc.Oh I would add the village is based on a place in Wales where I and my family spent much time over the years.

    The story on the community has been written in the same vein of the original stories, silly, soft, and gentle maybe a bit more adult than the originals. So let’s get in the car and go….. Here is part of the original introduction to the set of stories.

    Ever been to Welshpool? It is a small town in the centre of Wales. It you haven’t you would find it a sleepy place save for market day. Well, take the A458 out of Welshpool heading for Llafair Caereinion. Go past Powis Castle and the turning for Castle Caereinion on your left. Now keep an eye out for a narrow single track road on your right. The lopsided signpost says Llafair Caereinion, so you think it is one of those rambling alternative country routes that abound in this country. But if you look at the smaller, wooden sign hanging by a chain you will see the word CYSEGR The word is burned deep into the half rotten wood in ye Olde English or rather Welsh. ;)

    If you decide to go down this narrow road, with its patched, rough tarmac, high hedges and scant passing places you will pass through what could almost be a village, though if you blink you will miss it.

    A baker’s dozen of houses line the road, looking as if they had grown out of the ground, solidly rooted in their surrounding gardens. The village green at the centre of the line of houses is complete with duck pond, a few wooden benches, one red telephone box and two oak trees. One tree is nearing its century, an adolescent in oak terms; the other is sixty, a mere babe in arms. Both were planted by the villagers to mark the fallen of two world wars.

    Over -looking the green is a small Pub, called the Green Man. It is an ivy-clad rambling two storey building, which wouldn’t be out of place in a BBC historical drama. The Pub keeps the locals and the odd passing tourist supplied in good, strong, local beer and home cooked bar meals.

    Tacked onto the pub as an afterthought, is the low building that contains the post office and village shop. Here gossip is exchanged for stamps, pensions and tins of fruit. By the side of the post office is another narrow road, this leads up to Dafad Farm.

    If you continue, through this chocolate-box place with its stone houses and there green moss-covered slate roofs you will come to a gateway on the right. Twin pillars of old, dull red brick stand either side of the entrance. On top of each is a gargoyle.

    The one on the left, with the forked tongue is Fred. He is English, came originally from Salisbury Cathedral. He arrived during the spring of 1972. A decision had been made to move him from over the west door. Fred had taken umbrage at this. He had sat above the west door for over 700 years and no human was going to make him sit on the damp north side twiddling his tail, bored out of his brain with no tourists to flick pebbles at.

    On the right is Jacque, a French gargoyle with a ridged back, he came through the channel tunnel the year it was opened. He used to sit half way up the south wall of Notre Dame. But after 200 years of tourist saying “The bells, the bells,” Jacque had, had enough and decided to go into retirement somewhere peaceful. Jacque had found that being at CYSEGR MANOR wasn’t exactly peaceful due to the “merry war” between himself and Fred. (They were after all English and French and sitting eight feet apart.) It was at least interesting and folks around here were prepared for a Gargoyle pulling faces or flicking pebbles at them as they went up the drive.

    The drive of the Manor is long; and curves to the left. It is lined with summer flowering shrubs of various shades, behind which you can catch sight of manicured lawns. These in turn fade into sculptured woodland, and then give way to wild forests and mountains, which seem to go on forever. It does in a way, but that story is for another day.

    As you make your way up the gravelled drive you see glimpses of the Manor house itself, but this does not prepare you for the event. The house is unusual to say the least. The base is of green-limed stone, carved with Celtic designs. This fades into solid medieval masonry, which trickles up to a square tower on the left(east) of the main door. The door and middle section is a Tudor timber-framed building grafted onto an elegant Georgian west wing. The whole of the third floor and roof above these is Victorian, topped on the north side with a fairy tale tower that looks like it really belongs in Disney world.

    The Manor is huge, many roomed, yet small, comfortable and homely for all that live in and around it.

    Everything you would expect a CYSEGR to be, oh CYSEGR is Welsh for sanctuary by the way. ;) And CYSEGR is a sanctuary for everything magical, safe from the “real world” which has forgotten all about the special creatures and people of the forest and fields.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2005
  2. SubZero61992

    SubZero61992 Registered User

    Jul 27, 2004
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    I think I've read this story before haven't I?

    I think you posted some of it in one of my Gargoyle threads.