Chance Encounter

Can a girl in his dreams be real or is it just a fantasy ?

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1. Oneshot Part 1

The walk over the moors had been exhilaratingIt was a cool day but thankfully the biting wind that often made these tops as barren as a post nuclear wasteland were absent. For the past three hours I'd trudged blissfully across the heather avoiding squelching through the black peat. The views had been glorious, in each direction monumental vistas opened up stretching more than fifty miles at times towards the coast and the belching power stations of Drax and Ferrybridge. Even they held a special beauty of their own from this distance. My face glowed from the cold air and the exertion the exercise had taken, I guess I still wasn't fully recovered. I raised my water bottle to my lips and sipped back a small amount before following the path down the slope towards the dingle. 

I climbed the style over the boundary wall and looked back up the hill. The winding path cut into the moor was empty. It had been a walk in solitude not having seen anyone from when I'd left the town a few hours earlier. In the dingle the light dropped perceptibly as the canopy closed in quickly. The temperature rose as well even though the sunlight was now filtered through the sparse leaves and branches. The ground was strewn with brown, red and yellow leaves which crunched at times underfoot. There was something about autumn that always raised my spirits. The light, colours and smells all produced a sense of life, not death as the season really was. There was a fusty smell at times, rotting wood producing that distinctive aroma. 

The dingle had been here for years, legend has it went back to medieval times and was once part of Sherwood Forest. It wasn't hard to imagine Robin, Little John and Maid Marion cavorting around these woods robbing the rich to give to the poor. These days it seemed to be the rich who fleeced the poor, how times had changed. The path went down sharply and I struggled to keep a foothold on all the leaves. Eventually I skidded down the last bit of the slope and onto the flatter section.  The track was easier goingHere the trees were almost like a huge vaulted ceiling giving a height and majesty to the woodland. By the side of the path a brook gurgled its way down the valley over brown shiny pebbles. 

Woodland always invigorated me in a way that open spaces of the moors never could. I felt more alive, more aware but most of all more secure in woodland, especially this one. When I was little I'd explored every inch of these woods, found all the little tracks. It was here I'd lived out my fantasies, here I was Robin Hood with my imaginary gang. I knew every back track, every secluded glade. When I'd grown out of fantasy role play (can you ever do?) I'd built dens and lit fires pretending I was Bear Grylls in the back of beyond, which is what some people thought this area was anyway. 

Today I knew where I was heading. There was a nice hidden spot by an old mill race that I often used to go and light fires. After the exertion an hour making myself a cup of tea to go with the chocolate bar in my pocket would be nice. Looking around to check that no one was following me, paranoia always not far from the surface, I darted into a gap between two trees barely wide enough for my body. It was a squeeze for a few yards but then it opened out a bit to allow me to walk along the rabbit track. I say rabbit track, it was a bit bigger than that. One night here I'd spotted a badger, or a black animal, scurrying along between the trees. 

The track ran parallel to the main one before heading slightly away from it. A stepping stone took me over a smaller stream and into an area that was once an old mill. You could just about make out the walls where the structure stood, although now they were overgrown and trees stood where once the grindstones were. I could see the remains of an old shelter I'd built near the firestones. It hadn't been trashed like once when a gang had used the area for drugs and alcohol. That had really made me nervous of the place, the thought they might return at any time. That was a few years ago and so far they hadn't been back. 

Someone had been here though. New ash and half burned sticks were in the fireplace. I looked around nervously, but there were no tell tale beer can signs. I sighed in relief, must have been someone like myself, just made a fire for warmth. Dropping my bag to the ground I busied myself getting some sticks for a fire. I found a small batch of dry wood stacked neatly on a stone. Pulling some cotton wool and flint from my bag I quickly got a small fire going and sat down in my usual position, back against a low wall under what was left of the shelter. 

With my feet stretched out towards the fire I felt comfort from the meagre heat. The exertions' of the moortop walk had made me feel weary. I sipped at my water wishing I'd brought some tea to make a cup. I hadn't intended to come this way today. However something had drawn me here. Maybe it was the promise of heat and fire or maybe the serenity of the place? I wasn't sure. As I sat there with the heat seeping through my boots I thought about the recurring dream I'd been having these last few nights. Now I was sat here back in this tranquil place I realised that this was where the dream happened. It had been nagging away in my head as the place looked familiar, but as I looked around it all came flooding back to me. 

 

 

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