The precarious placed metal fence swayed gently in the soft summer breeze; diamonds dancing in the intense afternoon sun. The distant cries of children playing hopscotch, indistinguishable from the faint Mexican ripple, of the metal enclosure that flowed for miles, as far as the eye could see; separating us from them. I was aloft, like Repunzel in her tower or a King in his castle; observing the green fields of the school, displayed in front of my eyes. As I looked back towards Mrs Rogers bungalow, there was no sign of the strange old lady, that lived inside. Scared of hurtling towards my certain death, I tried to alight my vantage point. Quickly I threw out my right arm, trying to grab hold of the tree, that helped me climb to the top of my World; higher than I had ever been before. I missed; Instead of a branch, I grasped the stem of an over ripe apple, scarcely in-situ; both of us awkwardly balancing with fear. I was perched dangerously, on the edge of the cage, wire gouging through my shorts, piercing the skin below. My badly bitten finger nails barely touched the shell of the fruit, which like me was sent tumbling, cascading towards the ground. A patch of beige corduroy was left, attached to the turrets above, A battle war torn flag, scarred, frayed and covered in blood; fluttering there briefly, before being blown away into the gardens beyond,
I hit the grass with an unceremonious thud; briefly stunned, shocked I took a deep sigh of relief. My repose was short lived, as prostration turned to pain, blood oozing from my leg. The wire railings had done their worst, leaving destruction in their wake. Tears began to well up in my eyes, as I gritted my teeth tightly, trying to ease the pain. As I sat there, looking up, towards the treacherous tree above, water cascading down my cheeks, crying turned to anxiety, worried about what Mother would say!
Suddenly Mrs Rogers returned, she caught my bloodshot eye, just as I caught hers. She must have been a thousand years old; always wore black, her white, grey, peppered hair, tied back in a bun, accentuating her pointy, grimacing, scowling features; weather beaten, characterful, a life long lived. I was in trouble now; I was a gonna! Mrs Rogers had always scared the living daylights out of me. When Mother and I used to stop and talk to her in the street, she would always brush her bony fingers, along my jaw, finally flicking her nails upwards, as she met my chin. I remember her Smiling, from the corner of her wrinkled lips; her stained, yellowing teeth snarling towards my face. Squinting, hiding, circumvent, I always avoided her stare as she endeavoured to kiss my brow. I tried to move my bleeding leg, attempting to run away, but to no avail; so tightly shut my windows on the World, laid back on the grass at the corner of the field; putting my fingers in my ears and drifting away to that place I often went, In times of stress. A beautiful setting that exists today, one I still visit from time to time; comfy, soft, squidgy, nurturing; a World of security and fun, existing only in my dreams! This was my safety zone, away from the schoolboy pressures, the drudgery of life in class and the disappointments of the day; a positive aspect of childhood that I keep as a reminder of things to come.
47 year old Author, Columnist and Blogger.