This week’s writing prompts are taken from William Boyd’s Restless, my current read.
They had spent the day indoors on this autumn Sunday. Rain beat against the windows and a squally wind had played rough with fallen leaves on the footpath. It lifted and whirled the paper-thin, tattered shapes until, bored, it piled them against the stone wall where the rain turned them into slimy mulch.
Now that same wind had driven the rain away in search of dryer leaves to harass. A golden sunset hovered over gleaming slate roofs, the sun puffed up as if to say, thank goodness that’s over, I’m back!
The restless energy building all day finally overwhelmed her.
She danced from the window to the couch and tugged at his hands, pleading to go to the park before dark.
He smiled his indulgence. Of course. A walk would do them both good.
She shifted impatiently in her wellies while he chose which coat to wear, searching through the over-full stand until he seemed satisfied. The coat he finally picked out seemed too heavy now the sun shone. A winter coat, not worn for months. Her own choice was easy – she picked it from the middle hook of the stand and shrugged into it, ignoring the scarf hanging with it.
Dog walkers, families with children, and joggers, took advantage of the clear skies to walk or run the park’s gold-burnished paths. Her favourite place – the chair swing which hung from the sturdy bough of a beech tree – was empty.
They sat side by side, silent, content, idly pushing the swing with their legs.
He stopped, turned side on to face her, eyes serious.
I wanted to give you this, he said, and reached into the pocket of his too heavy, inappropriate coat. Or rather, I need to give you this, he amended.
He pulled out an envelope, crumpled from being squashed too long in the dark. Already open, she saw the envelope was addressed to her. Her breath caught at the tidy writing, a hand she knew.
She reached for it, but he held it back. He needed to apologise for opening it, for not giving it to her earlier, he had wanted to make sure the time was right.
The place too, she said, and smiled at him. Mummy and I always came here. We loved it.
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