They put up a parking lot

Listening on the radio to a conversation about Joni Mitchell, aged 80 and still performing from time to time, led to this prompt. Somehow, I managed to get side-tracked into fairy princesses again. Maybe it was the ice cream castles in the air. Sorry!

village street with church tower

The reason they moved here was because it was a great place to raise kids. The village was small, old, with a church dating back to the Normans, and a school considerably younger but not in its first youth by any means. The heart was the grandly named High Street, which was close enough to chocolate box to be pretty but not attract too many tourists. In those days it sported a grocery, a hairdresser, a post office and a pub.

The reason they chose this house on the edge of the village was that it backed onto woodland, and from the front the view was of farmland, verdant pastures, grazing sheep and cows, stretching away to wooded hills. The house was even younger than the school, built in the same century they moved into it. Solid, with a deep garden where chickens pecked at the grass, and vegetables and fruit trees contributed to the family’s diet. A tyre swing hung from the lowest bough of an oak older than the house. Or the school.

That was forty years ago, and for the first thirty eight life went as planned. The children went to the village school, then bussed it to the nearerst town for secondary school, and finally were driven to universities across the country, where each emerged fully educated and – eventually, with a lot of endeavour – decent jobs. Two of them married, the third, the youngest, declared she would rather die than be shackled to another human. Even in her twenties, she seemed to think she was secretly a fairy princess abandoned in this wicked world for a reason she didn’t know and therefore couldn’t put right. When people called her fey, she was thrilled. They also called her headstrong, obstinate and wilful. She tossed her head and didn’t care.

Her name was Janet, and she was the one who came home most. Her parents noted that when she did, the first thing she would do would head into the garden, wandering past the fruit trees and the vegetables, scattering the chickens, and out through the wooden gate into the woodland.

She never stayed there long, and when she returned – with willlow leaves in her hair – she would be thoughtful, quiet, for an hour or so before launching into telling her parents her latest news.

This visit, however, it was the parents who had the news.

The owner of the farmland had died, and his heirs had applied for planning permission to develop the verdant pastures.

‘Houses, which is fine, we need houses,’ the mother said correctly but reluctantly. ‘But a supermarket too. I mean, there’s one just a few miles away, why do we need another? ’

‘And,’ the father added darkly, ‘they plan to put up a parking lot.’

Indignation filled Janet’s chest. Broken images flashed through her mind, shining shards of mirror painted with living memories – iron gates, a snowy path, a dragon, a green giant … and monsters determined to destroy a world.

She took her father’s calloused hand. ‘Let’s see them try,’ she said.

It was a promise.

(I think this story might need a TBC)

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2 thoughts on “They put up a parking lot”

  1. I think it definitely needs to be continued. Will the fairy army stop the development or will the new land owner achieve his evil goals?😂

    1. I had planned to, but my creativity has dried up this morning so you’re all going to get the AI … it’s tale is not bad actually.

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