Devonpass editing WIP 11 2019
Castle Winthorp had long passed its prime, but its history lived on. Ask anyone in the tiny village of Devon pass, and for a pint or two, they would regale you with stories of monsters and mayhem, of damsels in distress and shining knights, of things both good and evil, and for another pint, of myth and magic. Castle Winthorp may have long passed its prime, but for most, it was very much alive.
For years, he ignored such tales as came his way. Dismissed the monsters and mayhem, dismissed the damsels and their knights, but when the stories concerned myths and magic, well, that - was another matter altogether.
Over the years all of the Winthrop family, except for himself, had moved away, some sought fame or fortune, others dabbled in politics, one became a noted philanthropist, but one thing that they all held in common; all - for good or bad, had abandoned Winthrop castle and Devon’s Pass never to return. After the last uncle left, six months passed, then his wife became ill, six months after that, he was alone.
As he walked the property, during the day, he could hear voices - the sounds of children playing, adults discussing politics, his grandparents, arms entwined, laughing, and talking about nothing in particular, as they strolled the grounds. During the night, it was the sounds of music, lilting, haunting, somber and gay, echoing from a remote section of woods, where the trees, butted up to one another, and even on the brightest of sunny days, allowed very little light to filter through, a section of woods, largely undiscovered, and left alone. it seemed here the music called out to him, and with the passing of time, he began finding it harder and harder to ignore.
Wake one morning; after a sleepless night, and overwhelmed by the memories, he decided it was time for a move, to the city.
But Castle Winthorp always needed attention; but that would not be a problem, Grandfather left considerable assets; in trust, and overseen by one of the oldest, financial institutions in Switzerland; a single phone call and the family grounds would be well cared for.
He hired one of the oldest most prestigious property management firms, money could buy, to oversee the property; without a backward look or second thought, he closed the great house.
Time passed; days, turned into weeks, weeks into months, months into years. He made it his life's work to keep busy; busy was one matter, life quite another. The new hobbies, the new distractions, all began falling by the wayside.
Castle Winthrop called to him in his waking hours and sang to him as he slept He did not doubt his sanity, he was after al,l an intelligent man, in control of his faculties.
Then on one glorious morning, as the chill of October tickled his bones, and the celebration of Samhein drew near; it came to him. Devon pass. It was time to open Castle Winthorp, it was time to return home.
It was yesterday and he had never left. The property management firm he hired had exceeded all reasonable expectations, landscapers, contractors, private security, and countless others paid to oversee the property, had all earned their money, and then some. He made a mental note to reward them all handsomely as the Holiday seasons drew near.
As he walked the halls, the memories flooded back, the smells, the tastes, the laughter, the joy, the sights, the sounds, and yes even the sadness. He embraced each of them.
It was October 31, mid-afternoon, the autumn equinox and the winter solstice were close at hand; he left the manor for a long walk; through the gardens, and into what he knew would be the last sunset he would see.
He walked as far one could go, miles in fact, so far into the woods, that the manor house had long since disappeared from view. He cursed as needle-sharp prickers grabbed and scratched at his legs; but continued walking; soon he was as far removed from Castle Winthorp, as one could go; it was then the stone bench, where once he had sat, and talked with his Grandfather; Gifted with an eidetic memory, they were conversations, he would never forget.
As the last golden rays of days end touched the earth, He remembered his youth; the youth that played in the garden, dashing between bushes; hiding from the black knight, and any number of nefarious types.
He also recalled occasions, stepping on a perennial or an annual, which sent. Oliver, the gardener; waving his arms about in good-natured indignity.
Many a day and many a tale of kings and queens, magic and dragons, man and myth passed; he spent untold hours on walks and talks with Granma and Grandpa.
Then one day, with Winter solstice was fast approaching, his grandfather sat him on one of the stone benches; his eyes meeting his as he smoothed his hair, but at the same time, he appeared to be staring at something much further away.
"Remember, the best things in life lad he said; gentle breezes caressing your cheek; wind tickling your skin, the chill of the night; remember them only as borrowed moments; for someday, you, will return to that from whence we came. Since change is inevitable." He smiled and squeezed my hand.
I didn't understand in great detail, everything said that day regarding the Sidhe, I would soon discover the truth of things, however we were here, - now; sensing a tremendous need in both of us, I flung my arms around grandfather's neck, holding on, celebrating our time together, enjoying this moment in time.
All too soon, the truth will out, and they were both gone. Only the old caretaker remained; refusing to retire. He continued tending the gardens until one late October night death crept in, and with Mr. Oliver gone, he was, once again, alone.
He made his way to the door, a massive thing, intricately carved with runic symbols. Some he recognized from the pages locked away in the ancient books, in Grandfather's study. As he berated himself for not bringing a flashlight, a golden light played over the hill illuminating the door.
Time was fleeting, and as the sun dropped below the horizon, saying its final farewells; and the shadows of the night fell; the door opened, muted strains of music, lyres, lutes, and laughter and whispers drifted out; just inside, Grandfather, Grandmother, and Mr. Oliver. Behind them, many others he recognized from the old family albums. Without hesitation, he stepped through the threshold - He was indeed going home.