Finders Keepers

Frankie sat up in bed, throwing back the sheets and blankets, laughing to herself at how old fashioned they were, and how completely in keeping with Ravenscroft Manor. It was a family home in Suffolk that had always seemed to exist outside of the conventions of fashions, styles, or even the passing of the years. Her Uncle Henry had asked her to stay, he was her Dad’s brother and a bit of a rogue so family legend had it. She jumped out of bed and without even stopping to shower, she pulled on her clothes, grabbed her backpack, and ran down the stairs two at a time. Every time she had stayed here before, she had been sidetracked by the library or the attic and all their hidden treasures. This time she was going exploring. There was a cottage on the grounds her Dad had told her about many times. He’d said it was a work of art and she really must go and find it next time she visited. Frankie stopped at the kitchen and asked the Housekeeper if there was anything suitable to take for an ad hoc picnic. Before she knew it, she was packing sandwiches and apples into her backpack with a flask of tea and heading off down the path for the woods behind the Manor.

There were lanes and small roads crisscrossing the surrounding countryside but Frankie opted for fields and bridleways, it felt much more like an adventure. As she skirted the edge of the woods she saw the roof of a small cottage nestling among the trees. “This must be it” she thought and hurried towards the building.

You could barely see the old wooden door for all the ivy scrambling across both the door and the old crumbling walls it was set into.  Pulling back some of the leaves, Frankie saw an old fashioned painted over latch with no lock.  Surmising that the old cottage had been empty for decades, abandoned to its fate by a previous owner, she rubbed one of the grimy windows and peered inside. She could see a kitchen table thick with dust, a couple of chairs laying on their sides, and fragments of broken pottery strewn across the floor.  Curiosity getting the better of her, she returned to the door, clicked down the latch and pushed hard with her shoulder.  The door swung open easily and she fell through into a warm, cosily lit kitchen.  The table was laden with bowls of fruit, baskets of vegetables, and stacks of china plates.  In the hearth a small fire glowed cont...

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Katherine Horejsi
Jul 19 2020

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I love time and/dimension travel, it is a form of fantasy but in familiar settings, so you can have enormous fun with it, and still story is no exception. Love the insertion of Ellie and Arthur at the end to sort of round it off.

Tony Spencer
Aug 1 2020

A joyous, cryptic puzzle of a story. I loved it!

Rod Webb
Jul 20 2020