Sunday, 20 February 2011
The secret door
Molly began packing her bags for her holiday - or at least that's what her Mother was calling it. Molly wasn't so sure. Last time they'd been to Cornwall all it had done was rain and the closest she'd got to playing on sandy beaches was looking wistfully at them through the gaps she'd made in the steamed up car windows.
She threw her much-loved teddy, pencils and books onto the top of the suitcase and made ready to close it. Smiling she remembered something she hadn't packed which her Mum had told her to. Her sunhat! Some chance! As she rummaged through the drawer, her hand clasped something cold and smooth. Puzzled she pulled the object out. It was a very large, very old-looking key - the sort that would open castle doors or big treasure chests. Where had it come from? She'd certainly never seen it before. On the end of the key was tied a red velvet ribbon from which a tattered cardboard tag hung.
Molly forgot all about her sunhat and concentrated on fathoming the old letters making up the scratchy words on the tag...
Turn the key inside the lock
Believe and then wind back the clock
How mysterious. Molly heard her mother coming up the stairs. Something told her that she wouldn't approve of strange pieces of hardware appearing out of thin air. So she grabbed both sunhat and key, flung them in the suitcase and snapped the lock shut just as her mother came through the door.
A day later and their car scrunched up an gravel driveway bordered by towering rhodedendrons. The sun was trying to peek through a watery sky and the trees dripped pitter patt on the roof of their car. Molly sank down into her seat ready to despair. That is until they turned the final bend in the drive and she saw where they would be spending the next two weeks...
Trelawney Manor was a rambling ramshackle dream gone wild. The old house, now converted into holiday lets looked about as full of adventure as a child of ten could cope with. There most certainly had to be ghosts and look at all those gardens surrounding the place with hundreds of Rhodendrons to make dens in... and was that a hay loft and did those steps lead down to the sea and wow, what was that fancy door doing in the middle of a garden wall.. Molly's mind raced with such excitement that she ignored the rain completely as she charged about trying to explore the entire place in her first five minutes.
She may have managed it had she not run straight into a tiny little lady coming round the corner of the house. At first Molly thought she had knocked the woman over for she staggered backwards but luckily seemed to recover and like a puppet on strings bounced back to her feet. Molly was a little scared and feared she had caused trouble enough to prevent further adventures already, but the lady just smiled and looked her right in the eye.
"You arrived at last" she whispered and gave a little wink.
"Hello," said Molly doing her best to be polite. "Do you live here?"
"Here and there" replied the soft voice rather enigmatically waving in a manner that took in most of Cornwall. Molly scuffed her shoes and took the opportunity to enquire what was through the strange door and on the other side of the wall.
"Well, my dear" came the reply. "That be two questions really, so I'll do my best to answer. That door hasn't opened for at least 100 years for nobody has seen the key for that long. The other side of the wall is woodland stretching down to the sea - see the trees waving at you. You can get to the woods by following the wall down to the gateway. To get what's through the door, you'll need the key..."
Molly looked at the trees waving at her from behind the wall AND door. Shrugging at the silly ramblings of the old lady she turned and retraced her steps as her Mother called her from the front of the house. She looked back to say sorry once more to the old lady but she had gone - she must be more sprightly than she looks thought Molly.
Still, that door needed a more thorough examination - from both sides - and Molly knew she was just the girl to do it...
To be continued...