This is the Chêne-Chapelle (Chapel Oak) of Allouville-Bellefosse in northern France. It is between 800 and 1,200 years old, and in the 17th century the local curé built a chapel inside it, believing that the lightning that struck the tree and hollowed it out was an event with a divine purpose. It has an altar for saying mass and a “hermit’s room” on the floor above! Photo by Thomas Pakenham, from Remarkable Trees of the World.
So I wrote a thing because of feels, and because I am STILL awake..jet lag is kicking my butt. Anyway, I hope you all like.. please let me know if its rubbish, or how I can improve etc.
I’m Not Going Anywhere
“People in here are waiting”
Patsy gave Delia that signature lopsided smile as she felt
her heart burst with happiness, and slight alarm at the abrupt interruption.
They could have so easily been caught, but she was there, her Delia was
standing just inches from her.
She had pictured Delia every day since the accident, catching
glimpses of her in the park, down the cobbled streets. She dreamt every night
of seeing her again, that the accident had never happened at all, and of that
awful day itself. The nightmares were the worst, watching the accident as if from
above, unable to move, or replaying Delia’s face as she recoiled from Patsy’s
touch, scared and pale in the hospital bed. Vivid and emotive she often awoke
in a sweat, her heart pounding against her chest like a caged animal.
nights, moving as quietly as she could so as not to wake Trixie, she would take
out her favourite photograph of Delia, curled and crumpled from being handled so often, stained
from the tears that fell no matter how hard she had tried to stop them. Patsy
would creep from her bed and down to the dusky chapel, oak floors mottled with
the blues and reds of the stained glass windows. She would sit on the window
ledge and gaze out over the darkened alleyway illuminated only by the flicker
of the streetlamps and would try to picture happier times; Delia beaming as she
chatted about painting their living
room yellow, or the time they had to invent an excuse for being in the bathroom
together when one of the other trainees had heard the shrieks of their impromptu
water fight. She would sit for hours until her limbs became stiff with cold, or
more often than not, she was shaken awake by Trixie, who had gone searching for
her missing roommate and had found Patsy asleep against the window clutching
the picture of Delia to her chest. Although she must have suspected, Trixie
never questioned but just helped her friend back to her bed, or straight in for
a hot bath if it was nearly time for her shift.
Giving Delia’s hand a quick squeeze Patsy whispered “Come
on, let me walk you to your bus stop”. Heading out of the phone box they nodded
to the gentleman and apologised before swiftly making their way down towards
the railway bridge, but not so quickly so as to arouse suspicion.
As they neared the bridge Delia pulled Patsy to a stop.
“What, what is it? Did you forget something in the phone
box? I don’t think we can rightly go back; the gentleman will get frightfully
cross if we interrupt him.” Delia grinned at her, she quickly glanced around
before grabbing Patsy’s coat collar and pulling her into a close embrace.
“Yes, I did forget something” she whispered before giving
Patsy a soft, fleeting kiss. Patsy sighed and smiled as Delia pulled away,
turning her head down towards the floor. Despite the darkness Delia knew that
Patsy was blushing. It was one of her favourite things about the tall red
head. Every time they had kissed, of which there were only a handful, Patsy
would flush such a colour that her cheeks nearly matched her perfectly styled
hair. It was endearing and Delia felt so privileged that she, and only she
could get such a beautiful reaction from the ever composed Nurse Mount.
Patsy relished the sensation of Delia’s kiss. The soft
subtleness of her lips, and how she could feel Delia smiling against her. As the kiss came to an end she stared down at
her shoes, cheeks aflame. How did she always feel like an overly excited teenager
whenever Delia kissed her? However, this time there was also something
different in the way Patsy felt. Like a lovesick school girl, yes, but she also
felt – she couldn’t put her finger on it. Emboldened maybe? Whatever it was,
Patsy suddenly snapped her head up and, taking Delia’s hand she tugged them both
into the small obscured pathway behind them. Pinning Delia to the brick wall she
breathlessly stared down at her, chest heaving, cupping Delia’s cheek in her
hand. Leaning down she desperately reconnected their lips and kissed Delia with
all she could muster. She poured all of the agony of the past few months into
the kiss, all of the want and desperation to see her again. All of the love
that she had kept stored up under lock and key.
Delia took a moment to respond. Patsy had never initiated
such a physical show of her affection before. Feeling Patsy run her tongue
across her lips, Delia moaned, granting her entry and kissed her back, the joy
of having her love in her arms once more overwhelming. Only when she felt a
wetness on her cheek did Delia pull away once more.
“Darling Pats, whatever is the matter?” Delia brought both
hands up to Patsy’s face, tear tracks streaking across her cheeks like little
streams across a field. “Oh my darling” she said wiping the fresh tears away.
“P..Please don’t leave again. I…I can’t… just please…” Patsy
choked out, eyes swimming with sadness. Powder blue met emerald as Delia looked
Patsy in the eye “I will never” she breathed out softly. “I love you, Patience
Mount, always have, always will” and, kissing her with every word, she said resolutely
“I’m not going anywhere Pats”.