Wednesday, 17 December 2008

The Cellar

In my last blog I boasted that, although I'd be doing many lunatic things in 2009, I would never spend a night in the cellar of my dad's old shop. No way. Not a chance. I didn't go into reasons why; I just stated it wouldn't happen.

Of course I've now agreed to spend January 11th in the cellar of my dad's old shop, having my tarot cards read by a witch (the shop is now White Witch, owned by Debbie). I'll then head off around the grounds of Waltham Abbey by moonlight.

Here are a few reasons why I shouldn't be doing this:
  • When I was about 10, the thought of the cellar and the church gave me nightmares
  • The cellar is the darkest place I've seen/known;
  • Dad didn't like going down there;
  • Dad wouldn't go there at night;
  • If ghosts exist, they exist for places like this cellar
  • Thinking about it makes my nerves ache and heart speed up
Here's one reason I'm doing it:
  • It will be good for the book
Besides, what's the worst that can happen?

Just to prove my fear of cellars in Waltham Abbey, here's something I wrote earlier this year. A latent fear I'm about to realise.
The Cellar

Moss and dirt littered the streets of the town. Beyond the roads and pavements, past the pubs, a cemetery hid. It was in the garden of the Green Man. The cool sunshine cast shadows through the horse chestnuts and birches of the gardens beside the cemetery. The biggest tree leant against the pub and with the sun low in the sky, only the thinnest fingers of light touched the pub’s slate roof and Tudor beams. The two steel, cellar doors, padlocked three times, were in darkness.

The town’s church was once an abbey. Its grounds spread for miles, like the roots of its ancient oaks. Below the gardens lay a system of tunnels, from the days of monks. One underground path, now gated and chained off, diverted through the graveyard and the Green Man, across the market place, to the abbey’s boundary. But the wall border fell hundreds of years ago and today there was no monastery and no monks. The cemetery was a place for religion to lay in peace and the pub a place for the townspeople to gather. But these men and women did not know that the impassable cellar doors of the town’s oldest pub were locked and reinforced for a reason.
Oh dear.

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