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Secrets (standard:drama, 1713 words)
Author: KShawAdded: Jan 02 2006Views/Reads: 3808/1632Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
We all have them: A secret is something only one person knows, and for an hour I splendoured in its spiciness... but for a lifetime I have been shadowed by its cold kiss over my conscience...


Copyright: Kelly Shaw 2001 

I don't know what it is I have inside me...something that wants to come
out... the age of hopes and fantasies, as they say, and so it is I 
shall reveal my secret. Whatever it is in a young man, and by young I 
mean fourteen years of age, my vision of happiness was mostly always 
connected to nature, but also to the three girls who waved to me from 
the wagon as it passed our gate following the church service on 
Sundays. I lived with my parents beneath the mountain. Every morning 
I'd look out of my bedroom window and it was there, swirling mist 
lifting from the fells and licking its way up the rugged face, 
devouring all sight of the plateau. It sometimes hung there like a 
shroud, casting a shadow over my days, over my youth, just as surely as 
it cast a shadow across the fells and the farm. Life under the mountain 
was sometimes a lonely existence. 

It wasn't near as lonely in the summer. Visitors came to the island in
droves, to the low valley, the Caledonian ferry bringing them from the 
mainland.  Most wanting the feeling of isolation, that's what I heard 
all the time, and I would have traded places with any one of them 
without a second thought. Of those who came and ate at our farmhouse 
table, few ever talked about being lonely. They talked about the 
freedom they felt, the space, and how idyllic it all was.  Some, mostly 
city people, in unbroken shiny boots, talked about living life like 
cavemen,  as if  lighting a fire and roasting a skinned rabbit on a 
wooden stick spit might recreate some primal shaman instinct within 
their suited souls. The women, well they simply laughed at the 
silliness of their men before continuing to discuss the latest fashions 
in the Gore-Tex range of clothing. 

Fewer people came during the long wintry, rainy days. Seems no-one
really wanted to test the claims of those clothing manufacturers 
promoting Gore-Tex so widely. I used to sit at the window; our green 
and gold curtains stained with damp, and listen to the clock ticking. 
Occasionally fantastic storms would come round the mountain and mum 
would move the dishes so I could sit on the drainer and watch. I don't 
really know why I ignored the warnings of my father.  He sometimes 
talked about the mountain in very sinister tones. “You don't know when 
the night will roll in yonder those crags, lad.” 

I often heard my dad talk about bad things after listening to the radio,
though mum never really paid him much mind. I recall what he said after 
hearing Kennedy had become President of America. Vietnam was just 
beginning. Dad said the world might end.  It didn't really bother me 
that he said this because the mountain was there.  Nothing bad ever got 
past the mountain. The radio was how we got our news. Dad would spend 
hours turning the big black dial searching a station that told the 
news, or played the Archers. This was his favourite show on the radio, 
a daily serial about farming folk. We never had a television set. We 
tried it one time but the mountain blocked the signal. 

George Bryant had a television at his house, and when dad was in a rare
good mood he would drive me on the tractor to George's house, which is 
on the far side of the mountain. My dad and George's dad were firm 
friends and good neighbours, offering extra man-power come harvest 
time. George and me sat and watched our heroes play ‘footie' in black 
and white. On our bedroom walls posters of Law, White, St. John and 
Crerand, it was the best fun. 

One time George did something different. Cracking open his bedroom door
he held his ear to the gap, then quietly shut the door and sank to his 
knees by the side of his bed. He brought out a magazine, flicking 
through the pictures, and telling me to look. There were pictures of 
woman with little or no clothes on. George told me the magazine was his 
dads, and that he'd kept it hidden in a secret place. Looking back I 
realise it was the first real secret I ever kept from my parents. It 
seemed right to keep this a secret because the idea of saying something 
about those pictures filled me with dread. George touched himself while 
pouring over the pictures and asked me if I did it, “ know, wank 
my penis.” I saw him ejaculate twice before I ever tried it myself. 

I liked to climb the rocks most days because I always felt free, elated
at seeing clear across to the ocean.  Sometimes I'd catch sight of a 

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