Thursday, 14 August 2008

The ruined castle

She said she was going to take me to the ruined castle. She said it was like a fairytale, and that magic happened there. Then she held my face with her two warm hands and kissed me.
We held hands on the walk down from the car park on the top of the green hill. “It’s a bit of a walk,” she said, “but it’s worth it.”
We followed the thin gravel path cut into the hillside but paused as it turned and stepped down to craggier cliffsides to allow an older couple to pass. She put her hand to my ear and stroked it while whispering: “I want to take you to my favourite place, the best place to see it, for your first look at the castle.”
I smiled and nodded at her. She let go of my hand now and clambered down the grassy slope, diverging from the well trod path and into grasses perhaps untrod for centuries. “It was once King Arthur’s castle,” she said. “He slept here with his lady Guinevere.”
When we reached the cliff edge, she paused and turned to me with a grin of such mischief I almost bust out laughing, but I knew what this all meant to her and I didn’t want to break the spell. “It’s just up this hillock,” she said, and led me by the hand once more, slowly, until Tintagel Castle came into view.
We stood there, on the mound, and surveyed the green scene. Where was the castle, I wondered. Where the towers and battlements and the queen’s gardens? All long gone, of course.
Yet, she beamed and marvelled at it. No doubt, she could see it all, could picture its pomp and majesty right across the hillside. All I could make out were some crumbling ramparts and a great fence to stop children and old women plummeting into the waves below.
Underwhelmed, though I was, I bit my lip for her. I held my tongue. She stroked my head and smiled some more. This must have been exactly how she’d envisioned it, how she’d planned it in her head for weeks.
Then she turned to face me, lay down in the soft grass, unbuttoned her blouse and bent her knees so that her skirt slipped and jerked up her legs to her cream thighs.
She held her hand out for me once more and I took it with relish, my smile genuine now. I fell upon her then and soon made both our fantasies come true.

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