We’ve been with Louise for the last couple of posts and so its time to go with Robbie again.
It’s fair to say that seventeen years old Robbie is going through his sexual awakening. However, his clinging to his old habits of fire starting could well be an outpouring of his frustration at lack of success with the girls. The last thing on Robbie’s mind as he walks around Maldervale market in Chapter One is a love affair with his second cousin snobby Louise. Nevertheless, he is cheeky enough to squeeze her irreverently around the waist just before stealing the prism from the junk stall. Robbie’s real infatuation at this point in the story is with Louise’s friend Rachel Lewington, a curvy dark haired girl.
However on arrival in medieval Oakwood, Robbie finds a strange change in Louise’s attitude towards him. And after spending their first night together on the floor of a woodman’s shed, Robbie’s interest in Louise starts to grow. Here’s Robbie running through the forest on his way to explore the town...
Morning sunshine fanned through the frosty trees caressing their fallen leaves with warming fingers of gold. Robbie ran along the cart track, bursts of misty breath chugging from his ruddy face. He wore a battered brown leather tunic and a pair of hobnailed boots he had found in the shed. Of his own clothes, only the legs of his black hipsters tucked into the boots were visible. He hoped Louise wouldn’t do anything stupid when she woke. She’d been fantastic with him since they got here, but whether that would stretch to obeying his order, scribbled on the back of a chocolate wrapper, to stay put was probably a different matter. If anything was to burst the bubble of her marvellous mood then this was it. But there was nothing else for it. Gut feeling told him she’d never fit in here dressed up for a shindig in Maldervale. Moreover, she’d surely kick up a fuss about what he had in mind to do. And that could be fatal. So he’d left her curled up on the floor of the shed, eyes closed, platinum hair a mess, pearly teeth glimpsed between parted lips, breathing gently.
He’d never seen her sleeping before, or more likely never taken any notice, but it was a sight that had amazed him almost as much as her change of attitude towards him. Now he was running blindly with visions of her face covering his eyes. Her pale complexion, lightly freckled from nose to cheeks, was as flawless as a child’s. Slumber too made her appear younger. He’d always thought she looked a lot older than him, much more than the seven months that actually separated them, but not now. He figured the illusion must have been down to her being so tall. And he didn’t mind that either. He’d even taken a fancy to her nose, always big and bumpy when he had been ridiculing her. But he now agreed with everybody else that the bump on the bridge made it look even better. Seen in this fantastic new light her nose, and she, had character for sure, and he wasn’t talking about the harsh one that had glowered down on his incendiary antics in Maldervale. He also found it incredible she could sleep so soundly in this strange place.
Robbie began to think what would happen if he made a pass at her. The delight on her lovely face, his expert move to seal it with a lingering kiss - clever, snooty, fabulous Louise happy to be his girl? ‘Now don’t be such a bloody fool,’ he hissed. Even if you did have the guts to try it on, she’d put you down a flash. She’d laugh her silver head off. “You?” she’d say, (and imagining her prodding a long finger at her heart) “With me? - Haw haw haw”. You’d make a right Charlie of yourself, Robbie lad. Besides she’s your cousin - albeit a very distant one…Purely out of interest, I wonder if we are so far distant as not to matter…
He was really running, so distracted that he didn’t notice the dramatic thinning of the trees. Too late: like a hare escaping the shot only to be confronted by another gunman barring his way, he dug in his heels and skidded to a halt. The town was in full view. ‘Idiot’, he gasped, scrambling for the cover of a hazel tree.
In the next post we'll see an excerpt from a scene in an Oakwood cafe, in which Robbie and Louise decide to eat after going into town. But there's more going on between our couple than scoffing bacon and scones, namely the conversation that leads them to bed in the Plough Inn.
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