I’m venturing out and attempting a new prompt this week. SAM from My Write Side runs The Master Class. It’s a prompt where we’re given a line out of a book and have to use that to start our piece. That’s it.
This week we were given the line “It was only a duck pond, at the back of the farm.” out of Neil Gaiman’s new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Which, by the way, is a very good book. So, here’s my response.
It was only a duck pond, at the back of the farm. Pastures bordered it on two sides. A forest the other two. The pond was a bit green and not very deep. It wasn't even that pretty. But, it meant the world to him. There was nowhere else he’d rather have been back in those days. Many a day he still wished he could go back there, back to that place and that time.
The horses would roam free in the pastures. The wind would whisper in the rushes. There was even, on occasion, a duck or two in the duck pond. But most days the duck pond was empty. There, he waited for her. She would escape from her duties to find him. Her guards were left to fend for themselves as they’d tell her father, who would have disapproved had he known then what his daughter was doing.
They’d leave her horse among the rest of the herd and sneak into the forest. There, they’d walk, or sit in a little glen, and talk for hours. She always insisted on staying close enough to see the pond. He treasured that time with her. It only lasted that summer, but it was a lifetime to him.
There were big changes that fall. Things took them away from there. They’d always meant to get back to that duck pond. Time kept spinning out her web, though, trapping them, keeping them away from that place in the past.
Things and people continued to change. The horses are gone. The farm has been sold. He wasn't sure the duck pond even had any water in it anymore, much less whether or not any ducks swam there. And now she’s gone. There wasn't anything he wouldn't give to go back now.
Be sure to click on the Master Class Link below to read other great stories using Gaiman's line from The Ocean at the End of the Lane.