I thought I would start a new story this year, to try and polish my craft a little. So, here’s a brand new chapter in Cecily’s story- she’s moving to a new village and beginning a new venture with a few new faces around her, and a few surprises in store- I hope you like it!
Moving to a new village
As she sat on the train knitting, trying out an idea for a new kind of bonnet, Cecily took a look around at her new surroundings. Her aunt lived in Thrush-on-the-Hill, out in the countryside, and had asked Cecily to come help with Grandmamma for a season or two. It would be a nice change of scenery, and a great opportunity for an idea she’d had for a while that hadn’t worked out back home in Ambleside. Cecily hadn’t wanted to step on any toes, and there wasn’t a great need for any more soft goods stalls at the Market there, but Aunt Syble said there was only the old Tailor in their Market, with a few traveling Fairs coming through two or three times a year for fancies (or anything nice, truth be told, the tailor only makes a passable skirt, and no dresses at all! and don’t tell anyone I told ye that lass, Grandmamma had whispered last Yule) so Cecily had her hopes up, and a trunk of stock lashed up in the luggage car behind her. It was a nice area, she thought as the train pulled into the station. A day and a night and a morning away from home, the trees were still full of birdsong, and the grasses were still green, but it was up in the hills, with lots of rivulets and streams and a few rushing rivers tucked here and there into the groves of ash and pine and thickets of brush and wildflowers. She wondered if she would find any wild sage, elderberries or lilac bushes near Aunt Syble’s house.
Unpacking- the house
Wilbur stood outside the train depot with a small placard which read, simply “Aunt Sybil”, but Cecily remembered him from her childhood visits to Grandmamma’s house and gave him a big hug, which made him blush and stammer, and fumble the packages and cases so that she took pity on him and went to sit in the front while he finished stowing away her things. When it became apparent the great trunk full of her merchandise wasn’t going to fit anywhere on the already full pony cart, Mr. Steading the depot manager arranged to have it delivered by the milkman that evening (Grandmamma’s house was on the road leading to the dairy farm, so it was no trouble at all ma’am, don’t you worry none ma’am) and off they went to the little house in the village Aunt Sybil had prepared for Cecily’s stay.
It was a little old cottage at the edge of the forest, almost but not quite in the countryside, but still within the village proper. Set next to a tiny stream full of cress, mint and tadpoles it had a wee tiny garden in the front, with a white picket fence around it to keep out the village cats, and a slightly larger swath of green bordered by pinks, and mums, lavender and roses in the back. The stone walkway leading up to the front door was lined with thyme, chamomile, dillweed and chives, and two great oak trees sat at the corners of the place giving off lots of shade and a lovely rustling of leaves in the midmorning breeze. White washed walls, old wooden shutters, and a bristling little thatch roof completed the picture. “It’s lovely Aunt Syble” Cecily breathed in happiness “you spoil me! It’s perfect.” Aunt Syble came down from the steps to give her niece a hug and a kiss. “I’m so glad you like it” she said with a smile. “It’s yours for as long as you stay.” “Won’t the owners be needing it this summer?” Cecily asked with an apprehensive frown. Syble chuckled and grinned. “No, I will not- it’s already booked for a delightful little girl who’s staying in the village indefinitely, for the time being.” Cecily grinned back and laughed at her aunt. “When did you buy it?” Syble gestured to the front door as she answered, and picked up Cecily’s hat box. “I didn’t- I inherited it last winter when the village seamstress passed away- she hadn’t any daughters to carry on the tradition, and knew I had a few relations who might be enticed to stay.” Cecily walked up the three small steps and pushed open the heavy oak front door. She looked a bit thoughtful at her aunt’s words as she passed by her, but then her brow cleared in amazement as she got inside. “But it’s…it’s bigger on the inside!” she exclaimed with pleased surprise. And promptly dropped her bags and ran back outside and turned round to view the house again. Syble and Wilbur grinned at each other, then Syble gestured for Wilbur to take his load upstairs while she placed the hatbox on a nearby table. Cecily came back inside a little more sedately and turned round in a circle as she took in her first view of the “little” cottage.