Today I received an invitation I had not been expecting. Below is my acceptance of same. Thank you, Tish. This was fun.
Nobody believed that Old Jenny was dead. They believed that she wanted them to believe she was dead. One thing that Mr Mulvaney knew, for certain, was that Jenny was a gardener. She needed dirt beneath her fingernails to feel alive. She needed to feel the soil slip between her fingers in order to feel whole, to feel complete.
Once he learned she had left her watering can behind, Mulvaney put a watch on her allotment. After all, that can had belonged to her Ma, and to her Ma’s Ma ‘afore that. Jenny wouldn’t leave the watering can. Not for long. It was too dear.
It had been several years since Jenny had slipped under the radar. I was one of three sentries Mulvaney had detailed to keep an eye on the allotment, an eye on the can. He was certain that she would come back for it. We were under strict instruction, that when we saw her, it was always “when” never “if”, we were to follow her, but not confront her. Once we knew where she was hiding we were to contact him, and only him. We were to let him know where she was. Then the guard would take over and we would move on to our next assignment. I hoped we never saw her.
I’d become quite fond of this part of the world. This Shropshire town of Much Wenlock, peaceful, picturesque filled with the kind of people my Ma had been. In this town there was all the things you would expect from a Medieval village. There was holy wells, cobbled streets, stocks and whipping posts. There was even a museum filled with all sorts of Olympian artifacts. I would love to stay here forever, but I knew I wouldn’t never fit in. I’m the proverbial square peg and Wenlock is the archetypal round hole.
Last week I was keeping an eye on the allotment but not paying too much attention. A job like this can lull you into a sense of complacency. All of a sudden I realized that a woman was lingering about the watering can. Her back was to me so I couldn’t tell who it was, exactly. I thought she might be a bit tall for Old Jenny and she moved like a younger girl, but I paid attention. If that can were to disappear on my watch; Mulvaney would have my hide for sure.
It turned out to be a false alarm, though. ‘Twas only Ms Farrell. She’d come out with her camera to take photos of the can.
I noted the date and time in my log so I could report the activity to Mulvaney. He’d want to know. He might even send someone by the Farrell’s to find out what had sparked the sudden interest in the old can. See if maybe Jenny had contacted them. I see Ms Farrell out with her Camera a lot. She just likes to take photos. She’s an artist and a writer too but I still needed to report the activity. Mulvaney could decide for himself if it meant anything. That’s not my job. Well above my pay-grade. I just watch for Old Jenny. That’s what I do.
Tish Farrell is a writer on the edge. She’s living her life to it’s fullest. I’ve followed her blog for years. I recommend it, highly recommend it. Stop by and graze on her words and photos. You won’t regret the time spent.