Monday, October 24, 2016

MOUNT VERNON, NW3

A NEW PROSE PIECE FOR YOU...

Hello beasties!

Just a short prose piece this time, inspired by some photos that I took on a walk that Toby and I did back on Sunday 25th September 2016 in the Hampstead area, We walked from Hampstead to Kenwood House and I recorded some introductions for the 2016 Halloween episode which I'll be posting next week, along with some of the photos of the locations where I recorded. For now, however, I am sharing one or two photos taken of interesting (to me) signs up Mount Vernon in London, NW3. Mount Vernon isn't a mountain by any means - but it is a slight hill/incline that continues the road that passes Hampstead Tube Station.

Anyway, I decided that I'd like to write something from these photos and this is what I came up with - to be honest it's a bit of an M.R. James parody - although my piece takes a slightly absurd situation and attempts to give it a Jamesian twist... Here are the photos that I mentioned...

There is no new podcast to announce this time - our Halloween episode will be up early next week... So, next post we'll be discussing that new episode and I'll also be sharing with you another prose piece on the subject of Halloween.


Until then I'll leave you with that slightly spooky story of mine which was inspired by my visit to Mount Vernon...

More soon!

Yeti hugs,

Paul xx

PS This piece was written on Monday 3rd October 2016 and tweaked and slightly reworked up until time of posting.

MOUNT VERNON, NW3...


Making my way one September afternoon...
I traversed Mount Vernon bound for Kenwood House...
Nearing the rise I passed by Benham's Place and Holly Berry Lane -
Pausing at the house where Robert Louis Stevenson once lived...
Eventually I moved along the road to consider the view -
Looking down the hill towards Hampstead tube stop...
Although on this occasion there were leafy trees and bushes in the way...
Maybe in the Winter or early Spring I might return and see, thought I.
It is whilst I mused over such things that I noticed a figure -
He was coming up the footpath on the right side of the hill -
Within seconds we were face to face on the ridge...
I recognised the face almost immediately...
It was me - and almost of the same age and dress...
He paused when he saw me and then smiled before speaking,
"Ah... I thought I might find you here one day...
"If I were you I'd not come back here...
I did and look at me now... Here I am... Dead as can be."
I was confused, "But how can you be dead and yet I am here still alive..."
"Simple..." he shrugged. "I am a ghost of a possible future...
And from the looks of it a future not too far in advance of yours now..."
"But can I prevent whatever occurred to you?" I enquired, flustered.
"I have no idea... " he sighed. "You can only try, can't you?"
"What occurred to you?" I asked - shocked at how identical we were.
Whatever happened must be due to happen imminently.
"At least I didn't die at the shock of seeing my own ghost..." he teased.
It's not a joke that I find very amusing, to be honest.
I let him continue - awaiting some revelation...
"I came here in the winter - passing by on my way to Kenwood House...
Only I never reached the house, nor even the Common...
Here I stood at this very place - here on Mount Vernon, NW3...
I was admiring the view; with the leaves gone I could see for miles...
That said I don't advise that you return any time soon..."
"How did you die? Did you slip? Fall on some ice?" I guessed.
He shook his head, "You see how narrow the road is?" I nodded.
"Well, it's not easy for vehicles that travel this way...
Especially not when a house is sold and there are deliveries..."
He indicated a house close by the Holly Bush public house.
"I am embarrassed to tell you..." he said and frowned.
"I was killed by a falling piano, pinned to the ground by it and here I died...
Don't let the same thing happen to you, will you?" he added.
"I cannot be sure that destiny won't catch up with you some other way..."
I was about to ask him more, but glancing back I found him gone.
After this I reasoned that I probably needed a beer of some kind.
I walked slowly from the Mount up towards The Holly Bush...
Nodding at an Estate Agent outside the newly sold house...
I vowed then never to return to Mount Vernon...
And so far, up until now, I have kept to that promise...
It is now New Year and there is snow on the ground...
Looking from my study window I recall what my future self told me...
"I cannot be sure that destiny won't catch up with you some other way..."
And so I wait.., and wait... It is unbearable - agonising...
The tension is so great that I wonder if it wouldn't simply be better -
To fetch my shoes, my coat and hat and take a little walk, through NW3...
Can it really be any worse than simply waiting here and worrying...
After all...
I hear there's a fine view down Hampstead Hill from Mount Vernon...


This piece and all contents are Copyright Paul Chandler 2016.

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