Chapter 1: Secrets from her loft.
Inching to the top of the old loft ladder-a through back to the 1960s-Brian used his whole strength to climb up unto the roof space of Aunt Lucy house.Wow,he shone the torch around at first not really sure what he might find.Granted,she had lived in this house for well nigh 50 years all told ,with the sheer accumulation of stuff threatening to drown this space by its bulk.At first ,Brian didn’t really know where to start ,with the weight on eves of the loft space appearing to be struggling under the density of detritus,he thought back to Jenny’s words:”You might struggle on your own” thinking that he wished that he had taken her advice.No matter,he would endeavour to take things down that were like the low hanging fruit of the place to begin with.This being his plan,he set to work .
Sometimes the best laid plans get scuppered and Brian thought back to his method of removing the low Hanging fruit of stuff first from the roof.Oh how he wished that he had just left the place and got Jenny in because the low hanging fruit might not have had the weight of the other boxes,but their contents not only shocked him but brought him to tears.
Try as he might he was just stuck there at the entrance to the space ,glued to these photographs ,these shock surprises of his family ,these darts of desperation almost.He had always had a childhood memory of just him,his mum ,aunt Lucy,Jenny and himself.This had been his world,history as such,All the other stories that he believed to be the authentic social history of his family were made up of these people.
As Aunt Lucy had always been such a joy to him ,he never felt the need to ever question her as to why,why she had never married,never seemingly to have had a special one in her life to share things with.As aunt Lucy had lived on Bodmin moor,surrounded as she was by her writing ,her animals,her farm,it was Brian and Jenny’s holiday retreat from London ,a place that they found peace,solace ,comfort if you like.
Wether Jenny knew any of this ,he didn’t know,but he had wondered at times ,but being younger than his sister,he had put it out of his mind,preferring to bask in the joy of the moors and the fresh air ,the Enid Blyton type thing but with more animals and less ginger beer.As he composed himself,the thought of his mum ever knowing and never telling him crossed his mind too like that thing that goes around your brain:”If she didn’t tell you this,what else didn’t she tell you.”Now,all that was left was him and Jenny of the family.They had lost their father in the war ,with his mum having to bring them up in her own.His mum only had Aunt Lucy too,so their visits to Cornwall were an Oasis of peace from living in the city,
Brian began to think that he would retrieve just a few of the letters and a photograph before getting down and returning to the downstairs.Suddenly ,the house wasn’t so much of an idyll,it became quite a haunted place,where memories existed that were more suspicious.He was all of a hiss,a mental turmoil and all he could think about was why:Why didn’t he listen to Jenny?Why did he always have such a gun hoe attitude?
“Jen is that you?Its Brian,can you talk in private”
Jenny was a consultant at Great Ormond street on the cancer ward and Brian had always looked to her for guidance.He hadn’t had the best of careers,and his erratic employment history had always concerned Jenny,but she loved him ,and tried her best to support him ,especially with his painting,
“Brian,are you alright how has it been down in Cornwall”.?
Brian frantically trying to feed money into the slot in the call box explained that he really needed to speak to her about what he had found .As the conversation was extremely difficult due to the constant need to feed money into the machine,Jenny said that he should come over when he got back to London.
“Jen,did you know about Bill.?”
Just then,the line went dead,and the last of the small change that Brian had left was all used up.
Brian resisted the urge to go to the pub,but walked to the bus station that would take him to Bodmin Road railway station,where he would next the next available train to Paddington,London.
As he waited ,he thought of all those times when he would dread having to come home from Aunt Lucy’s after the summer holidays,and how him and Jenny would fight and argue because they were both said to have leave.He thought long and hard and with a less than wistful gaze,felt pleased when the London bound train pulled into the station.He had,along with his sister,inherited much more than a farm house on Bodmin moor,he had inherited dark memories the like of which would change his life for ever.
“Hanged”, his uncle ,and the common law husband of Aunt Lucy .!Brian just couldn’t fathom what those holidays were about .He had to get to Jenny,he just did.Wether she knew ,he wasn’t sure,but his mind kept racing .He knew that all families had their stuff,but this ,this………