Paradoxical Undressing

Paradoxical Undressing

The falling degrees of Archroy’s ill-fated journey into town. Dazed and confused in the white world of snow, Archroy looks to shake off his fever and hangover but the winter weather is his biggest enemy. The townfolk are no help either.

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Uncovered

Mid-winter in the northern moors town of Tealsdale was a time of vast blankets of snow resting upon rolling meadows. The covering of snow was even, but the many hills that made up this scenic world lay underneath these blankets and made it look as if the fall had been haphazardly distributed over the fields. Almost like a giant had been shuffling about under the bed covers; a big pile of white scrunched up here, even bigger pillows over there. The hedgerows which encompassed these fields looked like the whitest cream piped around the edge of a mammoth wedding cake.

Despite its attraction to Christmas Card frontages, the winter brought about hard times for the isolated farm-hands of the north. It was always a struggle for them to get out of bed, let alone tear themselves away from an open fire to make their way over the hidden tracks towards town.

Hardly any semblance of light had broken over the world as Archery pulled the cottage door shut behind him. Archroy realised why it had been darker than normal and opened his eyes to rectify the situation. An apocalyptic white shock-wave immediately blasted through his pupils, knocking him backwards. Trying to shake his head free of the hangover that last night’s plethora of cider had inflicted upon him, he plodded forward, eyes barely open.

Hearing a whuuummmph behind him, Archroy turned around and squinted at the cottage. A bare patch on his roof was now exposed and a fresh pile of snow had fallen on his doorstep where he had just been stood. Archroy’s brain mumbled that it must be his lucky day today and on he ploughed towards the town that lay two miles away.

A new batch of cold snow, like icing sugar cast by creation’s finest decorator of cakes, started to find its way earthwards.

A cold morning in winter and the town of Tealsdale was hardly a hive of activity. Only footprints from the milkman wound their way down the high street and Johnston the postman was about to weave another set. Johnston hardly ever a saw a sole in the summer this early in the morning, apart from the milkman and the odd farmhand making an early start to the day, let alone in the bleak mid-winter. Johnston’s job was pretty lonely despite all the houses he called upon.

Having fed the last of the letters to the hungry jaws of the butcher’s letterbox, it certainly came as a surprise to the postman to see a figure that resembled Archroy stumbling down over the fields. Could this possibly be the same Archroy who was keeled over in the Mason’s Arms last night in the belief that a profusion of alcohol would beat off his fever? ‘Fair play to the man,’ thought Johnston, ‘his cranky methods must obviously work,’ and was about to turn away when something caught his eye.

Johnston stood and watched the farmhand approach the town from across the fields.

As Archroy neared, Johnston’s brow furrowed deeper.

There was definitely something odd about Archroy this morning.

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