Twenty Minutes Later
After seeing a red dress caught in a tree before being washes away under the bridge, it starts an insatiable need to figure out where it came from. But there are obstacles in getting across Pevensey Bridge, none lesser than the troll who lives beneath. But the potential rewards in the land of the red dress on the other side keep pulling and pulling. Twenty Minutes Later is a short story about mustering up the courage to be able to cross over into something new. There are always obstacles on the road to change, but it doesn’t mean that there are not ways to overcome them and be able to cross.
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Twenty minutes later is where Quinn’s mind is at as he proudly stands at the attic window in his brand new suit. He looks out over the depressing wash of autumnal colours tainting the trees at the end of the garden. Once past those shedding giants at the edge of their boundary, it is only twenty minutes to Pevensey Bridge.
Just twenty minutes of eager cold breaths in his lungs will be all that it will take. Running over slippery leaves and hurdling decayed, fallen branches on his way. In the forest he will not stop, nor even think of the guileful woodland eyes upon him as he goes. Only upon reaching the clearing on the other side of the wooded area will he come to rest. Once there he will gather his spent breaths, leaning against the glistening dew-laden surface of the seasonally abandoned picnic table.
Once his lungs are breathing easy, he will then walk across the damp grass to the stream’s crossing. He will cross Pevensey Bridge this time.
Two weeks ago, Quinn had accidentally stumbled into the clearing for the very first time. The journey through the forest having been taken in the aftermath of conflict, making him fleet of foot, keen to find out how to lose himself. A journey besieged with paranoia of eyes secretly watching him from within the forest, insidious creatures determined not to let him be alone.
That first encounter in the clearing he had seen something across the water. Something beyond the wooden span arching over a slow running stream before him, something beyond the hand carved sign which pronounced it as being Pevensey Bridge.
It had been a glimpse of mystery that had instantly piqued his heart; a red gown blowing in the wind. Its flowing form held back by the hem which had caught on the branch of a tree overhanging the stream.
Quinn had stood and watched the dress fighting for its freedom, the bare fingers of the tree scrabbling for a hold upon its fragile surface. He had heard the tearing of material as the gown broke free and danced in the air.
A fluttering in his chest. The excitement and wonder at seeing the garment break free. Excitement mixed with the fear of uncertainty as to where it would end up. But the dress’s dance of freedom was not dictated by, but instead embraced within the desires of the wind. Its movements fluid, graceful and happy as it drifted slowly down to the shallow waters that scuttled away under the bridge. As the dampened gown darkened to a bloody vermillion, Quinn’s initial urge to break forward and clutch the gown was hampered by an unknown presence. Before he could lift a foot he had felt a barrier go up before him, a presence holding him back. He had looked around the clearing, but the awkward movements which had caught his eye were emerging from under the bridge.