Instruments of Time - Chapter 2
Second Chapter of the exciting new Childrens Fantasy story Instruments of Time by Gabriel Thomas.
Chapter Two - Brackton Place
Liam sat with Lilly as the reading of Will began. In the small room, they, along with assorted relatives, known and unknown, listened attentively to the solicitor as she read out the division of assets.
Lilly didn’t remember her great Uncle Carter very well. She recalled the old house that she had been taken to on various family occasions when she had been very young. Her memories where of a huge old building that had endless corridors, with wood panelled walls, and creaking floors.
She believed the family got together at the house just because of its size, not because Great Uncle Carter was an amazing host. Because anytime that they did gather at the house, He didn’t seem to be there. She did remember him being there once, it was the birthday of some cousin she couldn’t recall.
Lilly had evaded the latest call for photos and was trying doors to find something more interesting than the party that was happening down the hall. The halls were long and flanked on either side by old and foreign looking furniture. The pictures on the walls were of grand looking palaces and beautiful scenery. Lilly didn’t recognise any of the places, but she wished that she had been the one taking the photos.
As she made her way down the darkening hallway, she was drawn to a closed door on her left hand side. She tried the door expecting it to be locked, but it wasn’t. She slowly pushed the door open and peered inside. The room looked like a study or an office. As she looked around the room she saw a writing desk with drawers down either side. Feeling braver she entered the room and sat in the old leather chair that was before the desk. She span around in the chair, like all kids should! When she came to a stop, she looked down at the drawers and now feeling super brave she tried the top drawer on the right hand side, it opened. In the drawer there was a brown leather bound photo album. Opening up the album on the desk, she leaned forward in the chair and began to flick through the pages.
She’d got no further than the third page when, ‘Nosey little parker aren’t we?’. The voice had no anger in its tone, but still made Lilly jump and feel scared. Standing behind her was a tall, athletically built, ageless looking man. This was Great Uncle Carter.
“I’m very sorry” Lilly replied with a shaky voice. “I was bored and was just looking for something to do“. Carter looked at her, as he did a smile started to fill his face, “don’t worry about it Lilly, if I was you I’d be doing exactly the same thing!. Never could stand family parties, always wanted to be somewhere else.” Carter took the album form Lilly and put it back in the drawer.
“I’m sorry sweetheart, there isn’t much to play with in this room” Lilly got down form the chair and made her way towards the door to leave. “Lilly, don’t ever let anyone tell you that the world is only what you can see, there is always more, you just have to look a little harder” As Lilly turned and went to make her way back down the hall to the party Carter called her back, “Hey, I’ve got something for you”. Lilly turned and went back in to the room, where Carter was reaching in to an old rucksack that looked very much the worse for wear. He reached inside and pulled out a little bag that looked very much like one that would hold marbles. He asked Lilly to hold out her hand, in to it he placed 3 differently coloured jewels, one red, one green and one yellow. She gazed at them as the light from the window caught there angles made them seem more amazing than Lilly was already making them in her mind. Carter gave her another small pouch to put them in to keep them safe. “Look after them Lilly, you never know, one day they might just take you to the places you want to go!”
Lilly thanked Carter, but was still staring at the jewels as she left him in the study and her heard the door close.
The words where perhaps a little much for a 6 year old to take in, but they where the things that stayed with Lilly, the only thing, along with the jewels, that Great Uncle Carter ever gave her.
As Lilly came back in to the room and started to hear the voice of the solicitor again, the words Brackton Place switched on a light in her head, Brackton Place, Great Uncle Carters house. It had been 32 years since she had been there, the last time as that 6 year old and her only meeting with the man.
“Brackton Place and all its belongings are left to my great niece Lilly”, Lilly and Liam where dumbstruck, they had no idea that anything like this was going to happen.
At this point they thought there would be an outcry, with family members calling for some sort of inquest in to how on earth a distant relative such as her should inherit such an item, but there were none.
Drawing up to Brackton House on a warm autumn evening the evidence of why there was no inquest in to the inheritance was becoming obvious. The house still had the presence that it had had all those years ago, but it looked as though the last day that Lilly was there, was the last day that anyone was there!
As the family’s old 4X4 came to a halt, Alex and Thomas threw open its rear doors with the strength of a force 9 child induced hurricane! They sprinted through the sea of crunching autumn leaves towards Brackton House. “Wait in the porch boys”, Lilly shouted at them.
Jessica sat like a bored statue, and peered through the front windscreen at the old building, she wasn’t going to as impressed as the boys so easily. Lilly turned to the teenager in the back of the car, “what do you think?” “Do you really want to know?” Her tone wasn’t one that was going to end the sentence with a positive response!
Lilly and Liam opened their doors and got out of the car, they both stood looking at their new home. In their wildest dreams something like this just didn’t happen to people like them, but it had. But here they were, and to them this was the beginning of something amazing for their whole family, even if particular members didn’t think so!
“Come on Dad!” Alex and Thomas jumped up and down excitedly in the porch, to them this was just another great adventure. To Lilly and Liam, it was also a great adventure, but one that hopefully would put behind them the hardships of years gone by. For all his efforts on paper Liam had never got that novel just the way that the publishers wanted it. So many years had gone by with people telling him what a brilliant story teller he was, but when it came to convincing a suit behind a chair, the responses were always polite, but negative. Perhaps this was the environment in which he could find the inspiration to produce something that everybody could agree was brilliant! If he didn’t, it wouldn’t be for the lack of trying.
Four members of the Aston family stood in the porch of Brackton Place waiting for the fifth. “Come on Jessica!“, both boys shouted out together. Jessica let out a large unimpressed breath and made her way out of the car and up the leaf covered path.
Lilly reached in to her bag and pulled out a long black key, “who wants to do the honours?” Two large shouts of “Me!” came form Alex and Thomas. “I’ll tell you what, why don’t we all do it?” Lilly put the key in the door and four hands joined together to open the door to a new life. Liam turned to Jessica and gave her a knowing look. With a roll of her eyes, Jessica limply placed her hand on the top of the rest and as one, they turned they key on a new chapter in their lives.