An edited extract from The Budding & The Forcken.

The two boys entered the lane, on the warm summer's evening. There was a heavy tension in the hot air. They looked across the golden fields and the forest of oaks and ash.
The frocken berries were ripe now, they would stay that way for a long time. They resembled nothing of their previous youthful days. They took on an outer shell of hard skin, purple and thick. A starck contrast from their previous vivacious green skin. They had a duller, more palletable taste whereas before they had an unbearable sweet bang that gave a bitter jolt to the toungue.
The smaller of the two, a young lad of nine or ten, bent dowm and began to tangle his laces even more, they were thick and robust like leather liquorice strings. The mud that had become encrusted on them cracked as he formed the knot.
The older of the two, was about sixteen or seventeen. He didn't wait while his companion stooped down to sort out the mess of knots that took palce on his beefy cumbersome shoes. Instead he maintained his solid pace.He did so until he reached the top of a slope in the lane. He panted as he reached the top of the incline and stopped. He took a large breath in. He felt his spit glide thriugh his teeth, he gathered it in the cusp of his lip and spat it onto the hot cracked mud. It darkened it and soaked through into it. He looked up and noticed that his brother was nowhere to be found. He shouted "John-o!" in a thick Irish accent "will ya come on".
From around the corner came the young boy. He ran in a sloppy childish manner with his bulky shoes clobbering off the ground and one another. He asscended the slope quickly and gazed into the older boys face. He saw a new look on his face, a look and an expression that he never wore before. It was a look of determination and purpose.
"I'm here mikey" said the little boy.
The older lad stood up and gazed across the valley, and awaited the inevitable question from John-o , and then it came.
"Mikey, what do we do now?"
Mikey started off down the lane again, and strolled with a purpose. John-o, who was left behind momentarily, realised that the change had taken place. The unpredicted change in their life had brought on this change in Mikey. And John-o came to accept it immediatley. He followed his older brother down the lane until they came to the gate. They had entered the lane as two boys, and they left one boy and a man.

Across the valley life carried on. The pike in the small lake by the run down farm house kept on hunting. The rabbit in the field kept on bouncing. When a change came in their life they adapted. That was it, they moved on. The boys expierienced this too, for the first time.
The windmill, that was the ilfe of the town, kept on turning and churning. Imagine what would happen if that windmill were to stop suddenl.....





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