Story Starter: Woodland Seat

Community woodland

This woodland picture speaks to me of taking a moment, smelling the roses, stopping and staring…. How about you? Do you think you can get a story out of it?

Maybe it’s about the dry-stane dyker who constructed it. Or the woodland behind.

It’s community woodland. The villages around it worked together to raise the funds to buy it to keep it just as it is. It has red squirrels, roe deer, and fallen trees that offer a haven for all sorts of wildlife. It’s very well-used, popular with walkers and dog-walkers, all sharing the space with mutual respect.

On Saturdays I walk up to the village for the papers, and often cut through the wood instead of taking the road. One morning I met our ex-postman, now retired, in the village, and he told me where one of the paths would bring me out. I’ve lived there years but didn’t know about it. It had been a wet spell, though, and I said I’d leave it till another time since it’d be muddy underfoot. “Just follow the path,” he says. “It’s metalled all the way there. Trust me – I’m a postman.”

So I set off through the wood, found the path, and followed it round. And then it ran out. But I figured I was more than halfway there so I carried on regardless. Well. It just got wetter and wetter. I had to skip round some puddles, take giant steps over others, but I was not gong to turn back.

Finally I found myself at the edge of the woodland, at the top of a path that led straight down to my village, just as he’d said. Hurrah!

But you should have seen the state of that path. Narrow and rutted, it doubled as a stream bed, and a mountain bike and pony track. It was so ridiculous I got the giggles on the way down.

I made it but my boots have never recovered. Just wait till I see postie Jim…

So, your story: 2000 or 3000 words, please.



Shirley Blair

Fiction Ed Shirley’s been with the “Friend” since 2007 and calls it her dream job because she gets to read fiction all day every day. Hobbies? Well, that would be reading! She also enjoys writing fiction when she has time, long walks, travel, and watching Scandi thrillers on TV.