a while ago we had a party. one guest seems not to have left.
he wandered over the lawns for a while, casually savouring the delicate aroma of his 25yr old tullamore dew. as a lover of the irish he had gone straight past the highland malts – not even the islay malts could tempt him – if it was whisky, better make it whiskey. i don’t think he had even glanced at the taylor ’48 we had in magnum, still less the latour ’59 (the last two single bottles from the cellar – though, as this is fantasy, we will certainly unearth more if we are deserving).
as ever, he was drawn to the water – the calm repetitive lapping of the stream beyond the formal garden hypnotised him as it had in childhood. he had stood by the shore with his father, impossibly tall strong and youthful, a moment frozen in eternity. now that was a memory, remote as if it had never been and he was the one supposed to be tall, and still the water drew him. water of life. uisgeah beatha.
within the bushes, a shape loomed in the half-light of the midsummer midnight. the bushes parted, he found what might be a door and pulled. his reward was his own forgotten world; a hideaway comfortably furnished and set out to please nobody else. and a bottle of the irish; enough glasses for him and whatever guests should find it; and space to… that was the magic, the space was his to choose, to share, to own.
but he was not alone. in one of the cosier chairs was a figure, just out of the light. one he had never seen before, but familiar to him now as breathing.