The Poacher’s Wood – Chapter 3

This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series The Poacher's Wood

Sunday, December 21st, four days before Christmas

Darrell picked her up in his rented car. She argued with him that she should drive because he was the visitor in the area but he wouldn’t have it. It was a clear night. The moon was just a sliver, barely there. The pub was by a canal. After they were seated and had ordered Renee asked him about his digs.
“So what’s your room at the pub like?”

“It’s small, but comfortable. I hear pipes making funny noises at night, and I always seem to smell bacon cooking. I’ve converted a coffee table into my desk. But at least there is internet.”

“Do you travel a lot?”
“Not necessarily. Sometimes I do. It depends on what kind of work I am doing. I do sometimes have spells of teaching where I am based at home a lot.”
“What do you do when you are not working?”
“I read, go to games, baseball. Watch movies, have coffee with friends.”
“What kind of movies?”
“Depends. I like a variety. I like some horror, some adventure. History or comedy.”

Renee had seen some horror movies, but watching them was not something she could hardly wait to do, she had to make a deal with herself to watch them. She had watched Aliens in her early twenties and The Shining when she was around 30.

“By the time I made myself watch The Exorcist it was about 25 years too late and I didn’t find it scary.”
“I saw The Exorcist in the theater and my buddy I was with actually had to go outside and throw up,” Darrell said.
“My parents didn’t let me watch scary movies growing up so I got a late start.”
“Are you spooked easily?”
“I’m not afraid of say, walking on my own. But sometimes it can be an atmosphere that scares me. If it seems cold and old in some way. Like outside the pub, where the hangings were. I like it inside the pub. But outside is creepy.”

“When I was little,” Darrell said, “We had a basement at our house. Sometimes I would go down there to get things, to fetch something for my mom, or sometimes there were toys that were kept down there. My Dad had a home office down there where he kept his books and papers, there was another room for food storage and a room where we kept toys and extra games. But I didn’t like going down there. There was no reason. It wasn’t dark. There was nothing bad that had happened there as far as we I knew. No deaths or horrible events associated with past residents. But as soon as I left the comfort of upstairs do go down there, I felt like holding my breath, like I was at risk of something bad happening to me. It didn’t make sense. At least one of my parents was home, and if I did run into trouble for whatever reason I could have called out. So there was no reason for my fear. I was at at age where I was able to understand situations or ideas that were frightening to me. It might have been something on television that I had seen. Maybe I was allowed to stay up late and watch too much Alfred Hitchcock. I did eventually outgrow the fear. However, I was only seven years old when I had that issue. Perhaps it is more of a protective instinct you have because you have knowledge of what happened there? You are a woman, living on your own. It may be that you have sharper instincts. It surprises me though. I would have thought that with you growing up here, you would be used to the history and all the old buildings. ”

“I am mostly.”
“Are you afraid of ghosts outside the pub?”
“There is a term for that, it’s called phasmophobia, if you have a fear of ghosts.”
“I’m not afraid of ghosts.”
“Were you an only child?” Darrell asked.
“Yes,” Renee said. “And you?”
“I have a younger brother and sister. My sister lives in Vancouver, my brother in California. We’re fairly close. My Dad has passed away, my Mom lives in Washington State.”
“Your mom is alone for Christmas?”
“I normally spend it with her. It is unusual for me to be away at this time. She went to my sister’s for Christmas.”

The restaurant was pub style, and a large restaurant, it wasn’t particularly Thai in design but it was in a restored building and had oak beams and the restaurant was upstairs where you could look out the window onto the canal.
“So what do you want to do for a living?”

“I like making stained-glass windows. I have done it for some years now. I am self-taught. It would be nice just to do that and sell them. I have some projects going, but it would be nice to do it full-time.”

That night Darrell drove her home and before Renee got out of the car, he asked if he could kiss her, and then he did. He said that he would call her. Then Renee said goodnight and got out of the car.

Series Navigation<< The Poacher’s Wood – Chapter 2The Poacher’s Wood – Chapter 4 >>

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