Mark wandered around for what seemed like ages, not feeling tired one bit. He guessed he must be near the center of the garden. Indeed, the path he was following led him to an open space with a marble fountain in the middle. Four paths arrived from different directions. At the end of each path, a statue was put on a pedestal. Two of them represented animals – a staggering horse and a roaring lion – and the other two represented humans.
Face to face were the images of a man and a woman, sculpted so near-to-life that Mark could hardly believe they were mere marble. He was not very interested in the man, but the woman fascinated him.
“If only you could be real…” he whispered.
She was everything he wished for a woman to be: beautifully shaped with rounded curves and a face that looked kind and pure.
He gave out a hard sigh and returned the same way he entered. But the next night he went back.
From The Italian Garden
A shape popped up before her on the road. All of a sudden she realized she was daydreaming. She quickly applied the brakes and the car skidded to a stop. Yes, there was someone there; a huddled figure carrying two heavy bags. How strange! She drove this road twice a day and never ever had she seen anyone on this deserted stretch over Hawestone Moor. Nobody lived here, did they
She looked again. The figure – she could not decide whether it was a man or a woman – kept moving on steadily. For just one second Marie considered her options. If she would offer help, she would make it home even later than seven o’clock. But almost immediately her conscience forced her to open up her window and call out
“Hello there? Need a ride?”
The figure stopped and turned around. She saw that it was a woman and an old one for goodness sake. What was this granny doing out in this shit weather?”
“Thank you, dear. I’d like that.”
From The Witch of Hawestone Moor
The next weekend the leaves had increased in numbers. Tim’s mother phoned in to tell him that her son had been taken ill and would not be able to work during the weekend.
He was in a rather foul mood when he dressed in an old jeans and worn out sweater, and took the rake out of the garden shed. He worked for two hours and then went inside to have tea.
When he returned to the garden, the heaps he had carefully raked together had dispersed. And yet there was no wind that day.
From Falling Leaves