Here is an adaption of part Bridge part two for Devin’s competition this month.

It seemed the most obvious of events to have happened when it had, the following morning, Margaret laid beside him in bed, naked, her clothes strewn about the wooden floorboards. The sun may have played a part, and the spring season too, but there was no denying it had been so natural and under the estranged circumstances definitely the right course to take. At least that is what Mac kept telling himself amongst the anguish percolating around his mind. Margaret had become ever so slightly drunk and opened her heart, telling of what she felt for him, whilst at the same time admitting the let downs before in her previous relationships. She also suggested something which did ease his conscience a little when putting the proposition of, in her own words, there need be no strings attached, an explanation of which he had to ask for. What brought her to that conclusion was just another idiosyncrasy of the world he now found himself in. Still, live and let live!
The week following passed by quickly with hard work and play at the helm. Under an ever changing sky, and bedcovers for that matter, the two youngsters satisfied the needs of the farm and each other, passion not interfering with commitment and most certainly work not interfering with desire. The fields took a soaking of nutrients, both organised and natural, the weather, in Walt’s words, ‘frickin typical of an ever changing Pennine spring’.
Mac had fended off any guilt quite admirably, managing to bring his conscience under control in record time, though the sense of doubt was still with him, occasionally resting on his shoulders like a heavy yoke of wood carrying its load of milk from the dairy to the market. Should he, should he not have, what if he had not, what now he had, the dilemma, fixing on the highest setting of anxiety at times had kept him company whether he toiled in the field or smiled at his new found love. It would pass. He knew that. It always had before, the melancholia, panic attacks, oblivion call it whatever, but it did take time, and that time he always willed to move on, evaporate, remove the incident from his bothering, forget all the negative aspects of consequence from his conscious thought and replace them with joy and laughter, life itself. In wanting it to fade away though, this agony of what it meant, replace it with euphoria, in wanting it to disappear simply brought more attention to it, emphasised its position by the simple act of wishing it was gone in the first place. Forget, always forget, let nothing concern him and take every day as it came, another ploy he had adopted now as in times gone past, and over the last few days this had brought about a return to himself, forget and let the world carry him along, let life enjoy his presence and let absolutely nothing worry him whatsoever. It was working.
The bottle had helped somewhat too, it must have, this device employed by his mother and grandmother alike, and most cunning folk as well if the truth be told. He had only once before undertaken a preparation and placement, in a wish to bring peace to his soul, and that time, that one and only time, when he was still a teenager, the bottle had delivered him of his desire.
Found in the farthest corner of the milking parlour the dark brown bottle of bulbous shape and rubber sealed stopper had caught his attention. Shouting out to him it had ripped him free of some torment or other he had been awkwardly entertaining at the time, the image of a bearded face etched into the glass capturing his imagination and satisfying the inexplicable reason for him wanting to explore the building in the first place. It had also spoken to him of a vehicle to aid in his quest, a mechanism to free him of the doubt and if not that reassure him of his place, find him peace to ground himself and connect back with Mother Nature Herself.
So as before he had furnished the bottle with an incantation, spoken over various objects destined to find their place sealed within it. A couple of finger nail clippings, a lock of hair and a small amount of urine was his own contribution, these added to more variable objects found about his new abode, a couple of rusty nails bent to thirty three degree angles, a very small piece of roofing slate, some heads of grass from the lane and a few pellets from inside the barn courtesy of the owl. After breaking up the circle he had removed himself and the bottle from his bedroom, slipped quietly down the stone stairs and buried it at the foot of the lower barn door in full view of Mater, Herself on the wane and in Her best aspect to aid with his request.
And that is where he was today, ignoring the negatives, managing to enjoy the lifting of his mind’s fog that had controlled his perception of late. It was clearing thank goodness, and immersing himself into this new family life, one which up to now had been shrouded from clear appreciation by worry, an aching head and ever so slight nausea. He was beginning to appreciate just what he had. For the first time in many a day his eyes looked clearly on his surroundings, no aura of intense light, his mind focused on what was relevant, near to hand or far on the horizon, recording every joyful aspect of this world, putting down memories that were there for the keeping, there to be remembered in future conversations, recollections of happiness and fulfilment. Memories to help him through the low times if they should ever return. Yes he was feeling much more the man he should be and not the wreck he could be if he succumbed to his other side.

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