He dreams of wrought iron gates and a sweeping gravel driveway.
The weather is dark and gloomy, shades of grey that fill the sky in a way that is only typical of a Yorkshire day in late autumn. The glorious willow trees that hang so beautiful and luscious in the midsummer, now fragile husks of their former selves; their skeletal whip thin branches sway gently in the slow breeze and he shivers, both from the chill and the rustle of dead leaves blowing across the sodden ground.
The house stands looming behind it all, its rusty red bricks a stark contrast against the overwhelming palette of grey. It’s unchanged as always – large oak door still the daunting presence at the entrance as it always was, deep green ivy still shielding the dirtied windows of the West Wing from prying eyes. The house is a permanent fixture in time, unchanged and unmoved, both loved and despised by those who resided inside it’s steadfast walls. It stands proud even amongst the ruin, the death and decay littered all around, rotting twigs and the memories of summers now long since gone.
Sometimes he wishes he’d never laid his eyes on the building, had never set foot inside its grand hallway and stood underneath the sweeping staircase. Sometimes he wishes he’d never got swept up in charming blue eyes and sun kissed blonde hair.
And sometimes, sometimes, he wishes he’d never left at all.
A prickle of static runs through the air, a signal of an incoming storm which is only further compounded by the first drops of rain falling from the heavy clouds above. He rubs at his bare forearms, the thin hairs standing on end as the rain runs over his skin.
He looks back at the house and watches with horror as the rust red washes down the stone walls, the colour bleeding from the brick as if an open wound. The house begins to decompose before his eyes and he quickly realises that he must be in the midst of a dream, for he would not be stood before this building under any other circumstance.
A shell remains, blackened and scorched as the rain continues to fall. For a moment he’s sure he hears a bitter laugh of a woman, wicked and scorned echoing from the wreckage, but dismisses it as folly. Nothing more than yet another figment of his overactive imagination.
The image around him begins to blur and smudge at the edges as his thoughts stir, and the cold water on his skin flips between icy pinpricks and warm rays. He hears the sound of waves and sea birds amongst the dim ripple of thunder, and feels his mind begin to slip back toward consciousness. The world around him moves as a presence shifts beside him and suddenly Home Farm is gone, lost to the darkness once more.