The Charcoal Sketches: A Memory of Shakespeare Moor

Shakespeare Moor is a quiet village haunted by unspoken memories. We begin with a folio of charcoal sketches bearing the signature of a soul named Tristan MacDonald.

The gray stone church, St, Alban's, is the ancient heart of this village on Shakespeare Moor.  It is a village that somehow never found much other purpose than being that quiet, lonely village on the broad, dark fields of peat, kept forever mossy green by way of the mist that endlessly drifts in off the North Atlantic. 

At one time, the fishing boats would come up the river and tie up for a night, but no more.  When the Black Fever came through, the fishermen all went away.  And the old ones were laid to rest in the graveyard with the saints and the sinners of the time long forgotten.

The cedar shingled cottages have begun to weather away.  A few have fallen,  a few cling to life, leaning into the wind, much like the townsfolk of this little realm of fog and an occasional summer day. 

The church bell still rings as does the bell on the harbor buoy when the northeast winds rise in the late of night.  The men wrapped in their black woolen coats and their tartan scarves still smoke their pipes and drink their ale and tell their tales.  The women still stroll about the streets in their windblown skirts and their tresses of nightly brushed hair, conducting the business of the simple life.

Everything ages slowly here in the village.  Here by the moor, time gathers much like how dust gathers on old books and as the patina gathers upon the copper on the town hall roof.    There is no progress, only a deepening of what was.   Where as most places have both dreams and memories, here there are but memories growing older and older.

Once more the church bell tolls and in the harbor, an echo begins to rise and a cold wind sails in.  And the Right Reverend Stewart triggers the brass bell on the door of the Old Bailey Bookstore.




The End

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