Two Houses (Preview)
By Judith Cullen
Mark Murphy glanced at the tourist map one more time, but it might as well have been written in Greek for all the sense it made to him. “I know, we both saw it.” He paused, lowering his voice, “I should have asked for directions, I’ll admit it.”
Cate turned to him indulgently, “I’ll take that admission, and I won’t abuse you with it. Not much, anyhow.” Then she laughed and threw her head back in that way he loved.
This was part of why he had married her – life was just that much brighter, that much “more” when Cate was around. Like now, when they were lost in
on their honeymoon, looking for a hilltop they had both seen clearly from the
front lawn Rathmore House. It had seemed
like such a natural thing to spend their honeymoon exploring their mutual Irish
heritage. They were inexperienced as world travelers, at best, and they really
should have done more homework than they had.
Still and all adversity can lead to adventure, and so far they had
shared that in abundance.
“Look here! This lane seems to go up. This could be promising. Let’s try it and see where it goes.” She was pointing towards a disheveled gate and a scraggly lane of trees leading uphill. What waited at the end of the lane was not clearly in view.
“You call this ‘promising’?” He eyed the gate and the road that left the main track and disappeared to God only knew where. It was a single metal gate between two square stone pillars. They might have been nicely finished once, with an outer coating of sandstone or something to dress them. The metal had a few vestiges of ornamentation left – tiny metal swirls and flourishes. But one of the pillars was almost entirely crumbled away, and the gate hung from the remaining pillar by a single hinge. Squinting his eyes, Mark wasn’t even sure of that. He had the feeling that the gate was held there by habit alone, not by any actual constructive attachment.