Kirsten is a 22 year-old Christian who lives in York. She loves reading, writing, drinking coffee and much more. She's been writing as long as she can remember but has never entered any competitions and this is her first published piece! She is about to return to university to study English Literature and Creative writing and hoped that the Zodiac Challenge would be good preparation. I'm sure she'd appreciate any encouragement or advice fellow writers can give! You can catch up with Kirsten on her blog.
The Water Carrier
The house was a large, old red-brick, with crumbling corners and ivy growing all over its façade. It had large, wooden-framed sash windows with most of the glass missing. The door was huge and heavy and though it had been painted red, the paint had mostly peeled away to show the dark wood underneath. There were several roof tiles missing and one of the chimney stacks was cracked and leaning at a rather precarious angle. The estate agent placed the large, old-looking, brass key in the lock and, with some difficulty, turned it. He pushed open the heavy door which issued a horrible high pitched sound.
Inside, the house was dark and smelt of dust and earth. With all of the broken windows, it had been open to the elements. It would need a lot of work. The estate agent fumbled around for a light switch. There was a click, but they remained in darkness. Clearly the electricity was a little temperamental. The estate agent then made his way through an archway, indicating that the young couple viewing the property should follow. The room they entered was lighter, due to the sunlight coming in through the large windows. It was a sitting room, with a high ceiling and was still mostly furnished; though the furniture looked rather old and battered.
As they wandered from room to room, all high-ceilinged, filled with old furniture and with wallpaper peeling from the walls, the estate agent explained that the property had been empty for a long period because the previous owners had often gone away to Africa to work as aid workers with Water Aid. On their last trip out there, they had gone missing and had never returned. They had had people taking care of the house during the times when they were away, but when they had been reported missing, the staff had not bothered returning. The estate agent shad had difficulty selling it due to its size and location and the amount of work that needed doing to it.
By the time the estate agent had finished talking, they had reached the back of the house and were standing in a long, thin, galley kitchen. There was a small door in one wall. Light streamed through the windows in the top of the door, though it faced the middle of the house rather than the outside of it. They slid back the bolts and pushed the door open. It opened onto a small square patio of off-white flagstones. The space was mostly empty but for a small fountain right in the centre. In the middle of the fountain stood a stone figure; a girl. She wore what appeared to be rags and had no shoes on her feet. She was carrying, on her shoulder, a large water urn, presumably where the water flowed from when the fountain was working. At the foot of the fountain was a plaque that read simply, The Longest Journey.