Fatigue weighs heavily on my eyelids,
As the evening rains down from the sky.
Twilight shows what once was hidden,
And stars shine down from on high.
But nevertheless I will tell you this story,
That begins many decades ago.
It takes place in the village of Saltdale,
In which year I do not know.
The townsfolk who lived there were very religious,
And for the most part also content.
They would heartily celebrate Christmas season,
And actively fast during Lent.
The village itself consisted of stone boxes,
Each one too modest for size.
Each house was too shy to shadow its neighbour,
Each tree was too humble to rise.
In the season of autumn the leaves would brown,
Come winter their branches were bare.
The coming of spring thawed frosted grass,
And come summer the weather was fair.
It all started one night in November,
During a lively indoor ball.
Mr Barnes was holding it in his home,
A man full of vigour and gall.
While mothers and fathers danced troubles away,
The children stood in the corner depressed.
Their parents would not let them play outside,
Or even go home to rest.
Three children indeed were looking quite glum,
Sebastian, Richard, and Lucy.
They knew their families were having fun,
But for what reason they could not see.
Sebastian's yo-yo drooped up and down,
As slow as a turtle's crawl.
His boredom had grown to an intolerable point,
That he thought he might sit down and bawl.
Beside him Lucy was feeling quite tired,
Her mind was falling asleep.
She'd hoped to fight it and stay awake,
But her fatigue ran very deep.
Among these two slumped children sat Richard,
Who was usually boisterous and loud.
But tonight he was as quiet as his friends,
As he watched the tumultuous crowd.
As time stretched by their patience stretched thin,
And Richard could take it no more.
"Enough!" he cried. "Stop flinging that yo-yo,
Or I'll fling you into the wall!"
"Oh leave him alone," said Lucy. "He's bored,
And quite frankly so am I."
"It seems like this night will last forever,"
Sebastian exclaimed with a sigh.
"Come on you whingers!" Richard burst out,
"This party is far from done.
We still have time before we go home,
Lets sneak out and have some fun."
Lucy looked up and widened her eyes,
"Have you gone mad?" she said.
"We'll get in trouble if we get caught,"
She began to shake her head.
"But we won't get caught, I promise, I swear,
We can sneak out through the back window.
And no-one will notice we're gone once we do,
They're busy enjoying the show."
"And what if they DO notice that we're gone?
"Come on Sebastian, tell him."
But Sebastian looked up at Lucy and shrugged,
Then went back to his yo-yo again.
"Ugh!" exclaimed Lucy and threw up her arms,
"Why can't you stand up for yourself?"
Sebastian mumbled and hunched his shoulders,
The boy wasn't in very good health.
"You two are just chicken," Richard chided,
"Don't you want to get out of here?"
"Of course we do Richard," Lucy replied,
"But the grown-ups are still very near."
"So what?" said Richard and folded his arms,
"That makes it more dangerous and fun.
"We'll take a chance, it'll be great I promise,
"You'll laugh and thank me when we're done."
Lucy sighed and rubbed her forehead,
"All right," she conceded, "Lets go."
She stood up and looked out the back window,
And marvelled at the glistening snow.
Richard moved with an impatient step,
"Follow me," he called to his friends.
Sebastian hauled himself to his feet,
And walked down the hall to the end.
The window was thin but firm in its right,
The hallway was warm and still.
While outside the blustery wind and night,
Made Sebastian feel quite ill.
"Are you sure we should do this?" he asked,
"The party might end very soon."
But Richard ignored him and unlocked the hinge,
While Lucy gazed out at the moon.
The window flung open with frightening speed,
And Sebastian fell on his rump.
An icy draught blew over their faces,
And Lucy shivered with goosebumps.
Richard glanced back down the hallway,
To make sure no-one had felt the cold.
When seconds ticked by and no adult came,
He gripped the window frame in a strong hold.
Through he went, headfirst into snow,
While Lucy climbed up onto the sill.
She held her breath and dropped to the snow,
But Sebastian had lost his will.
Richard and Lucy picked themselves up,
And coaxed him to climb out the house.
"Come on you coward," Richard egged him on,
"What are you, a man or a mouse?"
Sebastian blinked angrily, pointing his finger,
"Don't call me names!" he cried.
"Ssh, keep your voice down," Lucy whispered,
"They're likely to hear you from inside."
"Now Richard stop teasing him once and for all,
And Sebastian, just climb through the window."
Sebastian paused and looked at Lucy,
Then clambered out onto the snow.
"Its freezing!" he gagged and shot to his feet,
While Richard laughed in delight.
"Careful you don't get a cold," he said,
His voice was full of spite.
Lucy stood up and closed the window,
"All right," she asked Richard, "Now what?"
"Lets make a snowman as fat as Sebastian!"
Sebastian's cheeks went red hot.
He scooped up a snowball in his palms,
And threw it in Richard's face.
"I said don't make fun of me!" he cried,
And threw another in a delicate place.
Richard groaned and fell to the floor,
Writhing about in the snow.
"Well you had it coming," Lucy told Richard,
"Now get on your feet and lets go."
Sebastian and Lucy started walking away,
While Richard looked up with a smirk.
He scooped up a snowball and threw it towards them,
"Hey Sebastian! Heads up you jerk!"
Sebastian turned round and was hit in the head,
Stumbling back onto the snow.
"That wasn't fair!" said Lucy, arms folded,
But Richard laughed "Then learn to throw!"
Sebastian blinked and rubbed his head,
While Lucy prepared her own snowball.
"All right!" whooped Richard, "This is war!
One will stand and one will fall!"
"TWO will stand," said Sebastian bravely,
And got to his feet beside Lucy.
The two of them grinned and Richard froze,
"Oh to hell with it," he shrugged, "Lets party!"
Balls of ice flew through the night air,
Amid the laughter of children.
Mr Barnes' music rang out in the background,
While the women danced with the men.
Outside the warmth of Barnes' home,
A bitter wind blew from the North.
But childish glee glared brighter than day,
As snowballs flew back and forth.
The inky sky drifted by overhead,
And snowflakes fell from above.
The village of Saltdale cuddled up
In a feeling of wamth and love...
...That was the kind of night I enjoyed,
That made me glad I was alive.
It felt really good to be a child,
And to feel so happy in life.
We were surrounded by love and care,
And were raised in a decent town.
We saw and experienced many things,
And lived through many ups and downs.
They say that life's most prominent experiences,
Arise from your childhood years.
When you're happy you laugh much louder,
When you're sad you shed more tears.
Innocence is lost between children and adults,
And maturity is gained instead.
The transition is necessary for us to move on,
For we all need to think with our heads.
But the hearts and minds of children still live,
Deep down inside all our hearts.
And today too many people have let their heads,
Tear their friends and their family apart.
I am but one person and can only say this,
Try to remember your childhood.
Think far back to your fondest memory,
And remember the bad and the good.
Perhaps we can find an old part of ourselves,
A person we wished to forget.
Perhaps we can renew a part of our life,
That has declined into neglect.
And this is where my advice shall end,
For now I must put out my light.
I bid you farewell curious reader,
My name is Lucy. Goodnight.