Read with coffee: Behind the Garden gate.

Ebony and Lilly fixated there eyes upon a gate which surely wasn’t any taller than a meter and a half. The metal hinges and hoop door handle had become a rusty orange; the wood of the gate itself had become worn and chiped, almost rotting from the persisting remainance of dampness. The gate seemed visually unplesant and almost unbearable to want to touch, but the elegant trailinging rose bush aching above and beside the displeasing gate made the girls feel inquisitive. What was on the other side of the gate?

Lilly knelt on the soggy, grey paving stones in front of the gate; enabling Ebony to stand uneasily on Lilly’s back. After a few attempts Ebony was able to stand tall enough to peer over the gate and through between the overgrown bush. Lilly struggled underneath Ebony’s weight; her once pure white Spring dress began to tear and discolour at the knees. Lilly was impatient to hear about what Ebony could see, but Ebony was too distracted by the splinters in her fingers to inform Lilly of her findings.

Despite all their efforts, all Ebony could see was a glimpse of what appeared to be a table. A table with a red and white checkered cloth draping over it. A picnic table perhaps? The gate wasn’t locked but the girls were hesitatant about whether or not they would be trespassing if they walked past the gate and onto unknown land. They instinctively grasped each others hands, and nodded to eachother: nodding that signified that they would overcome their doubts to enter through the gate together.

Simultaneously the girls, still hand in hand, grabbed the gate’s handle with their free hands and gingerly pulled the gate towards them. Surprisingly not a sound escaped from the gate, the only noise came from dried petals which twirled to the ground like confetti due to disturbance caused by the moving gate. There in front of the girls, stood a large rectangular picnic table surrounded by more than thirty different chairs. Nobody was in sight, regardless of the feast which covered every inch of the table’s surface.

Cucumber and smoked salmon pastry parcels in the shape of bunched money pouches were presented on a blue oval platter: rosemary sprigs topped each pastry as decoration rather than as a garnish. Petite sponge cakes and cheesecakes decorated with whipped cream and seasonal berries sat upon a three-tier stand, just beside a pincher full to the brim with iced rose lemonade. The centre of the table proudly displayed barbecued meats which continued to sizzle. Egg cress sandwiches and chilled chicken and chorizo tortilla wraps spiralled a circular dish. There was an endless amount of side dishes and appetisers; lit vanilla scented candles and vases of freshly cut carnations filled the gaps between the dishes.

Most stunningly of all was the Summer house which faced the table. Hung from the exterior of the windows, beneath the window ledges and from the roof was bunting made from scarps of floral patterned fabrics attached to silky ribbon. As the doors of the summer house were already open the seating arrangements were visable. Wicker armchairs, and khaki green beanbags surrounded a glass table which was almost unrecognisable due to the vast amount of reading materials which covered it almost entirely. Potted plants of mixed colours and types sat on the patio which lead to the summer house; one contained a crumpled handwritten note.

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