Hello all you Lark Rise to Candleford fans! Season 4 just started and I am seriously lamenting the loss of Fisher Bloom. Nothing against Daniel, but I love Fisher's aloof, man-of-the-road sensibility, and his floppy hair. Next episode is meant to feature a local poetry contest. Here's a bit of a twist… a Fisher returns to glory twist. Please review!
I wake with the sun this morning, just like every morning. The temporary bed, swaddled in temporary sheets, holds my body tightly. It takes me several moments to identify my surroundings; I have been on the move more and more of late. This morning, the light of Inglestone shines bleakly across my lids.
I know this as surely as I know my own name. And yet, I know this, not because of the sun, or the bed, or the sheets, or even the "Welcome to Inglestone" sign that hangs just outside the window. My powers of deduction lie elsewhere.
My methodology in deciphering my location is a bit more curious. Every morning, at first light, I wrack my brain trying to associate my surroundings in relation to one place on the map. First light has me seeking out a strange epicenter:
How far am I now from Candleford? Am I nearer? Or am I farther?
My hands take on a slight tremor and I feel a bit dizzy when I can't get there in a day. My bones ache and grind, as if I have aged overnight, if I am more than two days journey from that fated place. And if I am separated from Candleford by more than three days, I am crippled with nausea and cold sweats, which refuse to abate until I am moving once again toward that dreaded town.
Some days I want rage against myself. I want to get as far away as possible, to the other side of the world. I want retreat from the scathingly irrational emotions that place incites.
But, when I step farther away, my skin starts itching, I can't keep my mind quiet, and I am nervous and fidgety with my hands. My work suffers. Time loses meaning.
And so I move closer.
I take a job in Fordlow or Inglestone and feel my body relax into itself. I let my fingers find their true work; let them move with precision and mastery of the cogs and wheels. The pins slide flawlessly into their casings, the gears click and catch with the regularity of sureness of time itself. My heart beats safely to the rhythm I have created.
However, the onset of ticking time reminds me that I must go. Must move on, must move farther down the road. And so I retreat from that magnetized region and drag my body, one step and then another, away from her pull.
I loathe her for her reign over my hands. My hands, which once were my own, now defy me. I fear they wish only to touch the soft copper locks of her hair, caress the porcelain skin, and trace the constellation of freckles from her chin to places never seen by the sun.
I left her for freedom. I left Candleford for the adventurer's path, and find myself tethered to her still.
And so today I wake in a town not far from her. I breathe deeply and stretch my rested muscles. They move and react with ease and predictability. I am in control of my body again.
The sheets collapse against themselves and I am free of their grasp. If only her hold were as flimsy.
I can hear the rumbling of early risers in the house beneath me. I am staying in an attic-like room above a large family with many young children. They thunder and clash below the floor boards like a storm coming in off the ocean, growing louder and more tumultuous as the day progresses; waning and sputtering as the sun withdraws.
I dress and prepare myself quickly, hoping to depart before the house takes on a tornado-like quality. I tread lightly on the stair and smile politely to my host, accepting the hot tea she offers. I drink it standing up.
"Thank you, Mrs. Loffer"
"Of course, dear boy. I can't have you running off without a spot of tea, now can I?" Her eyes shine with the magic of goodness and she is swept away in the tide of her children, scurrying too and fro, her body swaying and tipping precariously as she moves.
I slip out the door, heading toward the forgery.
The weight of my tools balance my movements. The metal evolves and reshapes, the pieces fit together effortlessly. My mind falls into the evenness of creating time.
My head turns instinctively.
It is Ruby Pratt. I smile sheepishly. I haven't seen anyone from Candleford is so long.
"Ms. Pratt. Lovely to see you."
"Oh, Mr. Bloom, are you building a clock for the people of Inglestone?"
"I must tell you, your clock tower is such a vital piece of the Candleford community. Such a work of mastery. Art really," She praised.
"Thank you Ms. Pratt. High praises, I am truly grateful." I paused, "Tell me, Ms. Pratt, how is everyone in Candleford?" I probed wantonly, my tongue disobeying me at every turn.
"Oh, you know Candleford, always the same. My sister and I are sewing, Dorcas Lane is still running the post office and muddling around in everyone's affairs, Tomas Brown is still delivering," she smiled, obtusely misunderstanding my question.
"Yes, well, very good. No news is good news, as they say."
"News! That's what I was forgetting. Daniel, you remember him; well his Newspaper is doing remarkably well. We are having a poetry contest. I was actually coming here to investigate the Inglestone library, to do a bit of poetry research." She giggled like a schoolgirl.
"A poetry contest?" Of course Daniel would concoct some nonsensical good fun to bond the community and appeal to Laura's artistic side. I smiled through my internal ill will of Candleford's resident news legend.
"Yes. It is going to be stupendous!" She clapped her hands together daintily.
"I take it you are planning on entering a poem?" I ventured.
"Most definitely. But, I am determined to find some kind of inspiration first."
"I see. And can anyone enter the contest?"
"Why, Mr. Bloom, are you a poet, as well as a clock maker?"
"Maybe I am" I smiled good-humoredly.
"How wonderful. I'm sure Daniel will surely enjoy his contest having farther reaches."
"Yes. Perhaps you might not mention my interest just yet. I'm not sure I have anything worthy of putting pen to paper."
"Nonsense. But, don't you worry Fisher Bloom, your secret is safe with me." She said, her voice taking on a more serious tone.
I have never doubted something so much in my life.
Thank you for reading! Indulge me with a review and I guarantee I'll be twice as likely to post a second chapter (which would undoubtedly bring these 2 star-crossed lovers together- and may even change the rating).