It was an easy amble along the cliff top until they could see the old tower standing majestically overlooking the cove.
As they approached, the ruins of the old abbey came into full view and the memory of childhood adventures came rushing back, like a tidal wave, into Joanna’s mind. They were such happy times. It was always the three of them. Joanna, Mindy and Steven. The Three Musketeers – all for one, one for all. They had been inseparable. Mindy looked at Jo and they both smiled, knowing each other’s thoughts as if they were their own. It had always been that way.
The large oak door to the tower was noticeably open as they scrambled up the hill. The wind whipping their long hair around their faces making it hard to see where they were going and the sun was bright in their eyes.
They could make out a silhouette in the doorway. At first glance Mindy thought it was Steven and called out his name. There was no response. As they got closer they could see that it wasn’t. A man, probably around the same age as Steven was smiling at them in a friendly, welcoming way.
“Hello there” he said, holding out his hand. “My name is Charles Webster and I represent the owner of this property”
Joanna and Mindy stopped in their tracks, surprised and confused.
“What?” Said Joanna. “I…. l don’t understand”
She continued, “The ruins, and the land it is on, is owned by the village”
“Yes, that’s right”, blurted out Mindy. “Do you have some identification?
Charles Webster, Solicitor, produced his business card.
“What is going on here?” Said Mindy. “Are you some kind of shark?”
“This property has been owned by the village of Glen Cove for three centuries. It would never be sold”
“I’m sorry but it has” Charles Webster contradicted her.
Both Joanna and Mindy were beginning to be visibly upset. This was supposed to be a happy reunion of the three childhood friends at their most cherished place. They had played on the ruins of the old abbey for many summers, pretending and dreaming. Living out fantasies of damsels in distress calling from the top of the tower to the gallant knight down below. Other times, Steven pretending to be Friar Tuck and the girls taking turns at being Maid Marian or Robin Hood.
Joanna walked away and was silent for a long time. These were the happiest times of their lives and most likely whoever had purchased the property would raze everything to the ground and build some obnoxious looking, oversized house dominating the coastline. How could this happen without them knowing? Why hadn’t their families or someone in the village let them know what was going on? She realized sadly the only thing that is inevitable is change and if that was the way it was going to be, there was nothing they could do about it.
She walked back to where she had left Mindy and the Solicitor. “Ok”, said Joanna eventually to Charles Webster. “Who exactly do you represent?”
At that moment, the large oak door was pulled open and Steven stepped out.
“Surprise!” He said gleefully. The girls stood there mouths open in shock.
Steven continued, “There was no way this wonderful place was ever going to be sold to a developer. The village needed the cash and I made sure they got it and their history and our memories are preserved.”
“Charlie and I had you going there for a while didn’t we?” he said wickedly, winking at his friend. Typical of Steven
The three old friends hugged each other and through their tears of joy they chimed.
“All for one, one for all”
Multiple Word Prompts today…..Phew!