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Corrugated iron; crumbling orange-red and ferrous to the taste, like a bitten lip. We lay upon the shed roof, an undulating, uncomfortable platform for any period of rest but the best vantage point.

Hidden here, we could be sure that any follower would have to clamber noisily over the iron sheeting, each step compressing and clanging back on the previous one.

The early morning had rimed the metal surface with a little chill but not enough to put us off. We had straddled the gap between the oak tree trunk and the corner of the pre-war fencing, so that our plimsolled feet scuttered and pressed, on toes, upwards. Our arms reached out to gain purchase on the roof struts, then hauled our skinny bodies across the harshly corrugated plain, towels spread under us for protection. A cut here was washed out with a spit and lick, the flecks of rust forgotten and brushed off in haste.

With the outdoor swim before breakfast completed, on went the summer of our early adolescent dares. Looking over the shed front, we saw the open water expanse of the lido reflecting sunlight, blue and rippling.

Our damp fringes dripped. The water trickled, mixing with the orangey rust and silting beneath our prone bodies. And now, squinting one-eyed through the up-peeled line of the panel, cheek pressed flat, we could just see a distant pair of feet behind a partition, slapping in a puddle with a series of hops and untangling the wet bikini bottoms with a flick of the toes. Lengths taken; scant reward.

Story by:

Chris B

26 June 2015