The Yellow Castle

Contributor: Julie Lye

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The house had stood empty for years. It had once been a bright yellow house full of laughter and love, always busy with music or cooking smells wafting out of it, anyone was welcome, it was that kind of house, but that was many years ago now. Annie could tell you about the house, she had been a small girl when it was built and even though she was now one hundred and two years old she could recall it as if it were yesterday.
Annie must have been about five or six when the men began to build the yellow house. She could still remember how very excited she’d felt and recalled how she would sit on the steps of her parents porch chin in hands watching with amazement. She’d never seen a castle being built and the workmen were always friendly, she often saw her Grandpa talking to them and very often they’d drop some sweeties off for her.
The house grew very slowly to begin with, there was the floor to put down first but then after the first two or three months day by day the house began to grow. Before going in for her dinner each evening Annie would stare at the house almost willing it to grow. It grew and grew; it had three storeys and a big drive, a huge wooden front door, a very odd squiggly roof and lots and lots of windows.
Annie was at school the day it was painted and still remembers how bright the house looked when walking home that day with her mother. Her father had called it an over ugly giant bird box, but she didn’t agree. It was huge yes but it was also amazing and vibrant, it almost smiled at you and it seemed to shout come and play. It was magic and to little Annie it was nothing less than a fantastic and colourful castle.
Eventually on a Saturday morning as she recalled, the big removal truck arrived with three stocky men in brown uniforms declaring they were ‘removals’. The whole street had either been out in their picket fenced gardens or peeping from behind twitching curtains. Annie had of course taken up her residence on the steps of their small yet clean porch. The usual type of big furniture had been carried in, sofas, beds, dressers and a huge dark dining table.
It was all very exciting and to this day she remembers how her skin had tingled with curiosity and how tiny goosey bumps had appeared on her arms. She had run into tell her mother all about it but had been told to be a good girl and try not to be too nosey. Her mother was like that, she wasn’t interested in what was going on elsewhere, she was only ever interested in her father, her brother and of course herself. Annie loved her mum lots and lots.
As we talked a tear ran down Annie’s face as the memory of being a little girl and of her mother washed over her.
After a big hug and a cookie Annie returned to her post and continued her vigil. It was soon to be rewarded for a large black car pulled up and out from it climbed a giant!
Her hands involuntarily clasped over her mouth in a gasp, as they must have done on that day.
A giant, how can that be, weren’t they only true in fairy tales? They weren’t real were they? So many questions ran through her head, but Annie, being a good girl, stayed sat in her usual position, eyes agog as she watched the giant walk around the car and open the door for the most beautiful lady that she had ever seen. It was like a fairy tale, there was a giant and a beautiful princess, Annie couldn’t believe her luck, they’d come to live here in the big yellow castle! A few moments later three children emerged from the big black car, two boys and a girl. They began running around the car skipping and singing, could they be new friends or were they all ogres and want to eat her?
Annie became scared and ran indoors bumping straight into Grandpa who caught her and spun her round in the air, she loved flying with Grandpa it made her tummy giggle inside.
Annie grew tired and I knew our interview was over for the day. I thanked her for her hospitality and asked if I could come again, I had a feeling there were a lot more stories to listen to from Annie. She said I could come back the same time next week if I’d like to but could I please bring some Jelly Babies.

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I have always loved reading and recently discovered how much I enjoy writing when I joined the local writers group.
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