Above ceilings,
under halls.
Upside rafters,
downside walls

Brick Girl walked and crawled
for what seemed like miles.
Brushing past foundation pins
and slate roofing tiles.

Everywhere she searched,
she located only no-way outside.
But would she be beaten?
Not in this whole world-wide.

Beside an iron girder,
half exposed from cement.
Brick Girl stopped to have a rest
and felt cool air coming from a vent.

A welcome breeze,
cool to her face.
Maybe it also signalled an exit?
A possible way out of this place…

It was dim inside the walls.
So, on looking through the grate,
she was blinded by the sun’s glare.
And for her sight’s return, she had to wait.

But in the absence of vision,
other senses rallied to arms.
Flora scents of the freshest days.
Fauna singing of natures charms.

The white brightness
gave way to green.
A Fairytale garden,
as if from a dream.

She saw roses and tulips
and daisybell flowers.
Foxglove and catmitten,
under apple blossom showers.

A little way off,
swayed acres full of heather.
And further still what looked to be
red strawberry fields, forever.

Musical breezes drifted through the garden.
This made Brick Girl think of school.
Children mouthing hymns at harvest festival,
of Easter breaks, and April’s fool.

She loved the sound of singing
and the tranquillity outside the house.
But suddenly— Brick Girl realised she was being watched
by two beady eyes of a curious wee mouse.

‘Where did you spring from?’
cried Brick Girl, ‘I never heard you coming.’
‘I was simply wandering past,’ explained Mouse,
‘when I heard your sweet voice humming.’

‘Oh!’ she said, suddenly embarrassed.
‘I never realised I was singing.
I was dreaming the world go-by
and wishing I was outside playing.’

‘Do the girls often play out?’
she asked Mouse.
‘No.’ he sternly answered.
‘They’ve never ever left this house.’

‘…!’ was Brick Girl’s stunned reply,
‘but it’s such a lovely place.
The world is lovely when the sun is warm,
and it’s shining on your face.’

‘Don’t tell the girls,’ advised Mouse,
‘I think it would be wise
for all this is better left unsaid—’
‘What? Hmph! But Mouse…
I think it would be a wonderful surprise.’

I’m not talking about keeping secrets.
Or telling lies.’
Mouse’s beaded eyes then questioned,
‘Do you not realise what that garden implies?’

Brick Girl was unsettled
by the small rodent’s tone.
His black eyes pierced into marrow,
tunnelling right through her bone.

Determined not to be beaten.
Mistrusting secrets and lies
Brick Girl ignorantly repeated her words,
‘I still think it would be a wonderful surprise.’

‘Okay,’ said Mouse reluctantly,
‘a surprise is just the thing.
But a bee with honey in it’s mouth,
in it’s tail, has a sting.’

‘What do you mean Mouse?
I really don’t see…
I’m not sure what you’re talking of
with words of honey and of bees.’

‘Its a word of caution,‘ Mouse said,
‘and caution here is indeed due.
I believe, Thomas Campbell phrased it best when he wrote
“Distance lends enchantment to the view”.’

‘But,’ Mouse said, ‘that’s largely irrelevant,
as you haven’t yet found the garden gate.
You shouldn’t build up the girls hopes of going out,
unless you’re prepared to make them wait.
And wait.
And wait.’

Reluctantly Brick Girl agreed,
‘I can half see the sense in that.’
Mouse replied, ‘Maybe tomorrow you could look again,’
whilst he smiled like a Cheshire rat.

*

Mouse scuttled off first,
Brick Girl followed.
Winding a path inside a house
that is filled full of hollows.

It was growing dusky
when the two arrived back to a scene
of the other girls who were discussing:
where the pair could have been?

In unison Brick Girl and Mouse answered
(with a wink that went unseen),
‘Nowhere was where we were.
Nothing was what we seen.’

*

An undercurrent of something.
Half-a-suspicion of half-a-doubt.
Brief unease between Mouse and Brick Girl
over the question of going out…

_

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