The Blue Shed Door

Dirty snow is piling against the poor much maligned blue shed door. Discovery Range Rovers splash slush. The little painted gnome nailed to the lintel ever before I came here gleams in thin light. Mrs. Robin Redbreast has her eyes on a nest space inside. Sweet peas still cling to the ivy. I have hung a heart made from sea shells and old buttons and Tibetan prayer flags to fly thoughts of peace directly at the blue door. To all who pass here I send only energies of love and kindness. For decades I have been trapped at home raising kids, writing non-sensitive poemicals of potion mixing and herbal healing. For decades I have washed and hung clothes, only for John Fraser to splash them with mud as he zooms past in one of his cars.
It is all out there beyond my kitchen window, behind the green glass bottle with the orange candle burning on my window sill. Out there, on the other side of the lane, the most gossiped about shed door in Scotland. It is all I need to know of the world.
I am 52 years young this morning and I have printed and distributed all around the village, copies of the email some kind soul saw fit to send me. Enough of the witch picking ways of the small limp dick men here in Moray. Let me read to you some brief lines of the latest surreal story from sea side Tory Town. Sit down and don’t speak. Don’t even comment.
‘The woman in number twelve needs to be controlled. She has left her shed door open and she chops wood in the lane.’
I am the woman who lives in number twelve. I go to the shed to get wood. I heat my home from wood stoves, carrying whole trees from the beach for twenty one lunar cycles, sawing, chopping, stacking with ne’er an offer of a hand from the witch pickers. I stack wood where I can. My daughter helps. Friends help. The men who gather to touch elbows whispering my name are demanding my attention currently. They have been speeding ever faster in expanded vehicles up and down and up and down passed my house. Oft have I imagined Royalty came up the tiny track twice a year. The birds would silence and flee. Their cars demand the lane. I do not yet know the names of all these men who wish ill on women. I have lived at number twelve since I married into the place. My man is dead twenty year. Twenty year I kept out of sight of them. Until now. Now they are emailing each other in an attempt to control me. They have formed a group, in which they discuss my failings and what they should do about me. They did this once before, when my man died and the bairns were wee. The slitherer Martin Davies threatened me all the time with Polis or social workers, used to boast aloud that I was treating my children badly. His pal, Hector MacBridie is the very epitome of toxic male syndrome. That’s arseholes these days. Bored, retired wealthy wankers I refused to fuck with for two decades have chosen me as this month’s witch baiting contestant in their private game of petty. The McSkinkers, Dunbars, Inneses and their ilk have spawned centuries of women hating boys. From the tenth century, the ancestors of my neighbours have persecuted vulnerable females.
We are a thousand years later yet stuck in time. Nothing has changed the habits of historical witch hunters on the Moray coast in all those years. The McSkinkers had a witch picker in every branch of their family for three hundred years. Their legacy lives on. These men now own all they can own. Land, cash, cars, women and foreign travel are daily habits, not luxuries. Gossip is the social currency here. Small men who used to wear pointy Puritan hats gather to peddle poisonous snippets of rumour and innuendo. East coast Scottish villages are made of myth and murder.
John Fraser, the builder with the most land took agin me last August when I didn’t step off the lane quick enough for him. I saw it in his face then, the way he was fuming inside that I couldn’t leap into action. He had bought another faster car he wanted to speed down the wee vennel we share as access. There I was, with children and grand children, unloading logs from the car. He shouted then, that day and my daughter’s husband bade me be quiet.
He has written to his neighbours begging for help to teach me a lesson. He objects to the pots of plants in my garden. He objects to the clothes pegs I dropped. But more, much more than this, he objects to the shed door being open.
He cannot drive at thirty miles an hour, pissed out of his head, fresh from his lover’s bed if my shed door is open. He hit it once, drunk as a lord at 4 in the evening. He was lucky he hadn’t knocked over my three year old granddaughter who was washing worms in the watering can, sat on a low child-sized bench.
I came here when I married my man. He told me, his mother told me. This village is the gossipiest little village on the planet. They used to club seals when I first came. They had no stories of the peoples of the sea. They had executed all the women who held tales of nature, for hundreds of years. Some still act out the only life they have ever known.
Tomorrow I shall post the next instalment on the community notice board. The email I was sent reads ‘she’s at it again, the shed door is wide open. Hector McBridie is going to take a photograph.‘ It urges the local men to ‘stand together and have this nightmare neighbour stopped.’ It is signed John Fraser, builder.
Hector McBridie is eighty. If you ever needed a template on which to characterise a total wanker, you would use Hector. He bought himself a drone last summer and spent the long sunny evenings stalking my fourteen year old blossoming granddaughter with it. He trailed her along the dunes and to the play park. One day he brought his four year old son, for the laugh. She still visits me. She raises her middle finger aloft until they piss off.
These ole boys burn oil. Christmas logs were delivered split and seasoned, stacked decoratively as masterpieces. When I broke my leg, Hector’s wife gave me a parking ticket. I was being unloaded into a wheelchair. The car was fifteen centimetres on her space. Mrs. MacInnes had a stormy fury when I used a clothes line. She tried to bill me for a hundred pounds for the use of the falling down old communal pole and ropes no bugger used. I have been stalked by both women and men, down dark tiny lanes, in between the gaps of houses, over deserted mansions’ manicured lawns, all for a kiss.
Yet. Here, in this surreal seaside cove I meet the world’s finest womenfolk every single day.
The women know. Most of them. They know their men are acting out parts they remember playing incarnations passed. They keep them anyway. Mostly we keep our men. This village has more accidental shootings and poisonings than the next cove down the road and through the forest and on a wee bit. The next toon has a Hell’s Hole, Witches Well, where women were sent naked to drown slowly if they spoke of old ways or healing ways or different ways. Most the girls in my village knows the men are toxic. Some dinnae give a shite ‘cos of the money and the life. Me and the other grannies, well, we just laugh. We dinnae now even need booze. We have cannabis oils and the cha-cha. And each other.
There’s a group of us get together in a garage on a Wednesday evening. We have a community ETSY shop selling potions and remedies. We are called Freedom Cosmetics and we have been mixing massage oils and lube for private and public markets. It has been spoken about at the bar in the Inn. It is frowned upon. My group of girls have husbands blabber at bedtime to gain attention. Me and my group of girls, we do not ever blabber about each other, no, not ever. We remember our sisters see; the ones who pointed fingers to gain the man’s attention. We knows too too well gossip pointing used to kill girls here in Moray.
We make oils with love only love and we has to not have negativity in our minds or hearts. We watch with wonder the mystery of alchemy every Wednesday and we love each other for it. Last night we met to speak to the souls of the men who hate the poor much maligned blue shed door. We lit candles in the shed. We sat in a circle, with a fire and effigies ready. We chanted for beginnings, calling their names. For every beginning there must be an ending, a death to the old ways. There must be a hard ripping apart of the known, for the change to begin. We prayed to our Mother’s mothers and we begged to be the last to witness these ways of witch pickers. We know they must choose their return to nature.
We have spelled them, asked that they may know change. We will stand and laugh together then.
the poor blue shed door

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One thought on “The Blue Shed Door

  1. Pingback: Guest post by Saoirse | councilhousepublishing

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