- Serial Saturday: Willingworth Farm, Letter One by Mark Colbourne
- Serial Saturday: Willingworth Farm, Letter Two by Mark Colbourne
- Serial Saturday: Willingworth Farm, Letter Three by Mark Colbourne
- Serial Saturday: Willingworth Farm, Letter Four by Mark Colbourne
- Serial Saturday: Willingworth Farm, Letter Five by Mark Colbourne
- Serial Saturday: Willingworth Farm, Letter Six by Mark Colbourne
- Serial Saturday: Willingworth Farm, Letter Seven by Mark Colbourne
- Serial Saturday: Willingworth Farm, Letter Eight by Mark Colbourne
Willingworth Farm: Letter Eight
Ah, that Norfolk countryside, basking beneath a quintessentially English sun… I write these words from a seat at the kitchen table, gazing out at a beatific summer morning. I’m trying to drink the moment in – to frame a photograph in my mind, to burn the image upon my retina. The reasons for this are twofold. Either it will serve as a memory to which I can return no matter where I find myself, or because it will become the very last sight that I see.
The picture does have its imperfections. Although don’t they all? The most treasured snaps are always soured by an unexpected blemish, an unfortunate angle or focus, a buffoonish relative who blinks as the shutter comes down… Here, for instance, the B362 – a slither of road so slight that it is normally simple enough to overlook – is pushing itself to the fore with a convey of speeding police cars. From this distance, I’m unable to hear the blare of sirens, but their blue flashing lights appear to my eyes like small hypnotic dots. As they gradually draw closer, I’m finding it impossible to look away.
It seems that, one way or the other, I have very little time left and therefore, my dear reader, you will have to forgive me if this all begins to feel somewhat rushed. Events have finally overtaken me. Now, I always knew that this would happen – although it was an inevitability I tried very hard to ignore. The phone calls, the occasional knocks on the door, the probing questions and intrusive visits, the baffled relatives, the suspicious detectives… The spinning plates which wobbled and crashed to the ground as I ran desperately panting between their poles. Just how long did I think that I could get away with this? I’m not sure. I’m not sure at all. It’s claimed that every murderer actually wants to be caught. Previously I’d have disagreed, but now… now I just don’t know.
I think about them, you know. All of them. My guests, my visitors. A roll call in my mind of good times and bad; a tumble of faces and feelings. Marcus and Heather, Norman and Margaret, Trevor, Toby and Liz and Sophie and Holly, Steve and Kim, Ian and Cath… and Barbara of course. My first. Forever my first. The one that is replayed in my dreams every night. They all rest in the barn now. Or, at least, for the moment. All too soon, I fear, to be found and disturbed, to be hauled back into the cruelty of this world.
The police cars are now achingly close. Their rise and fall of their klaxon wail corrupts the air. I wonder why they feel this need to announce themselves? I know they’re coming. They know they’re coming. There’s no one else around… exactly which audience are they playing to? But, if nothing else, it is a signal that this small “blog” of mine must draw to an untimely close. There is an option on the table before me. It is an option that is always there, that is forever with us. It is the ultimate option that we have. This is my last chance. I wonder if I’ll have the courage to take it?
And so finally, dear reader, I ask you to remember me. I ask you to remember the people that I have written about; all those lives with whom mine has become intertwined. All those people who came to stay here at Willingworth Farm.