#19 : The Best of All Possible Playgrounds
Through a small gate at the end of an old street in London was an unassuming wrought iron gate, a gate which lead down a leafy overgrown pathway to a magical kingdom. The best playground there had ever been. Swings. Roundabouts. Climbing frames. A wooden castle with a forty foot helter skelter. An intricate giant spiral slide.
And while this may seem underwhelming to you in these days of xbox, iphone and twenty four hour news coverage, the kids put these things aside and flocked there whenever they could.
And if this does seem underwhelming to you, you are drunk or too old and should not enter. For while children will leave their multicoloured screens and have a great time in the morning dew and afternoon sun, the park would always eat alive any adult who should set foot inside.
Sam and Eric stood by the gate. Eric's younger sister, Charleen had just ran inside with her friends Alice and Kylie. Sam and Eric hesitated.
“Do you think... maybe... we're a bit old now?” said Sam
“I'm fourteen in July” said Eric
“Fourteen is definitely too old. Jeremy was fourteen, and went in there with Catherine. She came out and he didn't. Said he'd tried to feel her up, but she wouldn't say what happened after. She won't come near, now” said Sam
“Jeremy deserved it” said Eric
“You're fancy her? Hah!” said Sam “If you want to go find Catherine, we can do that instead, but she hangs out with those lads from East”
“You're only just thirteen” said Eric “You should go in. I'll wait here.”
Sam thought about Charleen. He wanted to go in the park, but he didn't care for rope swings and climbing frames.
“I think... I don't think it's how old you are in years” said Sam “Got nothing to do with Birthdays. I think the park decides who's adult and who isn't”
“You want to go find Catherine?” said Eric.
“Are you not worried about your sister?” said Sam.
And so they waited.