in the middle of nowhere

Typical horror story

I peered outside into the murky darkness. My heart jumped to my throat to the sudden sound of footsteps. I reclined back into the cabin in the woods, with the music from the Bluetooth speakers playing in the background. My head jerked to the sudden…

Sounds pretty much like every other American slasher film; a bunch of twenty-something rent a cabin practically in the middle of nowhere, and all hell breaks loose. That was exactly how it felt I arrived in this place.

For a friend’s birthday weekend, my friends and I rented a nice cottage in a place that none of us had ever heard of before – that was practically in the middle of nowhere. According to the description, the cottage was in a small village called Lower Swell, which was near Kingham, just past Stow-on-the-Wold, and a turn from a place called “the slaughters”. With a place called the Slaughter around the corner on unnamed roads, it was the perfect setting for a horror movie.

Stars in the sky

In awe of it all

As soon as I stepped off the train, I knew the place was different. The air was different, fresher, cleaner, less cluttered unlike the city air. The sky told me the same thing; stars dispersed over the dark horizon, illuminating the night. I was in utter and total awe of it all. It had been a long time since I saw stars, like real stars, and not false flights or satellites posing as stars of time long gone.

Unfortunately, the station was the only place that had any form of light. A step outside of the station’s gate, and all I saw was black. The murky darkness spread and loomed around me. I’d never seen such a thing in England, so I was taken aback. For my comfort (and maybe a little scared), I returned to the comfort of the station’s barriers, comforted by the idea that I could see what was in front of me.

Admittedly, the experience did not start of great; I had to wait at the station for nearly an hour. However, they’re not completely blame-free. After all, they had to navigate their way to a station that was practically in the middle of nowhere, following unnamed roads (thank God for Technology).

Cottage in the Woods

On our way to the cottage, I was still under the allure of the stars; they followed us, and I tried to follow them back. I attempted to trace the lines to form lines of the star constellation; Regulus to the east, Sirius and Regel further down to the south, but I doubt I was actually seeing them.


A step into the cottage and I was buzzing with excitement. People were in the kitchen, cooking (the best thing I saw the whole day). The music thumped in the air, and beverages spread across a dining table that stretched to the far corners of the walls. It was nice. Later that evening we blessed our food and were thankful for the company. As the night went on we were all overwhelmed with nostalgia.  We were no longer in university together. Rather, we were living life, or at least trying to the best of our ability. We are scattered across the country like dotted lines, yet the red strings of fate still kept us connected, somehow. We ended the night by the fireplace, playing games, which some of us were getting a bit too competitive (cough cough).

Battle horses

These horses (ponies) were ready for a fight

The next morning, I woke up mellow, with a smile on my face. The previous night was great, and our itinerary for the day was supposed to be good, although it was going to start later than we anticipated. When everyone was up, we cleaned and cooked a large breakfast, with pancakes, omelette (I made that), fruits, beans and a large list of things you eat in the morning. Later, after some of the girls took two hours to get ready, we set off on our journey, into the woods, fields, and a long-ass walk.

We walked like a flock of the lost following another blind mice. The birthday girl, who led us, checked to ensure we were going the right way.  The truth, she wasn’t sure. Getting mobile data  was another struggle (only worked if we stood a certain way). On our journey, we went through acres of open fields, as the cold air, dried out our lips

We danced through the woods, with one of the group wrapping plastic bags around their shoes so it would not get muddy, yet they was the most hesitant. In the woods, we whistled the tune that Katniss, from the hunger games, whistled during her game with Rue. It was hilarious. We went past more fields, motorway with speeding cars and ponies that looked like they were ready for a fight.


After nearly a three-hour walk, we finally made it to civilisation, to a place called Stow-on-the-Wold (these names really went in on creativity and adding as many hyphens as they possible could). My legs were aching, I was tired and hungry and was beginning to feel a bit Hangry (the result from a lack of food, that one begins to feel angry and frustrated) –just one of the symptoms of being hungry.


Food that healed me of Hangry

Thankfully, it didn’t take long for us to find a good place to eat and fill our stomachs. We were all joyous again. None of us was willing to walk back, so we took a cab back, and within ten minutes were back at the cottage (thank God), and we begin to turn up! The night was long, full alcohol and sweet things.

The final day for me (some stayed a day longer), was practically a write-off. We spend the day curled up on couches as we watched film after film, as people got ready and left the remaining. When I was finally on the train back home, I was only thinking one thing;  I enjoyed the fleeting days, and would love those moments to last forever.



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