The Snook

The modern day picturesque village of Snookington was known as the Snook. It used to be a charming little place set in beautiful countryside, but large swathes of forest had been cut down and housing estates now surrounded the original characterful cottages. An urban sprawl joined the village with surrounding towns in almost every direction. It was regarded as one of SmogCity’s leading urban villages. At one edge lay a token farm besieged by the metropolitan expanse. But the local powers-that-be intended to bulldoze the farm and replace it with more houses in order to stamp out any semblance of green.

Roads spread out in all directions like a spider’s web. In some places, the medieval black and white timber-framed cottages still stood, as did the more traditional stone-built houses. But modern homes now dominated the Snook, which diluted its old and distinct nature. Its residents often clung to the belief it was still a village in order to retain an element of prestige and look down on the people living in adjacent towns.

A railway line bisected the Snook. To the North was the ‘Good Side of the Snook’ and the other direction was the ‘Wrong Side of the tracks.’ The posher and more prosperous people lived in expensive houses in the Northern section of the village while those of more shameful origins lived in cheaper accommodation to the South. The grandly named River Snook was really a bigged-up stream which meandered along the shallow valley and trickled by some of the nicer houses.

The lower High Street was pedestrianised with cobblestones. Tables and chairs were arranged outside the restaurants and cafes. It was ideal for people-watching and idling away the time. Toward the upper High Street, cars crammed into parking spaces and drivers angrily beeped horns at each other while trying to manoeuvre their status-wagons. The High Street widened toward the leafy crest of a hill. There were more trees up there but some had recently been cut down without explanation. On top of the hill, a flint and stone church towered over the traditional shopfronts with leaded windows. Many buildings had roofs warped by time.

Copyright © 2021 Callum Stanford.  All rights reserved.

Author: C.Stanford

Writer, blogger, outsider, survivor.

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