It's a hot, sticky, late summer St. Louis day. Although the evenings are starting earlier, the overnight temperature is remaining stubbornly in the 70º F's, perpetuating the heat. Next week promises better, but we'll see.
With no great desire to venture out into this weather, however alluring the light might be, I continue to shift through my vacation photographs.
This one caught my eye today. It's the tennis court of Agatha Christie's house, Greenway. I found it by wandering away from the house and looking through a door in a stone wall. Even though the rest of the estate was well-occupied with tourists, this area seemed overlooked. Clearly it was well-kept, but the court had an air of remoteness, not so much in place as in time.I walked onto the red asphalt and began to feel somewhat afraid. There was nothing there that could be construed as an active threat, yet a strange menace hang in the air. Was this where the ghosts of all Christie's murder victims congregated, fictional though they be? Some presence was making itself felt, something that chilled me on this damp, warm, Tuesday, and something that caused me to withdraw rather quickly after taking this photograph.
Outside that walled tennis court the cold atmosphere disappeared immediately, and I was back in a rainy Devon day with my family and all the other people milling around. I even lost that sense of dread and gave the court no further thought.
Until I looked at the photograph. Is there something there I am not seeing, something just out of range of camera's sensor, something unfriendly and a little malevolent that does not relish at all the daily boat trips of curious viewers of the house.
Something that would like to see us all disappear – one way or another.