Day 4 was write a story that is set in a warm room.
Here's mine - an excerpt from something I will try to finish soon
THE LAST SHIPWRECK
“I remember clearly that it was the first week of Michaelmas when the Dean invited me to dine with him in his quarters. The invitation was one I was only too glad to accept, the first anniversary of my wife’s passing had found me in varying shades of maudlin self-absorption and the opportunity to distract my mind – if only for a few hours – from sad and dismal contemplation was to be gratefully taken.
It was an excellent meal. The Dean’s cook, a plump lady in her middle years, had rendered us quite immobile with roast beef, carrots, potatoes and peas – all but drowned in the most succulent gravy I had ever tasted. Our passage to invalidity, I am almost ashamed to say, was aided by a bottle and a half of a most splendid claret. My comfort would have been unsurpassable were it not for the knowledge that outside the weather had turned most treacherous. Having retired to the Dean’s drawing room, warmed by both the excellent beef and the glowing hearth by which we now sat, I had begun to feel the first stirrings of tiredness when the Dean suddenly spoke.
“Do I strike you as an honest man?”
Surprisingly unnerved by this question, I replied that he did.
The Dean poured two more large glasses of the claret.
“The white collar does not guarantee a truthful tongue. Even the most proud soldier of Christ must sometimes bear false witness, my dear boy. Sometimes the truth evades us as it evades all men. I have seen fit to hide things that would shock even the hardest of hearts. But there is one terrible truth which I feel compelled to share with you if you would be so kind as to indulge an elderly fool.”
The rain grew bolder outside.
“Mrs Butterworth will make you a room up. No point in wasting the warmth of the beef by venturing anywhere in that storm.”
I thanked the Dean and reached for my glass. The Dean rose from his chair and steadied himself before the glowering hearth, his head bowed. He seemed troubled. Just as I was about to enquire as to his wellbeing, he straightened himself and turned towards me.
“What I am about to tell you is something I have not spoken of for over 20 years. I had presumed I would take it with me to my grave but I fear it may be an omission which I will pay for in the hereafter.”
The Dean sat himself, his tearful eyes lit by the flames.
“The year was 1850. I was based at a small Cornish village called Stonesizes. I had taken over the church there when the previous incumbent, a man named Treville, was found to have fallen off a perilous path close to the cliffs….”
Though it is some time since that evening, there is not a part of me that wishes I had taken leave of my host there and then. For though the storm that raged outside that night would pass by the time the sun had risen, how I wish I could say the same for the tempest that has troubled my mind ever since.”