The Tale of Tobias Squire

(600 words) “Princes … and paupers, all are buried here, sir.” The old man spat into the grave he was digging in the rich brown earth. I’d chanced upon an ancient church, deep in the Norfolk countryside. A long walk down a meandering single-track lane that looked like it would fizzle out in the middle of nowhere. Instead, there was a sizeable farm, this church, ensconced in shadow amongst mature trees, and two cottages, predictably named ‘Church Cottages nos. 1 and 2,’ as indicated by an incongruously modern sign.