Bye Bye Blackbird

Its half past now, I think I’ve done everything.  I tidied round, silly yes but, well that’s me.  John always used to say, when we were going on holiday, “Why are you dusting?  Are you making it clean for the burglars?”  But when we came home and it was all tidy I knew it had been worth it.

Of course there’s no coming back this time is there.  Hm, my tummy does back flips when I think of it.  Strange, when I made the appointment, called the number last week I was very, very calm almost dead inside.  Well you know I was numb.  It was the day after the funeral and I couldn’t feel anything, a grey plastic film over everything.  It’s still there now, but I focused on today and this and it has helped, it really has.

I didn’t think it would be like this.  We had a pact you see, John and me, we agreed years ago.  When the time came we would get some pills, pour some champagne.  Have some lovely music and candlelight.  We had it planned so well, we would eat as well as we were able, and then when we were ready go off together, with the sunset and the blackbird singing.  John had even found out what pills were best and where to get them.

We thought there would be time, possibly some illness yes, but time, to prepare, we never thought it would be like this.

When the police came to the door, no, no, I can’t talk about it.  People have said it will fade with time, I will accept and learn to handle it but I don’t want to you see, I just don’t want to.  I know, oh yes I do know it’s selfish of me but I don’t care, for once in my life I don’t care.

I never would have thought there would be people willing to do this, it’s very brave of them.  When I Googled it, I never thought for a moment there would be so many.  It’s a strange and awful world in some ways but just for me now a blessing.

I’ve tidied round, I’ve taken the cat to Mrs Barraclough, she said she understood and that if I ever wanted her back to just say but I know that she’ll be happy.  I’ve done a note for James, I hope he won’t hate me for this.  I’ve tried to explain but he looked so bereft the other day, so much sorrow and I hate to add to it but he has his life, the children, he’ll be okay.  I hope he’ll forgive me.

I wonder if I should have changed the bed, I didn’t because I didn’t want to leave dirty linen in the basket.  Mind you I’m not going to be in bed, I want it to be here, in the living room looking out on the garden, I want it to be where we were happy.  Oh don’t misunderstand, we had fun in the bedroom, hehe, oh yes, even in the last few years but the living room was where we talked and planned and were together in the lovely evenings.  Just the two of us, close and calm just the way it should be.  I want to sit here and watch the sun go down on the garden and go down with it.

The woman said she’d come at seven, just before sunset, she understood, about the garden and the blackbird song and drifting away with the day.  It’s ten to seven, the money is on the table, and the glass of wine.  I’m nervous, of course I am but a bit excited too, is that strange?  No, no not strange at all.  It’s as if John just went on ahead and now I’m going to meet him.

There’s a car drawing up now, there’s a clause, you sign a second paper, saying that no matter what you won’t back out.  I understand that as well but it was a bit profound signing that.  Oh there she is, oh she’s quite young, pretty.  Used to be a nurse according to the site.  Oh my knees are knocking.  Still here we go, let’s get on with it.  I am looking forward to seeing John again, it’s only been a few days but it’s been lonely doing this on my own.  Still soon be back together.

“Oh hello, dear, hello.  Come on in, just in time, there’s the blackbird now just starting to sing.”

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WIP – Teaser

“Right, this is bloody pathetic. It’s only a sodding woman with a gun anyway. I’m going out there and sort this. Once it’s safe Gloria, you should be able to get a signal for your phone outside, it’ll be the hill and the thick walls that are stopping it.”

“No, Simon!” But it was too late. He took a breath and yelled out as he pushed open the door. There were no words but just howling noise to distract and shock the woman in the car. He had hoped that the crash of the door, the suddenness of movement and his shouting would catch her off guard. He hadn’t planned much beyond simply escaping the dark little hut and making something happen.

As it thumped backwards the sagging door jammed against humps on the rough ground and so instead of a straight gallop across the space between him and the car screaming like a banshee, he collided with the heavy wood which unbalanced him and took him to his knees. He scrabbled now on all fours, trying to stand but slipping and splashing in the mud and puddles. Still he drove on, unable to see which way he was heading but loping as fast as his ungainly position would let him. He was aware of the crack of the rifle somewhere in the back of his mind but there was no pain, no loss of power and so he pressed on.

He was straightening as he ran so that by the time he reached the Land Rover door he was almost upright. His strange ungainly progress had been partly what saved him. Lily had her gun pointed at waist level at the door and as he fell and scrambled on all fours she had struggled from her position in the car, to tilt the long barrel down towards the gallumping figure. He could hear her shouting, was aware of Gloria behind him thundering across the clearing as he reached out and grabbed at the end of the barrel. The crack as she fired the second round filled his ears and the recoil snatched it from his meagre grip. The woman by now was screeching but he was deafened and didn’t hear either her or Gloria who was yelling over and over NO, NO, NO.

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The Cave by Diane M Dickson

literally stories

typewriter

It was darker now, he wouldn’t have believed it possible.  It was, deep, impenetrable and velvet.  For the first time Tom was afraid.  When the others had suggested the trip it sounded like fun.  A chance to explore the newly discovered pothole, to be the first and so have their names in the journals as the original team opening up a new cavern, shining light on the newly opened place.  He wasn’t very experienced and found the roping complicated, he had done it wrong and it had stuck twice on the trial run, the rope catching in the pulley but they told him it would be fine.  He knew that they were finding him irritating, they were all so much more experienced but hey, that wasn’t his fault.  Anyway in the end it hadn’t been fine, it had let him down and as he began to slide into the smaller…

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The WIP – a teaser

Gloria fought with the car against the wind but once they turned onto the narrower, rougher track the gusts were coming from behind them and driving was easier. The worst of the rain was passing as the storm moved on and as the clouds broke and dispersed, like a sudden miracle the low winter sun shot golden beams onto the wet moorland. Saturated grass shone in the glow and if they hadn’t been trying to follow the other car she would have had time to wonder at the glory of it. As it was she concentrated on keeping the green, boxy vehicle in sight without getting too close. The undulations of the land helped and unless they were very unlucky and the driver looked in the mirror at the wrong moment they may get away with this.

The low stone building was so much at one with its surroundings that when the Land Rover slowed and pulled off the lane the reason wasn’t obvious at first.

As the other car had swung round and pulled in Gloria turned aside behind a clump of Gorse, carefully rolling forward on the slick grass. When the woman jumped down and ran around the front of her vehicle they had turned to each other in puzzlement and then without a word slid out into the cold, wet air. Bending low they skirted the group of spiky green bushes to watch as Lily from the farm disappeared inside the dilapidated old hut. The roof sagged and the door snagged and caught as she dragged it closed behind her. One small unglazed window made a square gap in the wall showing only the blackness inside. Gloria turned to Simon and lifted her shoulders in a questioning shrug and he in turn could only shake his head in bewilderment.

“That was the gun wasn’t it, she was carrying the gun?” There was panic in her voice and Simon reached out and put a hand on her shoulder.

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Flash Poetry – Last week.

The challenge was to write a poem with the rhyming pattern abba

it had to include any of the following lines

From ‘The Collected Poems of R. S. Thomas –

“Scarcely a street, too few houses.”

and

“I am the farmer, stripped of love.”

then from poet Don Patterson’s ‘Nil Nil.’ –

‘She was two months late.’

and

‘the stars would be squandered on us.’

 

So – this was my entry and the lovely people found it be the winner. Thank you Flash Poetry people.

She was two months late

She was two months late when she came to the castle
Down at the end of the oak bound lane
She told him she was a girl in trouble
And he was the cause of her fear and pain

She begged that he take her and make her honest
A ring on her finger, a home of her own
He said I’m not free to talk of marriage
I’ve a wife right here and a family grown

He gave her a shilling, twas all he would offer
And turned her away with tears of dread
There’s no future here with me my lover
The stars would be squandered on us he said.

She walked all alone to the homeless shelter
Down near the river where no grass grows
Where there’s scarcely a street, too few houses
In dark hidden alleys where no-one goes.

And she knocked on the door and called through the window
Will no-one find me a meal and a bed
All I need is a bowl of gruel
And a safe warm place to lay my head

But the night was cold and charity colder
There in the street in the driving rain
And she thought of the man and the ill he brought her
And vowed it would never be so again

So she raised herself up and she bore a daughter
She taught her to read, to cook and to sew
And then she taught her to fight and to conquer
And other things a warrior should know

And they fought and strove and claimed their fortune
Won their lives and the victor’s crown
And then at last they came to the valley
To the illborn man that had let her down

And he was old and bent and withered
His sight was dim he had aged too soon
And she turned from his gate with a cry of derision
On a wild white stallion, pale as the moon

And now as the clouds scud over the mountains
The cry of the owl freezes blood in men’s veins
And the girl on the stallion and her daughter
Ride the world breaking women’s chains.

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Janet and John Go to the Bank

Janet and John go to the Bank.

It’s a lovely morning.  See John scratch his belly.

See Janet sigh.  Can you scratch your belly children?  Can you sigh – Janet can.

John takes spot the dog for a walk.  Spot does his business on the lawn next door, see John leave it.  Naughty John – See Janet sigh.  Do you leave your dog’s doo doo on next door’s lawn – John does.

Janet and John are going to the bank.  They are getting dressed.  John puts on his brown jacket and his blue trousers.  See Janet sigh.

John puts on his suit.  Can you get changed as quickly as John can?

Now Janet and John are in the car, John crunches the gears.  See Janet sigh. Can you tut and sigh at the same time? – Janet can.

Now they are in the town.  John can’t find a parking space.  See Janet sigh and look at her watch.  Can you make your face go red like a tomato – Janet can.

Here is Mr Knobhead.  Mr Knobhead is the Bank Manager.  Can you smile and stick a knife in someone at the same time – Mr Knobhead can.

Janet and John need to tell Mr Knobhead that they haven’t got any money.  Have you got any money children.  Mr Knobhead has lots of money.

Mr Knobhead uses a big word – he says foreclosure – can you say foreclosure, John can’t.  All John can say is devastating, that’s a big word, can you say devastating.  Janet can’t, Janet can’t speak.  See Janet cry.

Mr Knobhead tells John that he can’t let him have any more money and will take away Janet and John’s pretty house.

See John tip over his chair and grab Mr Knobhead by the throat. Mr Knobhead’s face is very red now and his tongue is poking out.  It is very rude to poke out your tongue.  Maybe that is why John is so cross.

See Mr Knobhead go to sleep and slide down the wall. Waken up Mr Knobhead, the police are here.

Now Janet and John are going for a ride in a police car and Mr Knobhead is going to the hospital.  What an exciting day they have all had.

Now Janet and John are packing all their things in boxes and going to live at Mrs Brown’s house.  John is very sad, see John sigh.  Would you like to go and live with your mummy when you are forty?  John doesn’t want to.  See Janet sigh.

It is a year later.  Janet and John have been to the court to see the judge.  They don’t live in their nice house any more.  Nobody lives in the pretty house now, see the boarded windows.  See the For Sale sign.  Can you say travesty, lots of people can.

Janet lives with her mummy now. Janet and John have had a divorce and they are very sad.  Have your mummy and daddy had a divorce, I’ll bet they have.

See Mr Knobhead, he has bought a new yacht.  Mr Knobhead is very happy, he is going on holiday.  Lucky Mr Knobhead.

 

 

Banner – Courtesy of Pixabay free images

 

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Katherine – 63.

She stayed for a week and then another and then another. She settled and found work in a small craft shop. It was temporary, just for the busy Christmas season, but she enjoyed it and was happy until she looked for work with another Advertising Agency. George had sent a glowing reference and told her that if she needed any more help not to hesitate to call him.

They walked around the city often and when Angus’s daughter joined them for the weekends they were a family. Sometimes as the young girl kissed her or smothered her in an excited hug a little tug of sadness pulled deep inside her heart because this was not her child. But it was the child of her man and so it was precious nonetheless.

***

Rain had fallen all night and the morning was dull and heavy. Katherine sat opposite Angus in the bay window of the dining room. “Moira is due about six tonight isn’t she and we are going out to eat?”

“Yes and then tomorrow you are rescuing me from the hell of Christmas shopping. Thank you, thank you. I’ll meet you though and we’ll have lunch together.” He looked into her eyes. “Are you happy Kate? Really happy?”

“Yes.”

“Are you going to stay with me?”

“Yes.” There was no need for any more words, one was enough. He came around the table.

“I have an early Christmas present for you.” He opened the small black and gold box and took out the diamond and sapphire ring. “I know you’re not free yet, and as always there is no pressure for you to answer now, or ever if you’re not sure but Kate, do you think when your divorce is final and you have had time to recover from it all you would consider taking another chance on marriage, with me?” There was such hope in his eyes, but there was the shadow of a little fear and she couldn’t bear to see it.

“Yes please, Angus.” He heaved a sigh of relief and swept her up in his arms.

“Oh wait, wait. I’m supposed to do this aren’t I? He took her hand and slid the jewel onto her finger and they laughed and kissed and then laughed again.”

***

He had gone to work and she was due at the shop in the afternoon but she was fizzing with excitement.  She picked up the phone and dialed Stephanie’s number. As soon it was answered she began to speak. “I’ve got something to tell you Steph.”

“I was just about to phone you – spooky. I’ve got news as well. You first.”

“No, go on. Is it good or bad? I don’t want any bad today.”

“I’m not sure really, I think it’s a mixture. First of all, you’ve had a viewing for the house and the agent is very hopeful.”

“Okay – that’s good. Although I may have to come back then to finish emptying it.”

“No, you don’t have to at all. I’ve told you.”

“Well, we can discuss that – what else is there?”

“Right – hmm this one I’m not sure how you’ll feel.”

“Okay.”

“Bill has lost his job.”

“Oh, you mean the one in Germany?”

“Well yes, but the other one as well. Abbotts has finished him. He was round here last night moaning and complaining. I have to say I did feel a bit sorry for him.”

“Oh, but that’s awful. Are they in trouble then –what about the others.”

“No, no it’s just him. They have found out about the graphics.”

“Oh. Oh shit.”

“Yes, anyway they have apparently agreed that if he goes quietly they’ll take no further action. So, he’s had to leave immediately with no severance pay, nothing. He’ll be needing his share of the money from the house sale more than ever. I don’t know what he’s going to do.”

“What about her, Charlotte. Has she lost her job as well, she was complicit.”

“Do you really need me to tell you?”

“She didn’t. Tell me she didn’t drop him in it. Not after all this time.”

“It seems so. He was ranting so I didn’t get a very clear picture but it seems that they split. She didn’t like Germany and wanted him to turn down the transfer. He wanted the promotion that went with it. So, it seems she decided there was nothing to lose. She went to George and did the whole tearful confession thing. Said that it had been preying on her mind. Told him that she would have said something sooner but was afraid she’d lose her job if she was disloyal to her boss and now she couldn’t keep it quiet any longer. You know all that sort of crap.”

“What a bitch. How was he?”

“Well as I say he was fairly distraught. But hey you know what it’s not your problem. I just thought you should know that’s all.”

“Well thanks. I feel sorry for him, I think. No to be honest I don’t know how I feel. At the end of the day he should never have done it. I suppose he’ll have a problem finding something else. Well as you say it’s not my problem. Was there anything else.”

“No – it’s your turn now. You said you had news.”

“Right, okay. We’re engaged. Angus and I. When everything’s settled we’re getting married.” The shriek on the line nearly deafened her but she laughed anyway. “Okay, okay. Oh yes, and one other thing. I don’t know what your plans are but we wondered if you might like to come for Christmas? Say you will please.”

“Oh wow. Would I ever. Yes, please.”

“Great.”

“Ah yes, that’s the other thing. I have some stuff from the house that I’ve been storing. I didn’t think there was anything you needed urgently and I was just holding on to it, but the other day I was round there. I was nosing in your drawers and cupboards as I do. You did give me permission after all and you know how I am.”

“Yes, of course I did, it’s fine. I’ve got nothing to hide from you Steph.”

“Well, in your bedroom drawer I found something that I think must have belonged to Sophie. What do you want me to do with it? I mean I have it here. Do you want me to bring it or what?”

“I didn’t think there was anything left, after that awful episode when everything was ruined. What is it”

“It’s a stuffed toy. A little rabbit. It was in the bottom of your knicker drawer.” Katherine lowered herself to the chair beside the desk. In her mind she saw the toy, in the pram at the station and in her bag and sitting on the pillow in the hotel room. She had forgotten him and now here he was on the happiest day she had known for a long, long time. What should she do? Then of course the answer was obvious.

“You know the rose garden?”

“The one where Sophie is?”

“Yes. Do you think you could go and take him to her?”

“Of course. I’ll do it today.”

“Take her a little bunch of flowers would you and tell her mummy loves her very much.”

“She’s not there Katherine. She’s with you. Wherever you are she’s always with you. You know that.”

“Yes, I know that’s true but, well would you tell her anyway. Tell her I think about her every day and I’ll never forget her. Do you mind? Would you do that for me?”

“I will.”

As she put down the phone and stared out of the window at the dripping garden the rain stopped and the sun came out from behind the dark cloud and lit up her world.

 

The End.

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Katherine – 62.

They walked along Princes Street for a while and gazed at the castle. Katherine was suddenly nervous and unsure what was expected of her. “Where will I stay? Will I see if I can go to the same hotel? It’s late.”

“I rather hoped you’d come home with me. I would like that very much. Moira is with a friend today but she will be back tomorrow and she’s looking forward to meeting you.

“You told her about me?”

“Of course I did and she’s tickled pink that her old dad’s got a girlfriend.”

“I would love to meet her of course I would but…”

“It’s alright. Moira is a kind and generous girl. She wants me to be happy. You’ll get along just fine. I’m sure of it.”

“Whew. This is all a bit of a whirlwind. I don’t even know where you live.”

“No, it’s a mystery tour for you. I hope you like it. We can walk if you’re warm enough, it’s just over a mile. Are your shoes okay, well what I mean is, they are lovely of course but – well…?”

“Yes, they’re fine and I’d like that.” She didn’t know the districts of the city but as they turned down the roads and streets she understood that they were in an affluent area. The houses were large with well-kept gardens and expensive cars were parked in the roadways. There were trees and old stone walls and they walked hand in hand along the pavement. There was still so very much to learn about him, it was exciting. It had been a leap in the dark but she had made a choice hadn’t she? She chose to trust him and to believe in a future where everything would come right.

“We’re nearly there now and Mrs Blair will have lit the fire for us. You’ll like Rosa she keeps me under control and helps out with the house and the garden. I had to have someone when I lost Anne.”

“A housekeeper. You have a housekeeper?”

“Well, yes, sort of. She doesn’t live in or anything. She’s wonderful.”

“Okay.”

“Katherine, it’s all fine. Please, just be happy.” She nodded at him but her insides were shaking. She took a breath; he would look after her. He would.

His home was beautiful. The lounge he led her into had French windows leading to the garden which was filled with shrubs and small trees. It was sleeping in the winter cold but she could imagine that in the summer it would be enchanting. There was a fire in the hearth. Not a fake gas affair but a basket of real logs which crackled and spit bringing the quiet room to life. “Oh Angus, this is lovely – really lovely.”

“Thank you. I have to admit that most of the planning was done by Anne, she had a flair. When we bought the place it was fairly dreary and she gentled it back to life.”

“Well, she did a wonderful job.” She walked around the room running her finger tips over the polished surfaces and stopping now and then to admire an ornament or a picture. There were many of them on shelves and tables, framed in silver for the most part. On one of the bookcases there were two set apart from the rest and as she stood before them her heart filled and her breath caught in her throat. One was a young girl of about six in a white party dress with a tartan sash. It was obviously taken in the garden outside and her eyes sparkled in the sunshine as bubbles floated in the air around her. The other was a baby, about six months old, laughing at the camera and holding up a coloured block towards the photographer. Angus had come to stand behind her and he wrapped his arms around her and pulled her backwards against him. He leaned to whisper in her ear. Our daughters. I hope you don’t mind. She turned her head. “Stephanie?” He nodded.

“I like Stephanie very much, we must have her to stay. Do you think she will come for Christmas?”

 

There was a meal for them in the dining room, under cloths on the dresser were dishes of cold meat and a bowl of salad wrapped in cling film. They sat together at a small round table in the bay window and Angus poured them wine. There was music playing quietly and they talked of the wedding and Stephanie and he asked about Bill.

“I don’t know how much you know Angus.”

“Stephanie told me only that he had gone to live with his assistant and that you were filing for divorce.”

“Yes. Is that all she told you.”

“Basically. She did express a few opinions about her brother and his behaviour but I imagine you already know those. She said that there was much more to it but she didn’t want to betray your confidence and if you wanted me to know then it was for you to tell me.”

“Oh yes. Well, there is more.” It was a relief to tell him about it all and he listened quietly and made no comment until she had finished.

“And I assume you have decided to keep all this to yourself.”

“I have. I had already made up my mind that I couldn’t go back to work at Abbotts because of it.”

“I think that’s wise. In the end he will have to deal with his conscience and live with what he’s done but it’s not your problem, not any more. Will you stay with me Kate? At least for a while. I want to get to know you and I want you to meet my Moira. I won’t pressure you and if at any time you feel that you have to leave, then you must go. I hope that you don’t.” He leaned towards her and took her hand in his.

“I have asked Mrs Blair to make up a room for you. I want you to be comfortable and to take your time, there is no pressure on you in any way. Do you understand me?”

She didn’t answer. She stood from the table and walked around to him. He stood to meet her and she walked into his arms and raised her own hands to his face bringing it down to hers and their lips met and all the questions were answered.

The love making was slow and quiet. He had taken her to his room and in the dim glow of the streetlamps in the road beyond the garden he explored her body and she remembered the thrills and the joy and the sheer pleasure of sharing. Afterwards he wrapped her in his arms and they slept.

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Katherine – 61.

The wedding was wonderful. There were rainbow flags and balloons, and bubble machines and flowers. There was laughter and hugging and love and joy. Treena and Stella had written vows of their own which were said alongside the legal declarations and everywhere Katherine looked there were smiles and tears of happiness and yes, inquisitive looks at the tall stranger beside her.

At the reception she introduced him proudly as her friend from Edinburgh and then grinned inwardly as everyone bit back the questions. They made him welcome, she was aware of some flirting and when he stood with her and curled his arm protectively around her waist she noted the knowing looks and the odd frown of disappointment. No-one mentioned Bill and it was as if Charlotte had never existed.

There was dancing and eating and though drink flowed freely Katherine had just a couple of glasses of champagne. She was already dizzy with happiness and didn’t want to dull the edges of her delight. As is the way with weddings, all too soon it was over. Treena and her Stella ran to a taxi under a shower of rice and confetti and were whisked away to the airport and a secret honeymoon destination and then slowly the party dissolved.

“Are you coming back to work at Abbotts?” Carol had followed Katherine into the ladies. “George said you’d been in touch. It would be great but, will you be able to cope with them there, Bill and creepy Charlotte?” So, it wasn’t common knowledge yet about the transfer. She must be careful.

“I don’t know yet love. It was an idea but I don’t know how that would work out.”

“And what about Angus then. You’re a bit of a dark horse. How long have you known him?”

Katherine paused, how long had it been. It didn’t seem possible that he had come into her life such a short time ago, it was as if he had been there forever. “Not that long really. I met him on a trip I took a few weeks ago.”

“Oh right, well he’s lovely and it’s easy to see he’s besotted with you. And why wouldn’t he be? You know we all love you Katherine. We’ve missed you, you know that don’t you?”

“Oh stop it, I reckon the occasion’s getting to you?” The two women embraced. “Ah well, that’s part of what weddings are for isn’t it.”

“I guess so. But, stop changing the subject, what’s the deal. Are you an item then?” Katherine turned to look into the mirror, she applied some lipstick and gave herself time to think. “I don’t know Carol. It’s been a wild few weeks one way and the other and to be honest I just don’t know.”

“Well, I reckon you’d be a fool to let that one get away. You deserve as much happiness as you can handle love. You’ve had a rotten deal, if there’s a chance for you with him, grab it with both hands.”

“Hmm. That’s pretty much what Stephanie said.”

“Bill’s sister?”

“Yes.”

“Oh well, she’s right. Go for it kid.” And with that they hugged and Carol went out to join her husband and two over tired little girls who were long overdue for their naps. As they picked up one child each Carol turned back to where Katherine stood with Angus and winked and waggled her eyebrows causing Katherine to laugh and shake her head.

“I like your friends Kate.”

“Yes, and it seems they pretty much return the compliment. I think one or two of them were waiting in the wings to see just what the situation is.”

“And what is it?”

“Sorry.”

“What is the situation Kate?”

“Oh. I don’t know. I…”

“Come back with me.”

“To Scotland?”

“Yes, come back with me and stay a while, stay forever. Look.” He reached into his inside pocket and brought out a ticket wallet. Two returns to Edinburgh from Birmingham – it’s only Flybe I’m afraid but it’ll get us there.” She was shaking her head and refused to take hold of the tickets. “Kate, please.”

“No.” she raised tear filled eyes to his.

“I want to go on the train.”

“What, you mean, yes.”

“I mean yes. But could we, would it be awful for you. I would love to just go on the train and arrive at Waverley and walk up into the city with you.” Before she had finished speaking he had taken out his phone and found the site and was booking their first class tickets. “That’s done we have two hours. Come on we’d better find a taxi.”

“Oh but Angus. I didn’t mean now, not right away. I thought maybe in a week or two.” He stopped and turned to her a shadow on his face.

“Why? Why delay again?”

“Well, clothes. The house, my stuff.”

“Oh that. It’s all okay. Stephanie has been packing while we’ve been away and she’s going to take care of sorting the house. Once Bill is back from Germany and things are more settled.

“She really can’t help it can she?”

“Stephanie.” He was smiling again now as he led her down the line of cabs. “No, she can’t and thank heavens for it.”

 

Her bags were packed and waiting in the hall, and as soon as they walked up the drive Stephanie flung open the door. She was literally jumping with excitement after the phone call Katherine had made in the taxi. There wasn’t much time but the hugs were long and warm and the goodbyes were just a little tearful.

“I’ll ring you in a day or two. Are you sure you’re okay with sorting out the house? That’s quite a job.”

“Oh don’t worry my bloody brother’s going to do most of the work. I’m just going to keep an eye on him. I’ll keep you informed. Don’t worry about a thing. Just go Kate, just go and be happy.”

They collected their tickets from the machine at the entrance to the station and made the train with just enough time for Angus to run into Marks and Spencer for a bottle of champagne.

They had the carriage to themselves and sat together sipping the cold wine, her hand in his and her head on his shoulder as they drew out of the dark station into the deepening blue of the winter evening.

They arrived in Edinburgh when it was full dark. The city lights sparkled in the cold air and as they walked up the slope and into the night-time buzz, Katherine felt as though she was coming home.

 

 

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Katherine – 60.

Not sure that I will ever get as far as publishing this but just in case I have removed the first chapters.

If you want to know the story of poor Katherine and rotten Bill and lovely Angus send me a message either on facebook or here and I’ll  send you the first chapters.

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Filed under Serials, Serials, Shorts and Stuff