Joe was worried. The tension had knitted an ache into his shoulders and his forehead was tight with stress. He peered up at the winter sky. They shouldn’t have come. They shouldn’t have started this journey now at this time of the year. They had no choice though did they? They had seen the proclamations, the notices were posted everywhere and everyone was journeying as a result.
He turned to his wife and squeezed her hand. “Okay love?” She nodded and tried a smile but it was tenuous and he knew she was exhausted. It had been a long day for her, a long week and there was so much still to do.
At least he had transport for her. It was old and battered and slow but he knew it wouldn’t let him down. It would get them there. Around him there were other richer people with better transport but in the crush of people as they moved nearer it didn’t make much difference. They were all forced together a wave of humanity moving through the dusk.
There were many things for him to consider, would there be food for them when they arrived? They had water but nothing left to eat. That they were on this journey at all was the fault of foreigners, they had made the announcement, they had brought them all here. Foreigners who were known for their innovative skills, everyone had been told how they had modern ways to heat their homes, in their own country. Their long straight roads were legendary and look at the way that they had infiltrated the whole of the civilised world. Surely people such as this would have arranged for food. He knew that normally there was food to be bought and eaten at tables and stalls, there was food to take and carry away but with all these people would there be enough. He touched his bag, his identification was there, the proof that he belonged, the proof that he was part of “The Family” surely that would secure refreshment for them.
He heard her sigh and when he glanced at her face her eyes were closed. What was she thinking, he knew how hard this was for her, the worry and the stress but she was loyal and she travelled with him uncomplaining.
The crowd had become overwhelming and in truth he was a little afraid, if all the spaces were taken what would they do, would there be somewhere to leave the transport, where would they rest. He shook the worries away, no need to borrow trouble. He must keep the faith, it would see him through.
He saw it in the distance, the glow. “Look, sweetheart look, up ahead.”
“Oh Joseph are we nearly there?”
“Yes it’s there do you see the windows and look above the roofs that light, the one that looks gold from here. That has to be it.”
“Yes, yes it is I can see it, IKEA. Oh Joe do you think the Malme bedside cabinet will be in the sale, I really do want to have it before Christmas.” He squeezed her hand. Keep the faith Mary, keep the faith.