Friday 2 February 2018
That night at play rehearsal Ben could not concentrate, it did not help that they were working on complicated part of a romantic scene.
‘Mary, please.’ Ben stood, walked to the stage. ‘Get into character.’
Mary Monroe started to cry. ‘It’s not me, it’s him.’ She pointed to Wally. ‘I have to kiss him, and he has me I don’t know where I am.’
Wally hadn’t lived in the area long. Nobody knew much about him except his wife had died a year previously, and his brother was the vicar. No-one knew him well enough to tell him about his halitosis. Even Ben couldn’t broach the subject. Ben couldn’t be sure but he thought Wally had been in the cemetery a few nights back with the vicar and other members of the village. Ben’s thoughts took him back to the previous night in the cemetery. What if Wally was one of the three? It was no good he could not concentrate.
‘Tell you what Mary,’ he said, ‘why don’t you come up to the farm and I’ll go through some movements one-to-one? See if that helps.’
‘Will tomorrow do?’
‘Make it tomorrow afternoon. Have to plough in the morning.’
‘Will do,’ Mary said all of a quiver. Although she thought she didn’t need extra coaching, she would relent this time and accept help, not wanting to let the team down.
‘Make that do for tonight. See you all next time,’ Ben said. ‘Thanks folks.’
Heading home Ben stoped at the cemetery. He parked the Land Rover out of sight and walked the last stretch. ‘Bloody creaky gate,’ he cursed as he unlocked the catch. ‘Needs a spray of oil.’ It was a calm night with a whispers of mist hanging. Perfect for vampires. Ben rubbed his hands together. He walked up to the spot where the group had been digging. All was quiet. He turned to go back to the gate.
Friday 26 January 2018
Penny Farthing Arrives in Allenbury
Penny parked the hire car outside of Madge’s cottage. Grabbed her handbag and suitcase, locked the car then headed up the path to the front door. The door opened before she had time to knock. Madge opened her arms, hugged her then pulled her indoors. ‘Thank goodness you’re here,’ she said.
‘What happened to you?’ Penny noted the bruise and dried blood on Madge’s forehead.
‘Come into the kitchen. I’ll make tea and tell you all about it.’ Madge led the way through to the back of the cottage. Reached for the kettle. ‘Sandwich or cake? Or both?’
‘I ate on the train, but cake would be nice.’ Penny took in the functional rather sparse kitchen. ‘Come on then tell me.’
‘You’ll never believe what happened last night.’ Madge set mugs of tea and a Victoria sponge on the table, they sat opposite each other. ‘I’d been busy in the church. When I’d finished I locked up. I started to walk down the path and I heard voices, and they weren’t heavenly voices either!’
‘You can get medication for that Madge.’
‘Hah! Very funny. I am telling you Penny, I heard voices.’
Penny sipped her tea, studied her friend’s face. There was no doubt in her mind Madge was serious. ‘Go on.’
Madge set her mug on the table, bent forward. ‘I crept round the back of the church. It was very late, but there was a full moon so it was bright. And the voices didn’t stop, it wasn’t my imagination.’ Madge tapped the side of her head. 'I didn’t want whoever it was to see me. I was scared.’
Friday 19 January 2018
Life Goes On
The following morning as Kitty stood at the Aga shaking a pan full of sizzling bacon she glanced out of the kitchen window across the farmyard. The cows were back in the pasture after milking. Ben and Young Ted stood heads together, inspecting the tractor engine. She could see their breath rise from their mouth as they spoke to each other. It all looked so normal. Sighing, she knocked hard on the window to attract their attention and let them know breakfast was almost ready.
Ben straightened up, acknowledged his mother with a wave, tossed a spanner into the tool box. ‘Time to eat.’ He hoped blood wasn’t supposed to be a substitute for food especially the cooked breakfasts he loved so much.
‘Aye, I’m starving. Could eat a scabby hos’ and run after the jockey.’ Young Ted looked across to the farmhouse, and sniffed the air. ‘I can smell bacon.’
‘Come on, shift yourself.’
‘Wash your hands and sit yourself down, Ted lad.’ Kitty slid fried eggs sunny side up onto plates loaded with bacon, mushrooms, beans and fried bread.
Ted sat at the table. ‘Thanks, Kitty.’ He grinned up at her. ‘You do look after me.’ He tucked into his breakfast, a small frown on his face as he glanced up at Kitty again. ‘Mind if I say you’re looking a bit peaky today. Are you feeling all right? Ben said you’d not been well.’