Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (31) Like a Thief in the Night (Part 08)
It had been a busy morning in the shop and she was really surprised when she looked up at the clock and saw that it was 11.55am.
However once she knew what the time was it seemed to slow down and those last five minutes seemed to take an hour to pass.
Sabr had noticed her watching the clock, which wasn’t like her, so she assumed she had somewhere to be so she said
“You’d better take you lunch now honey, before the rush starts again”
“Ok, great, see you later” she said and scampered out of the shop, which made Sabr smile.
When she got outside she found Oliver leaning against a lamp post waiting for her.
They spent most of her lunch hour sitting on the seawall listening to her MP3 with one earphone each.
It was the best lunchbreak she had ever had but she couldn’t believe how quickly it had gone, and she felt a bit sad when he walked her back to Hemmings.
It was late in the evening and she was crouching in the shadows of Potters Lane sobbing uncontrollably when Leslie Maher, who was out walking her dog Trio, so called as he had three legs, discovered her.
There was sufficient moonlight for her to recognize her
“Wendy?” she said “Is that you?”
She mumbled something incomprehensible in response
She could also see the she was in a bit of a state.
“Come home with me and you can tell me what’s wrong” she said
But Wendy reacted angrily and drew her knees up to her chin and sobbed uncontrollably.
“I’ll go and get David” she said
Leslie and David were neighbours and had recently become a couple but they still had their own homes, for the time being at any rate.
David and his grandson Oliver were sat in the lounge playing chess when there was a persistent knocking on the front door.
“Who’s that, at this time?” David said and tutted as he got up from his chair and he muttered to himself all the way down the hall and then he opened the door and found an agitated Leslie standing there with Trio.
“Hello” he said surprised “is everything ok?”
“Come quick” she said and headed down the path.
“Hold on, let me get something on my feet” David said and briefly went back inside.
“Oliver!” he called “Get you shoes on we’re going out”
He and his grandson were ready to leave at the same time.
“Come on hurry up” Leslie urged
“Ok what’s the problem?” he said when he and Oliver emerged and rushed after Leslie who was now almost out through the gate
“It’s Wendy” she said
“Why what’s happened?” Oliver asked
“I found her sobbing in the street” she answered, “She’s inconsolable, and…”
“And what?” David said
“She’s been beaten” Leslie replied sombrely
“What?” he said incredulously “who?”
“I think her mother hit her,” she said “hard”
“Where is she?” he demanded
“In the bushes in Potters Lane” she answered “but she won’t come out”
They ran the short distance to Potters Lane and sitting in the shadows was the quivering figure of Wendy with her knees drawn up to her chin and she was still sobbing uncontrollably.