Tales from the Finchbottom Vale – (31) Like a Thief in the Night (Part 13)
They all sat together at the kitchen table eating eggs and bacon and when they had cleared their plates David said
“You know we can’t let you go and live with your mum anymore?”
“I know” she concurred sadly “But I can’t live here”
“I know” David responded, “Which is why we need to find you somewhere else”
A puzzled look spread across her face.
“Don’t worry hon I have somewhere in mind” he reassured her “I can’t say where yet but…”
He was interrupted by a loud banging on the back door and when he looked up it was the gardener Alison.
“Hello Alison” he said brightly
“I’m looking for Wendy, is she here?” she asked
“Yes, come in”
“Is she ok?” Alison asked with concern as she bent down to undo her boots
“Never mind the muck just come in” he said and once inside the kitchen she clucked around Wendy like a mother hen
“Oh sweetie, look at the state of you,” she said
“I’m fine now,” Wendy said bravely
“Fine my arse” Alison barked poking Wendy’s black eye until she winced.
“And your mum did this?”
“I might have to kill her sweetie,” Alison said without humour
“You’ll have to get in the queue behind Gwen” Oliver said
“Really?” she queried with raised eyebrow and David nodded
“Good for her” Alison said proudly
“But seriously what are we going to do?” she said soberly
“We can’t let her go back there again”
“What about my stuff?” Wendy suddenly said, “I need my clothes for work”
Alison was about to say don’t worry
“And clean knickers” Wendy blurted out, and then blushed scarlet when she realised what she had said.
“I can take you home to collect your stuff” Alison suggested “But then what?”
“Bring it back here,” David said matter-of-factly
“She can’t stay here” Alison said bluntly
“That’s what I said,” Wendy confirmed
“I know that she can’t stay here” He said and Alison relaxed
“I actually have a plan” he added but didn’t elaborate
Alison drove a rather nervous Wendy and a concerned Oliver to the caravan and parked the truck.
Oliver understood now why she was so vehement about him not going to Potters Lane.
Oliver held Wendy's hand as they walked up the path to the half open door and Alison followed on.
When they were inside they found her mum collapsed on the sofa in a drunken stupor.
“I’ll watch her while you grab your stuff” Alison instructed
“Okay” Wendy said but wouldn’t release Ollie’s hand.
It didn’t take long, maybe 10 minutes to gather together everything of importance to her in one shoulder bag and all her clothes in a black sack.
“Do I really not have to come back?” she asked almost pathetically “Ever”
“Not ever” Alison replied and Oliver hugged her and she looked down contemptuously at the prone figure of her mother and wiped a tear from her eye.
“Now go and change your knickers and get your dungarees on,” Alison commanded, once they were back at David’s
“We have work to do”
“Ok boss” she said and headed upstairs
“Are you sure she should work today?” Oliver asked after Wendy had left.
“Definitely” she replied “it’s just what she needs”
Then with a doubtful look she added
“And it will give your Grandfather time to work on his master plan, whatever that is”