I think I was responsible for the Loose Blogging Consortium topic this week. Sometimes I wonder where these crazy thoughts come from… Well here goes I am ready to begin so…
Tom felt the icy wind on his face as he retraced his steps across the treacherously icy yard, at times skating over the frozen puddles like a frail old man. He wanted out of this place, and fast. The bundle in his arms, almost beyond recognition and whimpering, was cold to the touch and she trembled with fear.
Reaching his car he placed her on the back seat as gently as he could and covered her with a rug, all the while murmuring gently “Mavourneen, I’m sorry, oh so sorry”.
The drive cross country on narrow dark winding roads was not easy, The sleet now turning to rain and the wind almost lifting the car at times, was bending the tree branches to almost sweep the road in front of him and cast moving shadows in the light from the headlamps.
The whimpering from the back seat grew weaker and at times silenced by the fitful sleep of the exhausted. Tom talked gently the whole way home, it was barely audible at times, but it was all he could think of. Tom never married. “I kept the women to one side,” – he was a shy man in female company, he wished it were different.
After what seemed like an eternity he was turning onto the short avenue leading down to his cottage. He drove straight to the barn to park the car. And it was only when the engine stopped that he realised the bundle under the rug had been quiet for the last half hour. He lifted her gently still wrapped in the rug and walked gingerly round to the back door.
He struggled to turn the key and open the door with one hand but with a foot over the threshold his hand went automatically to the light switch and the room was bathed in light.
The cottage was deceptive, it looked small from outside, but the kitchen was the width of the house. An open-plan room with a concrete floor and bright lights overhead. A well worn settee filled a space between the staircase and the Stanley range. Along the opposite wall stood an old dresser, laden with chipped teacups and tick-tock clocks. The room was warm and inviting.
Tom placed the now sleeping bundle on the rug in front of the range. There was a weak groan, more of relief than pain. He touched the kettles on top of the range and there was still heat in them, a little boost was all they required. He moved off to gather all the things he needed.
Soon he had the bath filled with warm but not hot water, he added a few drops of his shampoo, it was the nearest thing he had to a bath cream. He set the towels on the three legged stool. Now it was time…
Uncovering her he saw more clearly the blood matted hair and the patches of skin left broken and bruised. Tears filled his eyes as he knelt on one knee and slid his hands under her limp body, then gently lifted her over to the bath.
Slowly, very slowly, all the while continuing his mantra of mutterings, he gently lowered her into the water. He held her there, not touching the sides for a few moments. He set her down and with one hand still protectively under her he used the other to scoop the warm water over her back.
She reacted to the water and to the movement of his hands. Beginning at her head he moved his hand down along her spine, the touch was as soft as breath and for the first time in the handful of hours since he found her, she looked up into his eyes and they both knew everything would be alright.
He sighed, and she found her voice and barked her gentle thanks.
It had been a long two months of searching, but he found his beloved border collie Phoebe, they were home safe and together again.
Time to relax.
The Loose Blogging Consortium active members at the moment are: Conrad, Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Magpie 11, Maria SilverFox, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, Rohit, WillKnott, & Little old me. We try to go live with our topics on Fridays, but life sometimes interferes and prevents posting until later in the weekend. That way you have an extra excuse to relax with coffee and enjoy the offerings.