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Story continues from yesterday:
At 3.47pm Luke and Joe stood in Curly and Squirt’s shed. There was a big old wooden ottoman at the back. Joe had never noticed it before because ordinarily Luke kept a bale of hay on top of it and the whole lot was usually covered with a tatty blue tarpaulin. Luke started to lift the lid and then hesitated, looking over his shoulder to make sure the shed door was shut. It was.
“This is where I keep the stuff I’ve constigated on holiday,” he told his trusted friend, confidentially.
Joe looked puzzled. Luke put him in the picture.
“Remember me Nan and Grandad’s got a caravan at the seaside where there’s fishing boats on the beach? Remember I told you?”
“Well,” Luke went on, “whenever we go there I look out for things on the beach wot need takin’ outer circle-ation. Dangerous things.”
“And you constigate them?” Joe asked with the appearance of comprehension.
“Mm. Well, some I jus’ find, abandoned. Some I constigate from people wot are doin’ horrible things with ’em.”
Joe peered inside the trunk but wasn’t sure exactly what he was looking at. It was a miscellaneous jumble of what looked like rubbish – bits of plastic, rope, cord, wood, wire. All very unpleasant and dirty. It stank.
“And now you want to move it somewhere else?” Joe tried hard to make sense of the little Luke had told him so far.
“Yeah. On’y it’s too much stuff for one trip with just me. Your mum’s got one o’ them shopping trolley-bag things, and mine’s got two, an old one and a new one – I reckon we could fit all this stuff into them and move it without anyone bein’ able to see what we’ve got. They’ll just think we’ve done the shoppin’ for our mums.”
“And,” Luke went on, “can you get any left over paint off your dad? Somethin’ he wun’t miss? Somethin’ he’s finished with and wun’t mind you havin’. Somethin’ he would rather you dint bother ‘im by askin’ for. Somethin’ he’d be pleased you took off ‘is hands without botherin’ ‘im. Somethin’ reddish.”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
Saturday was the day that Luke always helped Dad on the allotment and today, more than ever before, he was very glad of it. It gave him the perfect excuse not to help decorate the Sunday school room for the Harvest Festival. He remembered they were meeting at 10 o’clock and imagined that it wouldn’t take them more than an hour or two so they’d be done by lunch time. Then the ladies on the cleaning and flowers rota were going to decorate the chapel. Mum was one of those ladies and she got home at twenty past four.
“Put the kettle on love,” she called to her husband, “and if you look in the pantry I’ve a feeling you might find a packet of chocolate hobnobs behind the teabags.”
“Well, half a packet anyway,” Luke’s dad grinned as he nodded towards the dining table where six or seven of them adorned a small plate. Mrs Walker dropped exhausted into a chair.
“I knew there was a reason I married you,” she smiled as he handed her a hot cup of tea and sat down with one himself. “Thank you love,” she said, “that whole afternoon was an uphill struggle. Mrs Kirby was complaining the whole time that she thought we should be doing the traditional Harvest Festival display of fruits and breads and stuff, and Mabel was arguing that change was good and we should embrace change and move with the times. What’s modern about fishing I do not know! And then every time they stopped arguing Gordon would get them going again with ‘I suppose we have to do what the committee decides, never mind what the rest of the congregation wants!’ I don’t know what was more exhausting – scrubbing the kitchen floor or listening to ….”
“Shhh,” Mr Walker interrupted, “forget about all that now, it’s done. Drink your tea.”
“Don’t shush me!” Mum snapped. She hated it when he did that.
“I was just saying don’t worry about it, calm down ….” He never learned.
“I am calm! I’m not worried, I was just telling you what happened! I don’t like being shushed!”
“I’m with Mrs Kirby,” thought Luke as he took advantage of his parents bickering and swiped the chapel keys from Mum’s bag before heading for the front door.
“Jus’ goin’ to check on Curly and Squirt,” he called.
“Home by six!” Mum called after him.
“Six?!” he thought, grabbing the shoppers from the hall cupboard and hurrying out.
It was just after five when Joe and Luke arrived at the chapel gate. Luckily no one was around to hear its metal hinges squeal. They slunk across the lawn past the large wooden crucifix with the spikes on top to stop pigeons landing on it, and Luke unlocked the heavy door.
Story concludes tomorrow, so don’t miss it 😉
Or you could read the whole story here now 😀
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