For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 😀
To read the whole of Chapter 13 click here 🙂
Story continues from yesterday:
In the Sunday School room Luke was unsurprised to find quaint and colourful cardboard fishing boats stuck to a massive collage that covered a whole wall. The boats were manned by friendly fishermen pulling up nets by hand. The water beneath them was gleaming turquoise and filled with colourful fish who looked only too eager to swim into the welcoming nets. A golden beach was pictured behind with market stalls where smiling fishmongers sold fish to happy villagers under a soft blue sky. A red and white striped lighthouse kindly warned the fishermen to stay away from the rocks. And across the sky large paper letters spelled out the words:
“Typical!” said Luke with contempt and uncharacteristic brevity. There was no time for lengthy verbal condemnations. They just got on with it.
Forty-six minutes later Joe was on his way home with gratitude as Luke dropped the last armful of tinned fish into the wheelie bin behind the building. Tomorrow there’d be no Joe. Tomorrow Luke would be on his own. Which wasn’t a problem, because he wasn’t a coward.
Luke was quiet at breakfast on Sunday and Mum sympathised.
“You’re very preoccupied this morning Luke, are you worried about talking to Eric?”
“Er, kind of,” Luke admitted.
“Mm, it’s never easy to tell someone something they don’t want to hear but it’s better to be honest.”
“Yeah,” said Luke, enlivened by a slight resurgence in confidence, “it’s better if they know the truth.”
At ten to ten, Luke and his mum approached the chapel gate. Mrs Walker wondered what was going on. People were standing around on the lawn outside and the village bobby was there, talking to the minister.
“What’s going on?” she asked Gordon.
“Vandalism,” he said, flatly, “a horrible mess.”
“Oh no! How awful!” she said and rushed in. Luke followed at a cautious distance. Mabel, standing in the doorway, advised Mum not to enter.
“All our work yesterday – ruined!” she mourned, “it’s a horror show in there!”
When Mrs Walker stepped forward the first thing to strike her was the awful smell. She shielded her nose with her hand. Draped over the pulpit was a huge, orange, fishing net, tangled, filthy and stinking with rotten seaweed and the small fish and crustacean victims who’d been trapped and strangled by it long after the fleet had left it to drift untethered. The communion table and the floor around it exhibited a collection of old lobster pots and traps, a mess of wire and barbed hooks, a couple of rusty knives and a matching set of hooks, pliers and other fishmonger blades that looked hardly used.
These were set off to best advantage by numerous anchovy and sardine corpses variously strewn and interwoven throughout. The whole ensemble was liberally splattered with what looked like blood.
Eric emerged from the Sunday School room.
“There’s more in here,” he told her.
Mrs Walker had a bad feeling.
Apprehensively she followed Eric into the Sunday School room and discovered the picturesque fishing village scene was no more. There were no fish, no happy villagers and no fishmongers; the lighthouse had fallen into the sea and the colourful fishing boats had crashed into the rocks. Some of the paper letters had been rearranged across the sky to spell
“I told you we should have done the normal fruit and vegetable display!” Mrs Kirby chimed in authoritatively, “I said to the minister last week – people want a traditional harvest festival with fruits and vegetables and golden sheaves of wheat. Genesis 1, verse 29: I have provided all kinds of grain and fruit for you to eat,” she quoted, “This is a message from God!”
Mabel was irritated.
“God didn’t do this!”
“Whoever did it was sent by Him!” retorted Mrs Kirby, and no one dared disagree.
Mrs Walker kept her anger buttoned down. She didn’t say anything until they were well out of earshot of the other church-goers. It would be too shameful if anyone else knew what she suspected. Not to mention Luke might get a criminal record. Eventually, when they were almost home, she asked coldly,
“Who do you think did it Luke?”
“I’m with Mrs Kirby,” he answered honestly, “whoever did it was sent by God.”
Have a lovely weekend 😀
Join us on Monday for the beginning of Chapter 14:
Luke Walker and the Halloween Party
For all the Luke Walker chapters click here 🙂
Luke Walker paperbacks:
Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er (the first eight chapters);
More Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er (chapters nine to sixteen);
are available from Amazon in the UK, Europe, the USA and Canada 🙂
but if you’d prefer to mail order them through us, get in touch 😀
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