FOWC with Fandango — Shadow
Patty sat, hunched over the steering wheel, her mind in torment. A torrent of thoughts were tearing at her brain. For so many months she had been estranged from her own world, and part of something totally alien to her. She had been magnetised by it, but repulsed at the same time. It was a world inhabited by the so- called higher classes. A world where even socks had labels on the outside of them, on show to all who happened to see. A world of fine wine and fine accents, yet where the Sunday table talk could be quite coarse. It had seemed quite incongruous to Patty. Sunday morning worship, and then talk about expensive fast cars and blasé comments of a sexual nature. Hugh, the vicar, was a bit of an enigma. A most confusing person to Patty. And his wife, Diane, who was completely under his control, but uneasy with her role as vicar’s wife. She had a penchant for expensive perfume and cheap tea cups and dinner plates from the local market. Her clothes were nothing special, but she did make an effort on a Sunday morning, with a matching trouser suit, and some make up. Her engagement ring was her most prized possession, with its huge sapphire stone, which she constantly flashed at Patty, as a symbol of her highly coveted married state. This was in contrast to what Diane saw as the shambles of a marriage that Patty was in.
There was so much about this world that had fascinated Patty, and hugh had worked tirelessly to entwine her in it, at the same time changing her thoughts and thought processes surreptitiously, in a most insidious manner. Patty hardly knew herself any more. She tussled within herself as Hugh tore her world apart, telling her that her marriage was a blasphemy and that she needed to leave it. And he was going to be the chief engineer in this operation, masterminding it all. But deep inside herself Patty knew that despite all their problems, she and Terry had a deep bond. Her love for him was unbreakable. She fought with Hugh, telling him that she would never leave Terry. But that word “blasphemy” was ringing in her ears. It caused a deep rupture within Patty’s mind. She had always had a regard for God, though she was never quite sure whether she believed in Him or not. On the whole, she did believe, but there had been many testing times in her life when she was no longer sure. But to be told that her marriage was a blasphemy, by a vicar, was earthshattering to Patty.
Hugh had got Patty into quite a state. Thus it was that that morning he had taken Patty to see his doctor, who said that she was suffering from stress and high levels of anxiety and needed to rest. After all, her mother had just died, and she was in the throes of very deep grief.. It was obvious what was happening to her.
Hugh took Patty back to the vicarage, which he had now begun to call her home. She had spent the day with Diane, talking about all kinds of things.
“I married for love,” Diane announced, flashing her sapphire ring again, at Patty. She was doing the ironing, which included ironing Hugh’s clerical garb. She did it almost boastfully.
Patty shrunk back in her seat. She too had married for love, though neither Hugh nor Diane would believe it. And that was exactly where Patty should be now – with Terry. She felt decidedly uncomfortable, and not only slightly frightened. Hugh arrived home, and, after having a meal, Patty sat with him in the sitting room. She already knew what she was going to do.
“What am I doing here?” Patty said to Hugh. She neither expected nor wanted a reply but she got one anyway.
“Suffering,” he said.
What on earth did that mean, Patty asked herself.
“I’m going home,” she announced.
He did not reply.
Patty got up off the settee and walked towards the front door. He did not follow her. She let herself out, walked to her car, got into it, and drove away. When she reached the isolated book store about two miles away, she stopped in the large dark empty car park. She was trembling, and needed to get herself together. She began to sob. Months of what felt like torture took over her whole being, and everything had to come out.
Suddenly, Patty saw black SHADOW at her car window. Then there was an urgent rapping on the window. She almost screamed. Who was it? What was happening?
Then came the voice.
“Come home to Barrowholme,” it said. It was Hugh.