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The Hole in the Wall—The End.

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  • The Hole in the Wall—The End.

    Hatfield paused at the church door, his first instinct was to burst in but he composed himself deciding that caution was called for. He opened the door slowly, grimacing at the creaking of the ancient hinges.
    At the far end of the aisle a group of six figures were huddled together, kneeling in prayer. The tarpaulin that Sims had erected had been lifted. Candles had been placed on the tomb, their flames flickering in the draft.
    Hatfield advanced halfway down the aisle.

    “Would someone kindly tell me what’s going on here?”.
    The group turned as one then shamed faced rose from their knees.
    Ms, Bradshaw a large woman, well into her middle years, recovered herself.
    “Vicar this is a momentous day, Saint Apselm has been restored to us, we only learnt of his discovery this evening, and we consider it is our duty to praise the Lord for his miraculous return”.
    “Really, and little Alison Crawford” he pointed to a small child in a wheelchair, half hidden in the chancery. “What is she doing here at this time of night?”.
    “Saint Apselm has the divine power to heal the sick Vicar. We are offering our prayers for his healing mercy may bless the poor child”.
    “Ms. Bradshaw it may have escaped you but this is the twenty first century. Miracle worship is not practiced by the Church of England and rightly so. I think that you should have even thought of raising false hopes in a young child simply outrageous. Now will you all please leave”.
    “Mr. Hatfield I am shocked at a man of the cloth could say such a thing. You are an unbeliever in the power of the Lord”.
    “What I believe Ms, Bradshaw is a matter for me alone. You will all leave NOW, and if there is any re occurrence of tonight’s episode, then you all may rest assured that serious action will be taken. I hope I make myself clear?”.

    Lydia Hatfield hummed to herself as she prepared the early morning coffee. Through the open kitchen window the early morning shade had left the hibiscus, rainbow dahlias lifted their heads to passing bees. A special morning, summer in September, she smiled and popped the breakfast eggs on to boil.
    Her husband wandered into the kitchen, his hair wet from his morning shower. Stifling a yawn he gave his wife a morning kiss on the cheek. She turned and pulled him close into an intimate embrace.
    “There, she told him “I don’t accept perfunctory kisses, their very bad for my ego”.

    Over breakfast he told her of the events of the night.
    “Of course it had to be Bradshaw, how many committees is she on”?
    Hatfield shook his head and sliced his egg with deliberate precision.
    “Four I think, no five” sad Lydia buttering her toast. She giggled. “Did I tell you, last month Lady Pelham presented her with a gavel on her election as chair-lady to the W,I
    The handle was carved with the figure Bodicia and you know, the irony was completely lost on Bradshaw, she was over the moon”,.
    “Well I’m afraid I don’t find her amusing. What was she thinking of; little Alison will never walk; her spine was malformed at birth she is completely paralyzed from the waist down and sadly will remain so for the rest of her life. Sorry darling, that woman is a monster”.
    "A little strong darling, but I am inclined to agree, it was a thoughtless act on her part”.

    The telephone rang in the study.
    Hatfield sighed into the mouthpiece.
    “Yes it is the tomb of Saint Apselm”.
    “No, it will be removed to Tucsbury in a few days”.
    “No you may not photograph in the church”.
    “Then I suggest you contact the Bishop, Goodbye”.

    “The press? asked Lydia.
    Hatfield nodded.
    “It has to be Bradshaw”. she said.
    “Who else”. replied her husband grimly.
    “We have to escape, or they’re be hounding you all day, I’ll prepare a picnic and we’ll walk over to St Mary’s”.
    “I don’t know dear”.
    “Well I do, come and help with the sandwiches”.

    It was eight in the evening when they returned. The village street was empty, the press had adjourned to the White Heart to get some local colour and sample the local brew.
    Hatfield phoned the bishop and learnt that Saint Apselm would be returning home the next day. He spent a relieved and happy evening in his books. He looked at the Queen Anne clock, it was shading eleven.
    “I’ll lock up and get to bed”. he told his wife. “The removing men will be here at nine”.

    He walked to the back door.
    “Oh no”.
    “What is it?”
    “Bradshaw, she is in the church, but that’s not possible I locked it, it’s been locked all day”.
    “Perkins” his wife said “She does the flowers and she has a key”.
    “This is too much”. said Hatfield angrily

    This time he threw caution to the winds and stormed into the church. The same group of women were gathered around the tomb.
    “Ms. Bradshaw, praying for miracles again”?
    Bradshaw turned slowly to face him.
    “No vicar, we are giving a prayer of thanks”.
    She moved to one side allowing Alison Crawford to walk, with faltering steps down the aisle towards him.

  • #2
    This deserves a ride back up to the top of the queue. Be sure to read the first two parts as well, friends.