Posted tagged ‘shelter from the storm’

Sanctuary at the Lighthouse

September 5, 2015

Radio 666 weather report.

Wrap up, puddings. Winter warnings and a blizzard on the way. Snowy headlines will lead the papers tomorrow. Only go out unless you really need to. This is going to be the wildest evening of the year. Stay warm, stay safe.

Henry Hanratty could not have picked a worse night to taxi for a living. In this weather you’ll get plenty of fares, said his wife. What did she know? No one but the devil would be out on a night like this. All Henry was doing was wasting petrol as not a soul was walking the streets. His cab had entered a quiet stretch of road on the off chance a traveller might be needing a lift. No chance! Nothing. Nada. Zilcho. He turned his ride around and hit an icy spot on the road.

His car careered onto a lamppost and clonked out dead. Henry hit his head on the steering wheel in frustration and anger. Stuck to a pole in a polar landscape. He was a long way from home and his phone was on the blink. Why did I listen to Hanratty the harridan, he harangued himself. A stroke of luck occurred as a spot of light glistened in the vicinity. Henry was anchored in a lonely street but one lamp in a house was shining, beckoning him towards it.

He rang the doorbell and was greeted by an old man in a dressing gown.

“I  had an accident in my car and my mobile has packed up. You don’t mind if I use your phone to call my wife.” implored Henry.

The aged resident answered in a frail voice. “Of course, come on in. I’ll make you a cup of coffee. You look freezing.”

Henry was led into a living room that was comfortably modern and clean. He was surprised to see the plasma TV and luxurious settee.

“Have a seat and I’ll make that brew.” said the host.

Things will turn out right, thought Henry, and it is an experience being welcomed into a stranger’s house. This could be a tale to tell the grandchildren, he reasoned .Now relaxed, Henry wandered about the room and came upon the old man’s DVD collection. He browsed the titles. There was a certain home-made quality about the DVD cases that made our Henry quiver. The titles of the films didn’t help matters.

Smoke and two-way Mirrors.

The Prisoner that was poisoned.

Old Men that eat brains to stay young.

Beware the Light that never goes out.

“What are you doing?” The old man had came back into the room and was holding two cups of coffee.

“I was just looking at your DVD collection.” said Henry.

“Why?”

“I was just passing the time.”

“I was gone three minutes and you think it right to ransack my place.” The frail voice had been replaced by a sinister snarl.

“No…I..just..” Henry was lost for words.

“What were you going to check next? My cupboard? Do you want to see the skeletons in my cupboard? My room? My chest of drawers? Were you going to investigate my underwear drawer? “Ha, Ha, The old guy wears long Johns”. What a laugh!”

“Not at all, ” protested Henry “I wouldn’t…”

“You wouldn’t what?” The old man’s voice had raised to shouting level. “You were nosying through my DVDs and Lucifer knows what you would have done next. I invite you in, give you coffee and this is what you do. How you repay my gratitude. I have a good mind to-”

The next word was cut short as the doorbell rang. The homeowner glared at Henry before answering the door. Incredibly, another motorist had had an accident and was seeking shelter. The light in the house attracting the crashed moths. The second arrival was welcomed and offered coffee. The old man went away to make the third cup.

Henry saw a chance to escape and said to the newcomer. “Rotten weather, eh? Hey, you know what, this old guy has got some DVD collection. Why don’t you have a look?”  The rookie nodded and headed to the DVD cabinet. Henry bolted for the door and ran into the worsening storm. He’d take his chance with hypothermia and all the rest.

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