Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 -

The Appointment

by Lucy Appleby
Published: Dec 26, 2012
Words: 6,022
Category: general
Orientation: M/F
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She struggled up the hill, head down, shoulders hunched against the biting wind and icy rain that battered her face. Her hands were numb with cold for no sooner had she put them in her pockets, the wind tugged off her hood, forcing her to reach out with frozen fingers to secure it again. The rain pummelled her head, and the sopping wet strands of her hair blew wildly, obscuring her vision. Her feet began to ache. Water spurted and squelched out of the flimsy court shoes with each laborious step.

Not that she particularly cared. No job. No money. No husband. Nothing really mattered any more. Her spirits matched the grey November afternoon, paltry sunlight already fading, sinking behind the great wood. She passed a cottage or two, shuttered windows hiding the warmth and light within, giving a bleak and forbidding external appearance to passers by.

A dog shouldn't be out in this weather. She smiled grimly, and continued battling against the wind, neither knowing where she was bound, nor caring. The wind became stronger and began howling like a raging beast. Trees by the roadside creaked and bent in a mad dance, branches arching, contorting, snapping, screaming as they were whipped by the wind. She began to feel a sudden elation as the wind changed direction and blew her up the hill with huge force. She became a matchstick kite, fragile and insignificant, tugged and hurled at the mercy of the elements.

She laughed as the wind caught her and whirled her uphill. Up she stumbled, tumbled, bumbling along at a staggering pace. And all around her the world shrieked as the wind blew and the rain pounded. Up and up she went. Gasping, spluttering, blinking through water-logged eyes, water cascading down her cheeks, trickling down her neck, soaking her skin.

And then it quieted, hushed, stopped, leaving her panting, saturated, exhausted. She found herself clinging on to an old stone gatepost at the edge of a field by the road, embracing it as though it were a lover. She appeared to have lost a shoe and her coat was saturated, wrapping and blanketing her in its sodden folds. It felt comforting, inviting her to sleep in its chill grasp. Her eyes closed as she rested her frozen face against the pillar of wet blackened stone.

He saw her through the glare of his headlamps as he rounded the bend in the Land Rover; she was a moulded shape in the greyness, her contours melting into the stone, gradually being enveloped by the encroaching darkness. He stopped, approached her, concerned. She barely had the energy to look at him. No words passed her lips, just a sigh and a look of hopelessness and utter tiredness. He put her in the Land Rover and took her home to High Moor.

When she woke, it was to find herself wrapped in a snug robe and settled into the comfortable depths of a wing chair by the fire.