May 19, 2022

Arrival at Peter’s plac

By aarondkey

“Oh, he’s turning off the main road,” Paris said. “Thank God. I really need a break.”

“Shall I take over driving?” Lizzie said.

“I could drive quite happily now,” Timonthy offered. “I think we can assume there is nothing wrong with me now especially since I had that coffee and I’m more inclined to stay awake.”

“I’ll pull over quickly, if you’re sure. We’ll catch up with them quickly enough.”

They swapped over positions quickly, still getting soaked in the process and Timonthy ran his hands over the steering wheel with pleasure – after he dried them on his trousers.

He wasn’t really sure why he had agreed not to drive unless it was just the shock of wondering if he had really fainted.

He was definitely happier back behind the wheel putting his foot down, secure in the knowledge that the lorry was clearing the oncoming traffic for him but soon he found himself annoyed again by the lack of view.

This road was bumpy and narrow and it seemed to go for ever and ever. Every second puddles were filling up and Timonthy shuddered to think of the state of the car.

“I’m getting hungry,” Gerard said. “We should have got food at that place to eat in the car.”

“Surely we’ll be there soon,” Lizzie said. “Do you think it would be annoying to phone Will again to ask him how much longer?”

“Leave it a while,” Paris advised. Another five or six minutes passed. The downpour seemed to grow more horrendous.

“I’ll have to stop if it keeps up like this,” Timonthy said. “I can barely see where I’m going.”

He concentrated on the red lights of the lorry as they moved up and down with the jolting of the road.

Suddenly the rain stopped and blue sky appeared again. It was quite disorienting.

The lorry stopped and Timonthy pulled up behind him. They had left the road without him noticing but in the conditions that was not completely surprising.

“We’re here and it’s stopped raining,” Gerard said happily. Will and Peter left the lorry and started to walk towards them.

“Where is here?” Lizzie said sounding disappointed. Gerard opened the door and climbed out. Paris copied him on the other side and Timonthy joined her.

They were parked in a small clearing in a wood as the track they must have followed to get here disappeared between dark trees. Timonthy shuddered to think how close he had been to driving into one of those trees.

Then he remembered with a hot feeling in his stomach that stupid thought about them being murdered in a remote place. It felt much more likely now.

“We’ve made it,” Peter said happily which slightly dispelled his fears. “I’m sorry, the road runs out here. We’re on foot from here but it’s not that far.”

“We’ll help carry the luggage,” he said, taking the largest bag out of Timonthy’s hand. Will grabbed another couple of bags and Gerard took the last one. There was nothing to do but to follow them.

He wondered how much use Lizzie would be if it came to a fight. Paris had started Kung Fu over a year ago and he used to box although it was a long time ago now.

He clenched his fists to see if he could feel any of the old strength coming back realising that if his fears were right that Gerard must be the most skilled actor and the most dedicated criminal he could imagine. Stupid!

They came out of the shadow of the trees into a landscape that looked like Will had described it but so much more. It was so beautiful that it almost hurt.

They were walking along the edge of a river towards a lake surrounded by hills, or mountains. Nothing like the landscape he had explored on the computer.

Walking towards a small grassy mound they saw another figure at its base. It looked vaguely familiar, Timonthy realised, but before he had worked out who it was Paris ran forward with a squeal.

“Uncle Stolid,” she embraced the figure.

He could see it now. It was Stolid, looking a lot better than the last time he saw him.

He was clean shaven for a start and his face looked familiar as the face Timonthy used to lust after when it was happy, when Johnathon was still alive.

Stolid smiled at Paris still hanging off his arm but looked nervously at the others as if not sure of his welcome.

Timonthy remembered with some awkwardness that the last time they met, they had just shared a disappointing intimacy but he did his best to forget this in the relief of finally finding Stolid whole and well.

So he stepped forward and shook Stolid’s hand heartily, “It’s good to see you.” Then he stepped back, noticing Gerard anxiously inspecting his face for something.

Lizzie reserved her greeting to a smile and a nod of the head. She received the same back. They had never been that close.

“I’m sorry to have caused you this much trouble,” Stolid said slowly. “But I am glad to see you all here, safely.”

“Let’s go and see if we can find some lunch,” Peter suggested and they all carried on walking.

Paris walked close to Stolid talking to him continuously. Lizzie, Will and Peter talked together and Gerard hung behind to walk beside Timonthy.

“You see, he is alright,” Gerard said with hesitation.

“Yes, I see that,” Timonthy said. “What a place this is! I don’t think I have ever been anywhere as remote as this before.”