Saturday 8th October 2011
The author leaves the Walker household
“ULLA, I am sorry. They came to my surge—”
“Thank you, Doctor,” interrupts Stokes. “You may go and see your patient.”
“Bad news. Today I bring only bad news.”
Pandi touches my arm before hurrying up the stairs, but without his customary greeting call for Emily.
Behind Stokes stand two figures all in black: a blonde female with a coaxing smile and a stern male, his thumbs resting on a broad belt of many devices.
“You will come with us. You’ll need a coat and any papers you have.”
“I am asking Jenny. She wills me to not leave the hou—”
“Our people will talk to Missis Walker. Get your things. Now.”
All three follow me into the front room, watching as I gather together my notebooks. Are they from the giants? Should I call to Jenny for help? No. Pandi will explain and I do not wish to interrupt while he is seeing Emily.
“Shoes,” demands Stokes. “Do you have shoes?”
I think of Arthur and the word ‘kids’. Suddenly I feel very alone and very scared. I wish to rid our home of these intruders, but do not have the words and think they will only sneer or respond with harsh violence. When in doubt, say nowt, as Tom has often advised me.
“We’ll take those,” he announces, motioning to his female associate to carry my belongings. “Right. Let’s go.”
And thus we leave, entering a black cage parked on the road outside the house. I am ordered to sit on the rear seat, between two henchmen.
Slowly, the cage begins to proceed and I turn to look back, wondering if I will ever again return home in time for afternoon tea, for toast thickly spread with butter and jam; to watch Jenny rolling a drug-stick; to listen to Tom’s tales of his day in school; to laugh with Emily about my promise to take her flying once she is restored to full health.
Stokes turns to glower at me.
“Eyes front. No talking and no sudden movements. Understand?”
This was, I assumed, an expression of his opinion of the situation. It was not an opinion I shared.
END OF PART ONE