69 – The Vicarage – Part 4on April 29, 2013 at 1:12 pm
The gravel crunched underfoot as we walked across the yard, and that was the only sound I could hear. Not only the cathedral grounds, but the whole city was dead silent. Steve didn’t say a word to me as we walked, there was a stone cold silence between us. I like to think it’s because I saw him crack in there. He didn’t want to show me that anger but he let it slip. I’m not sure why yet, but I had a feeling I was about to find out.
There was a layer of mist sitting on the ground, snaking heavily around the foot of weather-worn headstones. The gravel path weaved amongst the graves and led to a small wooden door in the side of the cathedral. Just before we went inside, I looked out towards the back of the building and I saw a hint of deep sapphire-blue glowing behind the silhouette of the building we had just left, the same building they had earlier referred to as The Vicarage. The sun was rising.
Inside the Cathedral it was cold and quiet. There was an open door which led into a room, (The Sacristy according to the wooden plaque), the smell of fresh linen drifted out of this room. Steve looked over to the other side of the cathedral where there was another gun-wielding man guarding a room. The door to this room was closed. He silently waved at the guy and he obediently trotted over.
“What does he want?” Steve whispered. The guy looked over his shoulder and then at the open door to the sacristy. He told Steve to be quiet using his eyes alone.
“He’s letting her go”. He whispered back, almost silently.
“Watch her”. Steve said, handing me over like a dog on a lead. He walked over to the sacristy, went inside and closed the creaky wooden door behind him. I managed to catch the words, “Good morning Lewis”, as he did but after that I could hear nothing. I looked at the guy who had been told to watch me. He had a huge gun on a strap slung over his shoulder. He was looking over at the door that he was supposed to be guarding.
“What’s your name?” I asked, out loud so that it echoed around the whole cathedral. My words seemed to ring forever before sinking into the walls.
“Mark” He said. The door handle rattled over the other side of the cathedral.
“Do you do as you’re told Mark?” His attention snapped back to me. He looked a little confused. I was trying to get a response out of him, hoping to get a little flicker of the same help I got from his counterpart in the vicarage. He gave me nothing.
“Shut up and stand there”. He said as he put me against the wall right beside the sacristy door. He left me and walked over to the door at the other side where the handle had rattled a couple of times but had now stopped. I watched him as he opened the door and spoke to someone inside. He was speaking a little too quietly for me to make out what was being said but it generally felt like he was asking someone if they were okay. He closed the door. He looked back at me and I waved. He frowned. I had resigned myself to whatever was going on here, mostly out of curiosity, a little out of a feeling of defeat. My life was over anyway, I may as well ride this out and see what happens. One thing was for sure though, I certainly wasn’t going to let them know that. Keep smiling and they won’t know what to think, so I did. I smiled and I waved again. Mark looked at me, at the door and back at me again. I’m pretty sure he was convinced I was going to bolt so he never took his eyes off me for too long. What he didn’t know was that I had no intention of bolting for the door. What Mark couldn’t hear from his distant viewpoint was the conversation that I could hear. From where I was standing, right beside the closed sacristy door, I could hear everything that was being said inside, only just but I could hear it nonetheless. I had joined the conversation a little late but that was okay, I got the gist of it.
Steve was in trouble with the guy in there, a man named Lewis. Lewis was not happy with the way Steve had been ordering his men to drive around the city and bring people here. I heard Lewis say that this was not a rescue mission and that Steve had to stop that immediately. Lewis asked why he was doing this and there was a long silence, then I heard him say, “I was looking for Kirsty, sir.” This was all well and good – it was the truth after all, however, my concern began to arouse when he was asked why he was looking for me. Firstly, Steve avoided the question, he asked Lewis why he wanted to see me.
“I have someone here asking for her”. He said. I had no idea who that might be, maybe one of the girls from the supermarket had introduced themselves to Lewis. I looked at Mark who was watching me like a hawk.
“Lewis, let me talk to her first. We can’t be too careful” I heard Steve say. “Keep her away from anyone else until I’ve done that”. He didn’t tell Lewis that we were once married. Quite the opposite in fact, he was trying to give him the impression that they can’t trust me and I need some kind of questioning. Unfortunately, Lewis seemed to believe him.
The door handle rattled over the other side of the cathedral and Mark opened the door again. This time I heard perfectly as a voice from inside shouted,
“He just moved. I swear to god he just moved!” That voice belonged to my next door neighbour, Grant.