A Place Of Healing – 11

A few minutes later the offending organ, small but deadly, was in a kidney dish and Andrew was sewing up the incision, the black thread like little kisses on the white flesh.

When everything was cleared away Andrew opened the surgery door.

A flash of lightning lit up the room to reveal mother and father standing like statues.

“It’s over,” Andrew said. “It went well. She’ll be awake soon but she might feel sick. There’s a paper bowl.”

There was more thunder but it seemed further away. Andrew felt drained.

*  *  *  *

At five a.m. a Sea King helicopter put down in a blustery Stanecroft and took Sarah and her mother to hospital on the mainland in case of post-operative infection.

Alison had stayed at the surgery even though Andrew urged her to go. He knew that she would have a full day ahead of her.

“Thank you, Alison, you were a tower of strength.”

She snorted.

“Tosh! You didn’t need me to hold your hand. You did OK.”

Andrew took that as a compliment.

At nine a.m. Andrew received a phone call from Mr Terry, a surgeon at Glasgow General Infirmary.

“Your patient’s doing fine, Doctor. We’ll keep her for a few days but she shows no sign of infection. You did a good job.”

“Thank you.”

“I think the incision was a little too long,” Mr Terry went on, “and my aunt Florence can sew better!” He laughed. “Only joking. Well done.”

Andrew put down the receiver. He’d done a good job. This time. And with help. What other challenges would Skerrabost confront him with? And what if, next time, he failed?

* * * *

“So, what do you think?” Cassie looked eagerly, if rather anxiously, at Paul Bryant as she handed him the notice she had designed and printed out.
As he took it and looked at it Cassie searched for reaction in his face. He looked at the notice, his lips reading silently, then he looked at Cassie, then back at the notice.

“Yoga, Cassie? On Skerrabost? In the church hall?”

“Yes,” Cassie said enthusiastically. “Why not? Yes, we are small and remote here but people aren’t any different from anywhere else.”

“You think so?” Paul looked at the notice again and its main heading. Yoga For Beginners. He silently shook his head and blew out his cheeks.

“Perhaps for the commuters of Chelsea or Islington, Cassie, but the housewives, farmers and fishermen of Skerrabost? I can’t see it. Why not just a fitness class? I think you’d stand a better chance.”

“Really? Perhaps I could go on after Scottish Slimmers!”


Cassie sniffed.

“If I pay the fee, can I hire the church hall for yoga classes? Yes or no?”

“Of course you can, Cassie. I just thought . . .”

“Paul,” Cassie said firmly, “sometimes you have to go out on a limb. I’m trained in yoga. I know its benefits for body and mind. It will be quite gentle and you can meditate at the same time in the silence of your mind rather than bounce up and down to pop music.”

Paul looked at her doubtfully. She pointed at him.

“I could fix you, Paul Bryant, in a yoga position, and for the next ten minutes you could meditate on the Ten Commandments or the life of St Paul.”

Paul shrugged.

“I can meditate in the church, or walking in the glen.”

Cassie sighed.

“Pity. Mary Jordan seems quite keen.” She played her ace with deliberate nonchalance.

“Oh! You have mentioned it to . . . to other people, then?”

“Yes, quite a few, actually,” Cassie said casually.

“And you think Mary, and others, are interested?”

“Absolutely. I’ve not been here very long, Paul, but one thing I’ve noticed is that the folk of Skerrabost are quite inquisitive. If something’s going on, they want to know what!”

Lucy Crichton

Fiction Editor Lucy is always on the look-out for the very best short stories, poems and pocket novels. As well as sourcing enjoyable content, she enjoys working with our established contributors, encouraging new talent, and celebrating 155 years of 'Friend' fiction!