A Place Of Healing – 13

“Sarah, could you put the CD on, please? Some gentle sitar music, ready for the first exercise.” She asked them to take a step forward with their stronger leg and lean forward over it, with their other leg trailing behind them.

“Now stretch out with both arms as though you were diving in to a lake.”

People seemed to manage this, if a little self-consciously at first, and then the leg positions were reversed. A few minutes later Cassie asked them to stand on their left leg, place the sole of their right foot on the inside of their left thigh and raise their arms above their head.

There were the sounds of tottering and toppling, grunting and giggling. The large frame of Gideon Reed collided with the wall twice, but fortunately no-one was next to him.

“Are you all right, Gideon?” Maura Campbell called.

“Och, it’s nothing at all, nothing at all, but I thank you for your solicitude.”

The evening went well. There were groans and laughter and occasional silences with slow rhythmic breathing while the soft sitar sounds filled the room.

At the end Cassie got everyone to sit on the floor cross legged, straight backed, their hands on their knees, eyes closed and for five minutes clear their minds of worries, fears and anxieties.

A few ladies, including Mrs McGregor, needed some assistance in standing up afterwards but were helped by the younger ladies and vowed to do better next week, assuming, of course, they could still walk.

Cassie was pleased. It could have been a disaster but perhaps the doctor’s wife had made a bit of an impression.

“Paul, Mary. You’ll come back for coffee, won’t you? Jess, Daddy will run your bath and then it’s straight to bed. You must be tired.”

“Oh, Mummy,” Jess said scornfully, “it was easy.”

Paul put a hand to his back.

“I’m not too sure about that, Jess! Coffee would be great.”


“Yes, thank you. It was a good evening, Cassie. You realise all the women of Skerrabost will want to be as slim as you?”

“That would be Mrs McGregor’s worst nightmare!” Cassie laughed.

*  *  *  *

Andrew went off to supervise Jess’s bedtime and to listen while she read him “his bedtime story”. Cassie put the kettle on and joined Paul and Mary in the sitting-room.

“I think it went pretty well, don’t you?” she said.

“Yes, very well,” Paul agreed. “I think people, more people even, will be there next week.”

“Especially Gideon and the comely Maura Campbell.”

Paul looked puzzled. Cassie laughed.

“Don’t tell me you didn’t notice! No? Men!”

“Mrs McGregor told me that Gideon was in the post office when she asked Maura if she was going to the class,” Mary said.


“And Gideon is for ever calling into the post office for stamps but nobody has ever seen him posting a letter!”

Both women began to giggle.

“Whoops, there’s the kettle,” Cassie said. “Paul, can you come and carry the tray?”

In the kitchen Cassie made the coffee, then whispered fiercely to Paul.

“I’m going up to say goodnight to Jess. You, Paul Bryant, will ask Mary to go out with you. Right?”

“Och, Cassie, I don’t know. What if she says no?”

She glared at him.

“And what if she says yes? Do it!”

By the time she came downstairs with Andrew, Paul and Mary were chatting happily and Paul looked at Cassie with a rather smug smile.

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!