A Place Of Healing – 18

A few minutes later, having left Jess demonstrating to her father the evening’s yoga exercises, Cassie arrived at the manse to be welcomed by Paul and taken into the large kitchen where there was coffee, Maura Campbell and Gideon Reed.

Greetings were exchanged, then Paul spoke.

“As you are aware, the condition of the church is not great and the recent storm removed more slates from the roof. Local people, including Gideon, have done patch jobs, for which, of course, I’m tremendously grateful. But it needs a professional builder and for that we need . . .”

“Money.” Maura finished the sentence. Cassie noticed that she looked slightly different. Yes, her hair. She had a new cut. Her nails were painted a pretty pale coral to match her coral ear rings.

“That’s right,” Paul said. “I was wondering if we could put together a committee of people to organise and help run a series of fund-raising events – on top, of course, of the weekly church collection. A monthly ceilidh, for example.”

He looked round at the others.

“These things raise money and they also help to bring people together, which I think is so important for a community which can often be isolated. What do you think?”

They all nodded and agreed, and then Gideon spoke quietly.

“I’m not one for watching television much. I still like the wireless, for you can be doing other things meanwhile, you know. I can’t mend a lobster pot or a net watching one of these soap operas.” He smiled sheepishly. “But I do like to watch that talent show of a Saturday. And I understand it’s very popular.”

Maura reached out suddenly and touched his arm.

“Gideon, that’s a wonderful idea! ‘Skerrabost’s Got Talent’. I’m sure a hill farmer can produce a dancing dog, at least. There’s plenty of talent on Skerrabost.”

She still had her hand on Gideon’s left arm.

Paul was enthusiastic.

“Yes! That would bring people together. Perhaps we could award a small cup to the winner. We’d need judges, of course.”

“Perhaps Doctor Shelley?” Maura said.

Cassie almost giggled out loud. She could just see Andrew as the severe judge, happily telling people they were hopeless!

“The trouble is, Maura, Andrew never knows when he might be called away to an emergency.”

Or make one up, she added to herself.

“Well, yourself, then, Mrs Shelley?” Maura retorted. “You’re new to the island with no favourites. People will know that.”

Gideon joined in.

“And you, Reverend! No-one will argue with a man of the cloth. What about the schoolteacher, too?”

“Yes,” Cassie agreed. “Mary Jordan. Ask Mary, Paul.”

“Do you think I should?”

“Yes, I do.” Cassie glared at him.

“And how about you Gideon? As a judge, I mean,” Maura said.

Gideon gave his slow, shy smile.

“Och, no. That wouldn’t do at all; no, not at all. For I will be a contestant!”

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!