A Time To Reap – Episode 13

A Time To Reap

“While we’re waiting,” Chris said, “I have something to say.”

Mamie gasped. Just what she’d been hoping for – an engagement!

“I don’t want to be called Chris any more.”

“What?” Mamie stared at her daughter. “You’ve always said you preferred Chris to Christine.”

“I do. But Chris sounds like a boy, and Christine’s old-fashioned. I know you named me after Dad’s mother, but this is nineteen sixty-three. From now on, I want to be called Crystal.”

“Crystal!” Neil cried. “What kind of a name is that?”

“It suits me,” Chris said calmly. “It suits my new . . .”

“There’s the tractor,” Robbie interrupted.

Alec tipped his cap in silent greeting as he got off the tractor and tied a long rope to the back of it.

He handed the other end to Neil to attach to the car bumper, and climbed back into the driver’s seat.

Neil raised his hand.

“That’s it, Alec, pull away.”

He turned to clamber out the ditch and suddenly put his hand to his back. Pain crossed his face.

“Alec, stop!” Mamie called. “Neil’s back’s gone.”

*  *  *  *

“Not the first time this has happened, I see from Doctor Munro’s records.” Struan Scott, the new locum, smiled ruefully at Neil. “The treatment as before, I’m afraid. Complete bed rest.”

It had been a long evening. Fortunately, Chris’s car was drivable once they’d got it out, and Robbie drove it home. Mamie followed in their car with Neil stretched out, groaning, on the back seat.

Once he was lying on the sofa, Mamie phoned the doctor while her daughter went to have a bath.

Dr Scott said he’d come as soon as he could, just as old Dr Munro would have done, which was a relief.

Some folk in the area were grumbling about a few of the changes the young doctor had made but, in Mamie’s opinion, such changes were well overdue.

“Thank you for coming. I’ll show you out,” she said, leading the way into the hall just as Chris – Crystal – came downstairs.

She had changed into tight cotton trousers and a gingham blouse that tied at the waist. Her wet hair fell in waves around her face.

She looked at the doctor, her eyes widening.

“I’m Crystal MacPherson.” She held out her hand.

He took it, staring at her.

“Struan Scott.” The doctor’s voice was husky. He cleared his throat. “Crystal. What a beautiful name.”

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.