Countdown To Christmas – Episode 14

AS the rehearsal resumed, Sally exaggerated her steps and counted out loud for Kate’s benefit, while Kate watched like a hawk, counting along under her breath and concentrating as hard as she could.It was all going well until a drilling noise from outside the room distracted her. One minute she was perfectly in step, the next her foot had skidded away from her. She scrambled to regain her balance, her arms windmilling, and cannoned into Sally, who went crashing to the ground.“Oh, no! Sally, are you OK? I’m so sorry!” Kate sank to her knees beside her friend who lay crumpled on the wooden floor of the hall.Sally looked pale and shaken.“Just give me a second need to catch my breath . . .”The class clustered round.“Can you move your arms and legs?”“Does it hurt anywhere?”“I wonder if Nick’s around? He’s a paramedic.”“I don’t need a paramedic,” Sally protested, wriggling round to sit up. “I’ll be fine in a minute. Just help me up, someone, will you?”Gingerly she gave Kate her arm to help her to her feet. “Ow! I don’t think I can get up. I I may have broken my ankle.”Kate’s hand flew to her mouth in horror.“Oh, Sally, I’m so sorry!” She looked round the group. “Does anyone know any first aid?”Why couldn’t it have been her, she thought as she looked at her friend. At least Sally could dance. It wouldn’t have mattered if Kate had to drop out Dolores would no doubt be relieved. But Sally, though she would deny it, was one of the stars of their little group.Her friend was exploring her ankle with a shaking hand and smiling bravely.“False alarm. I don’t think it’s broken look, I can move my foot around. Let me try to get up again.”This time, with Kate on one side and George on the other, she did manage to get to her feet. They helped her over to the chairs just as Dolores surprisingly sensible arrived with some ice cubes wrapped in a tea towel.Dolores caught Kate’s look of surprise and bristled.“Dancing injuries are common on the stage,” she explained briefly. “A girl has to know how to treat them. Here, Sally, hold this on your ankle. It’ll help the swelling.”Kate sank down on the seat beside her friend.“I’m such a clumsy oaf. Are you sure it’s not broken? It’s pretty swollen!”Sally wiggled her toes and drew a small cheer from the group.“Pretty sure. But I might just sit this one out for now.”Dolores stepped back and rallied her troupe with a clap of the hands.“Places then, everyone, please. The show must go on. Even if Sally might not be able to go on with it!”Then all the lights went out again.


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