The Primrose Line – Episode 48

Illustration by Ged Fay

The snow fell heavily as Jim and the children headed back to Bluebell Cottage. He was thankful for their excited chatter about the afternoon they’d passed on the railway. It took his mind off many things.

Nicola’s words kept ringing in his head.

“I’ll still be going to Canada in the autumn.”

“Grandpa, it’s really coming down now,” Emile said. “Do you think we’ll be able to go skiing?”

“It’s certainly cold enough to settle but, as to skiing, that’s not really what we’re geared for in this country.”

“What about Mummy? will she be able to get home?” Adrienne voiced Jim’s own doubts about Laura’s situation since the weather had deteriorated.

Had she been wise enough to leave in good time?

“It may not be snowing where she is. We’ll have to wait and see. I’m sure she’ll ring as soon as she can to tell us what’s happening.”

“Perhaps she’ll be trapped and have to stay with Mr Barry overnight.”

“Like I said, let’s wait and see, shall we?” Jim said, forcing his mind to concentrate on the swirling snow, which was preferable to the other thoughts that Adrienne had innocently put into words.

They’d stayed longer at the railway than Jim had intended and that, coupled with the appalling driving conditions on the virtually obliterated road, made their progress slow back to Bluebell Cottage.

Several times Jim had to get out of the car to check where the road edge was.

He had fears of driving into the ditch that ran alongside. If that happened, that was where the vehicle would spend the night and they’d have to walk home.

Dusk was falling when they finally made it back to the house.

“I can’t see Mummy’s car,” Emile said.

“No,” Jim replied, trying to keep the tightness from his voice. “We’ll have to allow her extra time, under the circumstances.”

“Why hasn’t she phoned? Can we phone her?” Adrienne asked.

“She may be driving and can’t answer. One thing you don’t need in these conditions are any distractions. Let’s go in and get the fires going.”

“Wait, Grandpa. Look over there by the woodshed – someone’s in the shadows!” Emile gripped Jim’s arm tightly.

“What the . . .?”

“It’s a man – and he’s coming towards us!” Adrienne almost screamed the words.

“Salut, mes enfants!”

“Papa!” The children cried in unison and leaped from the car.

Jim relaxed in his seat, trying to calm the beating of his heart. Then he, too, climbed out and embraced his son-in-law.

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.