Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The Last Trip

A sad little piece for a competition on

“Did you remember to pack the wineskins?” Matilda fussed, trying to pull her squat body into the front seat of the cart. Cedric, having rolled his eyes a number of times in the last few minutes only nodded, and hopped in beside his wife.

“Everything’s packed, darling. Stop worrying.” He leant pulled the little wooden door shut on his side, as Matilda did the same, then took the horses reigns and made their way out on the road.

“So,” Cedric began. “Where are we going?”

Matilda only glanced around to glare at her husband. “We’re going on holiday.”

“Yes, Matty. I know. But where?” His wife didn’t even look around this time, but shrugged her shoulders and kept guiding her two grey horses.

As the journey continued on, Cedric thought it odd how irritable Matilda had been acting, but only laid his hand gently on her shoulder and squeezed reassuringly. It hadn’t been an easy week.

The news from the doctor hadn’t been easy for her to take. They said he was dying.  He’d been coughing a lot, recently, and the doctor had been most concerned. It didn’t seem too bad now, though, in fact, he realised he hadn’t so much as cleared his throat in the hours they’d been driving for. It’d be nice if they’d overreacted and maybe if he survived, the only holiday they’d ever taken wouldn’t be their last.

“We’re here, my love.” Matilda whispered, and Cedric woke, realising he’d fallen asleep and missed most of the journey.

“I’m sorry, love,” Cedric fussed, rubbing his eyes. “I didn’t mean to fall asleep on you…” After all, as Matty always said, the journey is half of the holiday! Not that Cedric was sure how she knew that, seeing as how she’d never been on holiday before.

But as he looked up in the darkness, he realised that he was still dreaming. Matilda was sitting looking at him in the cart, and they were stood in front of a door. Not a building, not a shack and not a stall. Just a door.

“Where are we?” Cedric frowned, wondering why on earth his wife had taken him to a place like this for his last holiday.

“You’ve finished your journey, Ced. Now it’s time to rest and have a holiday.”

But still, Cedric didn’t understand. Hopping out of the cart, he pouted, seeing that his wife didn’t look terribly much like the woman he’d just been travelling with. She was ghostly white, and when she moved, her image seemed to blur. But more than that, she was young again, almost exactly as when they’d met. She carefully stepped down from her chair, and held out her hand.

“Let’s go on holiday, love?”

Cedric nodded, and taking her hand, began to feel a sense of peace and love flow through his body. Stepping into the door, he began his well earned holiday.

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