I had no idea where this would lead when I began writing it, now I do not know how to complete it.
David was not happy, he hardly ever was. He had agreed only very reluctantly
to this trek up into the Mountains, but now it was raining quite hard.
I had hoped to introduce him to the warm sunny uplands where the only sound
was the buzzing of busy insects and the breeze ruffling the long grass beside
the path. The other thing that had upset him was that I had insisted he wore
shorts and now he was feeling cold. It is much easier to get knees dry than trousers, I said, but his reply was lost in the strenghening wind.
As the rain became torrential we took shelter in a
sort of shallow cave where the rock above overhung the ground. David got out
his tobacco and managed to light up. I hoped this would make him more cheerful,
but as we looked out on the ever darkening clouds, that did not seem
very likely. On a finer day we could have seen down across the plane to the
sea, but today there was only the overarching grey sky. And then, as if holes
had suddely been punctured in it, streams of sunlight hit the ground in perhaps
five or six places in the valley with narrow bright beams reaching from the
clouds. One of them picked out a large boulder further up our path.
Look at that I said, looking from the boulder, up the beam, to the source in the clouds, a seat fit for an angel. Yeah yeah
was the indulgent reply. He was used to my flights of fancy. But as I continued
looking I was conscious that David too could see what I saw and knew
what it was.
It, and the beam in which it sat, seemed to transport towards us and we
were in sunlight, the warmth seemd to penetrate us and through the dazzle,
the angel, for that is what it, no she was, seemed to beckon us into
a cavern which was opening up before us in the rocky cliff, against which
we had been sheltering. Sounds there were now none and as the cavern opened,
we could see a bright exit at the other end towards which we were moving.
We have died, I thought to myself remembering descriptions of near death experinces.
I "heard" David's reply although he did not speak it. No we're not.
Then out into bright sunshine, so bright that we could not make out the landscape; only
a small boy, who turned and gave us an unwelcome look. Our angel did not speak, but I "heard"
what she said and the boy scuttled off. Then, as our eyes became accustomed to the bright light,
we could see where we were. There was a river before us which flowed down into a deep and
In the valley was a village, or at least a collection of huts and
around them swarms of strangely noiseless children; and, moving equally
noiselessly among them were further angels, carrying what I took to be wands of some kind.
angel looked at David and pointed towards the village and, to my
astonishment, he began to first walk, then skip and finally run
towards. I looked at the angel, but already knew that I was not
to follow and she led me gently back to where we had come in. And soon
I was back on the wet windy path. I returned to the car full of
questions but strangely at ease. The burden of caring for David
was lifted, at least temporarily, and I was sure he was in good
hands, Angelic hands indeed. So it was something of a disappointment to
find him sitting in the car waiting for me. He said nothing but looked
tranquil and, not wishing to risk one of his tantrums, I said nothing
of the angels and we drove home. Well that is to my home, David was my
frequent guest in between various stays in prison and more
frequent stays in hospitals. The former arose because of his obsession
with driving, despite a life ban. The latter arose from self harm done,
not because of any kind of self loathing, but rather as a reaction to not getting his own way immediately. Cutting off his nose to spite his face
is an expression an earlier generation would have used. Nowadays he is
diagnosed as having a personality disorder which, because it is
technically untreatable, attracts no help from any professional. Well
meaning prayer over many years had not produced any obvious results
either. So it was that I had got used to walking on eggshells in my
relationship with David, humouring him in order to keep the peace.
However over the next few days I hardly allowed myself to notice that
things appeared to be improving.
Usually if he had anything of significance to ask of me he would write
me a note while I was out and present it to me when I got back together
with a deliberately cheeky demand for coffee. Instead he became quite
chatty and on my return from shopping not only was I amazed to find he
had washed up, but he offered me a coffee. You know that angel thingee we visited he began. Yes, I replied hesitantly, I thought I had imagined it. Nope, he said with a wistful grin, I am still there.