Stranger Than Fiction PART 1
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My name is Tom Cunningham, I’m retired now but thirty six years ago I had a very strange experience that I have never mentioned to anyone until now.
It was November the twelfth, nineteen eighty two, a Friday. I was working for a large company called Medico, which specialised in supplying state of the art medical equipment for hospitals.
I was living in Scotland at the time and our C.E.O. John Turner decided to have a conference for all the senior managers in the group.
Medico’s head office was based in the city of Cardiff in Wales and John arranged to have the conference at The Old Manor hotel which was about an hour or so drive from Cardiff airport, the nearest village was Castle Bridge and the venue was about a five minute drive from there and you couldn’t get any more remote than that but at least it would be peaceful.
Sandra my secretary booked me a flight, hire car and of course an overnight stay at the Old manor The conference was to be held on the Saturday starting with a breakfast at eight o’clock and finishing about four o’clock the same day.
I flew to Cardiff airport and arrived at about seven o’clock on Friday evening, I went to the Supreme car hire desk and picked up the keys and it was about a two minute walk from the terminal to the car, I put my suitcase and laptop in the boot and was soon heading out of the airport and picked up the B4456 which would lead me to Castle Bridge village, roughly an hours drive give or take a few minutes or so.
It was dark and then it started to rain heavy and I had to put on the window wipers at full speed so I could see, in his email John had said to give yourself plenty of time as being dark it might be a bit tricky to find but he didn’t mention the heavy rain which reduced visability and I chuckled to myself.
I noticed the lack of houses and lights and thought how remote it was out here, I’d been on the road about half an hour when I heard a loud bang which came from the rear of the car and then it started to sway, I pulled over and got out and saw that I had a puncture on the rear offside wheel, damn I thought, just what I don’t need. I pulled the car over to what looked like a driveway ; at least I was off the road and not a danger to anyone else on the road even though I had yet to see another car.
I opened the glove compartment and took out the paperwork and started to dial the number for breakdowns and emergencies, I looked at the phone and it said, no signal.If it had been summertime and bright other cars would have been on the road and I would have been okay or I could even have walked to Castle Bridge and got help but I didn’t fancy walking on a dark country road in the pouring rain.After about twenty minutes the rain eased off and the clouds cleared a bit to reveal the moon which helped to illuminate my surroundings.
I was resigning myself to spending the night in the car when in the distance I noticed a flickering light, hallelujah I shouted to myself, a house.
I got out of the car and headed towards it and as I approached realised it was much bigger than your average farmhouse.
I got to the front door and saw a sign which read St Jude’s Monastery, great I thought they should have a phone I can use.
I used the big brass knocker on the door and a couple of minutes later it opened and a monk stood before me.
“Hello” he said “I’m Brother Paul the abbot here how can I help you “?
( CONTINUES IN PART 2 )
Copyright © Tom Cunningham | Year Posted 2018