Stranger Than Fiction PART 4
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I continued down the driveway and then came to a stop, damn, I thought I’ve come down the wrong driveway it must be further up.Then a man appeared from behind some trees with a sheepdog, great I thought I’ll ask him.
I got out of the car and said “hello,” he said hello back and asked was I lost,” no” I said “I think I’ve taken a wrong turn I’m looking for St Jude’s”
“St Judes is no longer here, and pointed over to the right, see that impression well that’s where it used to be over seventy odd years ago, I looked over to where he was pointing and there was what appeared to be lots of broken grey stones scattered everywhere.
“But I was here last night, I spent the night here” I said He looked at me like I was from Mars or somewhere , “well where did it go”? I asked.
The man said” it was during the war and a German Heinkell 177 was heading for the steel works at East Moors in Cardiff and wanted to do some serious damage to the war effort and of course was carrying a full load of SC250 bombs but a few miles from here were two anti aircraft batteries up in the hills and when they saw the bomber coming, they let go with everything they had and witnesses at the time say the cockpit was trailing smoke so it was out of control and out of the entire wilderness around here by bad luck crashed into the monastery, there was one almighty explosion and a fireball that could be seen as far away as Cardiff, of course there were no survivors and all thirty or so monks and the bomber crew died in the inferno.”
I just stood there in disbelief and could feel the hairs pricking on the back of my neck, I was in total shock.
“Are you okay “ ? said the man “ you’ve gone very white looking”
“No I’m okay” I said , He looked at his watch and said” I’d better be off , my wife will be wondering where I am, well nice to meet you,” he said “goodbye” and he was gone.
I sat in the car and my head was going around, did I dream it I asked myself, I had a sudden thought, the punctured tyre, I got out of the car and opened the boot and strapped in the well was a brand new tyre that had never been used, I went cold again and couldn’t think straight, was I going mad , was I working too hard .
After ten minutes I drove off and headed for the airport, I was about fifteen minutes out from the airport and I noticed a car with hazard lights flashing, I pulled up behind and got out to see if help was needed, it was an elderly couple and they had hit a rock in the road and had a puncture, I offered to change it for them and did so, they were extremely grateful, “can we give you something for your trouble,” “no” I said “just do a good turn for someone when you get the chance “and then remembered where I had last heard those words.
I was just about to drive away when I remembered the basket and I insisted that they have it and I think I made their day, the old lady was crying with happiness and I could feel myself welling up too.
I was in the departure lounge and fired up the laptop and searched for St Judes Monastery, I read what it said and it was as the man had told me , then I saw the date that it happened November the twelfth 1944.
I was deep in thought not understanding what I had experienced, I vowed to myself never to speak of it , no right minded person would ever believe me .
I was brought out of my deep thought with the announcement from the tannoy “ will passengers travelling to Edinburgh International please make their way to gate 44, thank you”
( THE CONCLUSION )
Copyright © Tom Cunningham | Year Posted 2018