The Visit

The Visit

A Story by Georgina V Solly
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Animals have feelings, too.

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THE VISIT

 

Seen from above, the motorway looked no different from others in that part of the country. The long straight road cut out from the surrounding countryside, revealed nothing of its history to those driving along it. For the drivers, they only saw what they had to, in order to get to where they were heading. If there were cows or sheep grazing in the fields, they were invisible to anyone moving on the motorway. Even though there were signs on the sides of the motorway informing the traveller that there had once been a castle or the site of a battle just where they were, still nobody paid any attention to this unwanted piece of information.

Laura had often wondered if the places depicted on the signs were as important as they were made out to be. One day, being in an inquisitive frame of mind, Laura took it upon herself to try out one of the signs. The one she chose was the site of a battle. The information declared that at some time during the Middle Ages, one group had overpowered a rival one for ownership of the land. The car park to the battlefield was full, to Laura’s astonishment. There were indications as how to get to the most interesting part, and guides too who were more than willing to impart any information they were asked. According to the brochure, the winning side had been greatly outnumbered, but through using their wits and stealth, had surrounded the enemy and routed them. Everyone was impressed at the result. The area was out in the open and was windy and cold, which somehow added to the atmosphere that had reigned there during the battle. The guides said there was no point in looking for remnants of swords or armour, because they had been retrieved when the battle was over. Just off to one side, there was a tourist centre which served food and drink, film shows of the battle, and the typical goods on display, announcing where the articles had been bought. The film show was very popular, as it brought to life what had taken place hundreds of years ago. There were no sounds of complaints, only pleasure.

Night was only an hour away, when the centre began asking everyone to get ready to leave wile there was still light. The sky was covered by dark clouds, and that stained everything on the ground grey. It was a desolate place, and Laura wondered if it had been so dull and miserable on the day of the battle. The motorway was now lit up by the headlamps of the cars going back home. The busy road resembled a glittery snake in the oncoming darkness.

The house was only lit up by the living-room lights, and Laura was too tired to notice the two parked cars outside. She got out, and walked towards the house she shared with her husband, Fraser. As she opened the front door, she heard laughter and giggling coming from the large living-room. Laura opened the door to see that, while she had been out there had been some sort of a celebration going on in her home, of which she was in dire ignorance.

Fraser stood up as Laura entered, “Look who’s here, Edmund and Aida. They were out for a drive, and dropped in. Isn’t that nice of them?”

Laura said, “Oh, yes very nice. Excuse me, I’ve got to change I’ve been in these clothes since this morning.”

“You won’t be long , will you? I’ve got something to tell you,” Aida said, as Laura was leaving the room.

“I’ll be as long as is necessary,” answered Laura, who knew full well that Aida was the last person who would have anything of interest to tell anyone.

The evening passed as well as Laura had thought it would. The important thing that Aida had to tell Laura was, that they would be staying for three or four days while some water pipes were being repaired. So they hadn’t dropped in by chance after all. If Fraser hadn’t invited them in, someone else would have had the pleasure of their company, eating them out of house and home, and using hot water as if it were the first time they had used any.

During their stay, Aida offered to cook, but whether it was intentional or not she always burnt everything, and got the kitchen into a disgusting mess. Fraser and Edmund went off to play golf together, and left Aida and Laura behind. Laura worked part-time, and Aida went off to work very early, leaving the breakfast things in the sink and the bedroom in complete disorder.

Laura got home earlier than Aida and saw the mess. She almost burst into tears. One night she said to Fraser, “You know, Fraser, I think it’s true that visitors are like fish - after three days they go off. How much longer are they thinking of staying?”

Fraser was silent, then said, “They’re having the house painted now. As they are so happy here, they’ve decided to stay on till all the work has been done.”

Laura said, “This isn’t an hotel you know, and anyone can see we’ve been taken for a ride. Originally they were to be here while the water pipes were being repaired. They’re taking advantage of us, that’s for sure.” Laura finished.

 

Laura and Fraser didn’t have to wait long before Aida and Edmund left. The odd couple left when their hosts were at work. A note was left stuck on the fridge, supported by  Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny. It said, “Thanks for the hospitality, but Bunny and Glen have invited us over till all is well in our place. Love from us two. Edmund and Aida.”

 Laura went to the guest room until recently used by Aida and Edmund. The bedding was lying on the floor in a huge pile, and there were cups and plates lying on the floor. She went down to the kitchen and saw the sink full of dirty dishes and the floor filthy. Fraser said, “What on earth is the matter with them? They are really uncivilised. I hope Bunny and Glen know what they’re having in their house for the next few days.”

Laura and Fraser cleaned up the mess left behind by Aida and Edmund, and stayed out of sight, for enough time to subside, till they wanted to see anyone again.

For reasons best known to themselves, Aida and Edmund behaved in a totally different way, from how they had done so at Laura and Fraser’s.

Fraser was having a lunch time drink when he met up with Glen in the pub near where they worked. Fraser asked after the odd couple. “How are you getting on with them?”

Glen answered, “They aren’t with us now, as all the work has been done on their house, and they are reinstalled in it. They were very generous to us, and gave Bunny an expensive handbag, and me a miniature camera, in thanks for having them. It was a nice gesture on their part. They were only with us for two days, and then left for their own house. We went to dinner with them and other friends, the second weekend after they had gone back, and the food was really delicious, and Aida really showed herself to be an excellent cook. Haven’t you seen their house yet? Well, I’m sure you will when they have another do.”

If Fraser had been a woman he would most probably have burst into tears, but he just said, “I have to be going back to work. Bye glad you enjoyed your visitors.”

 

That night, when he related word for word to Laura, what Glen had told him. There was an eloquent silence, and then Laura said, “I really don’t understand what all that was about, do you?”

“Do you fancy moving to an area as far away as possible from all our so called friends?”

Laura agreed, and before the house had been sold, they had moved to a house in a village where they knew absolutely nobody.

“I’ve often wondered what would have happened if we’d gone to see Edmund and Aida and stayed.” Fraser said one day.

“We’d have been told that they were on the point of going out, and that would have been that,” Laura said with a catch in her throat. She realized that she and Fraser had been caught. But why? That was the question.

 

Laura and Fraser had a son called Joshua. He was an only child, and saw everything in his life and that of the world in general, through his own eyes. He never saw anyone else’s point of view. Joshua was friends with Bernard, the son of Aida and Edmund. He was an only child, too. Joshua and Bernard studied together, and were unaware of the situation between Joshua’s parents and Bernard’s. Because of Laura and Fraser’s having moved away from the area, Bernard decided to take Joshua home with him for a short stay. The idea of informing his parents about Joshua plus two other friends staying over, didn’t occur to Bernard.

 

What a surprise Aida and Edmund had, when they arrived home one evening to find four young men encamped in the living-room. They were nonplussed, to say the least.

“What’s going on here?” Edmund demanded of Bernard.

“They’ve come to stay for a few days, so that we can all go to Ellen Lewis’s party next Saturday,” Bernard replied.

Bernard knew nothing about his parents bad behaviour to Joshua’s, and was quite perplexed why they were taking the boy’s presence badly.

“We’ve never been ones for having anyone round, so it seems rather strange to us that you’re doing so,” Aida said.

“You have no choice whatsoever, as you stayed at Joshua’s when the house was being repaired. So just get on with it,” Bernard said.

Aida and Edmund said nothing to Bernard, but told him that, as soon as the party was over, they wanted their house back. Bernard was cut from a different mould from his parents, and allowed his friends to get up to all kinds of chicanery. The living-room was only for them, and they made the most of it. Aida and Edmund were becoming more and more frantic as the days passed. The party came and went, and so did the young men leaving the house, just as Aida and Edmund had left Laura and Fraser’s. The fridge was empty, and the food cupboards too. The laundry basket was full of dirty sheets and duvet covers. The young men had a whale of a time, and hadn’t spent any money at all.

 

It wasn’t long after the events that had taken place in Aida and Edmund’s house, that there were reports that rabbits were missing. The rabbits, that were considered to be pets and not for eating, went missing just before the weekends, more or less on Friday evenings, when the owners were out doing the weekend shopping. They arrived back home to find that their beloved pet had gone and the hutch had been left wide open.

The police were called in, but had very little to go on, so the case of the missing rabbits was put on the back burner. There were more important cases to get on with, like the one of the cars that had their tyres stolen during the night, that also happened on Friday nights.

Down at the police station, the policemen were laughing and joking about the local crimes. “What on earth’s going on round here on Friday evening and night? The television must be very boring, or some kind of sports centre will have to be built, in order to entertain those who are predisposed to getting up to no good,” one of the weekend-duty officers said.

“Well, it gives us something to do,” another officer said.

“I’d rather spend my Friday evening in the pub, or having a decent meal in a restaurant,” added another.

The police all agreed that finding those stealing rabbits and ripping car tyres would be no easy matter.

 

Out of the blue young girls were acquiring lucky rabbits’ feet, tails, and when the cold weather arrived, the knitted hats sported rabbit fur pompons, which added a touch of glamour to the article. Then, of course, there were fur mittens.

 

 

 

An irate female of the general public stormed into the police station one morning to complain about the fur hats and mittens on display in a local shop, were the exact fur of her missing pet rabbit. The officer in charge said, “Madam, would you please like to make an official complaint?”

“I reported my rabbit having gone missing from his hutch a month ago, and then, when I saw those articles in the shop window, I felt so sick I just had to get here as soon as I could to report it.”

 

The incident was taken up. A couple of officers drove round to the shop.

They saw a man and woman, and a couple of shop assistants working inside. The police entered, and straight away, were approached by a tall man, “Good afternoon, Officers. How can I help you?”

“Is the fur used in the manufacture of the goods sold here, made from genuine rabbit fur, or is it synthetic?” one officer asked.

“It’s genuine right enough. By the way, my name is Glen, and this is my wife Bunny. It isn’t her real name, of course, but as she loves rabbits so much, she’s always called herself Bunny since she was young. She used to wear a long rabbit skin coat, and then went on to smaller goods, hence the name.”

The two police officers stared at the flamboyant woman standing before them, she was wearing fur earrings. “We’ll have to close the shop, till this is all cleared up,” the second officer said.

One of the shop assistants rang the local papers with the information and then went to the police station with her bosses and her companion. Both Glen and Bunny were interviewed in separate rooms.

During the interview, one of the officers commented, “Why did you never offer some of the takings from the sales of their rabbits’ fur?”

Glen stared at the officer, and replied, “It never occurred to us they might even been interested in receiving money, after all it was our business, we had set it up. They had nothing to do with any of it.”

“But Glen, you were stealing their rabbits, and killing them for money. So, what’s your explanation for what you and your wife did?”

“Bunny’s always been crazy about rabbits, and when she suggested it to me, I fell in

with her plans. That’s all,” Glen said to the astonished officers.

 Bunny was a completely different case to deal with. Her response was limited, to say the least, “How can you say I don’t love rabbits, when the opposite is true? Why do you think I’m called Bunny?”

Nobody replied to that, and she was informed of her rights, and kept in a cell till it was decided what should be done with her. She was of course considered far too crazy to be fit for trial, and sent away to a centre for psychological study. Glen had to do time, and the rest of the fur that was already prepared for fabrication of furry articles, was sold, and the money given to a police charity.

 

Aida and Edmund saw the pair handcuffed and accompanied by the two police officers, and Glen being led into the court house on the day of the trial. Bunny was never seen again.

 

Laura and Fraser told Joshua to be very careful of the company he kept.

 

The scandal of the stolen rabbits soon died down, and the pet shops where pet rabbits had previously been sold, went in for small dogs and aquariums.

 

Laura and Fraser never discovered why Glen and Bunny had given presents to Aida and Edmund. It was simply that the shameful couple had been in on the stealing rabbits business from the beginning. The police never knew this, because Bunny was too far gone to remember anything, and Glen was not one for grassing on his friends.

 

The only thing Aida and Edmund could do was to move - and they did. Their son, Bernard, was the only one who knew where they had gone.

 

After that, nobody bought anything that didn’t have an ‘ARTIFICIAL FUR’ label on it. 

© 2016 Georgina V Solly


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Added on February 28, 2016
Last Updated on February 28, 2016
Tags: history, insanity, greed, rabbits

Author

Georgina V Solly
Georgina V Solly

Valencia, Spain



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First of all, I write to entertain myself and hope people who read my stories are also entertained. I do appreciate your loyalty very much. more..

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