21. Worried about Granny

21. Worried about Granny

A Chapter by Peter Rogerson



I love you, Darren,” whispered Jennifer on the middle day of their camping holiday at Dunes. It was well after dawn, which occurred in what they referred to as the middle of the night, and they had been woken by the unexpected rattle of raindrops on the canvas inches above their heads, a sound that was in stark contrast to the week so far.

And I love you, angel,” he replied. He’d taken to calling her that because in his eyes that’s exactly what she was: an angel. Not that he implied any religious connotation to the word because, like his late father and most likely influenced by him he had no religious belief at all and even disliked mouthing to the words of hymns in morning assembly at school.

And to think,” she whispered, gently stroking his stomach under the quilt, “that we planned to walk into town this morning, and enjoy another plate of fish and chips for lunch. But if it’s going to be wet…” Leaving the sentence in mid air was as good as finishing it, and Darren agreed with what the abbreviation meant.

At which point Jennifer’s mobile phone rang, her ring tone being a phrase from the once popular song after which she had been named, a girl called Jennifer Juniper and consequently perfect for her ring-tone. She picked it up and stared at the screen. “It’s mum,” she said, “and the battery’s close to being gone.” Then she swiped the screen. “What’s so important at this hour?” she asked of the plastic device.

It’s granny,” said her mother’s distinctive voice, “she’s in hospital and is asking to see you.”

I’ll be back on Saturday,” she told the phone.

It’s serious Jennifer,” and it was clear from the tone of the older woman’s voice that she was worried, but to ram the message home she added, “she might not make it until the weekend.”

Jennifer got the message and sat up, banging her head on the canvas, which provoked a fine spray of rainwater.

What is it?” asked Darren.

Shh!” she hissed in reply, and “what’s wrong with her, mum?”

Before her phone gave up the ghost with a flat battery she discovered that her granny, her mother’s own mother, had suffered a stroke and it was touch and go whether there was much that could be done to save her.

In the end, and while the phone was still functioning, she gasped “we’ll be on our way, mum, soon as soon,” and she looked wide-eyed and in despair at Darren.

I’ve got to go home,” she said.

With half their week remaining he might have protested, but he didn’t. He’d heard enough of the telephone conversation to know that something involving a family member of the Sagebrush’s was far from being right.

Of course,” he said, without expecting any more information.

It’s my granny Piper,” she explained, “she’s had a stroke and wants to see me, and she might not last…” Here the young woman’s eyes filled with moisture… “until Saturday…”

Then let’s get packed!” exclaimed Darren.

They didn’t exactly pack the tent away neatly. It was wet, and the truth is they hardly packed it at all but scrumpled it into the trailer together with as much else as they could fit in, They had with them a minimum of wet weather clothing, but it proved to be just about enough as long as they were prepared to get wet in spite of it, and it was still quite early when they were ready to set off on the journey home.

They had paid for a week in advance and Davy Braithwaite, the site owner, scribbled a credit note of sorts when he understood that they really had to leave three days early and it wasn’t because they didn’t like his site.

Then they were off.

It was still raining, but the rain was warm enough not to actually freeze them as they gratefully accepted help from a breeze that blew off the sea and onto the land.

Darren had recovered from the outward journey and it seemed that his muscles had gone some way to adapting to sudden bursts of pedalling. The truth was, by mid afternoon they were home, and had experienced nothing like the sort of hitch that might have slowed them down.

Darren’s mother was at work at the detective agency run by a private detective called Spooks, where she was involved in typing reams of pages for Mr Spooks himself. So Darren went next door with Jennifer until she returned.

We’re home,” she called when they had rushed, wet through because the rain had barely relented all day, into the kitchen.

You’re soaking!” exclaimed Violet Sagebrush as if she might have expected them to have come in from the rain bone dry.

How’s granny?” asked Jennifer.

I’ve just come back from seeing her. At least she’s alive. But you two, you’d better get dry.

I want to see her,” declared Jennifer.

All in good time. It’s not visiting time at the moment, but if you dry off and change into something decent I’ll make you some sandwiches. We can’t have you collapsing of starvation before getting to the hospital. Granny wouldn’t like that at all. What about you, Darren?”

I’ve hot some dry shorts,” he replied, and he grinned at Violet, “at least, they could be dry,” he said as he pulled his backpack off and delved into it.

Take him up to your room, Jennifer, and give him a towel,” said Mrs Sagebrush, and she smiled at her daughter, “after a couple of nights under canvas I doubt there’s any part of him you haven’t already seen,” she added.

Jennifer took Darren by one hand and led him up the stairs into her bedroom.

it’s very understanding of your mum,” he said as he pulled his wet trousers off.

Jennifer grinned him. “There’s one thing I know about mum,” she said, “and that is she was young once and knows I must have spent some time admiring your private bits and pieces.”


Of course,” she said, “just like you’ve been admiring mine! Now let’s get dry. I’m worried about granny.”

© Peter Rogerson 19.05.21


© 2021 Peter Rogerson

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Added on May 19, 2021
Last Updated on May 19, 2021
Tags: privates, hospital, granny, hurry home


Peter Rogerson
Peter Rogerson

Forest Town, Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

I am 77 years old, but as a single dad with four children that I had sole responsibility for I found myself driving insanity away by writing. At first it was short stories (all lost now, unfortunately.. more..