The Last Flight. Chapter 31

Big Tits

The following days passed in a flash. Jemima tried hard to get me to go with her, even suggesting that we go by sea for the outward leg but, at such short notice, we would not make the flight back anyway. I went along along with it to some extent and, in all honesty, I really did want to go with her and join her on that wonderful new aeroplane but I knew, in my heart, that I would never have been able to do it, not without a sedative anyway and what, then, would be the point? She flew out on the Twenty-Second of April, promising me she would return as planned but if anything should change she would send a telegram. I had a few days leave to take so I took the opportunity to go over to France and visit my dad and the girls. He and Françoise had not yet decided where they would settle but she was due to retire in just a few years so my dad hired a manager for the farm and moved into Françoise’ house in Limoges. Much had changed since I had first appeared on her ward. The crash had affected so many people that if all the survivors could tell the same story as I have then much good has come out of a terrible tragedy. The house was a little quieter now. Pascale had moved out to live with her girlfriend and Dominique was training to be a nurse but with the French Air Force, so she no longer lived at home either. The friendship that had grown between us was so strong that whenever Jemima and I came to visit, Dominique would always try to get some leave so she could see me at least once and Pascale would be over at every opportunity. This time she brought her new love with her. Françoise had told me that she couldn’t wait for us to meet as she was so proud of her and desperately wanted my approval. When I finally met her I was pleased to find she was a very pleasant but very shy young woman called Renée. She was roughly the same age as Pascale but a little shorter with brown eyes and hair which was cut short, almost like a man but which gave her a cute, impish appearance which was exaggerated by her cheeky smile. It was obvious that she was as in love with Pascale as Pascale was with her. Between them all, they had found a couple of properties which they thought might be of interest to us around the Limoges district, and they took me to see them. One in particular was very nice and I thought it ideal for the two bahis siteleri of us. It was an old house that had not been occupied since the war and needed renovating but since I was to leave my job anyway, it seemed ideal. My dad said he would help us and I began to make plans for our future. That alone gave me a warm feeling inside. Making plans for a secure future that I could look forward to enjoying. My return was set for May the first with the intention to be at home when Jemima returned and, hopefully, meet her at the airport. It was a long journey back to England and I left the house at five a.m., saying my farewells at the door and getting into my dad’s car. He had offered to take me to the station rather than get a taxi. It was a grey and dismal morning. There was no sign of the sun today and I decided that it was likely to rain some time soon. Not that it really mattered, I would be on trains all day and the ferry but it did add to a strange, inexplicable sense of foreboding that had been with me since the moment I opened my eyes. My father parked the car and came to the train with me. As we walked across the concourse my feet felt heavy, as though they didn’t want to move. “Are you all right, Sweetheart?” he asked me as we approached the ticket barrier. “Er, yes, well, no. Oh, I don’t know,” I stumbled over the words. “Oh yes, I am. I am just being silly I suppose.” He took my arm and stopped me. “Is something troubling you?” he asked, worry showing in his eyes. “I don’t know,” I replied, “I feel strange but I don’t know why.” “If you want to stay a little longer…” he began but I stopped him with a shake of my head. “No, it’s nothing,” I assured him, smiling, “Just being silly.” “If you’re sure,” he said with a hint of a question. “Yes, I’m sure,” I laughed lightly and we continued on through the barrier, showing my ticket and his platform ticket to the uniformed man at the gate. “Merci,” he said, waving us through and touching the peak of his cap. At the prescribed time, whistles blew, doors slammed shut and, with a jolt and clank, the train began to move. I waved to my dad as he receded. “Write soon,” was the last thing I heard as he disappeared into the smoke from the locomotive. I sat back and relaxed, or tried to, but this feeling of dread just would not leave me. The hours passed canlı bahis siteleri by slowly and passengers came and went. A few spoke and, although I had learned a little French, conversation was laboured and they soon lapsed into silence. Before she left for India, Jemima had insisted on paying for my tickets, ‘as an apology for leaving you alone,’ she had said and, for once, I didn’t argue for she had booked me on a special train, the Fleche D’Or, from Paris to Calais, which connected directly to the ferry and continued with the Golden Arrow, from Dover to London. On both sides of the channel, the trains were special, Pullman carriages and, even though I insisted on travelling second class, were still very comfortable and luxurious as compared to normal trains. By the time I arrived in London it had indeed been raining. The streets were glistening wet and the taxi from the station splashed through puddles galore. The light was fading by the time I reached my front door and when it closed behind me I breathed out a deep sigh of relief that such a long journey was finally at an end. I had hoped that at some point, this heavy feeling would leave me but it hadn’t. I could only think that the reason was tiredness. I had got up very early, had an almost fourteen hour journey and I was exhausted, so I left my case at the bottom of he stairs and went straight up to our room and the cold empty bed that we shared. I took a few minutes to prepare for bed and once in, I turned off the small lamp, I had kept my mum’s Bakelite clock lamp, pulled the blankets over my shoulder and closed my eyes. I was asleep in no time. Suddenly, I heard a crack of thunder in the distance. I opened my eyes but all was dark and I could see only blackness. Again, I heard the crash of thunder and the room was illuminated momentarily by the bright flash of lightning. I got a fleeting glimpse of faces and saw the fear before the darkness returned. I was puzzled. Who were these people? My heart began to thud as I looked around in the pitch black. Again, the lightening flashed and I heard screams. I realised that all the faces were in rows. Where was I? Even though there was no light, the frightened faces were now fixed in my memory.  Another intense flash and crack as the lightning forked again and then it began, the screaming and canlı bahis crying, louder and louder until it reached a terrifying crescendo and then, suddenly, silence! I lay perfectly still, trembling with fear, my heart pounding so hard I thought it would stop at any moment. I couldn’t breathe. From out of the deafening silence I heard another sound, distant at first then closer and louder. A sound I was familiar with. The raucous call of a raven! The pitch darkness began to brighten to a dim grey light and the shiny black raven sat beside me on a crooked grave stone. I couldn’t read the name, just the dates, ‘Born 12th September 1912, Died, 2nd May 1953’. I was puzzled, that date, tomorrow. How could someone be buried before they died? The raven watched me intently, his shining little head tilted to on side and then the other. With a loud caw, he spread his wings and took to the air. I stood, rooted and watched as he circled then flew off. He didn’t go far before he turned back and flew towards me again, cawing as though trying to tell me something. When I didn’t move he landed on a nearby tree branch. Although Spring was well established there were no leaves on the tree. When I looked about I realised that none of the trees had leaves. They all seemed to be dead. Although my heart was still pounding, I didn’t feel the terror any more but I was afraid of something, something I couldn’t define. The raven called again and then, as I looked, he turned his head to the side. “Do you want me to follow?” I asked him and immediately he spread his wings and flew. This time I followed and he kept circling as though to be sure I was there. I was barefoot as I walked, the dead leaves rustling as my feet disturbed them and the gentle breeze blowing back my hair and disturbing the fabric of my thin cotton nightdress. We walked for what seemed an eternity. I passed through gravestones and saw names. Some I knew, the names from the manifest I had seen so often before and others unknown to me, names that, although clear, I could not read. The unknown ones though, all had one thing in common, the date of death, 2nd May 1953. Something caught my leg as I passed, scraping against the scar on my thigh, something sharp and hot and I looked down. It was a piece of charred metal which I recognised straight away as being from an airframe. It had letters barely visible on the scorched paint, two large blue letters, A and C. What did it mean? I became aware that there was now a stench of burning fuel in the air and all about I could see small fires.

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