What to do? Oh what to do?
sighed Mary as she gazed out of the little window in her kitchen. The only
living things she could see were sheep and birds.
The house was small and isolated, a
beautiful spot in the summer but in the damp December drizzle it seemed
Mary had planned a year out in the hills
for some time. She was going to write, she was going to get her head straight
and she was going to relax.
In February she had moved in full of
hope, then came the pandemic and the lock-down, but surely she was in the best
place? Miles from the big cities where the virus ran rife.
Spring and summer were as magical as she
had hoped and she almost forgot about the worlds troubles. Of course she
was reminded of them whenever she went to the village for supplies as she had
to wrap a scarf around her face before she was allowed to enter the little
shop. She felt like an outlaw, running the gauntlet in a strange
Then as the days became shorter and
colder she felt a feeling of dread creeping over her, Christmas was coming and
soon she would have to return to her old life and what was left of that? She
hadnt written much, and what she had probably wasnt going to win
any prizes. She was starting to get anxious, she needed the warmth of human
company, not birds and sheep.
The only regular visits she had were
from the postman and Mary had begun to look forward to them. So much so that
she would send off for things she didnt really need so that she had
regular deliveries. They were on first-name terms now, she had discovered that
his name was Ferrin which intrigued her. She looked it up and it was of Gaelic
origin and meant the land, handsome servant or thunder. Handsome?
Yes maybe he was handsome in a way.
As the days shortened her mood darkened,
she hardly went outside and she wasnt eating well.
A few days before Christmas Ferrin rang
the door-bell and received no answer, this was unusual. Normally Mary would
open the door after a moment or two and smile broadly at him. She had a
wonderful smile. Sometimes that smile would appear in his mind unbidden, it
meant something to him.
Ferrin had been the postman there for
five years, he had come to the country to escape from a relationship gone sour
and an unfulfilling job in the city. He was in no hurry to start another
relationship, but Marys smile stirred something deep inside him. The fact
that Mary wasnt there to answer the door suddenly occurred to him as a
Ferrin tried the bell again, no answer.
Maybe she was in the little garden round the back? - unlikely in this
cold weather he knew - but a feeling of foreboding was rising in
He walked along the uneven path which
lead round the small cottage and was surprised to see the back door ajar. He
peered through the doorway into the dark room and thought he saw something on
the floor. As his eyes acclimatised to the darkness he was able to make out a
foot, Marys foot, sticking out from behind the sofa. He called out to her
as he came into the room, she was just lying motionless on the floor. He put a
hand on her cheek, warm to the touch, he breathed a sigh of relief.
Mary! he said loudly, hoping to waken her, she stirred and groaned
softly. Slowly her eyes opened and she stared incredulously into his face, he
felt his heart jump. What happened? she asked.
No idea answered Ferrin,
I got no answer so I came round the back, youd left the door
sorry to barge in. You had me worried!
Oh I am sorry, can you get me a
glass of water please? she asked and Ferrin stumbled through the
unfamiliar house to the kitchen where he found a mug and filled it from the
tap. When he returned Mary was sitting on the sofa looking dazed. I
havent eaten anything, I think I just ran out of steam she said.
Ive got my sandwiches in the
van Ferrin said, you can have them if you like.
Thank you. She said weakly
and a trace of that smile returned.
As they sat together on the sofa eating
Ferrins packed lunch the colour started to come back into her face and a
strange feeling of fulfilment came across them both.
I was feeling a bit down
lost my mojo I think, and with Christmas coming and nothing to look forward to
I rather lost the will.. she stopped and sighed.
You can come to mine for Christmas
if you like said Ferrin theres just me and my dog Arthur,
youd be really welcome, wed like the company.
Is that allowed? I mean.. Id
love to but with the lock-down restrictions would it be.. Her voice
tailed away as she looked deep into his eyes.
Yes he said. You and
me, we can be in a bubble together, itll be nice.
Mary didnt take long to respond,
A Christmas bubble sounds great, Id really like that she