Cuckoo Hill

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
Faith and life merge. This is prequel to forthcoming to Old Doc Brown mysteries. Please look out for these.

Submitted: May 10, 2016

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Submitted: May 10, 2016

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CUCKOO HILL

Orphaned teenager Tom sat alone in the pub.  His stepdad had gone to the bar for another pint, the cheapest.  The boy stared long and deep into his drink.  A cold dark coke.  Trying to forget his mean mannered foster mother.  They had extra benefits for the unwanted git.  The silent dad sat back down.  Not caring about anything really.

 

Muttering echoed as bets were debated for the Grand National.  Tom heard less, when he supped his drink.  Then was on his school trip before he knew it.  The free outing was thought as reward and some peace at last, for his uncaring foster parents.

 

*

Another Coke was finished, this though had a taste of wine.  Italian food and drink went down well with the boy from Rochdale.  Tom Smith followed the other students.  All were looking at the statues in the Cistene Chapel.  The lad stopped to look at an image of Christ.

 

A lost tear fell from the lost boy.  Then a hand was placed on his shoulder.  It was not of the pretty faced teacher Miss Platt.  No, this was a man in black robes.  Tom was moved to a private area, of the holy room.  Far from his world of British lower classes.

 

*

The brown haired youth was placed in the corner of a very big office, with one elaborate dest on the far side.  Tom was stood facing a wall.  On which was a golden plate with the head of Ceasar.  Which one he was not sure. 

 

Soon another man in purple robes appeared.  He sat at the desk and waved the boy over.  The black wooden table had an array of items.  One was a phone.  The other a large black note book.  And a much bigger book, the Bible.  The man noticed a tear fall onto the holy words.  Something had caused the lost boy to sob.

 

The old man spoke with a Spanish accent, ‘Do you believe in God?’

‘I am an athiest, I think,’ revealed the high toned boy.

‘Then why do you cry at the image of Jesus.  And over the Book of God?’

‘Sir,’ Tom tried to explain, ‘I am so happy to be away from home.  There I am taught only how to cry.  I am an orphan Sir, with mean foster parents.’

The old man hummed.  ‘Can you read?’

‘Yes, Sir,’

‘Please read something from that book.’

 

Tom moved a golden page to find a new line to read. 

‘Put your sword back in its place.  Do you not think that I will not drink the cup of suffering which my Father has given me?’

*

The holy man of the Vatican asked the boy his name.

‘Thomas, Thomas Smith, Sir.’

The old man smiled, ‘How would you like to be trained to be an Altar Boy for the Pope?’

 

Tom though awhile, ‘Could my foster parents get paid?’

‘You could send them part of your pay, if you wanted..’

 

The lost boy smiled and agreed to stay away from home.  Soon his tears dried up, because he was happy.

 

* * *

 

Life became harder at first, for the boy from Rochdale.  Yet nobody hit him or hurt him again.  Only urged him to pray and serve his Lord.  And to show this by aiding the Pope and his flock. 

 

Six years had gone.  The boy became a young man.  As well as being a Senior Altar Boy.  Tom also had a high voice for the Papal Choir.  After all the praying and serving priests in Mass.  Tom Smith grew into one of the Head Altar Boys of the Vatican City.  The Pope met Tom and could see the good in him.  His eyes welled up and sparkled in the holy candlelight.

*

Every month, half his pay would be sent to his tightfisted foster parents.  The tall youth strode along the corridors of the Vatican.  Heading to the office where he first met his boss and friend, Cardinal Manuel.

 

Tom was going home.  He sat there silent.  Staring at a cup of holy water in his hands.  He was now old and ranked high enough to hold Mass.  After one sip of the cold water, the mature student took his passport and papal documents.  As he left the chamber, the Cardinal smiled to himself.  After giving Tom Smith, his blessing.

* * *

The sun shone down on Cuckoo Hill.  Crows mobbed the nearby streetlights that marked the end of civilisation as they knew it.  One brave bird flew down streets and the main road.  The midafternoon sun warmed the back of the black crow. 

 

The bird stopped apace behind a human, dressed in black.  The sight cast a long shadow.  Then it pirouetted into the Summit Inn.  The man sat, after going to the bar for a large brandy.  Dark brown eyelashes looked deep into the tanned drink.  Praying for strength and courage from his God.  After a sip, the man came to his senses.

 

The sound of chinking gambling machines alerted the slender young man.  The echo of voices rang out from the other part of the bar.  The rowdy men had placed bets on the Grand National, using their Smart phones.  One man went to the bar, at the same time as the man in black.

 

The local acknowledged the stranger, ‘How do, Father.  Can I have another pint Josh?’

The young barman served the priest first.  And was thanked most kindly.

Chocolate brown eyes met the glance of the local.  The man froze.  As if he had just seen a ghost.

*

‘Hello Dad,’ haled the guy in black suit and white collar.

Arthur Smith swallowed half of his new pint, in search of energy for his brain.  The Rochdale man sighed, ‘Tom, Tom.  What are you doing here?’  It was then that the other locals stared at the smart man wearing an expensive black suit.

‘I have been sent home.  Do I still have one Dad?’

Arthur downed his lager in one gulp.  Then stammered, ‘Course you do, lad.’  He paused, ‘but things have changed.  Your mother died a few years ago.’  The man in chav gear showed Tom his gold bling.  It was a chain with a cross.

*

The other men laughed as the father and son left the Summit Inn.  They walked the half a mile to the two bed flat on the small council estate.  The whole place had changed.  The lawns were mowed.  The drive had a car.  The interior was quite clean.  No cans of lager or cigs stumps scattered around. 

 

Still the neighbours stared at the thin stranger.  Once inside, the thought of being beaten by his evil foster mother, caused Tom to shudder.  ‘It’s alright now, son.  She is gone.  I have a new woman though.  She is a Christian.  Like you.  She will be home soon.  From the clinic.’

 

A decent photograph of his late mother was placed in the far corner of the living room.  The faces of Arthur and his new love was on the plastic mantlepiece, above the fake fire.

 

As the sound of the central heating kicked in, the front door was opened.  In walked Penny Black.  Shaking slightly after hauling some shopping.  She paused and smiled at the kind face of a young man.  Penny had heard of Tom.  But had never met him.  Penny was a very nice looking blond lady with some tattoos and nose piercings.

 

The threesome shared some coffee.  And slowly got to know each other.  About all their own stories.  Penny had been working at the drug clinic.  Helping addicts quit the habit.  She had been one too.  And worked hard to stay clean.  Tom could see she was a good person.  Tom stared long and deep into his drink, and then displayed a long and happy smile.

 

THE END

 

 

 

 


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