Leeford Village episode 110: A visitor arrives
Catch up with the latest episode of the online serial by authors Michael Braccia and Jon Markes.
Previously in Leeford Village: Ted and Nigel are involved in an altercation, witnessed by Vera who calls the police. Edward accuses Revd Peterson of holding up his and Ethel’s marriage and is then told by Pippa that The Cross has been visited by the ghost of Billy Lucas. Agnes reveals that Daniel Windrush is Adam’s real father, after receiving a letter from Daniel saying that he wants to be involved in Adam’s life.
‘What’s this nonsense, Pippa?’ asks Ethel, pushing to the front of the queue. Pippa shuffles papers on the counter.
‘Hello Ethel, I didn’t know…’
‘…that I was here. Obviously,’ says Ethel leaning towards the perspex screen in front of her, a screen for which Pippa is very grateful.
‘Well, if you must know…’
‘I heard that Billy’s ghost has been seen twice now in The Cross. Once by Ted and once by Sally, who was so shocked she fainted and had to be revived by paramedics.’
‘The ghost of Billy? My Billy. Rubbish!’
Pippa looks offended. ‘I’m sorry, Ethel, but I heard this from a very reliable source.’
Ethel looks at Edward, who shrugs his shoulders.
‘Go on,’ urges Ethel, ‘who is this “source”?’
Pippa goes to speak then changes her mind. Then she changes it back again. ‘I can’t possibly reveal my source. I am nothing if not the soul of indiscretion.’
Edward steps in to correct Pippa, but is prevented from doing so by Ethel’s outstretched arm.
The two women stare at each other for a while. There is tangible tension among the customers in the queue.
Ethel speaks first.
‘Well, Pippa, it can’t be my Billy in The Cross.’
Pippa looks nervously towards Edward, who shrugs again.
‘Why’s that, Ethel?’
‘Because Billy lives in my house. I speak to him every night before I go to bed.’ With that, she turns and walks quickly out of the post office, swiftly followed by a nonplussed Edward.
The next customer moves into place in front of the counter.
‘Well, maybe he just pops out for a pint every now and then. When Ethel’s asleep,’ says Pippa.
Jasmine pours boiling water into a teapot, places a crocheted cosy carefully over the top and lines up two mugs. She leans on the worktop.
‘So, what are you going to tell Daniel?’
Agnes shakes her head. ‘I’ve no idea. He hasn’t ever wanted access and, anyway, Adam is 26 years old. He could tell Adam who he is, without having to have permission from me.’
Jasmine pours milk into both mugs and a spoonful of sugar into Agnes’s.
‘He’s being quite decent then,’ says Jasmine.
‘Yes. Wanting to discuss it with you first.’
‘I suppose so.’
Jasmine removes the cosy, gives the tea a couple of stirs and pours. She takes the two mugs to the table. Agnes cradles the hot mug.
‘We never had what you would call a relationship. I was spending a lot of time in clubs, performing.’
‘Performing?’ says Jasmine, sounding surprised. ‘Like, singing and stuff?’
Agnes blushes slightly. ‘Erm. No. I was a strip-o-gram.’
‘You mean you…’
‘Yes, Jasmine, I did. The whole strip-o-gram thing.’