(aka Bike, est. 2007)
Copyright© 2017 Angharad
This is a work of fiction any mention of real people, places or institutions is purely coincidental and does not imply that they are as suggested in the story.
My car was eventually cleaned, though it took the two valets longer than they expected, the egg having dried in the sunshine. Once I had a bill from them I would send it on to the local JW group for repayment with a stiffly worded letter. I’d also informed Jason on the attack on my car and he replied with two words, ‘Take photos.’ I had, making sure the number plate was visible in some of them.
It was five o’clock when I left the university and of course I plunged straight into the Portsmouth rush hour. Why do they call it that? Usually it means you do anything but rush anywhere, crawl hour or snail trail might be more accurate of one’s progress. It was close to six when I arrived at home and the children immediately came out to see that I was all right, presumably to make sure they got their pocket money.
Everyone was disgusted to hear of the attack on my car but they all agreed, it would have been worse on my Jaguar. Had that been the case I think I might have lost it big time and attacked some of the attackers. Something I’ve noticed about devout worshippers, is their interpretation of their religious texts usually means they can do anything they like but unbelievers can’t.
It had been a long day and once the children were in bed Simon and I could relax with glass of something nice, Pinot grigio, in this case. Because it had been so warm, Tom had gone out after dark with Kiki, just for a stroll around the block. When he came back he called us out into the drive, then pointed to some daubing on the wooden fence. It seemed devil worshippers lived inside. Simon and I took photographs and emailed the police. To say I was irked was possibly an understatement.
“This has upset you, hasn’t it?” he said to me.
“Well if they know where we live, I fear the children could be at risk.”
“That is true, wonder what the police have to say about it?”
“That’s not the only worry.”
“No. How is it that anyone who wishes us harm can find us, but bloody Royal Mail can’t?”
“I fail to see the relevance,” he said shrugging.
“We have yet another letter for Mrs Dawkins.”
“Yes, it’s the second one with our address on it, but there’s no one called Dawkins anywhere near here according to Tom.”
“Was it similar to the previous one?”
“Identical, as far as I can tell, why?”
“Strikes me as quite a coincidence that you’re under fire for your views on evolution and a letter arrives for Mrs Dawkins.”
“I don’t follow you.”
“Let’s go and finish the wine and I’ll tell you.”
We wandered in doors and finished our glasses of white wine. “Now, as a biologist with very orthodox scientific views on evolution, you are seen by some as being close to the atheist Oxford don, Richard Dawkins. I just wondered if they were addressing you as Mrs Dawkins as some sort of slur.”
He rolled his eyes. “What did you do with the other letter?”
“Wrote, ‘not known at this address’ and popped it back in the post box.”
“You didn’t open it first?”
“Certainly not, it wasn’t addressed to me and I wouldn’t read other people’s post, that would so—inconsiderate.”
“You sure you’re not an aristocrat from some ancient family?”
“Yes, your family.”
“Nah, not mine, we’re descended from sheep and cattle thieves, smugglers, vagabonds and general ne’er do wells, so perfect for running a bank.”
“That explains a few things.”
“You knew all this before you married me.”
“But it might explain why we don’t see any sheep or cattle about the place.”
“They generally don’t populate cities, sheep and cattle that is.”
“They don’t?” I gasped and he slapped me gently on the arm.
“One of these days, Mrs Dawkins, your wind ups are going to get you into real trouble.”
“Where’s the letter?”
I pointed to the table in the hall and he went and fetched it. He examined it closely. As far as I could tell from my own examination of it earlier, it looked like an ordinary white window envelope with possibly a single sheet of paper inside. But it definitely was addressed to Mrs Dawkins at our address. I asked Tom if there had been a previous resident of the house by that name and he told me there wasn’t.
We’d all seen what we considered a coincidence of the name and my occupation, especially as I am an admirer of his writing and campaign to show up the nonsense of the fundamentalists, though some might say he’s as bad as they are with his absolutist views.
Simon took a sharp knife out of the block and slit open the envelope, then carefully drew out the contents, a single sheet of paper. He opened it and read the message. “Nice friends you have, Mrs Dawkins.”
“What?” I walked over behind him. Basically it was a tirade of rubbish accusing me of being an unbeliever and to repent or burn forever in hell fire.
“If the alternative is being with the idiot who wrote that crap, give me the hell fires every time.”
He snorted at that but stopped me touching the paper. “The police can see this too. I believe it constitutes an offence to send inflammatory material through the post.”
“Thank goodness they don’t seem to be aware of my history.”
“Yes, I was thinking that, or of our kids. Oh by the way, Sammi is hoping to get home on the weekend.”
“Sammi, our daughter...”
“Who?” I repeated.
“It isn’t that long since you saw her and she is terribly busy.”
“I’m glad one of us is.”
He looked at me before realising what I’d said. “Now don’t be like that, you love her as much as any of the others.”
“I’m just disappointed that she can’t pick up a phone once in a while.”
“She’s young and carefree,” he said.
“Or just selfish.”
“Aren’t all of today’s kids?”
“They do tend to be rather self absorbed.”
“See, she’s as normal as the others.”
“Normal with an IQ off the scale like Trish. Yeah very normal.”
“She is in every other way. I think she’s bringing her friend with her.”
“What is his name?”
He went rather red and quietly said, “Uh her name.”
“No big deal, what is it?”
“She hasn’t actually told me.”
“I always knew you were so close.”
I shrugged. “A few weeks ago you said she was going out with some bloke from Cambridge.”
“I think they had a bit of a bust up.”
“Oh so she goes bi on the rebound.”
I rolled my eyes, “Bi-sexual as in LGBT.”
“So that’s what it stands for, I always wondered.”
Was he winding me up or is he really that stupid at times?
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