The Mysterious Disappearance of Marsha Boden
Hello again and thank you for stopping by to continue reading the serialisation of my novel, The Mysterious Disappearance of Marsha Boden.
As we dig deeper into the lives of the inhabitants of the sleepy Shropshire village of Little Twichen, there are some interesting goings on which weave in and around the strange disappearance of one of their residents.
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Kate Bursford received the call from Hereford Hospital just as she was starting to cook supper for the boys.
“Yes, of course. Tell her I’ll be there as soon as I can,” but as she was telling the caller this, she had no idea what she would do with Robbie and Chase, who were back to their former rambunctious selves following the recent death of their father.
“Robbie! Chase!” she shouted up the stairs. “We have to go out.” As she called up the stairs for the second time, “Robbie! Chase! Quickly! Come on!” she was darting around turning off the hob, putting sausages back in the fridge and searching for her car keys and handbag.
“Alexa, off! Come on, boys. We have to go and collect Miss Moorcroft from hospital.”
“Why?” they asked in unison, suddenly materialising in the kitchen, their hair all dishevelled and Chase’s tee shirt ripped at the neckline; they had clearly been fighting again.
“Never mind why. Just get your coats and we’ll call for a McDonald’s on the way. But only if you’re quick! And I thought I told you, Robbie, to be careful with Chase?” As usual, Robbie completely ignored the admonishment from his mother. “Yeah! McDonald’s. Hooray!” and they scampered off to get their coats. As she was herding them out to the car, they gave each other a look that said, “But we’re not friends with that weird old cat lady.” They had heard that people called her Whiskers, and wondered why their Mum was friends with an old whiskery lady like her.
Robbie was able to strap himself into his car seat, but Chase still needed help and Kate thought he might have some underlying developmental issues because he wasn’t as quick as Robbie was at his age. He also constantly repeated phrases, over and over, driving her mad with his whiney voice which sounded like a stuck record. She wondered whether he was autistic but when her GP husband was alive, he refused to acknowledge that there was anything wrong with him. She made a mental note to make an appointment at Coppice Lane Surgery for a referral to a specialist to get him checked out.
By the time she reached the hospital, having kept her promise to the boys, found a space in the visitors' car park, worked out how to use the incredibly complicated parking fee system, and herded the boys together after they had run off to play hide and seek between the parked vehicles, she was exhausted. All she had to do now was negotiate the never-ending labyrinth of corridors to locate Miss Moorcroft and soon began to feel as though she was in one of those dreams where you never get to where you’re going because the route keeps changing and obstacles are constantly thrown in your path, like a staircase that suddenly ends with a sheer drop or an elevator door that opens with a brick wall behind it.
Hurrying along and stopping a nurse and a porter along the way for directions, she eventually found Helena Moorcroft sitting in a wheelchair with a pink blanket draped over her knees, her right ankle poking out encased in a cast and a bandage around her head with little tufts of grey hair sticking out. She looked like a casualty from a war zone.
“Ah, Kate. There you are,” she said wearily, hearing the clip-clop of Kate’s shoes hurrying towards her and then her face clouded over when she saw the two boys as if to say, ‘why the hell did you have to bring them with you?’
“Come on”, Kate said gently, kneeling beside her, “Let’s get you home.”
Miss Moorcroft drooped her head and looked as though she would break into a thousand pieces if you blew on her.
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