His legs were ravaged by pain and the blisters on his feet had long since burst into blood sores. The hours of walking were taking its toll on Luke’s body, but he had to keep going. He had to get home.
For Luke it felt like it had been years since he had been home. He didn’t really know as time had lost all meaning since that night. Now all he wanted was to get back home, to his wife and their baby son. ‘Lennon could be a man now’ he thought. In that moment he felt the exhaustion and maybe the futility of it all. ‘Will Cary still recognise me, maybe she has found someone else.’
In that moment it seemed the road was becoming familiar, and the urge to battle onward fought back. This was the road Luke used to drive down heading for work each morning. Nothing had changed much. The fields stretched out either side and the old public house still stood on the corner.
He took the left-hand road at the junction, this would lead into his village. Not far now. It was almost sunset has he made it to the High Street. ‘Really, these old backwater villages are static in time’ he thought. As he walked past the church on to the lane where his house would be he felt panic, but he needed to know.
Luke arrived at Swallow Cottage. The blue trim woodwork looked the same as he had left it. The window box even looked as freshly planted as it had that day. ‘Oh, that’s right I had been doing the boxes and hanging baskets that morning.’ He knocked the oak door.
Cary answered, a young baby in her arms. ‘Luke, what the hell has happened to you?’
Over tea Luke told the story of his abduction, the experiments and years in captivity. To Cary no more than 12 hours had past since her husband had left to get something from the garden centre. ‘I find it hard to believe, darling.’ She looked at the weary and bedraggled state of her husband ‘but something has happened to you and I have to believe you’
©JG Farmer 2018