Copyright 2016. No part of this text can be copied and reproduced without permission of the author.
Mr & Mrs Jones
Ripley – North Yorkshire – 11:56pm
Friday 27th June 1952
The clear night sky shimmered overhead as the car drove slowly along the deserted country road.
Brian Jones glanced up and marvelled at the stars that filled the crystal clear sky. The surrounding landscape consisted of gentle slopes that gave an impressive view of the Milky Way from horizon to horizon. Jones hummed to the voice of Vera Lynn that drifted out of the radio.
He had just received a telephone call from his mother in Knaresborough who had sounded very distressed. Jones' father, a World War One veteran had taken a bad fall down the stairs and had not been able to get up.
Edith Jones sat beside her husband. She was in no mood for Vera Lynn. She reached forward and turned the radio control knob until it clicked off. ‘This is the fourth time in less than two weeks your mother has asked for help. I’m getting fed up Brian why can’t Mr Quince next door deal with it.’
Jones reached forward and turned the radio back on. ‘Do you mind I was listening to that.’ He took a deep breath. ‘Sweetheart, you know how mum is she won’t knock on his door this time of night.’
‘Oh no but she decides to pull us out of bloody bed.’ Edith looked down and gently massaged her stomach. ‘She does know I’m seven months pregnant doesn’t she.’
‘Don’t be like this Edith you know how dad is with his injury.’
‘Too bloody right I do. I seem to remember Doctor Jordon telling him to use the spare room downstairs instead of risking another fall. And you’ve been going on about converting it into a bedroom for ages.’
‘Look I promise I will sort that room out this weekend so mum and dad can use it as a downstairs bedroom.’ Jones’ offered.
‘When this baby is born Brian we will have to move to Leeds. Dad promised you a job as clerk at the factory.’
‘Don’t keep going on about that you know I’m happy where I am. Mr Adams needs me and Sir Ingles has promised to give me a wage increase. This time next year I’ll be earning ten shillings a week.’
‘I don’t care Brian we have to move for the baby’s sake. We can’t live in the middle of nowhere forever.’
‘But what about mum and dad I can’t just abandon them.’
‘For god’s sake Brian we’re not moving to the other side of the world.' Edith rolled her eyes. 'It’s only twenty miles away. We’ll take the baby up there every other weekend.’
A car approached on the opposite side of the road. Jones squinted at the headlights as it sped by. ‘Ok, I know I promised you we’d move. I’ll speak with Mr Adams tomorrow but I know he will try and convince me to stay.’
‘I just said I don’t care Brian. Besides it’s more money at the factory than what Sir Ingles has offered and we’ll be able to put a deposit on that house.’
‘Courtesy of your dad.’
Jones scoffed. ‘We’ll end up owing him for the rest of our lives.’
Edith glared at her husband unimpressed by his tone. ‘No we won’t, three hundred and fifty pounds is quite reasonable; dad says we can repay him slowly.’
The car radio started to crackle replacing Vera Lynn with static. Jones reached forward to tune in the radio station. A long stretch of road lay ahead, climbing a gentle slope ending in a bend at the top of a hill.
‘It’ll be so much better for the baby, and they have some modern shops now in Leeds. We can go shopping every Saturday.’ Edith sounded excited at the prospect of moving to a bustling city. ‘Within three years you could be earning double what you’re being paid now. And you know there’s a job for life at the steel works. Those types of places will never shut down. You said last week that Mr Adams is retiring next year so there’s no point in keeping you on.’
Jones ignored his wife and kept turning the dial on the radio but the static grew louder. ‘Bloody radio I was enjoying that station.’ All of a sudden the road ahead became pitch black as the car headlights blinked out. He pushed the brake pedal and the car came to a gentle halt. The engine spluttered and then died. ‘I don’t bloody believe this!’ He shouted clenching his fist and hitting the steering wheel.
‘I thought Frank gave this car a service last week.’ Edith complained.
‘He did.’ Jones seethed. ‘I gave him two bloody shillings.’ He turned the key in the ignition but nothing happened. ‘You wait till I see him tomorrow.’ He tried the ignition again but still the car wouldn’t start.
‘Well we can’t sit here all night long.’ Edith pointed out.
Jones produced a box of matches and got out of the car.
Edith looked out of the window into the star filled sky. With no headlights the night sky seemed to glisten. A shooting star streaked across the heavens. ‘It’s a shame there’s no moon or I’d consider walking, it’s quite warm.’
‘I don’t think so not in your condition.’ Jones answered staring at the engine. Although there was no breeze the flame from the match emitted almost no light. He stepped back shaking his head. ‘I can’t find the problem. It’s like the car has died.’ He glanced up the road considering Edith’s suggestion. A bright light appeared around the bend at the top of the hill following the road. ‘It’s ok love there’s another car coming. They’ll be able to take you to mum and dads.’ Jones stepped out into the middle of the road waving his arms in the air. The light kept coming and showed no sign of stopping. He also noted that it was moving fast perhaps a little too fast for a car, a motorbike maybe. But this couldn’t be a motorbike either. Whatever was approaching made no sound. The light showed no sign that it had seen Jones who moved to the side of the road. The light then started to grow in size becoming more intense.
‘Brian get in the car!’ Edith called out glaring at the oncoming light.
Jones put his hand over his eyes to block out some of the glare of the approaching light. ‘Just a second sweetheart.’
‘Brian come on!’ Edith called out again with more urgency. A familiar fear she was unable to explain began to grow from within.
The light was now a few hundred yards away. It lifted off the road before starting to slow.
‘Brian please get back in the car, I’m scared!’ Edith’s fear peaked as she stared at the approaching object.
The object was now twice the width of the country road. It moved slowly over the car bathing a wide area in a soft blue light.
Jones stood rooted to the spot looking upwards at the intense light. A low pitched humming noise filled the air. Jones could sense the hairs on his arms tingling from a static discharge.
‘Brian please!’ Edith started to cry. ‘Get in the car!’
There was a sudden intense flash of brilliant white light and then instantaneously the road plunged into blackness again. Jones rubbed his eyes, his car suddenly jumped to life. The headlights came back on. The static on the radio cleared and Vera Lynn played.
Jones took several seconds to process what he had just witnessed before running back to the car and getting in. ‘Did you see that love that was bloody amazing....’ He looked at the empty passenger seat and then out of the window. ‘Edith!’ He called out.
Jones climbed back out of the car. ‘Edith sweetheart stop mucking around.’ He walked to the front of the car and peered down the road. ‘Edith where are you? Look I’m sorry ok.’ Jones looked up into the clear sky. A tiny point of light moved across the star filled heavens then in an instant it accelerated away.
Jones screamed at the top of his voice. ‘EDITH!’
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