Reverend Alan Peart was doing his rounds in the town of Blue Velvet and was accompanying Mrs Dorothy Finch, 55, to the shops. She was the wife of the imprisoned murderer, Mr James Finch, 56, and one time Churchwarden. As they walked she was telling the vicar about visiting her husband in prison and if he could travel there sometime as a visit would be appreciated.
"I can but the chaplain presumably sees him often," he said. "You know that my job is here with you."
"I find it difficult to forgive him," said Mrs Finch.
"Yes it must be difficult."
"I mean, not telling Mr Conder that he had a spanner," she said. "He is a good neighbour. I like Mr Conder," she said.
"And how are you getting on with the new computer he gave you?"
"I have it in the spare bedroom, you know, and there is so much to learn, and for a while I was going downstairs and coming upstairs again, down and up."
"Why so?" he asked.
"Because a speech bubble kept popping up on screen saying 'You've got mail' and I thought Peter Cornet must have kept finding some post for me in his bag, but there was never anything on the doormat."
They first went into the independent travel agent owned and run by Ms Holly Day, an ambitious woman of 30 already owning her own home outright and a new four wheel drive. Mrs Finch was considering her holiday, muttering that this was the first one she could have alone, and thinking she might ask friends to come along.
Reverend Peart asked Ms Day about the competition she ran. "Did anyone win the Seat Ibiza; there was a lot of interest in the town. I had three goes - £3, wow, for a car. Obviously wasn't me!"
"That's where everyone made their mistake," she said. "Mrs Cartwright won. She won a deckchair in Ibiza. It was 'Seat in Ibiza'. So I said to Ida, if she wants to sit in it, she can book a holiday through here."
"What, like, I put in £3 to win a deckchair? The brochure for the competition had a car in it!"
"And a deckchair. Down the bottom, look, on the beach. The car is just an example of a hire car when you get there."
"Ms Day, someone said that before you opened this shop, at another shop you had, someone won a Ford Fiesta."
"So was that a car?"
"No, a top shelf magazine I bought from Ford, near Coldstream, when I did my research. It is a beautiful area and I sell holidays to the Scottish Borders," said Holly Day.
"What about Egypt?" said Mrs Finch, holding a brochure with the Pyramids on the front.
"I have a DVD about that by the renowned director, Andrii Litovchenko," said Ms Day. "It's called Five Girls in Egypt, especially if you want to take your friends. Up there among the selection of travel DVDs. He was the director of another DVD we have, Six Girls in One Bus, a bit like Cliff Richard and Summer Holiday but with an archaeological dig."
"I'll take that one on Egypt then," said Mrs Finch.
"That will be £39.99 then," said Ms Day. "It's a good film. Thank you."
Reverend Peart and Mrs Finch left the travel agent and arrived at the shop of Mrs Jennie Camp, 48, a churchgoer, who had extended her range by selling live chickens out the back. Mrs Camp was doing the books so it was up to her daughter, Miss Delilah Camp, 22, to serve.
So they took a look, but he told Mrs Finch that he leaves these decisions about the chickens to Mrs Capron. Mrs Finch, however, was going to join the town's craze for chickens and she wanted more packs of towels. "You never know," she said, and said to Delilah, "With Reverend Peart here I'll take two chickens to start, that can live in the shed now Jim's tools have gone, then get a tin of orange paint, and I need a couple of buckets for the feed - and fill that up with some - and one for water. I have one like but there's a hole in it, Delilah."
So she ended up with plenty for both to carry: two chickens, a pack of towels, a can of paint (so she could start to redecorate after the imprisonment) and two buckets, one containing feed. The DVD was in her pocket.
So they left the shop and he said to her, "I'll carry these for you, but can we take a direct way back down the alleyway, if you can manage the bucket with feed. I'm going to have to go off and prepare for golf so I won't be able to stay for a drink I'm afraid."
"You play golf?" she asked. "I didn't know that."
"Well Eugene Capron plays, and taught his wife a little and I tried it in my youth. I was keen once. He's busy at work so she said she'd come along. Though I was naughty - I said she would need to be like Jesus Christ to beat me."
"You shouldn't say that, being a vicar, vicar. But a good job you are a vicar, coming with me down this lane. I wouldn't with anyone else now, with no husband to defend me any more, like Jim obviously did. What some men can get up to, you know, with a woman, against the hedge."
"Well, whoever I might be, I'm carrying here two chickens under my arm, a tin of paint in one hand and a bucket in the other. So I'd be quite safe."
"That's easy," she said. "I'll put my bucket down, you let me take the chickens, you put your bucket down and the tin of paint."
"In theory," he said, as they carried on walking.
Alan Peart was stood at the doorway of the clubhouse at The Pits Golf Course as Janice Capron, 31, arrived with her husband's golf clubs. She spoke to some retired men there saying that Eugene would be playing in a few hours after dental surgery. The two walked together to the start of the first hole, where they kissed and she suggested a wood to begin with, and he agreed saying to her, "You're learning."
Whereupon two sun tanned players walked up and suggested a game. A long haired, hippie looking man said he would play with the "young lady", if her friend liked, and his other also hippyish looking friend would play with him.
"OK," said Reverend Peart. "I'm Alan and this is my friend Janice. Nine holes? We have only a limited amount of time."
"Hello Janice, Alan, I am Yes and this is my friend Mos. Let's keep this friendly because usually Mos tells me what golf clubs to use, but you can this time if you like Janice - or even your friend. Just friendly, not competitive. Nine holes then. "Give me a nine iron," Yes said to Janice.
"You need a wood - it's 335 yards and that needs a wood," said Janice.
"Well," said Alan Peart, "I'd take the lady's advice and use a wood. That's what I told her last time. She needs a wood."
But Yes said, "Sergio Garcia did it with a nine iron and so can I."
"Who's Sergio Garcia," whispered Janice to Alan.
"Good golfer; big hitter; went out with Greg Norman's daughter," he replied quietly.
Everyone except Yes used a wood and landed ready for the green, but Yes's ball dropped into the small lake positioned over 100 yards in front of the green.
"What we said, Yes," said Janice, thinking she'd lose with this guy.
"You'll have to drop a ball in front," said Alan, walking with the other three.
"No no," my friend can do it. "Mos, can you get the ball from the lake?"
Suddenly Alan and Janice stood startled as Mos approached the lake and the waters separated, creating an instant deep and dry path to a revealed golf ball. "That's the one," said Mos, pointing at the ball, as he walked through the gap, the water unfolding before him, and leaving the waters divided while Yes walked down, swung at the ball with the same nine iron so that it dropped just 3 yards from the hole on the green. When Yes left the small lake (after Mos), the water surface reunited.
Alan and Janice looked at each other, and had to take the route around the small lake to join the other two in front.
"That's his speciality," said Yes about Mos, as they all met up again. Mos, Alan and Janice both then took three shots to get into the hole, whereas Yes took just the one neat putt.
"This golf course," said Alan, "has all these lakes and ponds. They're like old flooded pits. So there's one before the next hole too. And a few more. Now don't drop it in the pond this time, er Yes, because it's not fair. 350 yards so it must be a wood this time."
"OK but no, again I think it's still my nine iron," said Yes. "Garcia could do it and so can I. Whack 'em hard."
So they all played, but this time the slightly nearer pond wasn't the same obstacle, and the ball landed just on the other side. Others had placed their shots further towards the green, with Alan Peart finding form with a huge hit of his own.
This time Mos joined Alan and Janice were walking around this obstacle and talking about different shots to play. And then they noticed Yes was walking straight across the pond towards the the golf ball on the other side.
"Who does he think he is?" asked Janice, "Jesus Christ or something?"
Alan Peart replied, "No, he keeps thinking he's Sergio Garcia."
Despite his early lead, after eight holes Yes was four over par, but Janice suddenly found length and position like she never had in any activity. She was actually at par. "This is better than sex," she said, as she hit her final long putt and achieved below par. Mos was three over par and Alan Peart was two over par, the same as the last time he played and then beat Janice. But as a result of being in teams, Yes declared that Janice and he had won, and Mos and Alan had lost by two shots.
At this point, where the golf course turned around, Yes suggested they all have a quick celebratory drink. "We can do that," said Janice to Alan, feeling victorious and happy, having beaten her golf partner in her team and on her own.
So Mos produced a set of towels from among the clubs - which seemed odd, as so popular in Blue Velvet, and they were all able to sit on one each with one in the middle. Then out of his golf bag came a large breadbun put onto the middle towel. Then Yes pulled out a bottle of red wine from among his clubs. As if from thin air Yes started handing out glasses, and then using his finger end the cork came out of the bottle. He poured.
"Good game," said Yes, "Have a bite first and drink up! Janice, we won - Janice, you won."
Alan Peart, still chewing bread after a first swig of wine, leaned over to Janice to whisper in her ear, "That's not Sergio Garcia, is it?"
She looked down as he said it, grinning slightly. But then when they looked back at their new friends, there was no one there. The two were left still holding their own glasses, but there were no others with them, and there were no towels other than the ones they were sat on.
This left both of them rather silent as they walked back. Leaving Eugene's golf clubs at the clubhouse, the two continued to the vicarage, but after she hugged and kissed Alan she decided to go home and, there, sat down to read while Eugene was out playing golf. The two glasses and two towels were left in the vicarage and found their way eventually into the kitchen at the Church Hall.
A few days later at mid-morning, after seeing to his chickens, she joined him upstairs, and reminded him that it was his day for his six monthly check up at the dental surgery. Getting closer, she told him to answer the questions honestly.
"Eugene doesn't like it if he asks if you are feeling anything and you say no, to avoid him doing more, when he's checking you up. So be honest with him. If it's him."
He wasn't sure what to make of this, or of recent events, but was pleased that they had resumed their lovemaking.
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