Inspector Sunday (end)

“Grandad!”

The little girl was shouting his name from the far bank of the river. She was waving something at him; her excited voice carried across the water. “Look, Grandad, I’ve got your book… the one you wrote…the one you read me the stories from!”

His world was unravelling. Memories came crashing back; real memories, not confusion… not the fog. Sunday stared across the river at Vicky, his grandaughter,  who was no running and waving their shared copy of Inspector Sunday and the Cheng Mysteries, his first and only novel.

“We don’t live here any more, Dad,” The voice was soft and came from behind him. Emotions flooded his soul as he turned to see the redhead: his daughter, Jessica. Her hand was held out to him. She wore the yellow jacket with the marigold-patterned belt – the image of her that he always carried.

Sunday realised what he had done… saw the concern in Jessica’s eyes. “I… I went into the house…the old house.” he said. “I had to see it one more time…” He heard the age in his voice, the bravado gone. “I’m hungry,” he whispered.

Jessica said, softly, “It’s okay, Dad. The nice people who bought it said that someone had been in… They had been away for the weekend… but we explained that you may have kept a key…”

She was crying now, the redhead – his daughter. ‘They were only concerned that we found you.” She came a step closer.” He could hear the relief in her voice. He took her hand. She swept him into a hug. They held each other, uncertain but together.

“She knew… Vicky knew you’d be here.”

The tears were wet on his shoulder. “I can’t make it better, Dad, but we can surround you with love…”

Vicky had been running across the old wooden bridge. She arrived, breathless, and took his free hand, clutching the first two fingers, tightly. She looked up as he looked down.

“You can keep your cat, Grandad. Mummy says so…”

End of Inspector Sunday

Dementia affects many people and families. Within the shrinking prison of the condition, people are very much alive – and still as they were before they lost their ability to remember and handle complex things.

Nearly a million people have dementia in the UK. My mother is one of them. Kindness and consideration go a long way to making them feel they still have a place in life…

©Stephen Tanham

Other parts of this short story:

Part One,   Part Two,   Part Three,   Part Four,   Part Five,   Part Six,   Part Seven

Part Eight,   Part Nine,    Part Ten

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Inspector Sunday

Inspector Sunday stopped walking when he reached the place by the river. He felt at home, there, but didn’t know what to do next.

The sky, which had tried to teach him about the cat, told him a story of intersection. From behind him and to the left came a voice that delighted but shocked him.

“Grandad!”

©Stephen Tanham

Inspector Sunday

Inspector Sunday left the house wearing the leather backpack… containing the mysterious cat… Or did it? From somewhere in his fuzzy memory he knew this was a scientific joke…

He came to a valley with trees and a sky. The sky tried to explain the geometry of it all to him, but it was too much.

They walked on; Sunday, the backpack and, possibly, the cat…

©Stephen Tanham

Inspector Sunday

The cat’s sudden appearance had startled Sunday. It took him a few moments to adjust; then he realised that the creature had been looking out of the window and not at him.

Sunday followed the feline gaze and found that a huge angel had broken loose from a high cloud and was expanding as it fell to Earth…

“Mow ” said the cat, suddenly closer to Sunday’s ear.

“Hush,” whispered Sunday, as he attempted to stroke the cat. But it had gone…

©Stephen Tanham.

Inspector Sunday

Waking from a deep sleep, Sunday looked up from the leather settee. It was dark; the day had gone. He stood and stretched, glancing across at the Art Deco light he didn’t remember switching on… something on the cabinet was wrong: the tennis racket he didn’t own was too small and labelled ‘Executioner’.

Maybe the redhead had been telling the truth, after all?

©Stephen Tanham.

Inspector Sunday

 

Inspector SundayAA 11Aug

Inspector Sunday examined the room in minute detail. His deadly enemy, Adrian Cheng, might be anywhere. But the sinister arch-criminal and master of disguise was nowhere to be see.

“Perhaps a coffee would help?” the tocking of the clock seemed to say. Sunday considered the suggestion, and gave in to its subtle persuasion…

“I’ll find you,” Sunday muttered, a few minutes later, sipping the latté, slowly.

©Stephen Tanham