Crystal's Song

Crystal's Song by Millie Gray

Book: Crystal's Song by Millie Gray Read Free Book Online
Authors: Millie Gray
Granny Patsy says if I let you fall asleep you’ll die. Oh, Granny Mary, I don’t want you to die!”
    By now Dinah had joined her mother and daughter in the room where all the windows, even in the December chill and ruthless wind, had been flung open wide. Yet there was still a cloying smell hanging about.
    “What’s happened?” asked Dinah, as the choking gas fumes assailed her nostrils and almost choked her.
    Patsy had now taken over from Tess to whom she handed Joe. “Couldn’t take any more. No, she just couldn’t. So she tried to …” Patsy hesitated, unable to say the word “kill” and eventually whispered, “So she tried to harm herself.”
    “Lucky she only had tuppence for the meter,” sniffed Tess. “And wi’ gas that dear just now, you need at least fourpence to end it all.”
    Dinah was about to say she could have lent her a couple of pennies but the look on her mother’s face deterred her.
    “Right,” said Patsy, who was now in control. “Tess, you’ve been a great help and thank goodness you came in to see your Granny on your way home and then you ran for me, but now you’ll help us best if you take Joe home and look after him. Don’t want him being made sick with they fumes. And don’t worry. Your Mammy and I will look after Granny Mary.”
    “We will. Oh, I see what you mean – you want me to go over to the phone box at Glen’s Post Office and phone for a doctor or an ambulance.”
    There was no mistaking the look of horror on Patsy’s face but before answering Dinah she said firmly, “Off you go, Tess, and remember to tell nobody about what has gone on in here today. Stay loyal to your Granny Mary and keep your mouth shut.”
    Once Tess had left with Joe, Patsy immediately began to haul Mary to her feet and as soon as she had her standing upright, wheeled her head around to face Dinah – and Dinah was left in no doubt, by the utter contempt on her mother’s face, that she was in for a right ear-bashing. “Dinah,” Patsy spat, while stroking Mary’s drooping head, “don’t you realise that if you get a doctor or anyone, poor Mary here will end up in prison? Is that what you really want? You callous bitch!”
    Dinah laughed derisively. “Prison?”
    “Yes! Surely you know it’s a criminal offence to try and commit suicide. You end up in jail – no to mention coming out with a criminal record.”
    “And what do they do to them that manage to end it all?”
    “You know fine what happens to them, Dinah. They can’t be buried on hallowed ground! And their soul is condemned to purgatory for ever!”
    Mary started to sway while her head and eyes rolled. “Just let me sleep. Please just let me, let me … sle-ee-p,” she mumbled as her legs began to buckle beneath her.
    “Look,” argued Dinah forcefully, “if her life’s so blooming awful – and she’s not Catholic, so committing suicide isn’t a mortal sin and her soul won’t be forever in purgatory – then why don’t you just let her …”
    Patsy nearly let Mary go as she lashed out at Dinah. “You unfeeling pig,” she shrieked. “Mary here is a poor soul whose patience has been tried beyond endurance and she’s my friend.” She inhaled deeply before adding contemptuously, “Forbye she’s your guid-mother. And don’t you forget, my girl, that your wanton behaviour’s partly responsible for pushing her over the edge the day.” Patsy paused and crossed herself before going on. “And because of that I feel responsible for never having properly got to grips with you!”
    Knowing that she would be unable to score any points over her mother, Dinah simply stood like a statue and sighed while her mother went on vehemently. “So I’ll have no more back-chat from you. And come over here, right now, and help me get Mary down the stairs and round to Hawkhill playing fields.”
    They’d only just opened the door and were about to step out into the common stair when they heard footsteps.
    “Quick,” urged

Similar Books

The Trouble with Tom

Paul Collins

Raiding With Morgan

Jim R. Woolard

Myla By Moonlight

Inez Kelley

Ahead of All Parting

Rainer Maria Rilke

Rayne of Fire

Michelle Young