The Rescue (Gothic piece)

The distant rumble of thunder caused Rebecca to stir in her sleep. Somewhere primal, deep down where we don’t talk about in polite society, she shivered. Nightmarish visions crept into her dreams and she awoke with a start.

Eastenders was still playing on the TV, maybe that had woken her. She rubbed her bleary eyes and tried to stretch out the crick in her neck – really must stop dozing off on the sofa, she thought to herself. The weird dream was still hanging about at the back of her mind. She switched the TV off in the hope that stopping Eastenders would sort the problem out. Just as the TV died the electricity flickered and the first flash of lightning lit up the room. Fear gripped her. The lightbulbs flickered to life again and then died completely. Alone, enveloped by darkness, she focused on the living room window, waiting for her eyes to adjust.

The rain caught up with the rest of the weather and made its presence felt as it lashed the window. Rebecca moved towards it like someone inexplicably drawn towards a car crash. Another rumble of thunder signalled the inevitable. Lightning lit up the sky and in the back garden she saw it. Hanging. The nightmare no one wants to see. Panic set in. Maybe there was still time to rescue it. She was torn. To rescue it meant facing the weather, but the alternative…well, it didn’t bare thinking about.

She made her decision. She would try and rescue it. Stumbling across the darkened living room she managed to grab a coat. She felt her way down the stairs and struggled with the front door as the howling wind blew it against her. She had no choice but to leave it open and make a dash for the garden. Rain lashed her face and lightning showed her the path. Her goal was in sight now and natures wrath couldn’t stop her from the rescue. She gathered it up in her arms, straining against the weather and then ran back to the house.

She stumbled back to the living room and slumped down onto the sofa; soaked to the skin, but triumphant. As if by magic, the living room lights flickered back on. She looked down at the heap of damp washing in her lap. ‘Well, at least you’re safe.’ she said, to no one in particular.

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