"I'm worried, Keith" said Margaret staring out of the front window, twitching the curtains "They should have been back ages ago"
Keith sat wearily in his chair, a glass of wine in his hand "What time did you say to be back?" he asked.
"Stupidly I didn't, they dashed off so quickly, I just told them not to be late" she said turning back to Keith.
"Maybe they've got lost, they don't really know the area yet" he said "I'll get the car out, drive round and see if I can see them"
"Would you?" she asked "I'm just worried something might have happened. They're usually in by eight at the latest, and it's gone ten already."
Keith forced himself to his feet "They've probably just been having fun playing and lost track of the time" he said picking up his car keys.
"Perhaps you shouldn't" said Margaret.
"I won't be long" he said.
"You've been drinking" she said.
"Half a glass of wine, hardly drinking" he replied, wondering why he hadn't accepted this ready excuse to abort his mission.
"And you're tired" she reminded him.
"Don't remind me" he said.
Margaret's head snapped sideways as she heard the front door open "Oh, thank God!" she said, and her demeanour changed from concern to anger as she strode from the room.
Ben and Amy were taking their shoes off in the hall when Margaret stormed in.
"Where the bloody hell have you been?" she shouted, she never usually swore.
Ben looked up fearfully "Just playing. Sorry mum, forgot the time" he tried to smile appealingly, apologetically.
"I've been worried sick" she said, her relief beginning to get the better of her, and she started to feel like tears were not far away. Ben cringed, but Amy, who knew that Ben would bear the brunt, was still cheerful.
"You're grounded for a month!" she said, staring deliberately at Ben.
"No! Mum!" said Ben, and not wanting to get Amy into trouble, but overwhelmed by the injustice, couldn't help but blurt out "But what about Amy" in a pathetic whine.
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Mr Double's Palisade
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Changes last made on: Wednesday, January 24, 2018