by Robin Wrigley
‘Mr Bannister, tonight will be the most critical period for your daughter. If she can pull through the next twelve to twenty-four hours, she should have a good chance of a full recovery.’
The surgeon, still in his theatre scrubs and the girl’s father regarded the small anesthetised child in the framed bed. Each man locked in their private thoughts.
‘Thank you, I know you’ve done all you could.’ Andrew Bannister’s voice cracked as he squeezed the surgeon’s arm gently and then allowed himself to be ushered from the room.
From there he headed back to the children’s recovery ward to comfort his other daughter and son who lay in adjacent beds bruised and bandaged.
‘How’s Georgie, Dad?’ they asked in unison.
‘She’s doing fine. Try and get some sleep now and do your best not to worry – you’re all going to be fine.’ With that Andrew bent over and kissed each of them on the forehead before leaving the room.
Andrew looked up from his desk to see two traffic policemen standing in the open farm office door.
‘Yes, how can I help you?’
‘I’m afraid your wife has been involved in a fatal accident.’
The word ‘fatal’ sliced through him.
Georgie’s sleep was restless as she struggled unconsciously with the hospital security bands in place to limit her movement. Her lips moved and occasionally she let out a whimper; in between times she called for her mother.
In her many and varied dreams, she heard a loud explosion. People were screaming. Later the deafening sound of a engine. The bright sun above was splintered by the spokes of a spinning wheel.
Then she was on a high cliff top and Jason the horrible boy in her class was pushing her off the edge. She grabbed at air and found a large multi-coloured umbrella in her hand and started to float like the lady in the film. Down, down she went. There seemed no end to her descent. The sea below was blue-grey and menacing; the white tipped waves appeared like fingers of huge hands trying to grasp her and pull her below to hidden depths.
The umbrella started to save her and stop the descent. There were soft voices and ladies singing. Everything was becoming brighter. A huge shining light seemed to be directed towards her. An old bearded man waved to her from behind the light as she continued her flight.
Now she was surrounded by beautiful white doves with green fronds in their beaks weaving this way and that around her. They appeared to be guiding her and she became even more alarmed as she couldn’t work out how to steer the course of the umbrella.
Her fears increased. She heard her daddy’s voice calling her.
‘Georgie, Georgie.’ She felt drops of water. She opened her eyes. His head was above her and beyond his smiling face, streaked with tears she saw two doves painted on the hospital ceiling.