The first thing we did after we’d been shown our hiding place (a room at the back of the pub, up two flights of stairs and at the end of a corridor) was to get some sleep. The room was basic, obviously not used often but ready should there be a sudden influx of guests. It had all the usual features you’d expect, just a little older than you’d have in your home.

It was like they’d furnished it from a second-hand shop rather than buying new. There was a double bed in the corner and a sofa with a small pull-out underneath it which faced the screen area. Above the sofa was a window with heavy net curtains and even heavier duty light-blocking curtains at either side. In the corner next to the bed there was a boxed-in en suite toilet and shower. In the other corner on the same wall was a built-in wardrobe and the space between had a counter with drawers either side to make it look like a desk.

The wall above was plain white to allow guests to project their own screens. The last wall just had a door into the corridor, and an artistic print of the local countryside as well as the usual legal safety notices about fire evacuations etc.

Breakfast came to the room at quarter to nine in the morning with a gentle knock at the door.

“Are you decent, ladies?” came the call which stirred me awake. Before I had a chance to work out what was going on, or where I was, the door opened and an old man bearing a tray came in. Frankly he didn’t look stable enough to be walking unaided, never mind carrying the tray which was laden with three plates mounded with food, a pot of tea, three mugs, a milk jug, a sugar bowl and condiments.

“Good morning, Frank!” beamed Rosie, sitting up from the pull out bed where she’d been sleeping, still fully dressed apart from her boots.

“Top o’ the morning to you too, Rosie!” Frank replied with a clear lilt to his voice. It was obvious that they had met before.

“I’ve got ye all some breakfast here, to make sure ye’ve got enough energy for whatever it is that ye’ve got planned for the day.” he told us all as he put the tray down on the counter top. Once he’d done that he retreated to make space for us to get to the food. There was a chorus of thanks and when I looked round Frank was back in the doorway, with a brown cardboard box.

“Yez’ll be wanting some other stuff too I dare say, so I took the liberty of bringing ye up a spare terminal. It’s registered to us for guest use, so be careful what you do with it.” He put down the box just inside the door before closing it behind him and leaving.

“Good man, that Frank.” said Rosie, “He’s definitely one of the good guys. I just wish he was about 50 years younger…”

“And the rest!” Cat said, between mouthfuls.

“He’s got to be about a hundred years old, he looks totally decrepit.” I said.

“He is. Well, in his late nineties at any rate.” Rosie said.

“How do you know him?” I asked

“He’s my great-grandfather apparently, although more metaphorically than practically.”

“How do you mean?”

“Well, back when he was a young man he got up to all sorts of stuff. He lived in Belfast during the Troubles, and after that he travelled a bit. Once they’d let him out of prison that is.” Rosie explained.

“He was in prison! What did he do?” I exclaimed.

“Duh, Pandora. He was a terrorist, what do you think he did?”

Continued in Imperfect: Scene 8 – Plans

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