Rebecca's short stories
A Shining Boy
Vincent gave the gentleman a wide beaming smile, in fact the biggest smile in all his life because this was the kindest man he’d ever met. And he spoke so nicely, and he’d given him the chocolate.
‘Would you like a piece, sir?’
‘Why, thank you, I would.’
So they shared the chocolate and talked and suddenly it was Culworth. His hanky! He’d got to wave! He’d got to wave! He heaved the window down and waved and waved. Stepped out onto the platform and it was a big jump, his heart was pounding, he was short of breath, and he couldn’t see anyone who looked like an Auntie Nellie or an Uncle Alfred. He began to sweat, his mouth went dry and he felt totally abandoned and mortally afraid. He’d no ticket to get back to Auntie Jessie and no money, so it was the orphanage no doubt about it. Oh!
Please God, not the orphanage.
‘Alfred! We shall be late. They’ll be taking him away and we shan’t know where he is and. . . . .’
‘Calm down I’ve just heard it pulling in. Whoa, Duke, whoa.’
‘I’ll go look for him while you turn the cart round.’
Nellie, terrified that her only chance of having a child would be snatched away from her, raced through the barrier and on to the platform. There he stood. One unclaimed scrawny, shabby boy. With his bright blue eyes, his fair skin and his hair so blond it positively lit up the platform, he was an angel sent to her directly from heaven. He’d the same colouring as Alfred and could have been his son. So now she knew for certain that God was in his heaven and all was right with the world.
Nellie opened wide her arms and rushed towards him.
‘You must be Vincent? I’m your Auntie Nellie.’
She hugged him with a passion he’d never experienced before in all his life and he responded to her hug with equal passion. He remembered his manners.
‘Good morning. Pleased to meet you. . . . . .Auntie Nellie.’
Holding out his hand for her to shake he looked like the angel she knew he was. Uncle Alfred, waiting with the cart in front of the station, saw Vincent coming through the barrier, and his heart leapt. He’d always dreamed of having a son. There was no doubt in his mind that this boy was his sister Minnie’s, because he looked so much like himself. What a shining boy he was. Then Nellie appeared through the barrier and Alfred saw she too was shining; with love.
This is a story about Vincent Jones, the father of Vince Jones. Vince features in all of the Turnham Malpas books. Vince is married to Greta, and lives down Shepherd’s Hill in Nellie and Alfred’s old house. They have three sons, Kenny and our Terry who live in Canada, and Barry, who works on the Turnham House Estate and is married to Pat. For the record, this event occurred on April 5th 1950.