Much Dithering in Little Botheringham – 23

‘Much Dithering in Little Botheringham’ is an everyday tale of village life and vampires, from Jane Jago and E.M. Swift-Hook.

Back home after the unbelievable events that had just transformed her life completely, Ginny made herself a soothing cup of rosehip and chamomile tea and wondered why she didn’t feel the usual mix of dread and panic that anything so stressful had always induced in her in recent years.
If anything, she decided after a little self-reflection, she felt calm, confident and even invigorated. Part of that she was sure came from whatever physiological changes being undead provided (undead—she quickly pushed the uncomfortable word away), being a vampire provided, but there was also the simple sense of belonging. Ginny had never ‘belonged’ before, and now she suddenly did. She had a Nest, sisters and a village. That thought left a warm glow deep within.
But part of belonging meant commitment, a giving as well as a taking and right now that meant she had to do her bit to protect both her new communities from the grasping hands of Ronald Dump and his enabler-stroke amanuensis Dom Schilling. She glanced at, then put to one side, the pile of booklets Anges had given her:
Vampires and Other Supernaturals—a spotter’s guide.
Sucking for Amateurs—a new vampire’s guide to blood
Community Manners or How Not To Get Your Face Eaten Off—social regulation in the supernatural community
These things Can Kill You—what to avoid for a long and happy unlife

It was not that she wasn’t interested or didn’t need to know, but right now other things had to take priority. If what she had been told was correct she would have decades or even centuries to get around to reading them.
Ginny also ignored a missed call from Lucinda Lorinski, one of her superficial and supercilious London set—no doubt calling up to either gloat and patronise, or to whine and vent as she seemed incapable of any other variety of social interaction—and instead started rummaging in some of the unpacked boxes looking for her ‘important papers’ locked file. She was pretty sure it still contained some of the research she had done on Schilling when their paths had crossed before.
When she finally unearthed it she had then to spend another half hour looking for the key before she could sit down with a fresh cup of tea and walk through a little of her own history.
There were copies of certificates and awards, letters from celebrities—actual letters not printed out emails—insurance for places and things that no longer existed, or at least not in her life, an entire book of long-forgotten passwords and another of addresses and phone numbers belonging to people who also might no longer exist and had not touched her life for many years.
Ginny was close to giving up as she reached the last thin section of documents. Perhaps she had thrown them away in one of her less lucid moments, when expunging the past had seemed the only way to make the present bearable. Or perhaps she had put them somewhere else, deeming them no longer so important as to take up space in her secure file. Or perhaps…
The folder was manila brown and sat between two large card backed envelopes which contained—respectively—her degree awards and her marriage and divorce certificates. It had one word written on the front in block capitals—BASTARDS!
Sitting back she held it unopened for a while, collecting the reserves she needed to face the painful past. Then she slipped it open and started scanning the documents. She was not entirely sure what she thought she would find there, maybe nothing of real use to the present, maybe just a reminder of how much winning this mattered to her personally as much as to the village.
An hour later, feeling more determined, she put the papers away and locked the file, knuckled away tears that were surely of anger over what had been done than grief at her personal loss, surely, and then gathered the corners of her courage and determination and picked up the phone.
“Major Harmsley-Gunn? This is Virginia Cropper, I just wanted to apologise for being a bit distracted when you called on me before and to say that I would be delighted to take up the vacant seat on the Parish Council. You’re so right, I certainly want to bring along some much needed common sense about progress in the village.”

Part 24 of Much Dithering in Little Botheringham by Jane Jago and E.M. Swift-Hook, will be here next week.

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