'Rebecca and the Angels' - Extract





the others

On Angel Mountain

house of angels



Guardian Angel


Conspiracy of Angels


An extract from Chapter 2 of ”Rebecca and the Angels”

Martha has had to put up with several personal tragedies, but she refuses to succumb to misery. She decides that she needs fresh air in her lungs, and that a visit to her secret cave is necessary…….

In the morning I woke early, while it was still pitch black outside, and Liza was surprised to find me up when she sidled in through my bedroom door with her basket of kindling and small coals for the fire. “Good morning, Mistress!” said she. “You look very sprightly this morning, if I may say so.”

“I do not feel it, Liza, I can assure you,” I replied. “In fact, I was up late and my sleep was somewhat disturbed. But I do feel at ease with the world today, and I am minded to climb up the mountain straight after breakfast.”

Liza looked amazed. “I do not advise it, Mistress,” she said. “I have just walked up from the cottage, and it is a horrid morning, with driving rain and low cloud. Even when it is light, I swear that the summit will be invisible.”

“Do not try to change my course, Liza. I am set upon it, and if I spread my arms wide, I will sail up the rocky slope with a brisk following wind, and leave the rain behind.”

And so, with hot porridge in my stomach and stout boots on my feet, and a felt hat strapped to my head, and Billy’s old oilskins providing some little protection from the rain, I headed out into the storm. As I climbed, of course I got very wet indeed, but I felt a sort of exhilaration, and I was spurred on by the thought that ahead of me was the warm dry sanctuary of the cave. I passed St Brynach’s sacred spring, and without thinking I anointed myself with a handful of its holy water, just as I always do before tackling the last steep part of the climb. Then my sombre mood gave way to laughter, as I was struck by the absurdity of an anointment in weather such as this, with water pouring out of the shredded cloud, sluicing off my sodden hat and oilskins, and filling my clothes and my boots. Thousands of gallons of it, straight from heaven. I was still in good humour as I climbed up into the mist. I passed between rock pillars and edged along rocky ledges, as I had done hundreds of times before. Then I wound my way through the last narrow crevices, passed the last fallen boulders, and saw the entrance of my secret cave. Nobody else knows about it. It belongs to me, as it once belonged to old Saint Brynach. He came here to commune with his angels, as do I whenever I need peace.

Soon I was inside, and out of my boots and oilskins. Some years ago, when I slept in the cave occasionally, I carried up three sheepskins and a couple of thick woollen blankets, and I made the decision to leave them behind in case I should ever need them again. They were in the back corner of the cave, perfectly dry, and soon I was cuddled up snugly, as warm as a fluffy chick beneath the wing of a mother hen. Away from the wind and the rain, I found silence, although in truth it was quite noisy with the gale buffeting the rock surfaces outside and with the sound of running water echoing around me.