The hospital was more than just one building, but a complex of buildings, carparks, and gardens. It was located on the edge of the city centre. The whole facility was surrounded by a red brick ring wall with a small cottage for the original groundskeeper when the hospital was first built. The days of indentured caretakers tied to the land were passed of course, but the original building still stood there as a reminder of quainter days. It was a tall white wooden building with high ceilings and a steep wooden roof. Green fungus had taken over patches of the roofing tiles with obvious gaps where old tiles had been replaced with new ones in recent years. The cottage was located at the corner of the hospital estate closest to the city centre and had been taken over by a Christian charity for the homeless organised by a local church.
Paul was busy making sandwiches with the other volunteers who came in from the parish. Every night the volunteers made hundreds of ham and cheese sandwiches for the homeless. Sometimes they had a huge pot full of soup as well to share, and tonight was one such night so Paul had to go in and out of the kitchen to check on the soup. He had just ducked out when a woman dressed in a short skirt, leg warmers, and stylish leather jacket walked into the area where the volunteers were busy preparing the sandwiches. She looked at each volunteer’s face coolly observing them. Some of the volunteers noticed her and bid her a warm welcome which she ignored. When she spotted Paul through the doorway to the kitchen she drew herself up to her full height on each high heel and allowed a hungry smile to emerge from the sea of cosmetics covering her face. The woman walked quietly into the kitchen, all sense of apprehension now missing from her thin body. She was standing right behind Paul as he was carefully stirring the huge pot of soup.
“That’s a big dinner you’ve got there,” said the woman slowly. Continue reading “The Monk – Part 22”