Daryl Bodle had a mission to fulfill but it was a clandestine affair that could only be undertaken in the early hours of the morning.
This in itself was not an issue for him as he was a nurse so he was used to late night activity.
He arrived home from work just after 9 o’clock, showered and changed and then ate supper of cheese and biscuits following which he fell asleep during Match of the Day.
The alarm on his phone woke him up at 2.45am, so he stretched and got up from his chair, went for a pee and set off.
His destination was the Funny Bones comedy club in Childean and his target was Sarah Hanratty, who was also a night owl as she was the owner and manager.
Sarah was a very stern looking young woman with short brown hair with gold framed spectacle’s which she liked to peer over the top of and because she rarely smiled she was considered to be a joyless person, and as her habit was to dress in black she was known as the
“The Wicked Witch of the West”.
Some people considered it a little ironic that a sour faced old spinster should own and manage a comedy club.
But it was only the people who didn’t really know her who called her derogatory names and thought her sour faced and joyless.
He drove into the car park and walked round the back of the building to Ms. Hanratty’s office and he looked through the barred window and saw her sitting at her desk with her back to the glass.
She was counting the night’s takings and he smiled to himself as he thought how much she looked like Scrooge in his counting house.
It would have been a good night, being Saturday night and Christmas Eve.
On previous visits he had let himself in the staff entrance however since they had a break in at Halloween they had tightened up on security and now employed a biometric system requiring the staff member’s thumbprint so on that occasion as he was expected he just tapped on her barred office window.
Despite the fact that his visit was not a surprise he nonetheless startled her because she almost jumped out of her chair, which she then swung around so she could check out the source of the tapping.
When she saw it was him her stern face relaxed into a smile and she began to fuss with her hair.
Daryl pointed in the direction of the staff entrance and she nodded her understanding.
As he stood outside the door he looked through the small glass panel as Sarah appeared in the corridor and she clearly wasn’t aware he could see her, because she began straightening her clothes and when she was about ten yards from the door she hitched up her skirt and adjusted her stocking tops.
He stepped away from the door as she opened it and once inside he said
“Happy Christmas Miss Hanratty, how are you?”
“All the better now that you’re here” she said and stood on tiptoe to kiss him
“Are you done?” he asked
“I am, I just need to put the cash in the safe” she replied “and then we can go home”
“I like the sound of that” he said and kissed her
Ten minutes later after locking the takings in the safe and setting the alarm they drove to Shallowfield and spent their first Christmas together.