Ringing the Changes

(1750 words) Leaving the dreary wet concrete of London behind me, I zoomed along the motorway on my way down to Sussex. It felt great without Lucy moaning that I was going too fast. Sod her! In warm sunshine, I drove along Poverty Lane into the village of East Chillingham, Shakatak’s Nightbirds thumping beat on my player. I spotted an old woman cutting her hedge with hand clippers and pulled over. Beneath a green wide-brimmed hat, straggly white hair fell over a crinkled face. “Excuse me, I’m looking for the church.” “What for?” “I’m going to a wedding, Tony Simmons and Reverend Sue Sutton.” I thought she might have heard. She grimaced, showing crooked, yellow teeth. Without speaking she jabbed her clippers away from her, in the direction of a turn to the right, perhaps fifty metres away. “Oh, d’you mean I turn there?” She didn’t reply, putting her head down and carrying on with her self-appointed task.