Shropshire Star

Leeford Village episode 118: (Grandfathers)

Catch up with the latest episode of the online serial by authors Michael Braccia and Jon Markes.

We're back in Leeford Village

Previously in Leeford Village: Cody questions why everyone is being so secretive and is told that there is a birthday party at the community centre being planned for him. Adam announces his engagement to Meredith. Meredith surprises everyone, including Adam, by announcing she is pregnant. Sherry proposes to Carlos, who reveals that he is already married to a girl in Rio, called Anita, and that he cannot go back home for fear of what his father might do.


It's not often there is silence in the Thornton household, with the sound of the chip fryers and the chattering of customers below the flat being clearly audible for much of the day. Not to mention Agnes’s and Cody’s regular (and always lovingly resolved) altercations that punctuate the day’s progress (and, often, the evening’s). But, if tumbleweed were to swirl across the patterned Wilton carpet in the moments following Meredith’s announcement, no one would be surprised.

Adam speaks first.

‘Meredith, that’s really, erm, well, what I mean is…’

Before he can finish constructing his sentence, Agnes lunges towards Meredith and wraps her arms around her, before pulling back suddenly.

‘Oh, I’m sorry, perhaps I shouldn’t…’

Meredith smiles. ‘It’s fine, Agnes. I’m only twelve weeks. Hug me if you like.’

Agnes does just that, holding on for a long time. When she finally lets go, she turns to look at Adam, his complexion paler than it was prior to Meredith’s announcement.

‘Oh, Meredith. You mean we’re going to have a baby?’

Meredith nods excitedly.

It’s Adam’s turn to hug Meredith, following it up with a long kiss, much to the embarrassment of Agnes and the envy of Cody (though he would never dare admit it).

Cody takes Meredith’s hands and leans in to kiss her on both cheeks. Then he shakes Adam’s hand. ‘That means, I’m going to be a grandfather!’ he exclaims. ‘I’m way too young, but wow! Of course, he’ll have to wear a Wolves shirt as soon as he can.’

‘Er, hang on there, grandad! I might want him to have a Leeds one,’ laughs Meredith. ‘Or even Southend United, the team my father supports. Though I don’t know why – he’s never been to Southend in his life!’

Agnes, Jasmine and Adam are gathered together in the corner of the room.

‘Could it get more complicated?’ whispers Jasmine to Agnes.

‘No, love,’ is Agnes’s reply.


Simon dials Zack’s number for the tenth time in an hour. Answerphone.

He leaves a message: ‘Pick up, Zack. I need to know what’s going on.’

Back at the vicarage, Zack is explaining his situation to his father, Revd. John Peterson.

The reverend listens carefully then sits back in his worn-leather office chair.

‘The way I see it, son, is that Mr Gomez is within his rights to sack you. You did breach your terms of employment after all.’

‘I didn’t know I had terms of employment, Dad.’

‘Did you have a letter saying when to start and what the pay would be?’

Zack thinks. ‘Yes, I’ve still got it.’

‘And was there anything else that came with the letter?’

Zacks thinks again. ‘Only a load of blurb about the council and some stuff about policies.’

‘Did you read it?’

‘Read it? No. There were pages of it. Really boring legal stuff.’

Revd. Peterson sighs.

‘Well, in among that really boring legal stuff would have been your terms of employment. I suggest you read it, not that it will get you your job back.’

Zack flushes. ‘When I said I didn’t read it, I meant I binned it.’

Another sigh from the reverend.

‘That’s that then. However, Allen Gomez can’t stop you working with Simon. That’s your business. And the council have agreed you can have that spot in the market, for which Simon has stumped up the money.’

‘Simon’s dad, actually.’

‘Whatever. Anyway, I suggest you go back to the market, get behind that coffee stall and make it a roaring success. And bring me a mocha - as my consultancy fee - when you finish for the day. Two sugars, please.’

Zack stands.

‘Thanks, Dad. I will. Me and Simon are going to be so rich. I’ll be able to tell Gomez where to stick his job and…’

‘Whoa, son! No need for that kind of language. Just go and do it, honourably.’

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