Stacey arrived at her granddads house to find an army of press and TV crews parked outside. There was even a small campsite set up on a grass verge at the end of the street. She pushed and shoved her way through the crowd, ran up the pathway and knocked heavily on the door.
Eddie opened the door to his granddaughter. She walked in and Eddie quickly closed the door behind her.
“Hello darling, I thought you might come over.”
She gave him a hug.
“Where’s Dad? Is he okay?”
Eddie looked up to the ceiling.
“He’s upstairs getting ready.”
She looked at her granddad and smiled.
“So? What’s he going to say?”
Eddie shrugged his shoulders.
“Honestly Stacey, I’ve got no idea. He keeps saying that it’s time to speak and let people know what’s happening. But what that is, I really don’t know. He’s changing Stacey, right before my very eyes. He’s…changing.”
Stacey gave him a strange look.
“What does that mean?”
Eddie shook his head.
“I can’t explain it. But he just seems different.”
Stacey gave her Granddad another hug.
“Of course he’s different, he’s been away for twenty two years!”
She laughed, then went upstairs to see her dad. She knocked on the bedroom door.
“Dad, it’s me Stacey, can I come in?”
Ray called out.
“It’s open, Stacey.”
Stacey went into the bedroom. It was the first time she’d seen Ray since the press conference the day before, she thought he looked amazing. She had feelings for him that she was trying to resist. Feelings that a daughter shouldn’t have for her father.
“You look very smart Dad.”
Ray was sitting on the bed but stood up when he saw his daughter.
“Stacey, it doesn’t feel right you calling me Dad. I’m not comfortable with it, just call me Ray, would that be okay?”
She was relieved, she also felt uncomfortable calling him Dad. He was practically the same age for Christ’s sake. Calling him Ray felt better, more natural.
“I agree, from now on, you’ll always be my Ray.”
They smiled at each other, each one thinking the same thing but not daring to say it.
“So, RAY, what are you going to say, what do you have to tell us all?”
“You’ll see, very soon, you’ll see. But, something tells me you need to be careful, someone may try to harm me and if they can’t get to me, they may try to get to the people who are close to me. I have a feeling that Tom Lucas was killed because he and I were close and he was trying to protect me.”
Stacey looked confused.
“But Tom was in a car accident, that’s all. He just made a mistake at the roundabout.”
Ray took her in his arms and held her close, then whispered to her.
“Please just be careful, I couldn’t bear to lose you.”
He held her for a few minutes then stood up again.
“Okay, time to get on with it.”
Eddie had been waiting downstairs not wanting to disturb them. Ray came down with Stacey close behind.
Ray opened the door and walked down the garden path. He stood by the gate and asked if they were all ready. They were. Cameras started to film. There was an eerie silence. Ray began.
“In 1982, I went for a run. It turned out to be the longest run in history. It lasted for twenty two years. I have no memory of what happened to me during that time, I have no answer to the question of why I haven’t aged in that time, why I can speak other languages or why I can recite every word from the Bible. All I know is that I’m back. I believe that I am back for a reason. During those twenty two years I was away, many things have happened in this world. Not all of them for the good. There have been millions of people killed around the world, some because they’re beliefs are different to others, some due to greed and some due to evil deeds by evil people. This has led to millions more dying of hunger and thirst. Millions of children have died during this time through no fault of their own. None of this can be right. Someone is angry and has sent many a warning but has been ignored. It’s time to change, change the way we live, change the way we think, change our attitude towards others. If you believe in the things that I am saying, then join me, join me in a protest to those in power. Stand up with me and say we’ve had enough, this is our time and it should be a time of peace and unity. In five day’s time, on Tuesday 4th January at exactly 14.00 GMT, I want everyone that agrees with my views to take thirty minutes to reflect on the way we live our lives. Just thirty minutes to think about change, thirty minutes to sit and think, put down your tools, turn off your computers, just sit and reflect. Think about the way you want the world to change, everyone in every country around the world take thirty minutes to reflect. It doesn’t matter what religion you have or what faith you believe, it’s not about that, it’s about changing the world for the sake of good. Thank you.”
At first there was complete silence, then something happened. A young woman camera operator started to clap, slowly at first, then louder, others started to join in, until the hundreds outside the house were all putting their hands together. It seemed to last forever.
Ray walked back into the house, some people behind him had now began to chant his name, RAY, RAY, RAY.
Eddie closed the door; both he and Stacey were in tears as they looked at Ray. He seemed to have some kind of aura, a presence about him that they’d never seen before. Stacey began to think that her Granddad was right. Ray really was something special. He WAS changing.
Eddie looked at his son and said softly.
“He spoke and the people listened.”
Trevor Wilson watched the whole thing on a television in a cafe in Camden Town. When it finished, people around him also started to clap and cheer. He spoke in a low voice barely speaking at all, more of a whisper. But with a large grin on his face.
“They are so weak. They think it’s their time, stupid people. Who do they think they are? They will learn. We will make them see again. This is our time.”
At Romford Police station, DCI Spencer was watching it on the television in the meeting room, there was also a stunned silence around him, everyone looking at him to say something but before he could, his phone rang, it was Commander Swan. He wasn’t pleased.
“I thought I told you to keep a fucking eye on him. He’s going to cause chaos. The Prime Minister is going fucking mad. I’m coming over, we need to stop this fucking Ray Samuels!”