‘Whilst enjoying the lighter side of university life, Fiona never lost sight of her main purpose in being there and her pride at belonging to this academically élite set did not wane.
To her roommate’s evident bewilderment, she never once missed the Sunday parade, diligently joining the crocodile of students in their red undergraduate gowns to process along the pier that formed the breakwater for the small harbour at St. Andrews. For her, the sight of the flowing red formation winding its long linear way toward the harbour was as spectacular now as when she had first seen it, no matter how often she took part. It always roused a deep appreciation at being part of such a time-honoured, venerable university; that was, after all, everything she had striven for and, now here, she was determined to savour every moment.’
Christmas Concert at St Salvator’s Chapel
The chapel was less full than expected, and Fiona looked around furtively, still haunted by mild paranoia. Even when the harmonious voices of the choir struck up, she found herself turning to see who might be watching her from behind. She struggled to fight through the darkness inside, wanting but unable to immerse herself in the celebration, yet as the joyous sounds reverberated around even the remotest recesses, embers of hope began to light slowly. It was as if the ecclesiastical setting was soothing her soul, cleansing her from the inside, and she picked up the service sheet, at first just mouthing the words to the familiar carols, until finally her voice broke through and she started to sing with gusto. Suddenly, it was as if the demonic memories of last night were driven out.’
‘She was more fired-up than she dared hope for and, only when they filed out, did her elation start to wane. Unthinkingly, she yawned heavily and, embarrassed at her irreverence, she shot a sideways glance at the body flanking her. She did a rapid double take, then her eyes froze into wide circles. It was him—the boy who had helped her last night. Her heart sank like lead, then her gaze tore away as a torrent of horrors came flooding back, taunting her like evil ghouls. She walked stiffly up the aisle toward the portal, aware of the boy’s presence, although neither acknowledged the other, and suddenly the message of peace and goodwill to all men began to rankle in her mind.'