365 Ficlets – #170 ~ “Sunday Morning in Stellenbosch”

The streets were quiet as I wandered between the oak-lined avenues of the older quarter of Stellenbosch on that Sunday morning. Shoes in hand dodging from patch of shade to patch of shade as the sun had already baked the ground it touched, I tried to find my bearings in order to get back to the deVriert household. My hosts were not going to be wondering where I was when I had not returned on the previous night. There was an alarming and yet also disarming air of honesty in the house, and I was sure that Zander was going to be regaling the family with my conquest over breakfast as I tried to find my way back through the city.

It had been my third night on the Cape and Zander and his brothers had taken it upon themselves to get the English boy laid, “good’n’proper”. They took me into town and found the busiest student bar that they could. They introduced me to every Cape Cutie that came by the table, whether she was interested or not. It took them two hours, the fact that Clarissa was Canadian was not important.

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365 Ficlets – #169 ~ “On Signal Hill”

The sun was dipping into the ocean, a shimmering ball of orange light, lending its softened light to the stunning vista of the bay between Cape Town and Robben Island. Lydia was leaning into my shoulder, cradling her wine glass in one hand, the other gently playing across my thigh. The sunset was beautiful, the wine was exquisite; it was easy to pretend that everything was well in the world, but despite her attempts to set the mood, I could not shake the row the night before.

In the past going on holiday had been a way to create the initial idyll of our relationship, to put a pin in the reality of day to day life and the little and the big issues between us and just enjoy one another again in a bubble away from home. Not so this time. This time I was trying to enjoy the view and the luck I had to be in that place, and yet all I could think about was the fights and the disagreements from the week before.

She nuzzled into my neck, looking for a kiss. I pretended not to notice; it was easier. She did not persist.

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365 Ficlets – #168 ~ “The Cape Doctor”

The wind was blowing pretty hard by the time we fell out of the cab outside the guest house. Maurice, one of the proprietors, had told us that the wind was going to die down by the following morning, but that would have to mean that it had blown itself out pretty hard between midnight and sunrise.

I could see that Geoffrey was starting to wonder about the boat-ride out to Robben Island the next day. If the Cape South Easter kept blowing, then seeing the famous prison colony was going to be bracketed by the hell of choppy seas; a fate worse than death for him, and not one that I relished all that much.

We let ourselves into the garden and were laughing and joking about the day we had enjoyed, seeing the penguins and the baboons, when I noticed that the front door was ajar, and that there was a red hand print at about knee height as if someone had tried to grab the door from the floor. I raised my finger to my lips and shushed Geoff and Sybil, but there was no need; their faces told me that they had seen it too.

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365 Ficlets – #167 ~ “The Cartier Affair”

The cable car was swinging gently from side to side in the breeze as the dessert course was served; a finely prepared cheesecake, drizzled with caramel and garnished with whipped cream. The diners applauded and turned to their host, directing their appreciation at him for having organised this sumptuous feast, hanging in space halfway up Table Mountain. As the applause started to die away, their host Roger Fingliss took to his feet and began to speak;

“Friends, thank you for answering my invitation and for all of your support and business over the years. You know that I am about to embark on an incredible speculative investment, by buying the technology to create much higher quality synthetic diamonds than ever before.”

There were scattered mumblings in the crowd and one man looked as though he were getting up out of his chair to leave; the Chairman of DeBeers, so no surprise.

Still there was a general sense of consent, so Fingliss went on;

“Anyone of you that wants to join with me can. Think about it, please.”

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This is the usual Wednesday Ficlet (based on the three things poll), but on a Thursday, and the three things were suggested as a team submission by Chiara and Morgan; cheescake, a cable car, and speculative investment.


365 Ficlets – #166 ~ “The Other Side of Night”

It was the middle of the night on the plane. After the initial excitement of drinks, food and the thirty different features, most passengers were sleeping. The lights had been dimmed and the only noise, apart from the ambient hum of the engines, was the low snuffling of sleepers, and the gentle rustle of airline blankets.

This was Ferdy’s favourite time to be in the air. There was a magic to night flights that really appealed to him. On a daylight flight there were too may excitable children and groups of friends chatting instead of politely reading their books or plugging into iPods and laptops. For a lot of people air travel is a necessary evil, a trial to be weathered or tolerated. Ferdy loved the sense of wonder that flying still brought him.

He got up out of his seat and padded softly to the back of the cabin to see if any of the cabin staff could sneak him some extra nuts, juice, or couple of cokes from the business class passengers who got a can to themselves instead of having a glass poured for them.

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This was written on the flight to CapeTown (big surprise!), but clearly I did not have a connection to post it until now 🙂


Stolen from a friend on LiveJournal…

This ACTUALLY made me laugh out loud:

LolNinja

Hooray for that!

.
EOT


More Video Blogging – Off to South Africa!

N.B. The Foreign Office “LOCATE” Service can be found here:

LOCATE


365 Ficlets – #165 ~ “First Time”

The sun was not yet even thinking of coming up when I was awoken by a gentle tapping at my bedroom door. I clawed my way into consciousness, checked the clock – three am, roughly – and pulled a towel about me to open the door.

I pulled it open just a crack, expecting light from the landing to pour in, but it did not. The long, tall window at the end of the corridor was filled with moonlight, this softer light bathing Andrea as she stood naked, about to knock once more. She started as she realised that I was peering out at her through sleep-clogged eyes. She met my gaze with her own, and her meaning was clear, even to me just awake. I shook off the last of sleep’s mantle and reached out of the doorway for her hand; pulled her gently inside. I took her over to my window and pulled back the curtains, filling the room with moonlight. I let my towel fall away and I turned to face her, the palms of my hands resting gently against her upper arms. For a moment we looked at each other, and then silently we kissed.

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365 Ficlets – #164 ~ “Crunch Time”

“Have you thought about internet dating? I mean everyone’s doing it now, you know.”

I would have had a lot more respect for my best friend if she had delivered this winning strategy idea with a modicum of conviction. We both knew what she was thinking; “He could always put a picture from 2006 up, from before he put the weight back on, and then dress to best advantage…”

Now to her credit the other half of this thought is the much kinder “because if they get to know him they’ll make allowances”, which means at least she had faith in the amount of ‘smart and funny’ I could bring to the table, with perhaps a side-order of ‘doing okay for money’ if need be.

I looked at her, with a look that says ‘Bitch please!’. I could not control the muscles of my face. Hey that’s my story and I am sticking to it.

“OK, bad idea.”

“You think? Hell Linz, anyone not put off by the girth issue stands to be so toxic from previous damage… There’s nothing for it; the soup diet and spinning three times a week; it’s time for kill or cure!”

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Normally on Mondays I try to write a Ficlet inspired by the front page of the English Language Wikipedia Site, but there was nothing all that inspired today, so I present this instead…


365 Ficlets – #163 ~ “It’s the Little Things…”

There is a sound that only smokers hear, rather that only smokers recognise. It is the sound that a cigarette makes as the flame from lighter or match catches the tip and the first drag of smoke flows into your lungs. The closest I can come to describing it is like the sound you would get from scrunching up a piece of very fine tissue paper, but even then that is not it. It is close, but there is another element to it as well, something that defies description and yet at the same time you could ask any smoker and they would know exactly what you meant.

As we stood there on the top of the cliff looking down at the city lights below, winking in the darkness, I realised that I was craving the chance to hear that sound; not a smoke at all. I did not have any on me; it had been 8 months since I had. Peter would not have any with him, after all he had been one of the principal architects of my quitting this time. I had to find a way to manage the anticipation and excitement without one. Peter nodded, time to jump.

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