This had been a good idea through all of the planning phase. Now, sat behind a wall in the freezing November night, waiting for the others to arrive, hoping to not be found by a security guard, Alan was starting to feel some uncertainty creeping in.
It had been two months earlier when they had all taken a few too many drinks and decided to fake a Banksy on the walls of the new Magistrates’ Court. All of them had lived in Bristol for years, some of them remembered Banksy’s first works appearances. They had been joking about how much they missed his work since he had become more famous, and then Frank had simply said;
“Why don’t we do one for him, huh?”
It was elegant in both its power and simplicity. A graffiti installation apparently by a reclusive and secretive artist would appear on a new building in his old stomping ground. The local reaction was likely to be pleasure and satisfaction that the ‘old boy’ has come back to the home range, and even though it would be publicised it would be hard to out as a fake.
“What do you mean, you ate reindeer sausages? How could you do that?”
Frank shook his head and swallowed the derisory comment he had been about to spew forth. Instead he took a moment to remind himself that the high moral ground was easily lost, but easier to win if never surrendered. Besides he quite liked this girl and making her look stupid, or trying to anyway, was bound to work out badly for him in the long run.
“Well, they were on the menu, and I’d eaten venison sausages before, so I thought that I’d probably like them… I suppose I fancied some game and there it was.”
Judging by the look on her face cheap humour may have been the better option; at least there would have been the outside chance of making her laugh.
“That’s sick that is. I mean it’s bad enough that you think eating Bambi is okay, but Rudolph! I can’t believe I ever liked you!”
This had to be a joke! Was she seriously going to lose it with him over sausages? He was starting to sweat and shift in his seat;
The stream of tail-lights stretching away into the distance was really quite soul destroying. If Della had been awake they could have talked, maybe even kissed; it was not as if the traffic was moving.
She snuffled and brushed her wrist across her nose in her sleep and he felt himself melt in the face of her cuteness. Why was it that this woman, this person was cute to him when she flailed about in her sleep and made odd noises and even talked in her sleep sometimes? When he had to share a twin with a work colleague on a sales trip, or go somewhere with the softball team on an away game, the similar foibles of other sleepers would annoy him rather than make him feel happy and affectionate. Of course it was because he loved her, and he knew that, but it amused him to play with the uneven treatment he gave to people who were not Della.
“Richard? Come back to bed Richard.”
Suddenly he did not feel happy and secure and loving towards her. Now all he could do was wonder who Richard was, what with his name being Tony.
The moonlight, reflected on the underside of the bridge by the ripples in the water made it seem as though they were walking into a tunnel of water. She gripped his hand a little more tightly, suddenly worrying that they were in a dark and lonely place.
“Hey there. You scared baby, or have you just noticed that no one is around?”
His smirk would normally have annoyed her, but something about the light, the way his voice sounded bouncing off the bridge and most importantly the fantastic bottle of wine that they had just shared at the restaurant. She shot him her best playful and cute look and yanked him towards the wall. For a moment he hesitated, double checking that he was right about their being alone and then he followed her lead.
She pulled his hands inside her coat as their mouths met and once he had got the basic idea she slid one hand around his waist and the other snaked its way into his trousers. As she found what she was looking for he let out the little gasp that she loved so much. She squeezed more.
“And why, pray tell, do you think that left is the right course of action? I mean you do have the map upside down.”
The look I received in return was less quizzical, more homicidal if the truth be told. We had been orbiting Sudbury for some time now, trying to find the right arcane combinations of turnings to end up on the market square in order to pick up the third member of our party from a pub called The Monkey Wrench, where he had been staying the night before.
“Well, don’t turn left then. See if I care. Of course we’re going to be late if you don’t start listening to me instead of just randomly turning ‘the way that feels right’ as we come to junctions.”
She did have a point, and I was starting to dread the endless ribbing I was going to receive from Ferdie, when we finally picked him up. He was not going to care about being kept waiting, or even arriving late to the wedding. That would not stop him needling me about it all day though.
He rolled the cigar between his thumb and forefinger, his hand hovering over his chips. The bet was to him and there was only the small blind left. Everyone had checked, waiting to see the Turn, but the Flop gave him a flush, albeit a low one. Gianni was definitely sitting on something good. Time to roll the dice, this hand could send a player out and it wasn’t going to be him with his chip lead, plus there were two more cards to get out.
‘Clink’ as the chips settle in front of him. He brought the cigar to his mouth and took a long drag, paying his smoking as much attention as he could to hide his level of confidence in a cloud.
Paulo and Gwen both flinched and there were a couple of folds; just Gianni, Thorsten and him still in. They call and then the Turn; Ace of Spades and now he has an ace-high flush.
They both check; what do they have?
He does some quick maths and raises the bet another thousand.
Gianni folds, swearing under his breath about newbies buying the pot.