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Coffee Part 3

6 comments | 12:32 am | top |
He let the flowery-patterned curtain fall back, damp from where it had come in contact with the window. The rain was coming down in sheets outside, turning the lawn into a shallow lake. Next to a large pile of socks, his boots were lying, muddy, in a heap in the corner by the door, where he had kicked them off last night. If his sister had not been staying the last few days at her friend's home, he knew that his socks and boots would not be lying there. But they were, and that had been his last pair of dry socks, so there was nothing for it but to pull them over his feet and then step into his damp boots. The sole of the right boot had started to perish from old age, leaving the inner sole nice and sodden - he'd been meaning to get a new pair - but they cost so much these days! "Still", he thought, as he tied the mud-stiffened laces of the boots, "the feet will keep moving, she'll be right". Taking the knee-length leather jacket from where it lay over the armchair by the fire, he found that it was warm, but still damp from last night. As he pulled himself into the jacket and slowly did up the zip, and then the buttons, he cast his eye around the comfortable but untidy room.

This always happened. His sister went away for a few days and the place just fell apart. In fairness, it wasn't that bad, and Lizzy could have probably had the place looking ship-shape again in a few minutes. The dutch cabinet, inherited from someone old - he couldn't remember, had sat in that same spot, next to the book-case, for as long as he could remember. Looking over towards the low book-case, the beginnings of a smile came over his face, as he noticed the disaray of the collection. The sign of well-used books. It was just a taste of the alexandrian collection that was stored safely at his parent's house back in town, but even so, there was room on the shelves for a selction of Biggles books, some titles by G. A. Henty and R. M. Ballantyne, a handfull of Jane Austen titles, and a few by Elizabeth Gaskell. The others had him on a bit when they would find him asleep, sprawled out on the rug in front of the fire, a copy of Pride and Prejudice, or North and South clasped tightly in one hand, lulled to sleep by the familiarity of reading it for the third time.

Glancing across at the mantle-piece over the fire, his heart stopped for an instant, and a worn, painful expression came over his face as his eyes lighted on the lone picture-frame which reposed there. Shoulders sunken and head bowed, he turned his back and turned the circular brass handle on the ancient kauri door of the little cottage. The door had been salvaged from a house in the city that was being demolished, when his dad, a young apprentice builder at the time, had spotted the door and - nobody ever found out exactly how, managed to cycle twenty-odd miles back to his home with it.

The wind and the rain in his eyes, he pulled the brim of his stockman's hat down, and gratefully turned up the collar of the Rodd & Gunn jacket. Plodding through the puddles and deep in thought, he looked up into the early morning sky. Who needs soap and warm water. Rubbing the weariness away, he rubbed the rain-water into his face, better. His head down again, he strode into the horizon, hands deep inside the pockets of his jacket.

brrrr-brrrr, brrrr-brrrr. The phone was vibrating. Bah, why did they always call him just when it was raining? Turning away from the rain, and sheltering the phone with one hand, he looked at the screen. It was Brian. He had best-mates with Brian, he could call him as much as he wanted, for only $6 per month. He cancelled the call, and then proceeded to call Brian back, careful to not get the phone too wet.

"Are you there mate?" The Rural-Auckland drawl was unmistakable, and the question the same as ever. "Yep, I am". He tilted his head to stop the rain from dripping down his neck. The man on the other end of the phone spoke quietly, a hint of danger in his voice, "I've been meaning to say this to you", he chuckled, "Every time I ring you, you cut me off, and it's costing me a fortune... I just give it a couple of rings, but you're too quick for me!...". Brian's voice trailed off. "Ahh, yes, ok... I'll try and remember that one". He was supposed to let Brian cut the call off, and then it didn't cost anything, and then he could call him back. Brian's voice came again, staticky because of the rain. "Ok..." he chuckled again, "now about the hole you need dug?..."

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6 Comments:

Blogger Simeon said...

Ah yes Andy, It is VERY annoying when you answer the call just as I am cutting it off!!!

I think it happened about 3 times!!

Just buy me a V and we will call it even shall we ?

4:43 pm, July 23, 2008 
Blogger Andy Moore said...

Wasn't talking about you though mate!

And yes, I do owe you a drink next time I see you, but it's for something else remember?

5:54 pm, July 23, 2008 
Blogger Simeon said...

No you owe me two V's. 1 for cutting me off and the second for winning the bet ;)

7:46 pm, July 23, 2008 
Blogger Lydie said...

like it Andy... thought we were going to continue with the hole...??? Ah well, I guess I can get my hands proverbially dirty when it comes to writing my part. :)
hmm, I really enjoyed the part about his dad biking 20 miles with the old kauri door! And what's up with the one lone photo on the mantelpiece?
Should that be left up to our imagination, or are you going to tell us?

11:29 pm, July 23, 2008 
Blogger Jono McGarvey said...

Um, I hate to be overly critical, but Brent seems to change his name between paragraphs. But all that aside, keep these coming.
And while we're talking serials, what happened to that little "Work Camp" number we were working on?

4:56 pm, July 25, 2008 
Blogger Andy Moore said...

Heheh, good call Jono. Lyd mentioned this to me too, but I forgot to change it. I his name should be Brian, so we'll go with that.

Hmmm, Work Camp, we'll see how that goes. Feel free to write Work Camp 4 if you have the inclination or the time, or both.

5:15 pm, July 25, 2008 

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