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Coffee Part 4

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Read: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

"Yeah.  You know how our sceptic tank caved in with the rain.  Yeah, we're gonna get it filled in, need to dig a bit of a hole to sink another tank mate."  Brian chuckled again, "haha, you're having a pretty rough run of it aren't you".  Blimmin rain, how much could a phone take? The other day it had come up saying "cannot read SIM card" - he was always giving the thing a hammering, maybe time for a new phone. "Yeah" he responded.  "How does say, Tuesday, no... Monday next week sound?"  They agreed on the date, "alright, look after yourself" came the Rural-Auckland drawl again.  "Yeah, see ya".

He sheltered the phone in his hands, drying it on the underside of his jacket, slipping it into his right-jeans pocket.  His hand ran over his left pocket and his eye twitched as a strange, sullen smile lit up his face.  Shoving a hand into each pocket and hunching his shoulders, eyes down he made his way down the rough gravel road.  The rain was annoying but entrancing; the steady drum of the rain on the back of his jacket, the regular stride as his boots muddied the clear puddles of rain-water.  Looking ahead down the path into the misty oblivion he could make out the old dog-kennels.

The wire door of the second dog-kennel was hanging open.  Looks ok, pretty dry.  He sat down in the little doorway of the kennel - it was just high enough to let him sit back in the kennel without having to bend his neck.  He sat for a while, motionless, silent, taking in the scene before him.  There was dead-man's hill, hard to make out with low-clouds obscuring it's soaring peaks a matter of meters above sea-level.  A few forlorn looking sheep huddled together by a clump of trees near the newly erected fence at the bottom of the hill.  He could hear the water rushing down the water-raceway.  Resting his shoulder against the side of the door-frame he pulled a packet of smokes from his left-pocket.  He flipped the lid of the box open and pulled out a cigarette between his forefinger and thumb.  That smell, heck, what is it?  He dropped the pack down beside him, proceeding to pull out a lighter from his other pocket.  Leaning back into the kennel for shelter from the early-morning breeze which seemed to be driving the rain down south, he lit up.  Breathing in steadily as the cigarette caught light, he breathed in the smoke and then exhaled.

Closing his eyes he grinned wanly, teeth clenched together.  They'd kill me, yeah... He slipped into a subconcious stream of thought, cycling through a large number of unpleasent scenarios in the space of a few seconds.  He looked ahead blankly, taking the occasional draw from his smouldering cigarette - his mind otherwise unoccupied.  His chin resting on his chest, the cigarette held loosely between fore and middle-finger, he felt the threat of a post wake-up sleep-in overcoming him.  Sitting up sharply, he flicked his flickering cigarette out into the wetness.  Yawn.  He stretched his arms, massaged his shoulders a bit and then pulled out another cigarette.  One for the road.

What the heck.  A gold-coloured Nissan Sentra was parked out in front of the house.  They must be back already.  He strode quickly towards the house, pulled off his jacket and hung it on the peg in the sheltered area by the front-door.  Must be about time for a coffee.  There was good music playing as he opened the door.  Sarah Brightman's O Mio Babbino Caro was playing on decent volume to do the song justice.  Yeah, a bit early in the morning, but real good.  "Hi!" Lizzy's eyes lit up with a very-much-awake smile.  He grunted good-morning as cheerfully as he could, and moved over to throw a log on the fire which was starting to burn down.  "What's the smokey smell?", Jane was pouring coffee from the perculator jug into four retro cups which were lined up on the bench.  "Oh, yeah, motorbike playing up..." his voice trailed off as he quickly changed the subject.  "Pretty decent music, isn't it.  I really want to know what the words mean."  Lizzy walked over to where Barry lay, sprawled out on his duvet infront of the fire, kicked him cruely in the ribs, and without missing a beat replied.  "Yes, that would be so cool, but I want to learn how to sing it as well, it would sounds so great!"

Barry rolled over and pulled himself up onto one elbow as he accepted the cup of coffee.  "Brian get back to you?"  Barry, he always had his mind on the job... "Yeah, he gave me a call just before.  We're going to get it sorted on Monday, should be good."  He pulled himself up out of the chair and walked inconspiciously over to the fridge, opening the door innocently.  With the skill aquired over many failed attempts, he poured a respectable amount of cream into his coffee.  "Aye!"  Barry shot him a pleading look.  Here goes for nothing.  He screwed the lid tightly on the 300ml bottle, and threw it over in Barry's direction - not reckoning for Jane's closet wicket-keeping skills.  “Hey! this is for the sconnes this afternoon! Lizzy, look, he’s stealing our cream!”  Oh boy.  Apologising profusely but with a sparkle in his eye, he offered restitution by way of cleaning up all the dishes from all the mess the two of them made.

A well-aimed, tightly rolled-up tea-towel, damp from drying dishes hit him in the shoulder, making him slosh his strong creamy coffee over his hand...



Blogger Isabella Clinton said...

Hey I tagged you again! And this is a nice story.

12:24 pm, December 28, 2008 

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