Tuesday 21 October 2014

Not for the first time of the year.

Night had fallen but the road continued to climb into the mountains and the bus headed onward into the darkness, the way lit by the one headlamp that still worked.

Jack took the cassette from the player on the dashboard and leant towards the driver. “What would you like to hear?”

Tom stared ahead into the blackness that was closing in on every side; “Play me something English”, he replied.

Jack searched through the box of tapes by his feet; “Joe Cocker” he announced, proud to find something so clearly English yet also so good.

“Is he English?” Tom asked, “I thought he was American, wasn’t he at Woodstock?”

“So were the Who, but you don’t think they are English do you?”

Tom didn’t reply, he was trying the read the road sign that had suddenly appeared at the side of the road. If the other headlamp had been working he would have seen it earlier and been able to slow down.

“He’s from Sheffield”, Jack explained.

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah, he was a welder”: but as he said that Jack wondered if it was true.

“He doesn’t look like a welder”.

“What do Welders look like?” The voice came from the rear of the bus, “It’s freezing back here, can you turn the heater on?”

“It is on, come up here and cuddle up”.

Mary stood up, stretched and started to move to the front: in the darkness all she could see was part of the road in front and she had the impression she was hovering above it. She felt sick and wished that the cold hadn’t woken her up. “How much further is it?”

But as she asked the question the bus swung around a corner and there in the half headlamps she could see the answer.

“Oh, we’re there”, she said. She sounded disappointed.

why did i write that?

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