Monday, 6 August 2018

Round 32


They have built a fence alongside the motorway.

It runs for miles and miles.

And miles.

I don’t think it’s to stop the cars driving off, so it must be to stop the animals running on.

That’s a shame.

There is a nice lake on one side, where the forest creatures on the other side would like to drink.

And the waterside creatures might like to hide sometimes under the trees.

The fence builders didn’t think of this.

Philippe was one of the fence builders, though it wasn’t his decision; he was following instructions.

On the third day he tore his finger on one of the staples, and the supervisor drove him to the local clinic.

The supervisor left him there and returned to finish the stapling.

Time is money.

Philippe had to wait a long time at the clinic, a school rugby team had been collectively struck by lightning during a match, and many were suffering from shock.

These things happen.

By the time he got to see the nurse on duty there was a heightened risk of infection, so she cleaned the wound and administered five stitches.

It was the first time she had stitched a fence builder’s finger and she told Philippe so.

“I hope you know your needle from your thread”, he said.

“It’s ok”, she replied, “I’ve stitched many times”.

Philippe smiled.

The Nurse –Lorrie - noticed.

“You have a nice smile”, she offered.

“Thank you,” he replied.

Then there was a silence.

It wasn’t a heavy silence, but it was there none the less.

“Well, a stitch in time saves nine,” she added quickly, making the silence go away.

At that point a bus driver who had trapped his thumb in his automatic doors walked into the clinic; he was the colour of three-day old ash and Lorrie had to attend to him.

Philippe took this opportunity to slip away; he was never comfortable when women said something nice to him.

Outside the clinic he was unsure whether to return to work or go home, so he decided to phone his supervisor.

His mobile phone was out of battery so he asked a passer-by if he could borrow their phone.

The passer-by, who worked as a doorman at a research institute was wearing his ID badge, so Philippe knew he was talking to Samuel.

Samuel lent him his phone, hoping that Philippe wouldn’t run off with it. This had happened to him once when he had been on holiday in Guadeloupe, and he was traumatised enough to think it might happen again.

Samuel’s ancestors came from the island and his Aunt Tottie still lived there.

During his visit she took him to see the coral reef.

It was the first time that Samuel had seen the ocean; he had been born in a suburb of Paris and had slept on the flight.

Aunt Tottie was surprised when they reached the Ocean; someone had built a fence alongside the beach.

Someone else had made a hole in the fence and together Samuel and Tottie climbed through and crossed the sand.

Samuel stood with his bare feet in the water and looked out at the blue stretching before him.

It ran for miles and miles.

And miles.

(sorry, yes i know - the editor)

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