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Pocket-Sized Surprises

January 24th, 2011 by admin

Winona nurses a perry cider and peeks around the garden of the Flat of Legend with interest. In daylight, this flat of flats retains its charm. Its small courtyard garden is hemmed with exuberant roses and dahlias, mismatched, charmingly worn chairs, and mismatched charming barbecue guests. No “snarlers” on the grill here: they have brought gluten-free artisanal chorizo and butterflied lamb leg.

Completely overwhelmed by recent events, she is letting one of the flatmates, Chester, try to make her feel at home. “I’ve known your sister for years.”

“Really?” Winona eyes him doubtfully. In her experience, her sister Helena’s social circle doesn’t include pocket-sized hipster gay men. “Do you go out to the Hutt much?”

“No, your sister in Kapiti.  Karin.”

“Oh! I haven’t seen her in eons. She got some grant and went to Europe for six months, to get away from the winter here. So like her, to go there after I’ve moved back here.”

“She’s just come back, hasn’t she? After getting into her usual trouble in Rotterdam.”

Winona’s eyes widen. “Usual…trouble?”

“Oh, I shouldn’t. She is naughty, though,” Chester smiles. “Giving that husband of hers his own back, and about time. Don’t worry. Keeping each other on their toes, is all. They manage.”

Winona sips her cider with true thoughtfulness.

Summer twilight has fallen by the time she returns to her flat. No-one is there, though there is a note on the table, to add to the messages blinking on her smartphone. She picks up the paper anachronism, reads it, and snorts. “Of course he’d say that…”

Beside the note are her partner Will’s car keys. So, he’s still somewhere downtown, then. Inspiration strikes.

She adds a postscript of her own to the note, then grabs the keys. It won’t take long to find where the car is parked. And once she’s out of the city, her rusty driving skills, she thinks, won’t matter much.

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