For the first time in two months the market was awake once more.
People set up their stalls under a orange-yellow sky, greeting each other. Plastic and paper rustled in the breeze whilst the heavenly scent of fresh bread, cakes and pies called to be tasted.
Harriet and her mother set up their small farm’s produce stall. There were eggs laid by their chickens. Homemade jams, marmalade and chutneys using fruit and veg from their field. Golden honey from Harriet’s beehives and goat’s cheese from mother’s goats.
The nervousness in the air was broken by the first customers arriving. Harriet let go of the breath she was holding. It felt like things were returning back to normal.
Dazing lights shone through the night as water played it’s tinkling tune within the fountain. Rising up from the centre was a large pink and white waterlily, posed on the edge of fully opening.
My mum sat on her balcony each clear evening, sometimes with a glass of wine and my dad, looking at the fountain. She didn’t know she was having me until four or five months in. She couldn’t get pregnant and thought it was another phantom.
My parents struggled to name me for weeks but finally one evening on the balcony with me wrapped in a blanket in mum’s arms, she looked across at the waterlily and knew what my name was.
When D had first moved into the dump he had lived in a tent. The owner had taken pity and given D a home and a job. Now, D lived in a little shack with running water and gas. His job was to find things to sell.
Metal and wood brought in good money. Sometimes D would find antiques and jewellery which accidentally had been thrown out or it’s value not realised. A few times D had discovered money which he kept for himself.
In the wedding room white table cloths hung like ghosts and the napkins sat like sugar cones. The champagne was still in the fridge but most of the other food had been thrown out.
Everything was set up, the preparations done; the dried flowers on the tables with the candles. Fairy lights along the windows for a magical twinkle effect. Along the wall, the DJ stand waited to spin the records whilst on the dance floor only the dust motes twirled.
Silence roamed the room broke only by bird song and the wind blowing outside. There should have been music, talking and laughter but it was an empty celebration now.
Quomodocunquizing – making money in anyway that you can
It was a job he always hated but he needed the money. He had many skills and contacts, years of experience and no time inside. Though he bragged he had been. You had to be careful in the criminal underworld.
Scaling the rooftop, he looked for a fire door or other access. People never thought about a burglar coming through the roof. There was an art to the taking of things and he like a magician practised well.
A rainbow lit up the dark sky as I watched from my dad’s new boat. He had always wanted to live on a boat and travel around. No attachments, an easy life. It suited him and he was doing much better.
I smiled and spoke the colours of the rainbow. When I was younger, mum and I had always said them together. Now, all rainbows reminded me of her. She had passed away four years ago but it still felt like yesterday to me.
‘What you calling your boat, dad?’
‘The Spirit of Joy,’ he replied and chuckled, ‘seemed fitting.’
‘Of course! Mum’s name,’ I laughed, ‘she’d have liked that.’
I was too old fashioned but I didn’t care. I liked typing my food and restaurant reviews on an 1950’s typewriter. Kept in good order, cleaned and ink ribbon changed as needed, the ‘old tech’ had lasted longer then any computer device I’d had throughout the years.
It was satisfying to press down hard on each key and hear the clonking noise. There was the mechanical rhythm of continual typing and the ding bell at the end. I loved sliding the feeder roll back and hearing that click into place again.