met in the gardening section between the cane bundles and the John
didn't recognise her at first. It had been nearly twenty years after
all. Yet when he did it was remarkable how little she seemed to
had seen him coming, and that always gives you an edge. She had
watched him sliding sideways between the rows of outdoor pots their
curved shapes clothed in bright blue glaze like the buttocks of
exotic dancing girls.
He stood next to her, her face just within the sphere of his personal
Mark." she said with that same mocking half-smile he remembered.
It always made him feel that she was about to lean forward and kiss
was suddenly conscious of the green polka dotted gardening gloves
in his hand, for on recognising her he had instinctively lifted
them to his face, a gesture of self defence, as if he had been the
victim of an ambush.
not changed." She said, and he realised with a tingle of trepidation,
that she was right. He felt that same pathetic desire to please
her" to impress her if he could.
tried to tuck the emasculating gloves into the side pocket of his
anorak, drawing her attention to them as they slid repeatedly off
the rain flap so that his arm made the sort of repetitive motion
that a dog's back leg makes when it tries to scratch.
reached down and lifted the flap.
He nodded, burying the gloves and drawing his hand up again to wipe
" And you?"
held up an adjustable spanner, fashioned in glistening black metal,
its knurled rings glittering where they caught the light with their
roughened teeth. Bigger than you, harder, stronger, indefatigable,
have some jobs to sort out." She said.
He pressed the tops of his thighs together and shifted uncomfortably.
Her mouth smiled, and her eyes watched him. He opened his mouth
to speak but couldn't think of anything to say. Her slim figure
was still like a bud about to break. He didn't like slim boyish
women. He liked rounded women. What was the name of that artist?
He tried to remember. That artist's name-esque women was what he
liked, he told himself, wanting to sink down on hisknees and throw
his arms around her and press his face into her crotch.
Must press on." She said. "Dave will be home soon."
smile widened to moist open-mouthedness and her eyes danced on his
soul. She slipped past him and made her way between the satin skinned
pots towards the garden furniture. Moments later, wistfully recalling"
as her fingers stroked the rough boards of a rustic bench, she heard
the alarms whine as someone tried to leave with an unpaid for item
in their pocket.
Hallam Dennis - Curthwaite