by Helen E Moody
Flora was lamenting again to her friend Ash. Her sad face, so frustrated. How could she, aged fifteen and a half, stop the human race destroying the world? Ash shared her views, sympathised with her, was even a little bit in love with her.
They left the classroom where the Young Environmentalists met. Flora slapped the globe into a furious spin as she flounced past it, Ash followed in her wake like a faithful puppy.
‘Its futile,’ Flora wailed. ‘what can we do about rainforests from here?’
On the way to the café Ash tried to incite a discussion about recycling, using eco friendly toilet paper, but was talking to the back of Flora’s neatly cut bob.
An old banger of a car, churning out thick fumes screeched up to the kerb splashing an oily puddle of pollution right up Flora’s pastel pink tights. She cursed and was about to let loose a torrent of abuse when the driver got out shrugging and full of apologies. His floppy fringe fell over his deep, brown eyes, his full lips twitching into a smile as he realised his effect on the girl.
‘Oh, hi cuz. Check out my wheels, I got rid of the L plates, fancy a spin?’
Ash’s cousin! Flora twigged on.
Leo joined them in the caféand over her peppermint green tea Flora was enthralled by his views on global warming, conservation, reforestation and protecting endangered species. He was amazing! He was also a Libra, the sign of the scales he informed her, which gave him the ability to keep balanced opinions on his views and goals, whereas her Piscean traits left her floundering in all directions. Swoon! Flora was smitten.
Bummer thought Ash glumly.
Leo gave Flora a flyer for a gig he was attending to raise money and awareness to protect and develop some local marshland.
‘You’ve got to start somewhere,’ he said. ‘Start small, plant roots, watch them grow, you can’t save the world in a day Flo.’
She blushed. Ash fumed.
The boys left, Leo winked at her, she melted, Ash stalked off. She flipped over the flyer to see a cute cartoon lion with a speech bubble coming out of his mouth saying TXT ME.XX and Leo’s mobile number. Oh joy!
After five tries the dirty old banger coughed into life.
‘I didn’t know you were into all that tree hugging shit ,’ Ash sneered.
‘I didnt know you were,’ Leo retorted with a grin.
‘Well I think you re definitely in there anyway mate.’
‘I know mate,’ Leo tossed back his shaggy mane arrogantly, ‘without a shadow of a doubt!’
A quick romp through the story cubes, Vicky Bar gets our Gold Star this month
A Smashing Time
Oh no! Who put that tree there?
It would be bad enough if I had gone to a big driving school, with a whole fleet of cars but when you have only got one it seems a much bigger deal, on the scale of world events when a learner driver piles it into a tree!
He hasn’t said a word, speechless I guess. I daren´t look at him. He isn´t going to be smiling, that’s for sure.
His dignity is going to be a bit dented for one thing. I have no idea how he came to be thrown out of the car. He can´t be hurt as I can see, out of the corner of my eye, that he has sat up already, after landing flat on his back.
Is now a good time to mention the daisy stuck in his hair?
I suppose there is no way to avoid this overshadowing relations for a while?
I wish I had taken notice. I thought it would be fun, and save money but all the books say, ‘Do not ask your husband to teach you to drive’!
by Jonas Smythe
Pam was just finishing the fish pie. Jake appeared at the kitchen door wearing a frown. She turned to wash her hands.
He had been playing in the garden. Sometimes he would occupy himself for ages. At other times he seemed to have a demon in him.
She had found an interesting recipe in a cook book Cal had given her. ‘Food From Around The World’ it was called and it came with a note, ‘Bring the taste of foreign parts into your home.’
Other man brought flowers, but Cal just showed he really listened.
She loved Jake and would have done anything for him but his entry into her life had wiped out all her plans to travel and see the world before she settled down.
Cal had been her driving instructor. They met up for a drink occasionally and told each other their troubles when necessary over a bottle of wine. Sometimes Cal slept on the couch.
Her friends assumed he was her boyfriend. It was easier, it meant they were not forever trying to find her one. With Jake she had given up on that idea.
Cal sometimes just dropped in when he finished work, often during the day at weekends. He made no demands and she enjoyed his company. Also he was good with Jake, provided a male role model and Pam was grateful. She had invited him to eat with them tonight though, because it was her birthday.
As she turned to give her attention to Jake she realised that both knees of his trousers were torn. She bit her tongue, counted to ten.
‘What happened?’ she said resignedly.
‘I fell out of the tree.’
Jake seemed to be trying to decide whether crying over hurt knees or a stoic stance was his best strategy.
Later, Jake tucked up in bed, pie eaten and declared a success, a glass of wine in hand Pam was telling Cal.
‘He knows he is not supposed to climb’, she said, ‘But it is so hard to be strict. He is only four and he has had such a tough start.’
‘He was lucky to have you,’ said Cal. ‘It was a huge step to take him on when your sister died. You are doing fine as a mum. I do think though,’ he added, almost as an afterthought, ‘that a new dad might come in handy as well.’
Pam was amazed to find that it felt like it was a very good idea when Cal added, ‘I was thinking of applying for the job.’