Saturday, 10 December 2016

The Witches' Eye



Quentin was standing outside the house waiting impatiently for the others to arrive.

He was dressed for adventure in khaki shorts and an olive green shirt, walking boots and on his head was a Fedora hat just like Indiana Jones wore. He had wanted a whip too but his Mum had put her foot down about that.

Quentin was not too disappointed. He tried using a skipping rope from the Gym at school as a whip but only managed to hit himself on the head with the wooden handle.

He pulled at the shorts, not overly happy about those, but knew they would be vital in the heat. And the countries he was planning to visit, they were hot!

‘Finally!’ he said aloud as cars pulled into the drive.

Doors were opening before the first car had even stopped, with Clive and Bluey jumping out and rushing up to Quentin.

‘Hello mate, this is going to be so exciting,’ said Clive.

Bluey threw her arms around Quentin and gave him a big hug and a kiss on the lips.

Quentin returned the hug and the kiss enjoying the tingles throughout his body as he always did when he was close to Bluey.

Both Bluey and Clive were dressed similarly to Quentin though they were missing a hat.

‘Cool hat, wish I’d thought of that,’ said Clive.

‘Oh I wish I’d gotten one of those instead of this,’ said Bluey pulling out a bonnet from her backpack.

Clive and Quentin tried hard not to smile at the white hat with its ribbon ties, but they failed, miserably.

‘Stop laughing, it’s not that bad,’ Bluey said, ‘look.’

She put it on and tied the blue ribbons beneath her chin.

The boys were laughing so hard they were holding their tummies.

‘Why Miss Bluey that is sure a nice bonnet you have on there,’ said Quentin’s Dad; Unwin, in his best southern drawl, which was awful.

Bluey smiled prettily at Unwin then poked her tongue out at the boys, ‘See!’

‘What’s all the laughter about?’ said Quentin’s Mum; Mel, coming out of the house and slipping her arm around Unwin, ‘Oh, I see.’

Bluey blushed and snatched the hat off her head, ‘My Mum chose it.’

‘It’s very nice,’ Mel said, though her smile was twitching and pulling her mouth into a wider grin.

‘Sergeant, Maggie, good to see you,’ said Unwin walking towards the second car as they got out, ‘And Nan, how, erm, lovely to see you?’

Unwin shot a look at the Sergeant who grinned sheepishly and nodded towards Maggie.

‘Surprised more like,’ said Nan, walking up to Unwin, ‘You put on weight?’ she added poking him in the stomach.

‘Ouch, Nooo. I don’t think so. Maybe,’ said Unwin flustered as he always was around the irascible old lady.

Nan walked past Unwin, barely leaning on the cane she carried.

‘Hello Mel, where are my great grandchildren? You’ve been married ages now. What’s the problem, he not up to the job?’

‘Nan please!’ said Mel coming forward and giving Nan a big hug.

Bluey and Clive exchanged grins and sprung forward to hug Nan.

‘Hi Nan, remember us, I’m Bluey and this is Clive,’ Bluey said.

‘Remember you, course I remember you. I’m not senile ya know. What’s the matter with you boy, cat got your tongue?’

Quentin was feeling shy and looking at his feet.

‘Come and give us a kiss then,’ Nan said, holding out her arms, ‘you’re my first great grandchild and,’ she used her cane to point towards Maggie and Mel, ‘could be the only one I see if these two don’t get a move on. I’ve not got long left ya know.’

Quentin rushed forward and wrapped her arms around Nan. When Nan had complained about not having great grandchildren he had taken that as a sign Nan was not thinking of him as family, being adopted and all, and had been overcome with shyness and disappointment. Now though, all was well again.

‘Well, yes, ok my boy, you can let go now, you’re cutting off my circulation. I’m old ya know,’ complained Nan gruffly to hide the wave of emotions she felt.

Peter Stag finally got out of the first car where he had sat and watched everyone greeting each other.

‘Peter,’ said Unwin warmly, taking his offered hand and pulling him into an embrace.

‘Hello Unwin, doing ok?’

‘Good thanks Peter, really good,’ replied Unwin.

‘Peter, welcome. So lovely to see you again,’ said Mel giving him a hug.

Technically Mel was his boss, but she wanted him to feel he was also part of the family.

Peter was suddenly surrounded by Clive, Bluey and Quentin.

Clive and Quentin offering their hands and pumping his arm enthusiastically as he shook each of their hands and returned the hug Bluey gave him with genuine affection.

He had been a lone operative all his adult life and whilst it was taking a little getting use too, he was enjoying the camaraderie and companionship of working within a team.

‘I’ve got something for you guys,’ he said walking to the back of the car and opening the boot.

Fedora hats flew through the air, one for Clive and one for Bluey and another went sailing over Quentin’s head and landed at Mel’s feet.

‘That one was for Quentin but I see he has one,’ said Peter.

‘Wow, these are great! Thanks!’ said Clive putting his on his head.

Bluey squealed in delight and rushed over to give Peter another hug before putting it on too.

Mel picked hers up and sniffed it, ‘Bit battered and stained,’ she said, ‘smells too.’

Peter grinned, ‘I know, they’re all used I’m afraid. I had many missions out in East Africa, the Sudan, and such. Sorry.’

Quentin was looking at the used and battered hats thinking they were so much better than his nice shiny new one.

‘Would you like to swap yours with mine?’ he asked his Mum hopefully.

‘Oh yes, that would be perfect. Are you sure though?’ Mel asked, knowing how particular Quentin was with his clothing.

Quentin nodded and was delighted when Mel spun the hat through the air towards him.

‘Done!’ she exclaimed.

Quentin took his hat off and threw it to his Mum and they both stuck their hats on their heads smiling happily.

‘So where’s my one been?’ asked Clive, ‘Specifically?’ as they all made their way inside.

Peter studied the hat and said, ‘Egypt.’

‘Cool,’ said Clive.

‘And mine?’ asked Bluey excitedly.

Peter smiled, ‘Jerusalem, Israel.’

‘Ohhhh,’ Bluey cooed, her eyes shining.

Peter looked at Quentin’s hat, ‘And yours I wore in Africa.’

Quentin positively beamed. Much better than his brand new hat. That hadn’t been anywhere.

‘Is someone going to put the kettle on?’ they heard Nan’s voice loud and strong coming from inside the house, ‘I’ve not got long ya know and I’d like a cup of tea before I go.’

Everyone trooped into the house. Tea sounded just the ticket.

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