A short story that I wrote after visiting the hinterland over the weekend. We stopped in Boonah, a country town that is pretty and friendly….we will definitely visit again.

Short Story – A Country Tale

Its so hot! I dive into the dark space in the corner of the garage, pushing aside boxes filled with Christmas decorations. Where has it got to? Christmas? – my god, I’ll have to get through this heat before then.

A huge spider scuttles across the concrete garage floor. Is he guarding that air conditioning unit? Even the size of him doesn’t put me off as I kick aside an old gasoline container…yes, I think I see it.

In my haste to retrieve the unit so that we can have a bit of coolness in the house, I’ve barely noticed Rob pulling up on the driveway. He has someone in the car with him, even though he’s supposed to have gone to get water bottles and come straight back.

‘Look who I bumped into, ‘ he says, getting out of the car. Its his mate from work, the one whose always the last to leave any party or bbq we go to ( he’s usually far too drunk), and who loves to tell rude jokes in front of the kids.

I plaster a smile on my face, but inside….well, its a different story.

‘Hi Jake, ‘ I say, cheerfully. ‘Hows Cherry?’

‘Don’t ask,’ adds Rob. ‘She’s left him. Is it okay if he stays here a while?’

My heart sinks. ‘Okay…..,’ I say. ‘Thats fine, but remember; I’m going to Couran Cove on the weekend. Taking the kids with me. Thats why I was in the garage, looking for their swimmers. Jake’s welcome to stay….’ I leave it open as Robs face drops. Suddenly inviting his heart-broken friend around is not such a good idea.

A muffled ringing interupts our conversation. I let it drop, follow the men into the house. Switching on the aircon, I push the water bottles to one side in the fridge that’s filled with beer.

‘Who’s that on the blower?’ Rob asks, popping open a beer and handing it to Jake.

‘Just the missus,’ he says, sheepishly. ‘Cherry’s wondering where I am.’

‘Haven’t you just split up? Invite her round Jake – we can get a bbq going. Rob, get back in the car – we need some meat and salad.’ I sound determined now, quick to take charge. This evening’s going to work in my favour, that’s for sure.

Later that night, after the kids are tucked up in bed and Jake and Cherry have made up (over a couple of beers around our bbq), I switch off the bathroom light and snuck in next to Rob. He smells of beer and stirs as I pull over the quilt, letting the cool air conditioner work its magic around the bedroom.

‘What’s this about Couran Cove?’ he murmers.

‘Well, if you will get in between those two, ‘ I reply. ‘I saw Cherry earlier. She told me all about it. You know how fickle they are – he’s lost without her and vice versa.’

‘So, you arranged this bbq then, without me knowing?’

‘You were in work. Look I’ll tell you more on our weekend away,’ I say, laughing. ‘And as for my helping you with your mate’s love life, you can book us into Couran Cove first thing as a reward – I havent done it yet but I couldn’t resist that look on your face when you thought you weren’t going.’

#shortstories #shortstory #fiction #countrytown

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