[The continuation of the Survivor Short Story “project” in the War On Boris the Bytrode series. This time, back in time, 1967, following the adventures of middle-aged mum, Letitia… In this episode (9.4) Letitia seeks to meet her half-brother face to face…]
Insurance Woes of the Homeless
Later, as she stood silently at a distance digging into the much-needed food, Trevor buzzed around her like an unwelcome summer fly. A few of his mates joined his enthusiasm, curious, yet at the same time derisive. No matter how much she protested, it made no difference to Trevor who persisted in ignoring her rebuffs. A little round Greek guy who held the pavement moaned with his tales of woe of being gutted by a fire and the insurance which would not come to the party. Homeless. A dangerously thin wreck of a woman visibly trembled with jealousy while Trevor hovered around Letitia.
At a distance Letitia maintained visual on Gunter. His gait of precise movement, his smile, and the way he patted his pockets, convinced her that she had found what the rest of the IGSF had missed. Finally, without so much as an apology, she cut past the woeful whinger who was lamenting the crashing of his car, and with Trevor trailing behind her, eternally prattling, she made her way to the back of the van.
With the last dregs of roast dinner disposed of, some of those who served enjoyed a quiet smoke in the balmy darkness. The sun had set hours ago, and the darkness of night had set in, but St Kilda remained bustling with life and light. Late night swimmers splashed about in the inky black sea and the grainy sand of beach was dotted with youthful revellers. The smokers seemed to be quietly entertained by the steamy sweaty vibe that the city exuded.
‘Excuse me,’ Letitia interrupted the languid drags and intermittent peppering of ashes on the pavers. ‘Can you tell me where Ferro is?’
‘Who?’ someone in the dark asked. She sensed that they did not care. For all they knew, Letitia was just another nut in the night.
‘I mean, Mr. Fahrer.’
‘Who? What?’ a woman’s weak and rusty voice echoed. Bored banter ensued.
‘Do we know a Who?’
‘Fahrer? Don’t know no Fahrer?’
‘Nah, sorry, you must have…’
‘Gunter – Gunter Fahrer? Young chap about yay high. Dark hair. German accent…he was serving with…’ That comment got their attention. Suddenly there was a point of recognition that she wasn’t completely demented. ‘You see I’m…’ Letitia felt compelled to explain before she was dismissed.
‘Oh, that explains it!’ one of the smokers chuckled.
‘Yeah, can see the resemblance.’
Letitia wanted to explain that she was not his mum. That such a revelation would spook him and send him running. But, as if her voice, and potential explanations didn’t exist, the group of smokers rabbited on.
The woman with the hoarse voice and ragged face to match, jerked her jaded dyed blonde hair towards the van. ‘He’s in there, love.’
Breathing out, Letitia ventured to the van, behind her she could hear their derisive remarks.
‘Hmm! His mum?’
‘Hmnm! Definitely took after his dad!’
‘You can tell she’s his mum, though.’
‘How come she’s so dark? Is she Indian?’
‘Indian? French maybe. From one of their colonies, I reckon.’ One mocked. ‘Didn’t you detect the French accent?’
‘What’s a French swear word? I reckon I heard her say some swear word in French?’
‘Mmm, a Kraut for a father and a Frank for a mum, what a combination. Poor chap.’
‘Or you know, they have a funny accent in Adelaide. Not Australian at all.’ Another droned nasally in the night. ‘Could be from Adelaide.’
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021
Feature Photo: Seaside sunset © Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2017
More than before?
Read the mischief and mayhem Boris the over-sized alien cockroach gets up to…
Click on the link to my new novel, The Lost World of the Wends
Or discover how it all began in The Hitch-Hiker
And how it continues with Mission of the Unwilling