From Coalman's Corner to Eternity
Short Fiction ~ S. B. Borgersen
He came to me at three o’clock this morning. Wanting to take me to a party. He is dressed as never before — in leathers. And for a guy of two metres tall, that is one helluva lot of forest green leather.
The party is somewhere I’d never been, with people I’d never met. The music is foreign to me, but a wonky translation of Bridge Over Troubled Waters tickles a memory somewhere. The booze is all gone. And we’d taken none for the BYOB.
The restaurant across the road is full of all-nighters spilled over from the party. We are turned away. The street vendors are packed up, leaving behind the ever ingering aroma of charcoal. So we give up until hey-hey along Jimmy comes in his van. “Climb in,” he says.
The route home is not to home but to some place I’ve never been. We are dropped at Coalman’s Corner.
I’m not sure why I’d worn pale aqua lace tulle, but it is a party dress I guess. But not anywhere near warm enough for a bleak, Lincolnshire February dawn.
But as the sky turns from thistle mauve to orchid pink, I look across towards the wolds, to find the first hints of golds. I turn to him then, to share the wonder.
But he is no longer there.
Some say it was madness, others said I was bonkers. But I knew it was the right thing to do. At the time.
Remember when I told you about how the bloody sod left me? At Coalman’s Corner? On that freezing February dawn? Well, that wasn’t the end of it. More like the start.
You see, his friend Jimmy came back in his van, no longer psychedelic purple. “Climb in,” he said. Just like he did that night before the sun rose mauve and pink over the Wolds.
I know, I know, it really was a bonkers thing to do. I knew Jimmy was reckless, impulsive and a tad crazy. But that was what I needed. After all, once you’ve been dumped at Coalman’s Corner, where else is there to go? Right?
We drove all day. Stopping at roadhouses. Stopping to pee behind bushes. Stopping to try our hands at snogging someone new. Then to watch waves crash onto shores — imagining that scene from the black and white movie, From Here to Eternity. Foam spraying as high as houses. Playing with rainbows. Not one iota like the flat-ass calm of the dinge-grey Humber.
The Caledonian McBrayne ferry was ready to pull out of Skye as we drove up the ramp. “You still ok with this?” Jimmy said.
I swallowed hard, understanding this was a one-way trip. Madness? Bonkers? No, it was the right thing to do. I’ve been telling myself that for the past twenty-three years.
Internationally published, S.B. Borgersen writes, knits socks, and walks her smashing dogs on the south shore of Nova Scotia. Her favoured genres are short and micro fiction, and poetry. She has thirteen draft novellas gathering dust.
A member of The Nova Scotia Writers’ Federation, Writers Abroad, and a founding member of The Liverpool Literary Society, Sue judged the Atlantic Writing Competition (Poetry) 2016 and Hysteria (Poetry) 2017.
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