Set in the North-East, I tried to compose narrative with an ear to a Geordie accent without being too blatant. All comments welcome.....I hope you enjoy reading it as much as i enjoyed writing it.
ON THE LAKE WITH NO NAME
Bob placed the flask back in the hold-all beside his stool, and took a sip of tea.
“Oww.. Bastard.. that's hot man!”
Six feet away sat Jack, his Sunday morning angling companion and long time friend. For about the last twenty years they had spent three to four hours every Sunday, weather permitting, fishing around the 'Lake with no name' somewhere behind a caravan park in County Durham. This particular Sunday was bright and clear and warm, just about right for mid-August.
“Every bloody week you do that.” said Jack
“ You get your kit bag out... you get your rod in the water, you sit on your stool, get your flask out your bag and say “Oww Bastard... that's hot man!””
Bob smiled, “Aye... your probably right.”, then after a pause he continued, “You know it's been about twenty odd years we've been down here sat around this lake.. off and on, and we still don't know what it's called.”
“I've not caught a fish in five years, me!”
“Maybe it's called Toxic Chemical Lake, or Bugger-all Fish Lake.. Or maybe you should try putting some bait on your hook, you tight Sod, just a suggestion like.”
Jack raised his line out of the water, just to check that absolutely nothing had happened and then returned it.
“Aye... Well, it's just good to get out of the house for a while.. a bit of fresh air like and all that. Not that bothered about the fish.. Diane doesn't even bother asking me any more. “Did you catch anything Pet?”..she used to say.”
“I know lad.... I know!”, he then reached into his hold-all for the biscuits to accompany his tea, which by now had lost some of it's bite.
“ What we got today Bobby lad? Hob Nobs or choccy Digestives?”
“We... We haven't got anything! I on the other hand have about half a dozen Hob Nobs.”
“You've changed you have Bobby Clarke!” Jack snapped back with a comical frown.
“Since you left the factory and got settled in your plush city-centre office job, you've gone all... Hob Nobs this.. and bait for the fishin' that.”
Bob chuckled at the insult.. “It's not plush, or city-centre. There's four second-hand desks, four knackered computers.. Assorted cheapo stationary and an empty water-cooler.”
“Water-cooler..Aye!”, and whistles in manner to mock the extravagance.
“Arr, get away man.. you daft sod!”
There's a comfortable pause, until Bob says, “What's the latest on the factory?”
Jack replies, “ Now .. let's see.. you left five years ago, so half the people there would now be dead or retired, and the other half.. one quarter you wouldn't know and the other quarter have unpronounceable names!”
Bob got to his feet to relieve himself behind a bush, he chucked his last two biscuits over to Jack on his way. The sun was getting warm now and both men were down to shirt-sleeves, the air was alive with winged creatures of all descriptions. Moments later Bob returned,
“Any more news on redundancies, I meant.”
“Oh, aye.. yes.. they're letting us know in September.”
“You'll be alright Jackie..With your vast knowledge and experience, I shouldn't imagine the place could carry on without your valuable input.”
Half a Hob Nob flew through the air, ricocheted off Bob's shoulder and splashed into the lake.
“Whoa ... what you doin' man.. you'll disturb the fish!”
Both men laughed and returned to stare at their brightly coloured floats that were motionless in a ripple less lake.. Awhile later it was Jack to break the silence.. “So you never made it to the summer fair in town yesterday?”
“Nah... I had United on the radio, got to half-time and it was nil-nil so I must have dozed off on the sofa.... then Debbie's woken me up rabbiting on about something going off down the fair. I was listening out for the full-time's, so I wasn't paying much attention.”
“Bit of a disaster, apparently.”
“Aye.... I know.. nil-nil at home to Stoke... Shockin'!”
“Nah... not the Footy, Diane told us all about it last night, I nearly wet myself laughin' mind. You know they had that bloke to open the fair?”
“Err... What's his name now?.. Did that game show back in the eighties.. err, what's his bloody....”
“Tom O'Connor ?”
“ Ted Rogers... Les Dennis?”
“Jim Bowen?.. Bob Monkhouse?”
“Nah ... not that famous.”
“Oh.. I give up then.”
“Well, anyway.. who ever he was.. he cancelled on Friday night leaving no excuse.”
“Unprofessional that.... very unprofessional!”
“Yeah.... so now you've got the Mayor and all the committee busy-bodies flying around in a panic, cause they've got no celebrity to open the fair at 2o/clock.”
Bob raises his arm and whispers to Jack, “Hold it Jack, I think I've got a bite man!”
Bob delicately picks up his rod, and waits in a breathless silence, as both men stared at the quivering florescent float in anticipation of it's disappearance. After about two or three minutes of high expectation, a lonely Dragonfly took off from the head of the float, which had been it's resting place and it was now airborne resplendent in blues and greens. After an intake of breath and a moment to enjoy the beauty, Bob said, “Bastard!!”
Jack, giggling through his words said, “Well then.. after that moment of earth shattering excitement, I'll continue with the story shall I?”
“Aye, Jack.. carry on... false alarm . Bastard!”
“So, anyway... to cut a long story short.. someone who knew someone, who knew someone, somehow, comes up with a celebrity at three hours notice..”
Bob interrupts, “ Don't tell me... Tom Cruise.”
“Nah, not quite.. it was Pedro Almobar.”
“Ah..Pedro Almobar. So good old Pedro saves the day.”
“You don't know who he is, do ya Bob?”
“Not a clue!.... I know he doesn't play for United.”
“He was one of the Chilean miners. He was the eleventh man out, who just happened to be in the area.”
After a thoughtful pause, Bob replies “Bit ironic really that, ya know.. having a miner to open the fair, specially round 'ere. Hundred years ago, that's all who would have been at the fair, miners and their families. Now we get a celebrity miner to open it and all ours are long gone.”
“Aye... I suppose so. Well anyway, good old Pedro turns up as promised, but without an interpreter and not knowing a word of English, but they managed to muckle through.. lots of smiling and waving, cheering crowds, ribbon cutting and photos etc etc, you get the picture.”
“I wonder if he ever thought to himself whilst trapped in the bowels of the earth, awaiting his possible long and slow death, he would one day be opening a summer fair in County Durham, as guest of honour.”
“Probably not, Bob lad.... probably not.....so after cutting the ribbon and shacking hands with the Mayor and posing for the local paper, he gets ushered into the cake tent where they want him as a guest Judge.. I'm not sure he knew what was going on, but he seemed to go along with it. So as he's going around these stalls, tasting these cakes.. all smiles and thumbs up, with the Mayor in tow stuffing his face, when all of a sudden the bloody tent collapses. Everything falls in on them, tent poles, stalls and the big heavy tarpaulin.”
Bob listens to Jack intently, engrossed in the tale. Jack continues .... “So everyone starts panicking, inside and outside the tent... total bloody mayhem, Diane described it. Some St Johns ambulance boys managed to lift up the tent at one end, and people started clambering out all bewildered like, and covered in cake crumbs. So they get everyone out.. or so they think. There's Mr. Mayor standing there.. looking a bit shell-shocked, when he suddenly realises there's no bloody Pedro!”
“Arr.. no!... your kidding!”
“Aye.. so then there's this other mad scramble for poor Pedro. Some off duty Fireman appears, shouts at everyone to shut up to see if they can hear him from under the canvas.”
“What, like after an Earthquake?”
“Aye... Then they heard this mad rambling and shouting, in Spanish.... turns out Pedro is trapped all alone in the dark, unable to move, there's a big tent pole that's fallen over his legs and his top half was pinned down by a table full of Dundee cakes and fruit loafs.”
“There's a fair weight in a good Dundee cake!”
“That there is Bob... that there is!..... So he was trapped again. Not quite as serious, granted, but what are the chances? Poor bugger was in a right state. Must have been having flash-backs and all sorts. One minute your hero of the day and shacking hands with the Mayor, the next, your all alone in the dark buried under two hundred kilos of mixed fruit!”
Both men laughed hysterically, shattering the tranquillity of the lakeside.
After calming down, Bob said “They did get him out, didn't they? Don't tell me the poor buggers still there!”
“The Fireman went in and dragged him out in the end. He wasn't best please mind... shouting and screaming at everyone in Spanish. Then he just ran off, limping and he's not been seen since!”
More laughter , until Bob said sympathetically, “Poor Sod !”
“Aye... perhaps he thought it was a wind up or something. Example of our unique British sense of humour. He probably won't stop running till he gets to Santiago.”
The two men chuckled and giggled for the next hour and half or so, taking turns to visualise a very angry Chilean miner limping through the streets of County Durham, shouting obscenities in Spanish and pulling lumps of Dundee cake out of his hair.
Bob looked at his watch and was surprised, as the time had flown by, it was always easy passing the time at the lake with Jack. “Best be packing up soon ..” he said.
“Yeah.. Lets get off.. it's getting too bloody hot now anyways.”
Both men began packing and within minutes they were strolling back to their cars.
“No fish for supper tonight, Jackie lad!” Bob said.
“Nah, suppose not, will have to do with roast Beef I suppose.”
They both climb into their cars,
“Same again next week then Bob?”
“Aye, Lad.. same again next week!”