Tag Archives: Andrew

The Inklings: Chapter 28

Despite being woken a couple times during the night – first by a slightly drunk Ark returning home for dinner and then later by the baby crying – D’arby woke up feeling refreshed.

The air was humid and smelt of a mixture of some unfamiliar kind of plant plus a little bit of mould, but D’arby still found it fresh.

When D’arby got out of bed he was shocked to find that he’d been attacked during the night. He was covered in blood, and so were the bed sheets. He didn’t feel any pain though. Then he found a swollen leech amongst the sheets and realized what had happened. He must have picked up the leech on the walk back from the workshop. He gathered up the sheets and went to look for a bucket to soak them in.

Andrew was up and about but Jinabu and the baby were asleep. Andrew had also been attacked. He was sitting in the sun with a pair of tweezers, bending over and looking at his stomach. “I have a tick” said Andrew as soon as he saw D’arby.

“I had a leech” replied D’arby, and showed Andrew the sheets and a bite on his ankle.

“I really don’t like this place!” complained Andrew. His voice sounded whiney. D’arby hoped that Andrew wouldn’t start crying.

When Andrew and D’arby had both dealt with their parasites they started making breakfast. D’arby offered to make the coffee but Andrew, who had heard about D’arby’s coffee from Jinabu, insisted on doing that himself and asked D’arby if he would make some scrambled eggs.

D’arby agreed, and rummaged around looking for a frying pan, oil, eggs and powdered milk while keeping one eye on Andrew so he could see how he was going to make the coffee.

Andrew looked hopefully through Ark’s kitchen equipment for the coffee plunger, but it had gone. “Maybe Ark has got his plunger” commented Andrew. “How am I going to make the coffee without one? I should have bought a tin of instant coffee!” said Andrew.

“I’ll do it then” said D’arby, “You make the eggs, and, can you make up a bit of extra milk up for the coffee too?”

And so D’arby took the coffee and a saucepan and got to work, leaving Andrew to read the instructions on the tin of milk powder. Andrew’s hopes for a nice breakfast were not high. He had hoped that D’arby would make some nice fluffy eggs. Andrew loved scrambled eggs but wasn’t any good at making them. At least I have my chocolate for later, thought Andrew. And then he realized that he hadn’t seen the chocolate that morning. “Where’s my chocolate gone?” moaned Andrew as he looked around. “Do you think Ark took that as well as the plunger?”

Ark chose that moment to appear. He was carrying his coffee plunger, which he put down loudly on the kitchen bench. “I think it should be alright for a man to use his own friggin coffee plunger without being accused of stealing chocolate. The bush rats probably took it.”

D’arby couldn’t help laughing. He thought Ark must have been joking about the bush rats.

“No, I’m serious!” said Ark. “The bush rats do like chocolate.”

Andrew wanted to start moaning about hating the place again, but instead he managed to squeeze out a “Sorry.” to Ark. Then he went back to mixing up some milk.

Ark obviously couldn’t wait for Andrew to leave his house. Andrew couldn’t wait to leave either, but he wasn’t going to go until Jinabu came with him. Ark invited D’arby down to the workshop after breakfast, then took a towel and left.

In the end, D’arby made the coffee and the eggs and some toast, while Andrew went looking around the house for his chocolate. Andrew returned about ten minutes later carrying an unwrapped misshapen piece of chocolate. He showed D’arby the tooth marks around the edges with a mixture of disgust and wonder. “Do you think it would be safe to eat the middle if I trim all the chewed bits off?” asked Andrew.

As Andrew carefully removed the contaminated portion of his chocolate bar, D’arby served the breakfast and coffee. D’arby made sure that Andrew wasn’t looking and then dropped two little pills into Andrew’s coffee and gave it a good stir.


The Inklings: Chapter 26

It was only when D’arby got off the bus that he realized that the town he was supposed to meet Ark in was quite large and that he should have organized a specific place to meet him at. D’arby decided to wait at the bus stop for a while, in case Ark was on his way there, but when an hour had passed D’arby couldn’t wait anymore. His bladder was about to burst and he was tired, hungry and a bit itchy.

D’arby walked along the main street, looking for a place that might have either a toilet or be somewhere where Ark might hang out while waiting for a bus. As he passed a small supermarket D’arby noticed a familiar face – Jinabu’s husband Andrew was buying groceries. If D’arby hadn’t been in need of help he might have hidden from Andrew, but instead he just stood there and waited for Andrew to notice him.

“There you are!” said Andrew. He seemed happy to see D’arby and so D’arby couldn’t help giving him a smile even though he was disappointed that Andrew had found Jinabu so quickly. Andrew explained to D’arby that he was supposed to be picking him up instead of Ark, but that he didn’t know where the bus stop was or when the bus was going to arrive and so had decided to do some shopping and hope that D’arby would recognize his car. D’arby didn’t really want to hear explanations, he just wanted to know where the public toilets were, and fortunately Andrew knew.

The car trip from the town to “the farm” was a bit uncomfortable. Andrew tried a few times to start a conversation but D’arby didn’t make enough effort for it to develop into anything. D’arby thought that Andrew looked a bit strange, as if he couldn’t decide whether he should be delighted at having a healthy baby boy or whether he should be wallowing in self pity over the way that Jinabu ran off and had the baby by the side of the road.

When D’arby and Andrew arrived Jinabu seemed happier to see the groceries than either of them. She was tired and very hungry and it was dinner time. D’arby held the baby for a little while, but the baby soon started to cry and Jinabu had to take him back. The baby still hadn’t been named because Andrew and Jinabu couldn’t agree on a name.

Andrew and D’arby worked together to cook some dinner by candlelight. Andrew struggled a bit with Ark’s limited kitchen facilities, but D’arby was pleasantly surprised. There was running water at the sink and the two-burner gas camping stove was just as effective as what he was used to using at home. There were even two sharp knives and two cutting boards, which meant that he and Andrew could both chop veggies at the same time.

Andrew held the baby while Jinabu and D’arby had dinner. Ark was still down at “the workshop”, which, as well as really being a workshop, was the farm meeting place. The workshop had electricity connected and so it was where the community home brew fridge was kept. It was also the only place you could have a hot shower.

After dinner Andrew kindly took D’arby on a torch-lit walk to the workshop. It was not an easy walk in the dark and D’arby wouldn’t have bothered having a shower if he hadn’t felt so grimy and itchy.

At the workshop Ark and three other men were sitting around chatting, drinking beer and pretending to be carving some wooden lettering into signs. Andrew waited for D’arby to have a shower, but didn’t join the other people in the workshop. Instead he sat outside getting bitten by mosquitoes. Andrew knew nobody there liked him, and he didn’t like anyone else there very much either. He planned to stick as close as possible to D’arby while D’arby was there. Andrew hoped that D’arby might help him convince Jinabu to come home, and soon!

D’arby felt much better after his shower. The itchiness went away and he began to feel quite comfortable. Andrew had made up a bed for D’arby, and had placed brand new toothbrush on the pillow (in his haste to find a toilet D’arby had forgotten to buy one when they were in town and he wondered how Andrew had anticipated that he would need a toothbrush). D’arby had his own room and the bed had a mosquito net. Jinabu, Andrew and the baby were sleeping in the other bedroom and Ark had moved into the caravan near the house. D’arby listened to the sound of frogs croaking as he fell asleep.


The Inklings: Chapter 18

It was early on Sunday morning. D’arby’s sister Jinabu woke up and made herself a cup of peppermint tea. She sat on the sofa, enjoying the warmth of the cup in her hands and the smell of peppermint. She stared out the window and started thinking about what she would do that day. It looked like it was going to be a sunny day, and probably not too hot to be outside. Jinabu decided that she would put a load of washing on and then go for a walk in the park. Then she’d make a nice lunch and read baby books all afternoon. Then her husband Andrew appeared. He was dressed for a day out shopping. He wanted to buy all the baby stuff in one go.

“Aren’t you even dressed yet?” complained Andrew when he saw that Jinabu was still wearing her nightie and hadn’t brushed her hair. “Have you got that shopping list I asked you to write? Why have you become so lazy?”

Jinabu didn’t really feel like answering. She hadn’t made a shopping list and didn’t want to go shopping. “Do we need to buy anything?” asked Jinabu. “I’m not even sure of what we will need. I’ve got some second hand stuff from my friends anyway. Can’t we just wait and see if we need anything else when the baby is here?”

Andrew shook his head and frowned. “I don’t want my child to be a bludger before it is even born. How do we know that the stuff your friends gave us is any good? You might not care about using other people’s cast-offs but I do. Why don’t you care what people think of you?”

Andrew turned his back to Jinabu and looked out the window, watching the neighbours put their kids into their big, shiny car. He decided it was time to put his foot down.

“I know you can’t help having been born into a family of useless hippies, but as the mother of my child you will have to make more of an effort to be a normal person. I don’t have to stay married to you, you know. There are plenty of other women who would happily take your place. I don’t want to have to make up excuses for you for the rest of my life. See how the neighbours are? I want us to be like them. They know how to be respectable.” said Andrew.

Jinabu felt that she should have been more shocked than she was. She stared into space and wondered how she had got here. How had she married this man? How had she moved into this big house? How had she ever considered that a relationship with someone who hated everything she believed in could ever work? She didn’t understand anything. Her thoughts were cloudy.

Jinabu didn’t pack a bag. She just told Andrew that she needed to go away and think about things and then she wandered out of the house and down the street in her bare feet, still wearing her floral cotton nightie.

Jinabu was out the door before Andrew could respond. He really didn’t want Jinabu going out of the house dressed like that, especially not without shoes on. There was a strong chance that some of the neighbours would see her, especially as he expected that she would go and sit in the nearby park to do her thinking. Andrew started to follow Jinabu, but then stopped, deciding it would probably be less embarrassing for her to go alone than for anyone to see him trying to get her back inside – they’d probably argue.

So, Andrew let Jinabu go outside to be embarrassing on her own. He stewed for a while and then picked up one of Jinabu’s baby books. In the back of the book there was a list of essential baby equipment. “How easy is that?” thought Andrew and he set off to buy everything on the list.

Jinabu’s messy hair was hanging down her back and around her shoulders. All she could bear to think about was how nice and warm the sun was and how cold and hard the footpath was. Jinabu didn’t care where she was going or what she was going to do. She just followed her feet down the street, and that was how Ark’s eyes first found Jinabu. When Ark saw Jinabu he couldn’t believe that she was real. Then when she turned and looked at him he lost control of his limbs and stalled his truck.

Jinabu was focusing on enjoying the way the sun fell through the leaves of the trees that lined the street when she thought she could smell popcorn. The smell became stronger so she looked around to see what it could be, but the only sign of life was an old, open truck full of furniture coming along the street. As the truck passed her it stalled.

Jinabu looked at the driver of the truck, and at the same time she noticed her own reflection in the passenger side window. It amused her how similar they looked. His hair was long, wild and wispy and he too looked like he was just drifting along without thinking much. Ark was always like that though. He did what he thought was the right thing at the time but hardly ever made plans for his future. He was usually too busy helping someone or fighting for some cause to think about himself much. At that moment, he was moving a friend’s furniture. His friend Ian had been sent to gaol for becoming violent at a protest. Today Ark was moving Ian’s furniture from the flat Ian had been renting and was going to keep Ian’s stuff at his place in the country until he could come and get it.

Jinabu walked over to the truck and Ark leant over and opened the passenger side door.

“Can you smell popcorn?” Jinabu asked

That was when Ark noticed Jinabu’s huge stomach. She looked like she could give birth at any moment.”Not another one.” thought Ark. He was always meeting lovely women who wanted to have kids, but he didn’t want any more kids, or to have to look after them. He’d been a teenage Dad and was content with the one son he had. “It’s probably the truck” said Ark, trying not to look disappointed, and when Jinabu looked confused he got out and showed her a drum in the back of the truck. “Smell this” he said as he opened the drum. “The truck runs on biodiesel that is made from old cooking oil”. Jinabu smelt it and remarked that the exhaust smelt better, then she asked Ark if he had made it himself and if it wasn’t bad for the engine. Ark was always ready to defend biodiesel and began a spiel about how it is actually good for diesel engines when he realized that he was blocking the traffic so he got back into the truck. Jinabu got in too and they drove off together.

 


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