Forever in the Country


"Well, say something. You hate it, don't you!"

"Never said so."

"Don't have to."

Doyle kicked at the sunbaked bricks that surrounded the green arbour, and glared at the pots of geraniums.

Bodie stood up suddenly, the old white wood seat shook but held its ground. There was no way he could shrug his way out of this one; he was stuck with Doyle for the whole of the weekend. Supremely confident Ray would like what he enjoyed he had burnt all his bridges.

"It's all right, I suppose." Doyle tried not to sound patronising.

"Don't rupture yourself, sunshine."

"Didn't mean it to come out that way."

The direct sunlight was burning what flesh Bodie had exposed and made what Doyle had concealed start to tingle.

"You hate the country?" Bodie asked.

"No---just the weather. Anyway, I wanted to get away from everything."

"An' everyone?"


"But...we're mates! I thought you'd love it."

"I love my meccano but there are times when we need a break, know what I mean?"

Bodie nodded. He had never owned one himself, his childhood had been deprived or sheltered, depending on which side of the bed he got out of, but ei- ther way he knew what Ray meant. He stared at a red admiral as it landed on the arm of the chair close to Doyle and made as if he was going to smash it to a pulp.

Doyle grabbed his wrist and held it like a vice.

"Don't take it out on that, you bastard, it's done you no harm."

"Wouldn't have touched it, sunshine---just needed the physical contact."

Doyle let go as if he had just discovered he was holding a live wire. He was in it up to his delectable neck and he knew it. He stood up gingerly; the pattern of the seat had etched itself on his pants.

"Separate tables?" he asked innocently.

"No, single table---separate beds."

"We could change that---push them together."

"You do and I'll sleep on the sofa."

For a moment Doyle was almost convinced, Bodie had played the line so straightly.

"Great start, Bodie."

"Could be if you let it."

"Yeah, well... I will if you will."

" s what I wanted all along. Let's go!"

-- THE END --

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