Excerpt from Flip-Flops


Abby turned back to her boiling fruit. “Have a nice time,” she mumbled, pulling a face. She honestly couldn’t fathom what Lou saw in that man. Mind you, Lou hadn’t, and still didn’t like Mark, so maybe it was she whose taste in men was shit. Maybe she was completely wrong about the swarthy creep, in which case, from now on she vowed to make more of an effort.

Abby preferred to make jam in the mornings as it was a sweaty job. She was trying out a couple of new recipes as well as making a batch of peach and amaretto jam, which was one of the best sellers at the Wednesday market on her recently acquired stall.

She hoped the raspberry daiquiri mixture she was experimenting with was going to prove just as popular, along with carrot cake, and pear and ginger flavour she still had to do. Rows of sterilised jars stood to attention like a glass army on the worktops, along with piles of pretty labels Eduardo had printed for her on his computer. She banished cats and dogs for safety and pilfering reasons. She was happy in her work, humming, mixing, and pouring.

Outside, a loud crash almost caused Abby to scald herself. Quickly turning off the heat, boiling fruit abandoned, she ran outside to see that Santos had somehow opened the gate and now had his head stuck in a tin bucket containing the remainder of the pears.

Thrashing about, he’d destroyed two plant pots – maybe more when she had a chance for a closer inspection – and was standing forlornly not knowing what to do. Abby was having a hard job keeping a straight face as speaking softly she approached him, and with a bit of maneuvering, removed the bucket from his head. She escorted the braying donkey back to the field where the chickens and goats were all peering through the fence at the mayhem. She could have sworn they were laughing.


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