hug tree

The clock chimed twelve times.

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Copyright © 2020, Michael M Wayman

“Is this seat free? Can I join you?”

“Of course.” A couple of planes had landed in the afternoon and the little island town was full of tourists. I was sitting at a restaurant table on the quayside. It was the last evening of my short last-minute holiday. Tomorrow, Saturday, I was flying back.

We enjoyed a big meal, a form of mixed grill, and drank much red wine. We discovered that we stayed in the same hotel and that we lived in the same town and that we both spoke Spanish. “That’s the reason that we’re on a Greek island.”

Time to go, same hotel, same dark streets, same failed street lighting. I was glad to be not alone. However it did not help none, a young man threatened us with a knife – “MONNEE” was the only word he knew.

She looked at him, she looked at me, she said two words: hug tree. What did that mean? You don’t know. But it was obvious to me. We stared at the young man, he dropped his knife, he moved to a nearby tree, he hugged it.

What does every woman have in her handbag? I took out a roll of duct tape and wound it round and round the young man. He was tree-bound and we walked quickly to the hotel.

In the hotel reception was a large, old grandfather clock. She said that her name was Friday, the clock chimed twelve times, she said that my name was Saturday.