Dark Angel II, 52

“Doug’s ready to start barbecuing,” Lucy announced, breezing into the kitchen.

“Sausages are in the fridge,” said Bill, scooping the sliced onions into a bowl.

“Lucy? Where do we know Maggie from?” asked Melva.

“Bill?” from Lucy, head in the fridge. “Where are the salads?”

“No salads,” said Bill, handing the bowl of onions to Melva.

“No salads?” A look over the shoulder from Lucy.

“I thought for once we’d have a proper barbie. Sausages, bread and tomato sauce.” He picked up a large bottle of Rosella Tomato Sauce and two loaves of sliced white sandwich bread. “Proper tomato sauce and proper bread.”

“What’s the onions for then?” asked Melva, frowning at the bowl of onion slices.

“Will there be a bottle of red at this proper barbie?” Lucy wanted to know.

“There will be fried onions and some bottles of very nice red,” said Bill in his headmasterly voice, then grinned. “Because I like ’em.”

Outside, Maggie and Frank were listening to Doug expound on the merits of the particular brew they were drinking. Proper beer, brewed the proper way. Dan was moving the chairs to the shade under the old jacaranda tree. Suddenly a commotion at the garden gate, a pitiful moaning whine and some frantic scrabbling before Maggie came bounding in and all over Dan.

“Sorry! Sorry!” laughed Crystal, bouncing in with Jerry. “Maggie’s all wet and sandy, Dan. We’ve just been for a swim.”

Melva stood watching. She rubbed her forehead with one hand. “The dog?” she mumbled, looked at Lucy. “I tell you, Lucy, it’s no fun getting old. Body playing tricks is bad enough, but the mind as well ….” She shook her head, then a resigned sigh, a big Melva smile. “So, Maggie and Frank are staying in your shack …..” she began again.

chapter 53

Dark Angel II

Dark Angel II, 52

Alenka Co

Stonebow, Australia

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