A Day In Provence – story inspired by a trip to Toulon

Promises, promises. I said I would post my Toulon-inspired story yesterday. Had anyone visited my blog expecting said story they would have been very disappointed. As it is, nobody so much as peeked all day, so I think I may have got away with it.

We decided to make the most of what I am now officially naming the LAST DAY OF SUMMER by hiking over 5 of the seven sisters. I am now aching all over and quite possibly have man flu caused by walking in force 7 winds in a t-shirt. At least that will give me more time to write. I have just spotted a couple of competitions to enter, and having been boosted by my recent success, I am all for trying again. One of the competitions is from Words with Jam, which I love. This one requires a short story, and as all the good ones I have written are already on a short list elsewhere, I think I might as well write another. So if things go quiet for a day or two, you know why.

In the meantime, here’s my flash from Toulon. It is odd that the thing I remember most from there is the hoards of mostly sun-burned and overweight passengers from a cruise ship. But I was fascinated by them.

A DAY IN PROVENCE

Margaret’s mind turned to murder as they crossed the Avenue de la République and headed for the marina. She watched her beige husband elbow his indistinct way through the colourful crowd of locals heading past them.

Forty years of simmering resentment had earlier boiled over into refined hate outside the opera house.

‘Not a patch on Covent Garden,’ he’d grunted, ‘and this town’s too crowded. Bloody French’

‘It’s their town and this is France, you philistine,’ she’d muttered.

Now, turning onto the waterfront, she played a quick round of ‘Ways To Get Rid Of Your Husband.’ She’d got to ‘push him off the cruise ship’ when they passed a wedding party emerging from the register office. Guests in cheap dresses and nylon suits threw giant heart-shaped confetti over the newlyweds. Margaret was captivated by the unashamed garishness and open sensuality of the moment.

‘Dirty gypsies,’ he hissed, ‘they get everywhere.’

‘Switch his heart pills,’ thought Margaret, continuing the game.

‘I’m going back,’ he announced, heading towards the giant ship.

‘What about lunch? I wanted to try some mussels.’

‘That foreign muck? No chance.’

‘We came on this cruise to broaden our horizons,’ said Margaret.

‘Well, you’ve certainly been broadening something,’ he sneered, looking her up and down.

That evening, Margaret looked out to sea from her table. As her Moules Marinières were placed in front of her, she raised her glass to the departing boat.

‘Bon voyage,’ she whispered, having concluded her game with an easier option: ‘jump ship’.

Copyright: flyingscribbler 2010.

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