Thursday, 5 May 2016

Drastic




Considering the general haha party that has been going on here the whole of last month, what with all the limericking and punning and funning, it seemed a bit drastic to flip over instantly to the trademark whingey poetry, so I am easing into it with a flash.  

Earlier this year, fuel prices were raised in most of the GCC countries, giving way to what was inevitable.  There has been a cut in food subsidies here as well last year. As a fall-out, lamb of all descriptions has disappeared from the menus of the budget restaurants, which are still cheap but not so cheerful anymore. Petrol prices had remained at the same level for decades together, the increase generated a lot of heat and dust, predictably.  

And also this slightly delayed flash :)



Hop on hop off island

The screen froze as soon as he pressed the key, but Seth knew the answer anyway.  He did not need a currency converter to do the maths.  The crude oil prices were at a record low. The meat subsidy had been axed recently.  Even fuel prices, steady for more than three decades, would soar this midnight. A huge leap, no chance of looking anywhere before.  Nothing would ever be the same again, happiness, misery, money, wealth, security.

The screen had transformed into a spiral, a series of dots stalking each other in a never ending cycle, a snake trying to devour its tail.  His concerns felt the same, each stalking the other, an ongoing cycle there too.  Stripping Peter to clothe Paul, it had worked very well somehow. That would stop at midnight. The horses back to being mice, the coach turned back to being its rotund pumpkin self.  Something else would have to be figured; arranged as elaborately as the sham that was coming to an end. He had been cocooned in it, this ongoing spiral of pretence – his debts, his relationships; even the spent steam from his coffee curled in an arc, cooling next to the screen. 

Well, it had been good while it lasted.  He had the usual trappings of a Gulfie life - a cashew plantation, a slightly pretentious mansion, a somewhat distant and sour wife festooned with jewellery, and three sleekly educated, sullen children back at the permanent address.  And some not so usual ones too.  A series of ‘seasonal wives’ here, installed in a penthouse for the duration of their tenure and then seen off by his discreet manservant when they became too demanding.   

Interconnected countries and economies and relationships, global villages wirelessly, paperlessly linked.  He had made them into micro-level islands with his suave thieving skills, forced them apart – businesses, lives, wives, planes of existence.  One of them would have to be dismantled before it came crashing down.  Even so, the debts wouldn’t vanish.  Therefore, he would have to.

It was for just such an eventuality he had got the spare passport.  Option B.  He hadn’t thought the day to use it would come in this particular way.  He pressed a few keys and completed the withdrawal.  Money, an identity, a way of life.  Digital footprints and fingerprints carefully obliterated as far as possible.  A new life would begin at midnight. He heaved a sigh and shut down the computer.

Robina sauntered in and sat on his armrest, briefly peered into his mug.  ”Would you call that half full or half empty?”


Seth looked at the coffee.  There were no curls of steam anymore. “Either way, it’s undrinkable.  Gone too cold. Time to get a fresh one.”


~*~

Hope you enjoyed the flash. See you next week for the A-Z Reflections post, am still struggling to make sense of the numbers and the intangibles, which are both more than the sum of their parts, and I am happy to be confused. 

Have a great day/weekend!

26 comments:

  1. Really cool flash, but I have to hope he doesn't get away with it. Wife/wives and responsibilities - face the music man! Why does it always seem like it's so easy for the male of our species? A woman would respond so differently, well, at least the woman of my generation would. Hmm... You've got me thinking.
    Hi, Nila!

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    1. Hi Yolanda! True, a woman would respond differently, probably of any generation. It does seem weirdly skewed at times doesn't it? Women seem to have a monopoly on facing the music for themselves and on behalf of their men.

      And Seth will probably get away...

      Just finished reading Ever-Ton btw :) thoroughly enjoying the stories!

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  2. Life got in the way, and I missed your last A-Z posts. I hope you had as much fun doing it as we did reading.
    Sadly Seth is everywhere. And probably will get away to start the cycle anew.

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    1. I hope it got in the way gently and with good things, hope all was/is well with you.

      I did indeed enjoy the Challenge, though it can get a bit intense. And you are right Seths are everywhere and make a mess of their own lives and that of others

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  3. Loved your A to Z posts and excited to see what else you write about :)
    Joy @ The Joyous Living

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    1. Thank you, glad you enjoyed the A-Z posts. Looking forward to posting the reflections now..

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  4. Hi Nila! It's great to see you flashing! Loved the story. Well, the world is full to overflowing with Seth's by any other name. Women are just nicer people and practise a different world view. But there are so many hardships facing so many, world views are changing drastically.

    I'll be interested in your Reflections post next week. I'll need a few glasses of wine to get me through...

    Denise :-)

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    1. Women being nicer - is that biology? are they more timid, more risk averse?

      You are right about worldviews changing because of the hardships, and also due to other causes...I am trying to figure out the reflections, I think I need a couple glasses of wine to get the thoughts to pull themselves together :)

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  5. Wow!! Really enjoyed the flash. So well written. :) Seth should be able to get away.. and then you can flash an even more incredible one of how he gets caught.

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  6. Wow nice one - you do have a way with words - "festooned with jewelry" - rofl

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    1. :D women use the 'festoons' as compensation for many ills in their lives..

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  7. Very smooth writing. Half full or half empty, too cold either way. Sigh. Well done

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  8. Nice wrap-up, but I hope he changes his mind about disappearing.

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    1. He's picked this place clean, can't do much except that..

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  9. Considering the kind of person he is, disappearing is a good option.

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    1. Agree. He's no loss, and sticking around isn't going to do him any good

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  10. I enjoyed. Thank you
    Looking forward

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    1. Thanks Martin. Glad you enjoyed it.

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  11. Hi Nila - I checked out GCC countries - guessed, but wasn't sure - now I know - the Gulf region. Fascinating storyline - insights that we know - but need to know actually happen - yes I hope he didn't get away with it ... but he'll be found out .. cheers Hilary

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    1. All getting away is temporary, in the end everyone is found out, he will be too...hope you are having a good weekend.

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  12. At least Seth planned ahead. Though, yes, I'm guessing he'll be found out eventually and I sure wouldn't want to be him when the truth comes crashing down around him.

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    1. Yeah, very elaborate plans too...but best laid plans of mice and men...

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