Section 103 is snatched from its sleep in the early hours
The deed was done. He was on his way to Thailand via an ill-advised romance with an unspecified role in Africa which was now but a shed skin. Vernon felt some weight lift off his shoulders. He had made a decision that needed to be made. Donning his running shoes and downing a couple of glasses of cold water he celebrated the fact with a circular run under the railway bridge, left and up and over it , past the cattery and down the avenue of trees that always conveyed a flavour of France. He returned past the donkey paddock and the austere Anglican church, tired and in good spirits. After a bath he retired with a beer to the garden and sifted distractedly through a selection of the growing number of philosophical books on his shelves. He’d have to contact Miles van der Floot. Good job he’d picked a distance learning course for his PhD studies. He’d have to write a letter of resignation too having obtained permission from the Head to submit one rather later than usual when he knew Mr Snapper was heading off to the second recruitment fare and speedy response would be unlikely. Vernon went to bed more relieved than he’d been in ages, and yet more uncertain of what was coming next.
The phone rang and rang downstairs, like the muted clatter of a houseman’s surgical tools. Vernon slowly tumbled out of the womb of oblivion, down the birth canal of night-time awakenings and into the rude delivery suite of reality. Just as he surfaced from his deep sleep, and staggered on to the landing, the downstairs phone gave up only to be replaced immediately by the mobile under his pillow. When the fog cleared Vernon would find it was Friday morning.
“Nnnuh”, Vernon groaned as he snatched at the mobile fumblingly and flipped the lid.
“Uhuh?” He said slowly. “What, who? Why now?”
“Vernon, its Jean Luc.”
“Uh huh” Vernon managed, extending his night time vocabulary. “Jean Luc? You and Ari okay?”
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