Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sunday Rambles.

I am going to talk about the trip Deb and I had yesterday.
We drove up into the ranges overlooking Warburton.

For a little while I wandered around taking piccies like this flower filled field.
My isn’t that an alliterative sentence :-)
The flowers were nothing special, just happy looking dandelions.Dandelions are incidentally an introduced weed in Oz.

Sipping the nectar from the flowers were these handsome but tiny butterflies (or moths). Their antennae say “butterfly” but the way they hold their wings says “moth”.
I don’t know what they are but I think they are quite attractive.

I didn’t take many photos because we settled in the shade. Deb read her kindle book (she is reading the Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest at the moment) and I worked on my WIP.

Speaking of my WIP, here is the next instalment of Valentina’s story. Many of you have begun to suspect there is something ‘not quite right’ about Penelope.
Valentina has begun to wonder too…

Valentina Meshcova
Berlin 1948
Guns are a soldier's tool of trade. Even a glorified medic running an orphanage was issued with a gun in Berlin.
Mine usually stayed in an old safe in the orphanage office. But the next time I saw Penelope I brought it with me, an awkward heavy lump in my bag. Her blithe suggestion that maybe she reminded me of someone had set wheels turning in my mind.

Wheels that should have been ticking weeks before. The story they had ground out was not one that I liked.
We met at the canteen again. As usual we talked about nothing much, what we had done in the day, how Natasha was doing at school.
Trivialities, maybe that was what I liked about her, pleasant company with no complications.
No complications except one, who was she?
What was she?

With her beauty and her apparently privileged lifestyle I had assumed she was a 'Campaign Wife'.
I had accepted she was shy about her life given that situation. But that was not enough any longer I needed to be sure now, needed to protect myself.

When she left the canteen I followed. It was one of those cold grey afternoons that are so typical of Berlin where the day merges into night without a firm boundary. She pulled the collar of her coat up against the wind as she strolled along the street.

I was no spy. I had little idea of how to go about following somebody.
I stayed close enough to keep in sight of her and far enough that I hoped I had some chance she might not see me.
At first she sauntered along as if she had not a care in the world. Her path seemed strange, aimless as if she was walking with no destination in mind.

I did not realise quite how but at some point she realised she was being followed. Her pace picked up, now she was not wandering aimlessly. I had to move quickly to keep up.
It was almost at the same time as I realised she had led me into the west of the city, that I guessed I was being followed too.
A man in shabby grey overalls was sticking to me as I was to her.
We snaked through semi ruined city streets, around one bomb site after another. Close packed buildings and narrow alleys. A train of followed and followers.

Being followed threw me. Was it some associate of Penelope's. Did she have associates? If she did wasn’t that as bad as it could be?
Or was I behaving so strangely I had attracted the attention of my terror the NKVD?

I shouldn’t have been in the British zone out of uniform at all. A British patrol would be in its rights to arrest me. I looked back, a second man had joined the first. What should I do? Give up? Keep following? Catch up and confront her?
An agony of indecision gripped me. Nothing in my experience helped me decide what to do.

Indecision turned to anger, she had lied to me. She was not what she seemed, the reason mystified me but she was playing games with me. Dangerous games.

Without warning, Penelope broke into a run. An awkward run in dress shoes and good clothes, but a run.
Without thinking I sprinted after her. She clattered around a corner into a narrow lane way overhung with bomb damaged buildings.
The clatter of hob-nailed boots broke the air behind me, it seemed I was pursued as well.

Penelope darted under an arch between two heavy timber doors as I rounded the corner. Half elated by the chase, half terrified of the men behind me and not thinking at all I dashed after her through the doorway.
Into an empty garage or workshop. Penelope leapt through a door at the other side, without glancing back she slammed it behind her. I bounded across the space and heaved at the handle. Bolted. I spun to face the men following me.
A gun, I had a gun. I fumbled in my bag for my pistol, with a hollow boom the double doors banged closed.
I was shut in the dark.


Charmaine Clancy said...

Looks like a productive outing! I really enjoyed the Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (and the rest of the series) - I found it confronting, challenging and entertaining. Nice to spend time together on separate projects :-)

Theresa Milstein said...

That is one beautiful moth. Love your photos as always.

Old Kitty said...

Oooh this thing between Penelope and Valentina is heating up!!!! What's going on?!?!?! :-)

Love your pics - a field of dandelions is very pretty!!! The moths/butterflies are so unusual!! Take care

Christine said...

Ooh, you can't beat a nice bit of alliteration!

What an amazing pattern on those moths' wings! We tend to see moths only at twilight.

Lisa said...

Your dandelions look different than the ones we have here--yours are much prettier!

Loving the WIP!

LTM said...

ooo--I also love your butterfly! And those pictures.

Great progress on the WIP! keep on swimming~ :o) <3

Ann said...

I don't care if it is a moth or a is lovely. I have never seen either with spots like that.

Your story gets more and more intriguing.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Al .. the moth is extraordinary .. beautiful colourings .. cheers Hilary