Thursday February 24th, 2011

The exercise:

Let's write about: the roadside stall.

I'll conclude our Jamaican odyssey with these three. First up the inspiration for this prompt, one of the many roadside stalls to be found all over the country:

We bought a pineapple and the guy sliced it up for us. It was... pretty much the best thing ever. We spent our final night just outside Falmouth on the north coast. We were right on the beach, part of which you can see here:

We decided to get up early (okay, early for me) to see our final sunrise before heading to Montego Bay to catch our flight home:

I'll probably share a few more pictures at random, but this marks the end of the photo overload for now. Once I have all of them uploaded I'll share a link to the full gallery in case anyone wants to see them all.


The car pulls up in front of my stall, a cloud of dust momentarily obscuring the vehicle and the passengers within. Customers at last! I put on my most charming smile and ready my sales pitch.

"Hey, how's it going?" the driver says through a rolled down window.

"Just another day in paradise, my friend!" I reply with a laugh. Why isn't he getting out?

"Can you tell us if we're heading in the right direction for Blackwood City?"

"Yup, you're on the right track! But it's a long way to go still, maybe you'd like some -"

"All right, thanks man!"

And with that they're gone in another brown and grey haze. I sigh heavily before taking out a cloth from my back pocket and dusting off my display of hand grenades.


Greg said...

That beach is fantastic! It does, indeed, look a little like paradise :)
I really like your roadside vendor with his wares, I hope we see him again.
Sorry that my comments have been a little short the past few days; work is very busy and I'm having trouble finding time to write anywhere.
I hope you and Kat are both feeling better now :)

The roadside stall
"But Daddy, I want one!" Her voice was shrill and petulant. "You never stop, and I really, really, really want one!"
The car sighed to a halt, then reversed abruptly, spinning tyres throwing up gravel. The car stopped again by the stall.
The driver got out, and approached the man at the stall. He gestured.
"How much?"
"Two seems like a bargain."
"Seems like it."
"Then done, my friend."
The car drove away again, its tail-lights fading slowly away in the distance, leaving behind the daughter he'd sold for two piƱatas shaped like donkeys.

summerfield said...

marc, the roadside stalls look familiar. they are much the same as the ones we have in the old country.

i laughed at the last line of your story. yes, the grenades was rather unexpected. they don't sell them in stalls in jamaica, do they?

greg, tea came out of my nose as i finished reading your story. that, too, was unexpected. and i laughed!

(prequel to inside the fort )

the roadside stall


Portia took a step back as the old gypsy woman pointed at her. She knew the faces of most of the vendors in the roadside market just outside the gate of the old Spanish fort. But this one must be new.

"Hello to you," the gypsy said, now smiling. Portia gave her a once over and continued to walk.

"Clarita!" the woman called out. Portia turned around and saw that the woman was looking at her. She walked back.

"Why did you call me Clarita?" Portia asked.

The woman stood in front of her, searching her eyes. Portia felt her heart skipped a beat.

"Clarita," she said, "that was your name. I knew you from your past life."

Oh, great, Portia thought, another nut!

"You were the most beautiful woman in that lifetime. You have the same eyes now as you had then. Many men wanted you, but you wanted only one."

Portia didn't know what to make of it. She smiled and said her goodbye, but the old woman grabbed her by the wrist.

"Come! I show you something."

They walked past the rows of roadside stalls and entered the open gates of the fort. Portia felt surprised at her willingness to hear the gypsy's story. However, she was not prepared to trek the steep steps towards the main building - she had an unexplained aversion towards stairs. She had never seen the inside of the fort except in pictures, even though she had lived within a few kilometres of it her whole life.

But the old woman kept walking, still holding her by her wrist, almost dragging her.

yup, here we go again with the prequels and the sequels. i think i'd go backward this time. so bear with me.

Marc said...

Greg - glad you liked him, I shall have to bring him back another time.

Well if work has been busy, I should probably let you know that another one of your stories has been featured on Protag :)

Love the twist ending. I certainly didn't see that coming.

Summerfield - no, no grenades. Just delicious, fresh fruit. And nuts! I'd forgotten about the peanuts...

Anyway. I liked seeing what lead up to your fort scene. Those two are an interesting pair.

Zhongming said...

Marc - the pictures were really well taken! Great piece of work :)

All - I enjoyed reading them all, excellent :)

The roadside stall

I remember few years ago while I was residing in Taiwan and I was regularly visiting their "Taiwanese-Night-Market". During those days I feared trying out new food no matter how well defined or great reputation it has attracted over the years. One word to describe my mindset - "weak". As you can see for yourself how much you tend to lose out if you have never even given it a try. Well, that was me, an introvert and the man who lack a great deal of courage and determination to get things done. Fear is ignorant state of negative mindset. I learn this only after many years of hiding - not physically but mentally. We live in the real world but I learned the empty truth about it as well so I have not wasted my life. Have you wasted yours?

Marc said...

Zhongming - I have a few rules about food when I'm travelling, but the main one is: if the locals eat it, I'll eat it; if only tourists are eating it, I try not to.

But yeah, I haven't always been so brave with food :)