Time to Think
Spreading the Word
Sebastian turned on his side and gazed out at the sun filled garden. With an impatient sigh he
rolled over and faced the wall. He sat up and dusted imaginary crumbs off the divan then lay on his
back with his hands by his side and practiced relaxation exercises. After a few seconds he lost
concentration and stared vacantly up at cobwebs on the verandah rafters.
‘Your tendons will never repair if you're always on the go,’ the doctor had snapped only an
hour before. ‘Why can’t you just lie back and relax?’
‘Because it’s not my nature,’ Sebastian had answered with a fetching sigh. ‘Perhaps if you were
to massage me…?’
‘And risk Reginald’s wrath? Not bloody likely.’
‘Wouldn’t it be worth a broken arm?’ Sebastian grinned.
‘Not even you are worth that, Sebastian. Shut up and let the sounds of nature lull you to
But Sebastian couldn’t. Time plodded. He began to fidget. Struggled to his feet and leaned over
the rail. Turned and smiled at his reflection in the lounge-room windows, then returned to the divan
Reggie had dragged out onto the verandah and arranged himself in an artistic pose; not much fun
when there was no one to admire the result. Where was Reggie?
The whine of a vehicle crawling up the steep drive sounded promising. Raising himself on an
elbow he watched a beige car turn in under the trees and fall silent. The humid air throbbed to the
raucous stridor of a million Cicadas.
‘Reggie,’ he called to a rustle in the shrubbery beside the verandah, ‘we have visitors. Stop
massacring those plants and go make them welcome.’
A few minutes later, virility artlessly accentuated by torn-off jeans, a gold nipple ring and
heavy work boots, Reginald was trailed onto the verandah by a middle-aged, portly gentleman in a
wide-brimmed straw hat, grey suit, white shirt and dark tie. Scarlet and white trainers on tiny feet
rendered the vision ridiculous rather than eccentric. Panting audibly, the man gazed back towards
his car and dabbed his forehead with a large, damp handkerchief.
Fallen arches, Sebastian surmised, wondering what surprises were in the briefcase the fellow
was clutching to his sweaty bosom.
The flat-footed man’s companion mounted the steps. Sebastian sucked in his stomach, arched
his neck ever so slightly and beamed a winning smile at the dark, slim, handsome and hatless youth
in white cotton slacks and open-necked shirt whose sun-dazzled eyes were blind to the apparition in
the shadowy interior of the deep verandah.
Reginald waved the guests to low wicker chairs. Before they could sit, however, a discreet
cough from the shadows made them jump and peer into the gloom where a charmingly arranged
young man sprawled elegantly. A tiny wisp of silk on his groin fluttered in the light breeze like a
turquoise butterfly impatient to escape. As an ornament to accentuate the golden hue of the satiny
skin it was perfect; as a garment it failed exquisitely.
‘Lovely weather,’ Sebastian murmured, lavishing a seductive smile on the startled youth. ‘How
thoughtful of you to visit us. Forgive my not rising to greet you, but I have a gammy heel. Are you
lost? Tourists? Selling something?’
‘No… no… we’re…’ Apparently mesmerised by his host’s groin the young man’s voice faded
to a whisper.
‘We’re not selling anything — we’re giving it away!’ flatfoot interrupted, eyes studiously
avoiding that which his companion seemed unable to drag his gaze from.
‘Why? Isn’t it any good?’ Sebastian’s smile was innocent.
‘On the contrary! It is the greatest gift offered to mankind.’
‘My mother told me never to accept gifts from older men,’ Reggie frowned. ‘They always want
something in exchange.’ He gestured irritably. ‘Please! Sit down, both of you.’