Story Postcard – meeting the guests (2)

“Can I just ask how you two know each other?”

“Hansie and me? Sure. Our families used to be neighbours. We farmed out Raffingora way. Parents were good friends. About the time I turned nine we got kicked off our farm. They stayed on theirs. They haven’t got much land now, but they’re still hanging in there. They’re not British, which helps.”

“Too right,” says Rudd.

“Same story with you?” Tim asks.

“Sort of. I was born here, at this place. My folks helped to get it going, but it got too dangerous, and we moved to Harare. Did most of my schooling there. Don’t think my dad ever got over it really. Never wanted me to come back.”

There is a polite cough. Tonderai appears in the doorway behind them.

“Hi Tonderai – can I help?”

“The chef would like to see you.”

 “Right. Five minutes, and I’ll come through.”

Tim’s eyes follow Tonderai as he walks away.

“These guys are so thin.”

“I know, and they’re the lucky ones. It’s tough up here.”

“First time I’ve been. It’s beautiful. Remote though. No wonder we’ve had to bring up so much food. Lots of it by the way. Chef checked it through and it’s all been offloaded in the kitchen. Everything’s listed on here.”

Rudd scans the sheet of paper.

“Great. Thanks. Meat looks good, and glad to have that bread. Our veggie garden is brilliant, and we’re not short of beer, but it’s the other stuff that’s not so easy to get.”

“Where do you get your supplies?”

Rudd explains the endless Harare, and cross border trips, that either he or a runner does.


“Not quite.”


“Not quite. More like survival. We all do it, and most times the police just let us get on with it, but we never know for sure.”

Tim raises the last of his beer in salute.

“Cheers to that. How are the rooms working out?”

“Fine. Just had to make one change.”

Rudd tells Tim about Simi’s visit.

“She was a last minute booking, and we need the forex. Don’t get many from UK. Most just skip us for Vic Falls. Not sure why she’s here even, but we’re not complaining. Travelling solo.”

“She should join in, if she wants. Hansie would never turn anyone away.”

“That’s what I reckoned, and when I told him about it he said it would be fine. Just didn’t want the rooms to be swopped, so I’ve put her in my place, down at the front. It’s been redecorated so she’s got a good deal. I’m in the medical room.”

“If you’re okay with that … great. The only diva on our side is Jen’s mother. So long as she’s got a good room. Have you met her?”

Rudd shakes his head.

“Well, she dumped Jen’s dad, Bruce, and is now married to some Frenchman with loads of money. Lives in Paris most of the time I think. Everyone’s pretty amazed she’s coming back for the wedding.”

Copyright Georgie Knaggs & The Phraser 2023

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