Page 63 - Litteratteur Redefining World December issue
P. 63

Litterateur redefining world                      December 2020

               Well that’s it then, you have to stay now,         Well,  what  you  do?  I  need  you  to
               for  longer.  I  will  need  you  to  press,       stay. It is fair. I put you up for all this
               pump.  We  have  no  machine.  It  will  take      time, you see this country after. We
               longer,  but  we  have  no  generator  now.        see this through to the end.
               The wine needs to get into the barrels. I
               need  you  to  stay.  As  long  as  it  takes.  I  William  recognised  that  there  was
               need your hands, and your back. I can’t            nothing  he  could  do  to  avoid  the
               have the fruit go bad on the vine or rot           confrontation. He had to say it or he
               after we have picked it.                           would never leave.

               William knew this was coming, one way              You can do it all yourself. In ten days
               or the other. It wouldn’t have mattered if         I  am  out  of  here,  grapes  picked  or

               it  was  the  generator  or  something  else.      unpicked,  wine  in  barrels  or  not.  In
               Roberto  would  invent  some  reason  for          ten days’ time it’ll be six months, and
               him to have to stay. He would try to keep          I  am  gone.  I  didn’t  come  to  this
               William  working  for  a  stipend  while           country to be your slave.
               holding out the lump sum and freedom.
               He  had  felt  it  since  he  got  here.  He       William  kept  walking,  into  the
               wondered  what  Roberto  thought  of  him          farmhouse,  to  his  room.  In  the
               as  they  worked  together,  or  when  they        background  he  could  hear  Roberto
               sat  silently  in  front  of  the  fire  in  the   attempting  to  start  the  generator,
               darkness.  William  looked  at  the  man,          each  slinging  effort  punctuated  by
               saw him though narrowed eyes, the cold             curses.  William  lay  on  his  mattress
               dry voice of his inner dialogue speaking           and  stared  at  the  ceiling.  The
               as they stood beside the dead generator.           morning  light  of  the  summer  sun
               You  want  me  to  stay  forever  you  old         burned  through  the  window  pane.
               queen,  so  we  could  be  lovers,  growing        Dust  motes  swirled  in  the  air
               grapes  and  making  wine  and  living             currents.
               together as master and servant. You are

               a fucking joke you fucking barbarian.              There was silence for a while and the
                                                                  shadows  in  the  room  changed
               William  kept  his  silence  and  walked           perspective  as  the  day  moved  on.
               away, towards the farm house. He wasn’t            Eventually Roberto appeared, a dark
               going  to  get  drawn  into  the  argument.        shape in the doorway.
               Then  he  felt  Roberto’s  hand  on  his
               shoulder, spinning him around.                     So, you are right. I cannot keep you.
                                                                  But we must work, the grapes won’t
               Roberto’s face was drawn up right next             wait.  Put  this  behind  us.  We  should
               to his. William could smell the coffee on          start  picking,  there  is  much  to  do
               his breath.                                        before you go.

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