"Malaria Picnic" by Sha Ka Zu Lu Warrior, April 2012
Disclaimer: All characters presented here are product of fiction. Any resemblances to real characters are of a pure coincidence. No intention was made to insult anyone for any reason.
AN: This story is an act of fiction. No one should attempt to act in the same manner as described.
Summary: A mudslide is blocking parts of West Valley Highway, making one lane temporarily closed to traffic, according to the King County Department of Transportation.
Wilbert L. Plummer returned from the washroom, his hands still wet. Sunshine was gleaming outside, smooth surfaces glistening, reflecting the UV rays. Lisa looked at Wilbert's large hands and then grinned.
"What?" Jason asked her with hidden jealousy.
"Nothing." She played with plastic straw. "Hey Willy …"
"What?" He intentionally mocked Jason, staring Lisa directly into the eyes. Jason was fuming, but played it all along. Some children were gathered around the sand outside, questioning its worthiness.
"Tell us about your trip …" Lisa touched Jason's nose and he melt, giving a little bit more of a slack.
"It's been nearly a month since I got back from Zambia. I know, that's a long time to wait for an update." Wilbert smiled at Jason. Jason kept it cool, measuring Lisa's reaction in secret. "I have people emailing and calling me and a few are facenook stalking me, looking for updates and pictures."
"What about the slide though …?" Lisa extended her hand over the table and caressed Wilbert's large hands, Jason going nuts from jealousy, still playing it cool though.
"The disaster happened on Saturday, and the death toll has climbed slowly since then." Wilbert stared towards the open Ocean outside, trying to catch a glimpse of either an albatross or a seagull.
"My wife was about to cook rice when I told her to leave the house." Jason watched Lisa's reaction in secret, feeling relieved. "I was about to get my son when ... we were trapped."
"And … how many did you say were affected …?" Jason hated when Lisa played that stupid game of ignoring marital statuses among humans on planet Earth.
"So far we are talking about 5,000 …"
"Yes … people." Wilbert smiled at Jason with his horse-like teeth "But the slide is affecting neighborhoods in lower areas as well …"
"Go ahead …" Lisa continued to caress Willy's hands and he shot her one inquisitive. She smiled feebly at Jason, obviously wishing to nudge him further into some self-denial and perhaps even frustration.
"My neighbors were running around and told me to get out …" Wilbert noticed that children started to throw sand on each other, their mothers reacting soon after and separating them. "There were multiple road closures, landslips, properties had been damaged …", a child was weaning like a siren outside, "… traffic was gridlocked and streets and backyards had been turned into swimming pools."
"And … houses?" Lisa withdrew reluctantly, still wishing to experience tall Wilbert in full.
"At least 400 homes have been destroyed after torrential rains sparked a mudslide …" Willy swallowed, then searched for cigarettes. "Storms have been blamed for 44 deaths around the country in recent weeks but fortunately this time there were no fatalities."
"Oh?" Jason lifted an eyebrow in disbelief.
"However, there was significant damage to the poor neighborhood close by, with roads cracking up and people's belongings being buried under mud and debris."
"Yuck!" Lisa made a disgusted grimace, checking on Jason in secret.
"Roads broke up, such as main route in the southern part of the area's capital …" Wilbert found cigarettes and lit one, offering to others some. They refused flatly. "City government spokesman, called Sunday night's slide the worst he has ever seen and …", there was a security guard passing by the wailing child and his mother, smiling politely, "… he said the earth was still moving after a hilltop collapsed."
"Go on …" Lisa almost purred like a cat, Willy's eyes flashing for a moment seeing her inviting breasts.
"Residents began evacuating late on Saturday night when the hill, saturated after prolonged rains, began sliding and cracks appeared in streets and homes."
"You already said that …" Jason grinned, realizing that Willy was, after all, upset for some secret reason.
"I remember I looked out the window and there were no more homes to the left or the right of mine."
They kept quiet for a while, some soft music playing in the background of the café.
"By day, amid a persistent drizzle, some residents scrambled over the unstable terrain to try to rescue furniture and other possessions from the muck."
"Did they … make it?" Lisa extended her jaw, measuring Willy in secret, Jason smelling her natural odors with hidden lust.
"But continued earth movements brought down more homes, and …", security guard help one child to move away from the sand area, "… police cordoned off the area, saying it was too dangerous."
"What about Mrs. Syles?"
"Oh … Mrs. Syles' home was one of those destroyed."
"Completely?" Lisa almost massaged her breasts, making Willy even hornier.
"Yes. She lost everything."
They listened to some mothers scoring their children.
"They won't let us go back in for fear of more slides." Wilbert checked on Jason.
"Trucks?" Jason asked like some lazy and docile Mexican peasant.
"Yes. Locals use trucks to recover their possessions in villages after the storm which simply washed houses away in the dangerously high mountain region …"
Wilbert extinguished his cigarette, puffing the last smoke high above him, tilting his head back and stretching with a serious expression on his face. There was a sailboat gliding over the tumulus in the sea.
"Meanwhile, crews with heavy equipment were trying to keep the earth from backing up a river channel." He smacked with his lips, looking towards the bar area, feeling hungry. "Even soldiers were mobilized to aid evacuation and recovery efforts." He checked carelessly with Jason, scratching his left arm.
"Anything … particular though?" Willy grinned at Lisa, then at Jason.
"Yes. A hilltop cemetery was split in two when an enormous crack opened in the ground." Wilbert's eyes were sparkling, eyeing Lisa with some wild stare. "How about you, companiero?" Willy slapped Jason on his thigh and Jason instantly knew that he gave up from making any serious attempts at Lisa.
"When my children choose to practice generosity …", he began and Lisa smiled with disinterested, "… and want to do something tangible to help, we can make that happen as well." He pointed with his hands in the air, some child still sobbing after the cry. "One of the great challenges of parenting in America is trying to raise grateful, generous …", his Mexican accent protruded for a moment, "… compassionate children in a culture that values materialism, promotes self-absorption …", there was a propeller airplane gliding above them, "… and is literally fueled by the ability to make even its youngest members feel as if they always need more … if you know-what-I-mean?" He extended his lower jaw as well, Lisa tapping his other thigh.
They listened to someone attempting to play a guitar.
"Seriously though … how's your … family?" Willy looked at him, wondering if he should light another cigarette.
"I was given personal assurance that copies of the notarized separation agreement, granting mutually consented to sole custody to me …", Jason waved at the waiter, "… along with copies of the protective order and a then valid court order not to remove the children from the U.S. would all go into …" he made some orders and the waiter left. "Into a special kind of file and there would be no possible way for me to obtain passports for the children …", he paused, checking on Willy in secret, "… as U.S. law indicated that I had no legal authority to them." He paused, fixing his stare at some unknown spot outside of café.
"I guess it must be heartbreaking to hear your child cry out for you and there's nothing you can do to comfort him, or her?" Lisa looked at Jason, almost mocking him openly in front of Wilbert. "And I realize I've never had to hear him cry for me like that …", she looked outside as the sunshine broke through the clouds again, "… because I've always been there for him." She looked charmingly at Willy, making him wonder what exactly was she up to now. "And then realizing that they are in a house full of people, but when they cry for me, no one bothers to console them …", she paused as if about to cry, "… it's … maddening." She made a grimace and the waiter served some snack food along with couple of beers as well.
She waited for the waiter to be some safe distance away, then continued.
"Watching my babies cry for me over a computer screen or listen by phone …", her eyes were watery and Wilbert could not discern if that was for some performance or her sentiment was real. "Knowing they want to be home and I can't touch them, hug them, comfort them …", she checked with Jason, some hateful mark discoloring her face for a brief moment. "It's an awful thing." She checked on Wilbert through half-closed eyes. Willy took a careful breath, looking at his wrist watch.
They rummaged for a while, enjoying air conditioning system, watching some joggers sweat by the coastline.
"How about your gospel friends there?" Lisa faked another smile at Wilbert.
"I think we stopped just shy of braiding each other's hair and making friendship bracelets." He showed his horse teeth and Jason instantly remembered his previous pass at Lisa. "In case any of the parishioners …", he sipped his beer, looking at Jason, "… rest assured, the pastor's wife is the real deal …", he grinned wildly, continuing slowly, "… and she's a gem, so hang on to her."
"In case you have one …" Jason made some groping sounds that may have resembled laughter and Willy started to doubt honesty of Jason's intentions about the job.
"Yes ... in case you find one ..." He glanced over Lisa quickly, then dared to break the silence. "It's not every day you meet someone who is beautiful and talented and will walk with you across the bridge over Victoria Falls in what feels like a monsoon and then stroll around …", Willy stretched without purpose as if trying out his invisible wings, "… drip drying with you …", he smiled carefully at Jason, checking on children in the background, "… and does it all with a smile." Some chill went over his spine as he met icy stare of his Mexican … friend.
He finished his beer with one loud licking of lips, eyeing Lisa in secret and then daring with another open stare at Jason.
"I will take whatever is left on the floor and send it to the kids in Africa who don't have any toys and would appreciate these toys and take care of them …"
"Oh …", Lisa faked melting in affection, clumsily extending her hand over to reach Wilbert's long fingers. "You're so … compassionate …" Her last word reminded Wilbert to have four eyes open when making any kind of a business deal in the US.