Tuesday, July 29, 2008

rottnest romance #15

Another 500 word drip-feed from Chapter Two of Rottnest Romance, the only known Bills and Moon novel to be set on the beautiful island. Larissa is as cross as a frog in a sock about Nick's plans for Parakeet Bay. Will he brain her with the wedges bowl, or run her over with a bulldozer? We hope she does something dramatic at the end of the argument, like throwing wine in his face or kneeing him in the nuts. Go Larissa!
"Those are pretty strong accusations."

"Accusations that are probably quite accurate," she retorted.

Beside them Ashleigh had been swiveling her head back and forth from Larissa to Nick as each of them spoke. She was wide-eyes at this sudden antagonism between them. Larissa thought sourly that she would probably gang up with Nick after she had got over her initial surprise.

All of his easy good nature had evaporated by now. "You have a rather narrow view of the issue," Larissa."

"I don't think so. Despite your undoubted business acumen, I suspect you're the one with the narrow viewpoint."

He leant his arms on the table, and fixed her with a hard look. "Even though you haven't given any details to back up your accusations I think I can sum up your opinions as regards my project."

"Go on, then," she invited him defiantly.

"All you can see is a development being built where previously there was nothing. If you had your way nothing new would be built - anywhere."

"That's my point," she said fiercely. "There isn't just nothing there now.
Just because there aren't houses or shops or paved roads doesn't mean that it's utterly vacant."

He was starting to look skeptical. "Oh dear," he said, "I think we have a hard-line conservationist sitting with us."

She tried to keep a rein on her temper. "That's right - don't think about what I'm saying. Just slap a label on me."

"No, let's think about it then. When you're saying there isn't "nothing" in parakeet Bay you're referring to animals, I suppose?"

"Not only animals - a whole ecosystem exists there. Birds, animals, plants, marine life.a very complex system."

"And I'm going to destroy this elaborate ecosystem with my clumsy arrival, is that it?" He said it with a straight face, but she detected a hint of sarcasm.

"Go on, be sarcastic. You're not really interested in what's going to happen after you move in there."

"But you're certainly interested in telling me."

"No I'm not, because you're not interested in listening."

Beside them Ashleigh cleared her throat. The noise made them both turn and look at her.

"Excuse me, guys," she said, "but you're both getting kind of loud, and attracting quite a bit of attention."

Larissa glanced around and saw that she was right - quite a few heads had turned their way as a result of that last exchange, and they were getting some curious stares.

She took a deep breath, and willed herself to speak in a normal voice. The last thing she wanted was a public slanging match. If things got out of hand here it would be all over the island tomorrow.

"I'm sorry for raising my voice at you," she said evenly, "I get rather involved in discussions of this nature."

"So it would seem," Ashleigh remarked dryly.

"Nick said nothing. He twirled his wine glass between his fingers while looking at Larissa - sizing her up, it seemed.

1 comment:

  1. Will someone please kill Larissa. Nick can soil the corpse if he wants, it's not my thing but when in Rome right? Shoot her and root her in any order. Then put ashleigh on the ferry.