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One step at a time.

‘What shit are you writing now?’

Wasn’t sure, but something was bound to pop up.

‘Most likely a trippy looking toadstool coming out of rich steaming cow manure.’

Well you do better asswipe.

‘Couldn’t even attempt a try after your last bullshit effort.’

Bernhard was talking about our trip to Gang Dolly.

It was one helluva trip.

‘Never to be repeated.’

One step at a time, I repeated.

‘Don’t you mean one word at a time.’ He gave me that look. ‘It’s you against the blank page. Admit it, you are aiming for 500 words.’

I was aiming for anything. I just couldn’t face seeing that blank canvas staring at me.

‘Blank screen you dimwit.’ He hit me on the head with his knuckles, knocking to see if anyone was home. It was Biff in Back to the Future all over again.  That’s why I always cut him some slack. Being knocked in the head has always brought me to my senses, I told my self.

‘The only thing you told yourself is that you are a professional bum.’

Whatever, Bernie. It takes one to know one. That shut him up briefly.

Then he lit up a cigarette, tired of my imbecile ways.

‘You wanted to write imbecility but then realized that word doesn’t exist.’

He sometimes knew me better than myself.

The Hooter waitresses were run off their feet. The place was packed.  But if we wanted a refill, we could just go behind the counter and fill up our own coffees. And free, on the house. Hooters was being very kind to us.

‘Fucking well should be, I’m the majority shareholder of the joint.’

Nothing would surprise me with this Kiwi. Just when you think you had him figured out that he’d throw another spanner in the works.

I bet it was linked to the owner.

‘I get a couple of air kisses,’ he came clean, ‘but this place rocks. So don’t forget to fix up this bill after we are done. So far you have had five refills, and that’s gonna cost you. Don’t think I haven’t seen you taking advantage of the free refills. It usually means one, not fucking ten.’

The word counts were up.

This time, one of the waitresses dropped off some pancakes, topped with fresh cream and melting chocolate and coffee to our tables.

‘I knew it, something was going down.’ I  took a sip of my coffee and lit up a Marlboro Red, I was swapping brands since they are cheap as chips in Indonesia. I continued while Bernhard listened.  He knew when it was time to joke and time to belt me over the head. ‘I got lost in the communist caves. I didn’t want to pay for a guide and just didn’t know where I was. I got the fear. I ran towards the voices, a group of Chinese Malaysians.  They could see I was spooked and moved over. I continued running till I reached the entrance.’

‘Now could you break that paragraph up, it’s long and unseemly.’

‘I could Bernie, only if I wanted too.’

He lit up a Dunhill now.

‘Then outside, some firecrackers went off. I went ducking for cover.’

‘So what you are going to tell me, is that you felt something was going on, and that being lost in the tunnel was a hint of worse things to come. And that by getting the adrenaline pumping, it was preparing you for the long night ahead after the bomb went off later that afternoon.’

It was that fucking Malaysian. He spooked me.

‘Always a hero hiding in the woodworks.’

He told them who I was and what I was doing.

Them were the insurgents, the ones that killed innocent people.

‘He would, wouldn’t he, it elevates his self-importance.’

That’s my word count up, I eventually said.

‘Now lets hit the frog and toad, surely there must be some adventures nearby?’

I had just one of them in mind.

‘I bet it involves ogling at big fucking tits.’

Well, now that you mentioned it, Bernie.

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