Mallorcan Magic – Episode 28

They took their seats and to Danny’s relief, Eira concentrated on the food and wine.

“Delicious,” she said. “And the wine’s lovely, too.”

“I have an excellent merchant.”

“That figures,” she said.

He heard the smile in her voice.

“Why so?”

“You enjoy the good things in life so why wouldn’t you take care where you buy your wine?”

“You mightn’t have noticed, but I enjoy the simple things as well.”

“Walking barefoot on the beach?”

“Definitely. Getting up with the dawn chorus on a summer’s morning and drinking that first cup of strong, black coffee.”

“Drawing the curtains on a winter’s afternoon and curling up with a book in front of a log fire.”

How appealing it sounded.

“That’s a nice one,” he agreed. “How’s your steak?”

“Fantastic. Could you pass the salad, please?”

As he handed the bowl across, their eyes met as the first flash of lightning flared. A clap of thunder followed within a few beats.

“Getting closer,” Danny said.

“Is it difficult to start the generator?”

“Not usually,” he said. “It’s been a while since our last power cut but fingers crossed I can get it going.”

“I’ve always enjoyed candlelight.” He chuckled softly.

“Me, too. Another simple pleasure.”

She told him about a few hours without power when she’d been a young teenager, caught out with wet hair while getting ready for a party and unable to plug in her hair-dryer.

He told her he’d been eight years old when World War II broke out. He remembered the blackout and how, eventually, he was sent from his parents’ home in London to live with his grandparents in Worcestershire.

“It must have been awful,” she said. “The war, I mean. I don’t remember anything until it was well over and things were taken off ration.”

“You were still a toddler when it ended,” he teased. “You make me feel old!”

“What rubbish.”

“What say we manage by candlelight? If we take the bottle into the sitting-room, we can watch the storm from there.”

She hesitated. One of the candle flames flared. Blue. Orange.

“All right,” she said. “I’ll check on the children first.”

When she returned, she sat down at the other end of the settee, facing the window. The panoramic view over the bay provided the perfect backdrop for summer storm effects.

“I take it the troops are quiet.” He leaned over to refill her glass.

“Uh, huh, you were right in thinking they’d be shattered.”

“Eira, you do a grand job with my children. I hope you don’t feel pushed into taking on other responsibilities. We haven’t even discussed your revised salary but I meant it when I said I’d prefer to leave business until tomorrow.”

“I don’t feel pressured or pushed, Danny. To be honest, I want to take every opportunity I can, so that’s why I’m accepting your offer.

“I realise, now, how I wasted so much time with a man who didn’t appreciate me. A man who didn’t bring colour or joy to my life.”

“Sorry, but he must have been a twerp. Some men don’t appreciate what they have until they lose it.”

He stared through the window.

Eira chuckled.

“Helen has said pretty much the same.” “You two are good mates, aren’t you? What does she think of this Manolo bloke? Is he good enough for you?”

Danny felt protective, aggrieved even, because he’d no right to judge anyone Eira decided to date.

“Helen thinks I should go out with him but Antonio suspects Manolo has reached an understanding with a local girl so, if he does ring, I shan’t agree to see him unless I’ve heard otherwise.”

Danny swallowed a mouthful of wine.

“But you’d go out with the guy provided he’s unattached?”

He knew he sounded bitter. Lightning flashed, so he clearly saw her face for moments. Eira would have noticed his grim expression and wonder why he disapproved of her dating a local boy.

“I keep telling people I’m in no hurry to find another boyfriend,” she said.

“You were engaged,” he said.

“Ten out of ten, Mr Carpenter. That’s why I’m wary. Everyone thought Steven was a steady young man who’d look after me for the rest of my life.”

Danny took a very deep breath.

“Is that what you still want? To find someone who’ll cherish you for ever?”

“You make it sound easy.”

“I’m the last person to pretend love’s easy to find, let alone hang on to.”

“Well, as I said, I’m in no hurry.”

Danny clenched his fists. He’d have to get up, leave the room, go and glug down a pint of iced water.

Eira had moved a little closer. If he stretched the fingers of his left hand towards her, he’d touch her. He daren’t. Did he really want to frighten her away?

“I was surprised to find you’d come back so early, Eira. But I couldn’t get over how pleased I felt.”


“Tell me if I’m out of order, but take yourself back to that little café where we first saw each other.”

“Weird, wasn’t it?”

“What was?”

“How we noticed one another then both turned up at the swimming pool.”

“I don’t think it was weird. I think it was meant to be.”

So much for his practical nature! Danny longed to take her in his arms. The oppressive summer night and the way he felt about her became too much to bear.

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process, which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.