Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Safari in the Mist - Part 1

A Von Crapp Brothers Tale

"You look done in. Let's rest here for a bit. I'm tired anyway." Vic moved under a twisted, leaf-covered tree by the small stream they were following.

The African sun reflected from the surface of the stream. In the distance shimmering waves of heat near the ground distorted the trees and mist obscured the view. Flies buzzed lazily in the shade. A barely perceptible breeze did nothing to cool them off, but lifted light sand from the ground and dusted the clothes of BA and Vic, the von Crapp brothers. They both wore light colored clothing and the requisite pants with sixteen pockets. BA's red hair, though short, was damp with sweat as he sat down. His reddish goatee was a little longer than the day-old whiskers on his cheeks.

BA moved to the water, reached down with one of his hands and splashed the tepid liquid onto his face. He looked at Vic, who was rummaging in his pack under the tree. "How do you do that?"

"Do what?" Vic pulled out a clear bag then reached for his canteen. The sun flickered through the leaves and glinted off his white hair. His goatee contrasted with his clean-shaven face.

"We've been walking through this God-forsaken land in hundred degree heat for two hours and you're not sweating." BA growled and stretched out in the shade.

Vic shrugged. "Oh, I hate to sweat."

"We're adventurers. On an adventure. We're supposed to sweat." BA crossed his feet at the ankles and put his hands behind his head, the pack beneath them. The muscles in his strong body relaxed, but his right hand shot out as he smashed a distracting fly. He wiped his fingers on the sparse, tough grass beneath him. The shimmering heat carried the smells of hundreds of flowers through the damp air beneath the jungle limbs.

"Hmmm. Well, I'm a Gentleman Adventurer. I do sweat. Just not much, if I can help it. I think cool thoughts." Vic carefully poured water from his canteen into the clear bag.

"It's not natural."

"You're one to talk. Give me a few minutes." He reached in his thin off-white vest and pulled out a small rectangle of aluminum, which he carefully unfolded.

"What is that?" BA squinted at the pinch of dark material Vic put into the plastic bag, hanging it on a branch in the sun.

"Nothing yet. Sun tea in about fifteen minutes; should be quite nice." The small square of aluminum foil disappeared back into Vic's vest. Two cups appeared in his hands and he placed them on a flat rock.

"Earl Grey?"

"Of course. What did you think? Chamomile?"

They laughed at that.

Next part, next Wednesday.

Author commentary (if I have one)

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